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

Boswell Family


This will be the first page of many!! due to the fact that the Boswell's are a very large family and have married into almost all the known English Romanichals. I am starting with the family of the Infamous ! Abraham Boswell b abt 1865 died 1935 as he was the Great Grandfather of Colleen (his daughter Unity being Colleens Granny) who has very kindly sent me the information she has collected over the years of her family. And has very generously said that she would like to share this with other folks so that it may help someone else who maybe just starting out on the Family History trail !so a big thank you to Colleen in Australia !!


Granny Boswell


Abraham Boswell 1865-1935

Unity Boswell 1902-2001

Descendants of Abraham Boswell 



1-Abraham Boswell b. Abt 1778, Not Known, d. Oct 11, 1874, Mullion Cornwall

+Unity Unknown b. Abt 1788, England

(No parents names just says a a stranger =pauper Name: Abraham Boswell

Event Type: Baptism Baptism Date: 23 Nov 1788.Baptism Place: Wimborne Minster Holt, Dorset)



2-Ephraim Boswell b. Abt 1820, England, c. Jul 8, 1827, Aston Juxta Warwickshire, d. Oct 29, 1904, Helston Cornwall,

bur. Tregerest

+Ann Kingston b. Unknown, Ireland, d. Aug 16, 1909, Union Workhouse Helston, bur. Tregerest


3-Lily Rosanne Boswell b. 1859, Taverstock

++John Botterell b. Abt 1835, Penzance Cornwall, m. May 15, 1882, Penzance Cornwall, par. Bartholomew Botterell and



4-John Botterell b. 1884

4-Elizabeth Ann Botterell b. 1886

4-Agnes Mary Botterell b. 1889

4-Lily Botterell b. 1890, Penzance Cornwall, d. 1909

4-Love Unity Botterell b. 1892, Penzance Cornwall, d. Dec 27, 1892, Penzance Cornwall

4-Jessie Maud Botterell b. 1896

4-Howard Botterell b. 1898, d. 1902

4-Thomas Stanley Botterell b. 1900, Penzance Cornwall, d. 1901, Penzance Cornwall

4-Unity Botterell b. 1902


3-Unity Love Boswell b. 1861, Cornwall, c. May 26, 1861, Bodmin Cornwall, d. 1892, Penzance Cornwall

+Cornelius Bailey b. 1860, Penryn Cornwall, c. Sep 2, 1860, St Gluvias Cornwall, m. 1884, Helston Corwall, par. John


Bailey and Eliza May

4-John Bailey b. 1890, Plymouth

4-Unity Bailey b. 1888, Penzance Cornwall, d. 1888, Penzance Cornwall

3-Agnes Mary Boswell b. Mar 11, 1863, Cornwall, d. Jan 3, 1951, Helston Cornwall

+William James Paul b. Oct 31, 1862, Penzance Cornwall, m. Oct 30, 1883, Helston Corwall, d. Dec 14, 1948, Helston


Cornwall, par. William Harvey Paul and Mary Ann Fry

4-Abraham Paul b. Abt 1885, Penzance Cornwall

4-Robert John Paul b. 1886

4-William Henry Paul b. Abt 1888, Plymouth Devon

4-Frances Ann Paul b. Jul 1889, Penzance Cornwall

4-Beatrice Maria Paul b. Abt 1891

+ Wisdom James b 12/4/1882 (Married 1914)(Wisdom was the son of Henry James & Selina Smith)

4-Robert John Paul b. 1892

4-John Paul b. 1893

4-Stanley Paul b. Dec 1897

4-Nelson Paul b. 1901

4-Bridget Paul b. 1903

4-Gordon Paul b. 1904

4-Andrew Paul b. 1905

4-Eliza Paul



3-Abraham Boswell b. Feb 14, 1865, Carvath St Austell, c. Apr 4, 1865, Phillack Cornwall, d. Feb 2, 1935,


+Selina Lee b. Abt 1883, Cornwall, m. Feb 12, 1900, Helston Corwall, d. Jun 14, 1906, Redruth Cornwall, parents. Robert   Lee and Harriet Smith *


