This site is part of a research project called Diaspora Connections: Irish Families in Stafford, 1830-1919. It is a case study of Irish families from their origins in Ireland to their dispersal in the worldwide diaspora. John Herson is trying to answer the question 'what happened to the emigrant Irish?' by tracing the history of all the Irish families who settled at some time in the small town of Stafford in the English West Midlands between 1830 and 1919.
These families were a cross section of the Irish emigrants - the destitute and the better off, the skilled and the unskilled, Catholic and Protestant, Celtic, Anglo-Irish and Scots-Irish. The research is charting the varied experiences of both Irish immigrants and their descendants in the second, third and even fourth generations.
Having settled in Stafford, some families put down deep roots in the town. Others moved on and many probably emigrated to America, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and other places. Where did they go to and when? Why did some go and some stay? What were their experiences both in Stafford and elsewhere? These are the questions the project and this website are trying to explore by making contact with the descendants of Irish people whose ancestors may have lived in Stafford.
The site offers you:-
What I would like in return is information about your family history if you think you may be descended from the Stafford Irish.
The project links the past with the present by connecting historical sources with information from modern-day descendants of the Irish. It also links the Irish experience in Ireland, in Britain and throughout their worldwide dispersal.
You can read more about the findings of the research project in:-
John Herson, 'Migration, community or integration: Irish families in late Victorian Stafford' in R. Swift & S. Gilley (eds.) The Irish in Victorian Britain: the Local Dimension (Four Courts Press, Dublin, 1999), ISBN 1-85182-444-8