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Stafford

"Stafford, an ancient borough and market town, celebrated for the manufacture of shoes, is, as its name imports, the capital of Staffordshire, and is pleasantly situated nearly in the centre of the county, on the north side of the River Sow, 16 miles NW by W of Lichfield, 16 miles N of Wolverhampton, and 16 miles S by E of Newcastle-under-Lyme and the Potteries. It gives name to an archdeaconry, deanery, union, and County Court district. It has a branch from the Staffordshire & Worcestershire Canal, and has a commodious station on the Grand junction portion of the London & North Western Railway, which is joined here by the Trent Valley and the Shropshire Union Railways.
The principal streets, Greengate and Gaolgate, run in a direct line through the centre of the town, branching from opposite sides of the Market Square, and containing many well stocked shops, and several excellent inns, and large mansions.
The two united parochial townships of St Mary and St Chad contain about 2510 acres, and a population of 9245 in 1841. St Mary's parish includes the four out-townships of Hopton-and-Coton, Marston, Salt-and-Enson, and Whitgreave, and the liberties of Tillington and Worston.
Hopton and Coton township containing 1770 acres and 464 inhabitants, is a fertile district, including the small village of Hopton, three miles NE of Stafford, and a number of scattered houses, extending from the Lunatic Asylum and the hamlet of Littleworth, on the eastern side of Stafford, to the confines of Ingestre, the seat of Earl Talbot, who is lord of both of these manors. Here is also the hamlet of St Thomas, where there are, near a corn mill, the remains of a priory.
Salt and Enson township has 1330 acres and 580 souls, and includes a number of scattered houses, and the secluded village of Salt, thre and a half miles NNE of Stafford. Earl Talbot is lord of the manor and owner of most of the soil.
Tillington, one and a half miles N of Stafford, is an extra-parochial estate of 1090 acres, and 55 inhabitants, on three farms.
Whitgreave or Whitgrove, is a township of 1620 acres and 185 souls. It includes several scattered houses, and a small village, lying in a pleasant valley, four miles NNW of Stafford, belonging chiefly to HC Taylor, Esq, the lord of the manor.
Worston, four miles NW of Stafford, is an extra-parochial estate of about 300 acres and 23 souls. It has a neat mansion, and large corn and silk mills, belonging to John Milner, Esq, who resides at the Hall, but the mill is occupied by Mr George Mare.
Marston Township formed a chapelry to St Mary, Stafford parish and details can be found on the Marston page."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Parishes

INFORMATION RELATED TO ALL OF STAFFORD

Bibliography

'History of Stafford and Guide to the Neighbourhood'
by Charles Calvert.
Published 1886, by J Halden & Son, Stafford.

'Stafford in Olden Times'
by JL Cherry.
Published 1890, Stafford.

'Stafford Past'
by Roy Lewis
Published 1997, by Phillimore & Co, Chichester.
ISBN No 86077-049-5

'A History of Stafford'
by MW Greenslade, DA Johnson & CRJ Currie
Published 1982, by Staffordshire County Library, Stafford.

'Stafford, the Story of a Thousand Years'
by Paul Butters.
Published 1979, by Crescent Publishing Co, Tamworth.

'Town and Castle, a Concise History of Stafford during the Civil War'
by Clive Simpson
Published 1989, by Partizan.

'Stafford in Old Photographs'
by Joan Anslow & Thea Randall
Published 1994, by Alan Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

'Around Stafford in Old Photographs'
by Joan Anslow & Thea Randall
Published 1991, by Alan Sutton, Stroud, Gloucestershire.

'Stafford & District. A Portrait in Old Picture Postcards'
by Roy Lewis
Published 1991, by SB Publications, Market Drayton.

'Stafford as it Was'
by Roy Lewis & Joan Anslow
Published 1980, by Hendon Publishing Co, Nelson.

'Stafford Past'
by John Darlington.
Published 1994, by Stafford Borough Council.

'Yesterday's Town, Stafford'
by Paul Butters
Published 1984, by Barracuda, Buckingham.

'Railways in and Around Stafford'
by Edward Talbot
Published 1995, by Foxline, Stockport.

'The Staffords, Earls of Stafford & Dukes of Buckingham, 1394-1521'
by Carole Rawcliffe
Published 1978, by Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

'St Austin's, Stafford. A History of the Catholic Church in Stafford since the Reformation'
by MW Greenslade
Published 1962, by WH Smith & Sons, Stafford.

'St Joseph's Convent, Stafford. It's History, Development & Present Day Activities'
by Anon
Published 1948, by British Publishing Co, Gloucester.

'Notes for a History of King Edward VI Grammar School, Stafford'
by J Sidney Horne, FT Nott & RC Lambert
Published 1930, by RW Hourd & Son, Stafford.

'History of King Edward VI School, Stafford'
by CG Gilmore
Published 1953, by University Press, Oxford.

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Census

The population of Stafford (St Mary & St Chad parishes only) was as follows:
1801 -- 3,898
1811 -- 4,868
1821 -- 5,736
1831 -- 6,956
1841 -- 9,245

A surname index only of the 1851 census for Stafford is included in the 1851 Staffordshire Census Surname Index Vol 1 & 2, Stafford/Stone published by the Birmingham and Midland SGH.