4-Angeletta Boswell b. Mar 24, 1878, Mawgan Cornwall, c. Jun 18, 1890, Goldolpin Cornwall

+Henry Mills in 1900 in Penzance


After exchanging emails with Colleen I just had to check the Census for the Channel Islands as Colleen mentioned that Oshana Boswell was in the Channel Islands at one point so I had a look at the Census and found these entries which would seem to fit as later in various Census some other members of the family found in Cornwall and other West Counties which would fit as some married into the Small Family a well known Romany family.


1861:St Helier:County/Island: Jersey 

Samuel Small 22 Chair/Maker b  England

Elizabeth Small 24  hawker b England

Marila Small 5  dau b England

Mary Jane Small 13  dau b England

Robert G Small 2  son b England


George Shales34 b England Cutler and china repairer

Oshanna Shales 30 b England

Henry Shales 2 son b England

James Shales 6 son b England

Ellen M A Dowden14 servant b St. Helier, Jersey


1871 Census:St Helier County/Island: Jersey  

George Shales 44 b England

Oshanna Shales 40 b England

Alfred Shales 2 son b St. Helier, Jersey

Charles Shales11 months son b St. Helier, Jersey

James Shales16 b England

John Shales6 son b St. Helier, Jersey

Mathilda Shales 9 dau b b St. Helier, Jersey

William Shales 12 b England

Eliza Mahoney 30 servant b England



1871* Census Channel Islands St Helier Jersey

James Boswell .......82 b 1789 England - Labour Basket maker

Unity.........83 b 1788 England -basket maker

( think Abraham using the name James?



Notes &Queries JGLS

Gypsy Marriage:-


To the kindness of Mr. William A. Cragg, of Treekingham House, near Folkingham, Lincolnshire, we owe the following extract from the Lincoln Gazetteer newspaper of July 29, 1785 : —


' Saturday last was married at St. Margaret's Church in Leicester, Phoenix, a youth belonging to Boswell's gang of Gypsies [now hutted in Humberstone-field], to Miss Boswell, daughter of Mr. Boswell, King of this fraternity. His Gypsean Majesty attended the ceremony. Miss Charlotte Boswell was bridesmaid, and 10 or 12 of the gang likewise attended. They presented the clergyman who performed the ceremony with half-a-guinea, and to the ringers 15s., with a good dinner and drink in great plenty. We understand that a marriage ceremony amongst this tribe of people is always celebrated with great merriment, and the feasting lasts for 14 days  indeed it is impossible to conceive a happier set of people than they appeared to be on this occasion. The consummation of the nuptial rights was intended to be in Humberstone- field ; where perhaps Phoenix and his enamoured Princess, upon a green sod, with the canopy of heaven their only covering, may taste as much real felicity as those of a higher order in their beds of down

with pillows of thorns.


' Phoenix' trade is that of a tinker — his wife is a dealer in palmistry. . . .


' We learn that in a few days, at or near Holwell-Mouth, by Melton Mowbray, there will be a general meeting of Gypsies from Leicestershire and the neighbouring counties, to celebrate the nuptials of Phoenix with the King's daughter.


' The Gypsies have undoubtedly a form of government amongst themselves, and to their King pay the most implicit obedience ; to this submission we may fairly attribute their apparent happiness. They have no false honour amongst them, and they look upon shame as the most grievous punishment in the world.'


It is interesting to notice, as Mr. John Sampson points out, that while, at the beginning, the writer is evidently describing a real Gypsy wedding, yet when he goes on to give an account of Gypsy government and punishment by degradation, which if true would be immensely important, he is quoting almost verbally from Fielding's Tom Jones, book xii. chap. 12.



1861 Census RG9-1545-.Tywardreath  Cornwall  

Abraham Boswell hd 72 Winbourn, Dorset Basket Maker

Unity Boswell 71  Winbourn, Dorset  Wife  

Persons not in houses."

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Boswell Family