John Herson
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Stafford’s Irish families
The overall picture
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An overall picture of the Irish families who came to Stafford in the nineteenth century is now provided. A total of 206 distinct families settled long-term. Over sixty per cent were initially ‘all-Irish’ families, but thirty-five per cent were of mixed ethnicity from the start. There is a quantitative analysis and classification of Stafford’s settled Irish families.

In the long term the Irish families diverged in three directions. About one third were ‘long-term transients’ – the immigrants settled for some time but ultimately they or their descendants left. Nearly half ‘integrated’ and put down deep roots in Stafford. One fifth of the families were ‘terminal’ because they withered away and died out in the town. These three ‘divergent paths’ are fundamental to the analysis of the family histories in the rest of the book. It is also a new demographic perspective on the Irish.

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Divergent paths

Family histories of Irish emigrants in Britain, 1820–1920

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