Following a recent series of Diary entries about the Woodford evictions in August 1886, and in particular the siege of ‘Saunder’s Fort’ I believed there was no descendant of the brave Saunders’ family living in the Woodford area today. I was very pleased to receive the following e-mail from Tom Page:
Thanks for your interesting articles on the Woodford evictions. My name is T J Page and I am a great-grandson of Thomas Saunders. My mother who is now 82 is his granddaughter and before she married my father Thomas Page she was Merlin Saunders - so there is still a living Saunders relative. She lives in Rossmore, near Woodford close to Lough Derg and 5 or 6 kilometres from the original site of the eviction of her grandfather Saunders Fort.
The Woodford Heritage Group published two books one in 1986 called A Forgotten Campaign and the other in 1987 called Clonricarde Country which gave details on the evictions and the aftermath.
When Thomas Saunders was evicted with his family they lived, as you say, in the outhouse of a neighbour. Later they moved into National League huts in Cloncoo which is nearby. Thomas Saunders died soon after and his wife Bridget is recorded with her eight children in the 1901 census living in Cloncoo. Incredibly her mother-in- law Margaret (Thomas's mother ) was still alive at 95 years old.
Some time after this (I don't know exactly when ) they were given a farm in Quansboro, outside Portumna, where they are recorded as living in the 1910 census.
My grandfather Joseph (Thomas's son ) got a job as clerk at Rossmore quay where all supplies for local shops came via the canal system. He married a local girl, my grandmother, and bought a local farm. They only had one child, my mother. Despite the eight children none of the sons of Thomas Saunders had children (except Joseph my grandfather ), and so no male heir carried on the name.
I hope this is not too confusing. I would be delighted to give you any other information that I have if you wish . T J Page.
P.S. There is a plaque on the lane leading to the original Saunders Fort on the Portumna-Ennis road just past Lauscaun church. The house is still there now occupied by another family.