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Church History

Church of England History
For Anglican church history see individual Parishes

Nonconformist Church History
"There are in the town and suburbs eight other places of worship.
The Roman Catholic Chapel, St Austin, in Forebridge, is a handsome stuccoed building with a good house for the priest, the Rev Edward Huddlestone.
The Presbyterian Chapel, in Balk Passage, was erected in the reign of William and Mary, and is now under the ministry of the Rev Jas Speers.
The Friends Meeting House, a plain brick building, in Foregate Street, was erected in 1730.
Zion Independent Chapel, in Martin Street, was built in 1811, in lieu of a small old chapel in Salter's Street.
The Wesleyan Chapel, in Broad-Eye, is a large structure, which was built in 1811, and has a house for the minister, built in 1831.
The handsome New Connexion Methodist Chapel, at Snow Hill, was erected in 1848, in lieu of a small chapel in County Road, built in 1811.
There is a Primitive Methodist Chapel, at Snow Hill, built in 1849, and the United Brethren have a chapel in Church Lane."
[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851]

Postcard of St Austin Roman Catholic Chapel, Stafford c1905.

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Church Records

Church of England Registers
For Anglican church records see individual Parishes

Nonconformist Church Registers
The original registers are deposited at Staffordshire Record Office (SRO) or the Public Record Office (PRO) as indicated below:
Stafford Circuit, Primitive Methodist, Baptisms 1849-1956 (SRO)
Stafford Circuit, United Methodist, Baptisms 1858-1952 (SRO)
Stafford Circuit, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1810-1822 & 1837-1953 (SRO)
Broad Eye, Stafford, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1809-1836 (PRO),
Baptisms 1857-1879 (SRO )
Chapel Street, Stafford, Wesleyan Methodist, Baptisms 1857-1879, Marriages 1905-1984 (SRO)
Gaol Square, Stafford, Methodist New Connexion, Marriages 1917-1952 (SRO)
Mount Street, Stafford, Presbyterian, Baptisms 1856-1981, Marriages 1861-1925 (SRO)
Snow Hill, Stafford, Primitive Methodist, Marriages 1914-1954 (SRO)
Martin Street, (later Eastgate Street), Stafford, Congregational, Births & Baptisms 1795-1837 (PRO), Baptisms 1891-1988, Marriages 1894-1981 & Burials 1914-1975 (SRO)

The original registers of Stafford, St Austins, Roman Catholic church for the period 1804-1831 & 1858-1891 (Bapts), 1832-1880 (Mar), & 1831-1893 (Deaths) are deposited at Birmingham Diocesan Archives.

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Description and Travel

Stafford Borough Council's site includes information on present day Stafford.

Directories

'Halden and Sons' Almanack and Directory of Stafford and District' was published by J Halden & Sons, Stafford, in 1885, 1891-1900, 1903-1911, 1913-1916, 1920, 1922, 1924-1939, 1946 & 1947.

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Genealogy

John Herson's Diaspora Connections: Irish Families in Stafford, 1830-1919 is a case study of Irish families from their origins in Ireland to their dispersal in the worldwide diaspora. John is trying to answer the question 'what happened to the emigrant Irish?' by tracing the history of all the Irish families who settled in the town of Stafford. The site offers information about the Irish families in Victorian Stafford and contact details to find out more about your possible Irish ancestors in Stafford.

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Occupations

"The great staple manufacture of the town is boots and shoes, of which great quantities are sent weekly to Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield, London, and other markets, chiefly of the lighter sorts for women and children. There are more shoemakers here than in any other town of the same population.
Here also are many curriers, and several fellmongers, a large tannery, nine maltsters, and two banks, one of which belongs to the old established firm of Messrs Stevenson, Salt, and Webb.
Stafford has a busy market every Saturday, for meat, corn, vegetables, butter, eggs, poultry, etc, and there is also a small show of swine and cattle.
There are canal wharfs, and a commodious railway station, on the south side of the town, and near the latter are two large inns and posting houses. "

[From History, Gazetteer and Directory of Staffordshire, William White, Sheffield, 1851)

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Poorhouses, Poor Law etc

Stafford gave name to, and became part of Stafford Union following the Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834.
Stafford Union comprised the 20 parishes and townships of Baswich, Bradley, Brockton, Castle Church, Colwich, Ellenhall, Fradswell, Gayton, Haughton, Hopton-and-Coton, Ingestre, Marston, Ranton, Salt-and-Enson, Seighford, Stafford (St Mary & St Chad), Stowe, Tixall, Weston-on-Trent, and Whitgreave.
The Union had an area of 78 square miles and a total population of 20,293 inhabitants in 1841.
The Workhouse was a neat brick building in County Road, Stafford, erected in 1838, with room for about 300 paupers.

The records of the union deposited at Staffordshire Record Office include:
Minutes 1836-1925
Ledgers 1836-1930
Admission and Discharge Registers 1842-1930
Certificates of Baptism 1900-1927
Births Register 1914-1930
Deaths Register 1858-1930
Out Relief Order Books 1913-1917
Apprenticeship Registers 1885-1899
Removal Orders 1842-1845 & 1886-1888
Poor Rate Books 1897-1926
Valuation Lists 1848-1922

The following records of the union are deposited at the Public Records Office, Kew:
Correspondence, etc 1834-1900 (Class ref MH12/11458-98)
Staff Registers 1837-1921 (Class ref MH9/16)

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Voting Registers

William Salt Library holds poll books for Stafford as follows:
1780, 1790, 1807, 1812, 1818, 1826, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1835, 1837, 1841, 1847, 1852, 1857, 1859, 1860, 1865, 1868 & 1869

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[Last updated: 29th April 2011, Mike Harbach.  © 1999 - 2011]