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Entrepreneurs and professionals
John Herson

This chapter reviews general evidence for the emigration of professional and entrepreneurial Irish. The proportion in Stafford is shown to be in line with that elsewhere.

There are four case studies. Hugh Woods Gibson came from an Ulster Presbyterian family. The history of his family shows how Irish Protestants could merge seamlessly into British society. William Clendinnen, a doctor from Co. Wicklow, was Stafford’s first Medical Officer of Health but his family history demonstrates issues of male domination, marital violence and oppositional identity. Finally, the histories of two Irish Catholic priests, Michael O’Sullivan and James O’Hanlon, are explored and issues raised about the role of Irish priests in the English Catholic Church and in relation to the Irish.

in Divergent paths
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The conclusions to be drawn
John Herson

The conclusion begins by reviewing how family history can reveal the lives of immigrant families and their descendants as well as their identities and family strategies. It argues that collective family biography can bridge the gap between ‘academic’ social history and antiquarian family history, to the benefit of both.

The distinctive and determinant features of long-term transient, integrating and terminal families are discussed. It is argued that for Irish migration studies the work offers new evidence on the diversity of migrant experiences and the forces promoting identity and ‘ethnic fade’. The significance of women’s roles is emphasised and the argument is in favour of the ‘active opportunist’ rather than the ‘passive exile’ perspective on Irish migrants.

The book concludes with some implications for family studies. The family strategy concept is seen as valuable especially by focusing on the role of women. The evidence undermines simple views on the transition to the nuclear family. There is some sustenance to the Marxist feminist perspective of the family as an ideological construct whose role was to keep people functioning and reproducing in spite of stresses in the external environment.

in Divergent paths
Liverpool as a diasporic city, 1825–1913
John Herson

This chapter seeks to outline the scale and character of emigration through Liverpool and its significance for the city. It examines the impact of nineteenth-century in-migration and questions whether it is useful to view Liverpool as a diasporic city. The chapter suggests that Liverpool's ambiguous nineteenth-century identity reflected the tensions of its complex migrant connections. Liverpool was the most important emigrant port in the British Isles, and shows the extent of its dominance. Over twelve million passengers passed through the city between 1825 and 1913, nearly 56 per cent of all those leaving United Kingdom (UK) ports. The Famine emigration dominates perceptions of Liverpool's importance for Irish overseas emigration. The emigrant traffic was an element in the endemic controversy over Liverpool's dock facilities that reflected ambiguity in the role of the port.

in The empire in one city?