About this Blog: Victorian Stafford and the Irish

In the 1980s I discovered Mary Corcoran. She lived in 19th century Stafford and was the step-mother of one of my ancestors. She came from Castlerea, Co. Roscommon in Ireland. I was fascinated to discover her and also the fact that there were many Irish people living in Stafford in the 1850s. That led me to investigate their experiences. This blog introduces you to some of Stafford’s Victorian Irish families and their stories.

Stafford is not a town normally associated with the great emigration of Irish people before, during and after the Potato Famine of 1845-51. Thousands of Irish people settled in Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham and the Black Country – but in Stafford as well? The answer is yes! Between the 1840s and 1900s over 4,000 Irish people lived in the town at one time or another. The majority ultimately moved on but always a proportion of the immigrants settled long-term and some established families who became part of Stafford’s community. Their descendants can be found in the town today. Other families stayed for many years but then the immigrants or their descendants moved away. Some families just died out in the town.

The history of these Irish families who settled – or were formed – in Stafford shows great diversity. This blog will give you outline histories of these Irish families and some of the things that happened to them. It will explore the lives of ordinary people and challenge stereotypical images of the immigrant Irish in 19th century Britain.

4 thoughts on “About this Blog: Victorian Stafford and the Irish”

  1. Anthony Piddock said:

    My Great great grandfather Patrick Monaghan was one of these, he came to Stafford in the early 1850’s as a widower and married Cecily Hannan who had come to Stafford from Ireland also. They had four children and always lived either in North walls or the houses that were at the rear of St Chads Church off Tipping Street. His son also Patrick married Elizabeth Middleton and they had my grandad and another son and a daughter. My grandad married Elizabeth Bennett and they had my Mum Sheila Piddock nee Monaghan and a son who died only a day old. As far as I know the Middleton’s came from a Scottish ancestry and the Bennett’s were from Manchester and Hollywell Flint in Wales (Ellen Catherine Jones) I find this blog very informative thanks very much. I believe I have met John Herson as I am the Deputy Master of Stafford Burgessess.


    • Anthony: many thanks for sending me this comment and expanding my knowledge of the Monaghan family. I’m pleased you’ve found the blog informative, and it’s great to have extra information offered like yours. It all helps to build a better picture of the complicated history of the Irish families who settled in Stafford and how they developed down the generations.


  2. I’m trying to trace my great grandma Elizabeth Lyons from Stafford born in 1880 ish her father was Irish


    • Cath, would your great grandmother be the Elizabeth Lyons who was the daughter of Joseph Michael and Mary Lyons and born in Stafford in 1864? If so, I know a certain amount about the family. Joseph kept a fish and fruit stall in the market.


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