The Stafford Family of Johnson County, Kentucky

The following is quoted and abstracted in places from Early Families of Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky. Some of the author's remarks about the Staffords of Kentucky apply to the entire Stafford diaspora in the New World.

"Genealogists and historians trace the history of the Stafford family of America to the reign of the Stuarts in England. Viscount John Stafford, who claimed the throne of England, was beheaded by order of James II. Lord Stafford left one son, John, who was kidnapped in England and departed to America. He m. an unknown lady in Virginia. One of their sons, John, removed to Maryland from whom the Staffords of Maryland and New Jersey are descended.

"Several branches of the Stafford family are living in America. There were branches living in all the original 13 colonies, except Maine, at the time of the enumeration of the first US Census (1790). The male line of Staffords was extinguished in England with the death of Lord Stafford, and the family is represented in England in the older female line by Sir Stafford Jerringham and in the younger line by Sir Stafford Northcote.

"The Stafford family is of Scotch-Irish descent and the first to America was Thomas, b. 1605. He emigrated from Warwickshire England to Plymouth in New England on or about 1626. A few years later he moved to Providence RI and from thence to Warwick RI in 1652, where he died in 1677.

"The founder of the noble house of Stafford was Robert, a younger son of Roger de Tonei, standard bearer of Normandy, whose name appears in the Doomsday book as the owner of 131 lordships in the counties of Suffolk, Gloucester, Lincoln, Warwick, and Stafford. William the Conqueror appointed him governor of the Castle of Stafford, from which he assumed a new surname; and from him descended the dukes of Buckingham and several other noble houses."

The text of the book goes on to discuss the varying Stafford coat of arms, and then begins tracing the early New World Staffords, including: James Stafford (arrived in Floyd County, now Johnson County, in 1794); John Stafford (b. 1804); James Stafford (b. 1825); Ralph Stafford (b. 1827); William Stafford (b. 1829); Jane Stafford (b. 1832); Irene Stafford (b. 1834); Lucina Stafford (b. 1836); Francis Marion Stafford (b. 1833); Malissa Stafford (b. 1840); Mary Stafford (b. 1845); Jesse Stafford (b. 1849); Lydia Stafford (b. 1855); and Thomas R. Stafford (b. 1868).