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  © Copyright  Romanygenes 2007--2020 Design and Web Layout  © 2007-2020 S.J.Day All Rights Reserved


Copyright RomanyGenes 2007-2020 Design and Web Layout S.J.Day All Rights Reserved



(The information on this site has been gathered  many years ago and as with all Genealogy its ongoing THUS as new information will come to light as the years go by inevitably new information will and has  been found , it is difficult to update every record as and when its first found, but I will try and do so as and when time permits.)


I hope to give a little insight into Romany Genealogy to anyone who may be just starting out,or if you have been doing it for many years like me,well you never know maybe you will find some info you haven't already got.


I myself am not Romany but my family have married into Romany hence why I started Romany reseach alongside my own family history ,to trace my sister In laws family who are Romany and also other family members have married Romany, and it just grew from there!!, my main line of interest is the Romany History and culture of what I call the English Romany or "Romanichal"s this is what most of the travellers I speak too describe themselves as, and after nearly 600 years in this country they have become part of our heritage and history,while at the same time its important to record and remember their past and the hard times they had as well as the good times.


 First a brief short history of the Romany, I feel it’s not necessary to repeat much of what has previously been written on this subject, as my main research lines,are the Gypsies of Hampshire and Dorset who have settled in the area, and were mainly from the Nevi Wesh (New Forest).

The Gypsies arrival in Britain was first recorded in 1505 in Scotland and 1514 in England. At Hampshire Record Office the earliest known document they have of Gypsies in the County, is an entry in Chawton's parish records for 1638.The people called Gypsies spread into England from the Continent but they were probably in Europe much earlier, but because they were not recorded or written about,then we must base our dates on the evidence which we have.

A record for Hampshire  exists for 1543


Because of their lifestyle of roaming, and catching their own food and making their own medicines from nature’s garden, the Gypsies were naturally at home in the forests of England, one of which was the New Forest or Nevi-Wesh. For many hundreds of years it was a much loved home, mainly due to its abundance of herbs and other medicinal plants and,of course, its wild game and springs of fresh water. By the end of the 19th century,they could still be found living in tents and wagons at Shave Green, Godshill, Copythorne, Longdown,Thorney Hill, Millersford Bottom and Crystal Hollow,as well as other places in the Forest.There were also  places outside the forest which were popular with the Gypsies, such as Bournemouth,Poole and Fordingbridge on the edge of the Forest and all of the Cranborne Chase area.


The Romany people have survived and retained their culture and history, through mainly oral stories and family history handed down through the family, as many or most could not read or write so it was often tales and stories told round the yog (fire) that helped the old Romany Rai's like George Borrow and John Sampson and George Hall record many of the Genealogies of the old Romany families which were prominant in their time such as :-



Draper/Smith/Shaw/Small/James/and of course many more!


We are lucky now in that we have available to us online,the Census and Civil Registrations,plus many online Parish Records which provide us with an easy cross reference method, all though if you cant find what you were expecting to find its always worth double checking with the original records as I have found many finds in the original records, but they are not recorded on Ancestry or other online records like the IGI or Census records.


Over the course of 30 years I have collected and recorded a vast amount of data on all the well known Romany families from all over England moreso on the West Country and Hampshire and Dorset Romanies. But I have also researched the Midland and Northern Romanies as well, as some of my friends have connections to the Hearns/Heron/ Boswell/Smith /Grays/Hodgekins/Hopes etc.

 There will inevitably be some errors! - as with parish records I have not necessarily transcribed all the information found in the records,and from time to time there is bound to be a typo error from me!!

so please excuse ,and let me know to put it right, please email me if you see any of your family on my pages to either add or correct me .


Individual image copyrights are fully respected and remain strictly the property of the photo owner.

Why not add your photo to the gallery? Please feel free to send in your photo/s with any historical details to add to the gallery.Simply send photo to :- [email protected]


 All photo image copyrights fully respected.

If you wish to have your photo removed or changed, please email me with the reference number or name of photo,and I will do this immediately.Thank you.


 This is just one of the unique hand coloured magic Lantern slides c1884 taken by Rev Augustus Wright centre picture, they give a glimpse of the hop pickers and their surroundings.

 (Courtesy of Hampshire Museum Services).On the left is "luvvie" (Lavinia) Cooper and on the right is

 Hannah Lakey  "Queen of the New Forest Gypsies " by John G.Short .


All texts and picture's/ images are strictly copyright to RomanyGenes or to the stated contributor or copyright holder/s or "unKn". Any unauthorised copying of any images or material from this website for any use is strictly prohibited without written permission from the image owners - owners of unknown images ("unKn")  from this website please contact us for fair use or image withdrawal. All rights reserved. 2007-2018

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