have been talking to Janet Keet-Black who is the secretary of the
local Romany and Traveller Family History Society.
group provides members with a quarterly journal full of research
tips, social history and Gypsy anecdotes. They also meet regularly
to swap notes and share a song and stories.
from the Society
says that you have to think laterally when tracing what may turn
out to be a Gypsy line. If you are using Parish records to trace
Baptisms then you may also want to find out where certain crops
where grown at certain times of the year as many such ceremonies
where carried out when families where together picking. Also check
it turns out that your granny sold pegs, for exemple, then she may
well have been a Gypsy. However, not all Hawkers were Travellers
and not all Travellers were Gypsies. It was a forename which got
John Pateman from Kent thinking about his background. His relative
was called Noah.
Gypsies were given Biblical names or ones which gave a feeling of
pride and grandeur such as Sampson or Nelson, Britannia or Cinderella.
Cas Holmes found out that her grandmother was a Gypsy when she used
some of her Romany language in a quarrel so listen to your old folk
for significant words.
a look at old family photos to see if any were taken at gatherings
such as Hop Picking, although be warned that it was an annual event
which brought together families from many backgrounds not just Gypsy.
journal Romany Routes, published by the Romany and Traveller Family
History Society includes information about British Gypsy Families
and gives advice on sources and methods for Gypsy research. The
society can be found at website.lineone.net/~rtfhs/gypsy.html
Listen to what
Janet has to say
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