In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Staffordshire like this:
Staffordshire, co. in west-midlands of England; bounded NW. and N. by Cheshire, NE. and E. by Derbyshire, SE. by Warwickshire, S. by Worcestershire, and W. by Shropshire; greatest length, N. and S., 50 miles; greatest breadth, E. and W., 34 miles; area, 748,433 ac., pop. 981,013. Staffordshire lies in the basin of the Trent, which traverses the co. from NW. to SE., receiving the Sow (with its tributary the Penk), Tame, Blythe, and Dove. Except in the north, which is chiefly wild moorland, the surface is generally level or gently undulating. ...
About three-fourths of the surface is arable, but much of the soil is of a cold clayey nature; the best land is in the south. Along the banks of the streams are many rich meadows. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The new red sandstone occupies the whole of the centre of the co., but in the N. and S. are 2 valuable coal fields - the Pottery coal field and the Dudley coal field, the latter of which is celebrated for the extraordinary thickness of one of its seams, for the excellence of its coal for ironmaking, and the number and richness of its iron ores. Its mineral wealth has given Staffordshire rank as the third co. in England for manufacturing industry, North Staffordshire being the chief seat of the earthenware mfr. In the kingdom, and South Staffordshire one of the chief seats of the iron mfr. The whole county is covered with a network of railways and canals. Staffordshire contains 5 hundreds, 247 pars, and parts of 5 others, the parl. and mun. bors. of Hanley, Newcastle under Lyme, Stafford, Stoke upon Trent, Walsall, West Bromwich, and Wolverhampton (Wolverhampton, 3 members; Hanley, Newcastle under Lyme, Stafford, Stoke upon Trent, Walsall, and West Bromwich, 1 member each), the parl. bor. of Wednesbury (1 member), the mun. bors. of Burslem, Lichfield, and Longton, and parts of the mun. bors. of Burton on Trent and Tamworth. It is mostly in the diocese of Lichfield. For parliamentary purposes it is divided in 7 divisions - viz., Leek, Burton, Western, North Western, Lichfield, Kingswinford, and South Eastern, 1 member for each division; the representation was increased from 6 to 7 members in 1885.
For an overview of how the county has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern of Staffordshire -- but you should check this covers the area you are interested in.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Staffordshire | Map and description for the county, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 22nd May 2013
Click here for more detailed advice on finding places within A Vision of Britain through Time, and maybe some references to other places called "Staffordshire".