John Herson
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The context
Irish emigration and Stafford
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This chapter links migrants’ origins in Ireland and their settlement in Stafford. Many came from the area around Castlerea, Co. Roscommon and before the Famine came as seasonal workers to Staffordshire to bring in the harvest. During and after the Famine escape and subsequent chain migration led survivors to settle in Stafford. Other migrants came from elsewhere in Ireland and from a wide range of occupational backgrounds.

The Stafford context is then described and it is argued that the town provided varied and growing opportunities for the Irish. Although there were many slums and much poverty in the town, Stafford’s overall environment was relatively benign in comparison the areas of Irish settlement that are generally studied. There were good reasons to settle there and reasonable opportunities for those who stayed.

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Divergent paths

Family histories of Irish emigrants in Britain, 1820–1920


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