Wednesday 1 November 2017

The end of the Saunders line

In the early 1700s a shoemaker called John Saunders married a lady called Catherine.

One of their children was Thomas (1758-1820) a labourer who married Ann (Nancy).

In 1789 Thomas and Ann had a son, John Saunders (died 1837), who married Lydia Hewitt (1794-1839). In 1826, John and Lydia had a son Thomas, a millwright who married Cecily.

Thomas and Cecily had a son Henry (pictured below, taken days before his death) in 1856. Henry married Mary Taylor (1851-1918) in 1874. Henry died in Rainhill Asylum in 1902.

One of Henry and Mary's children was my great grandfather Leonard Saunders (1892-1962).

Leonard was a master painter by trade, and in 1921 married Elizabeth Margaret Mary Bromilow (1887-1968, pictured below), the postmistress of Westfield Street post office, St Helens.

Leonard and Elizabeth had three children:

  • Margaret (1922-2004) who became Sister Mary Immaculata of the Order of the Good Shepherd.
  • Thurston Saunders (1924-2000) who married Mollie Sales (1927-1996) in 1947 and took over the post office from his mother.
  • Henry (Harry) Saunders (1926-2006), my grandfather, who married Jean Elizabeth Wilson (1926-2001) in 1949.

Henry and Jean had two daughters -my mum and aunt, while Thurston and Mollie had a daughter and a son Leonard (Len) (pictured below).

Leonard never married or had children, and was therefore the last male to bare the Saunders name in a direct line going back centuries. He was sadly killed in an unprovoked attack in St Helens in July 2017. A tragic end, not only to a wonderful man's life, but also to the end of a long direct line of Saunders men going back centuries.

A little bit sentimental but I raise a toast to the Saunders family - a major part of my family history. The name may have died out but the Saunders values will live on for many years through future generations.

Leonard's niece has set up a Just Giving page in his memory. If you can please give generously.

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