Romany Nevi-Wesh - An informal history of the New Forest Gypsies by Len Smith Nova Foresta Publishing 2004
Len Smith who also designed the Romany Museum at Paultons Park in Hampshire.
This is a must have book for anyone with New Forest Romany descent and indeed for all folki who have Romany ancestry.
Len has put together all the old and new history of the Forest folki together with lovely pictures taken from some of the old well known Romany Authors and the old Romany Rye's . In fact although I myself have been researching the same Forest folk for many years, I have found the book very helpfull as it enables me to see all the relevant facts in one precise and compact book with out, as I had to previously, hunt through all my note books and scraps of paper strewn everywhere around my house!! So, Thanks Len !! (Sadly Len passed away in Dec 2007)RIP Len and my sympathy to all his family his memory will live on.
I must mention the book Romany Life by Frank Cuttriss pub 1915 as he was in the Forest with the local Travellers and took some wonderful early pictures and also records some intersting stories and anecdotes,It is however hard to get hold off and rather expensive if you do,I have recently seen it on Amazon although not available and a reprint details :-Ams Pr Inc; Reprint edition (June 1982) .Butst Reference Libraries should have a copy. Another book also concerning the New Forest was The Gypsies' Advocate, by James Crabb pub 1832 . Below are just a couple of pictures from Frank Cuttriss book "Romany Life " which gives a idea of the New Forest in
the early 1900s.
Double tent winter time Around the Yog/Yag(fire)
Another of my favourite books is Gypsies Of The Heath by "The Romany Rawny" aka Betty Gillington and published by
Elkin Mathews London 1916 :- Account of the gypsies of the Hampshire moors.
The Barney family feature in the main theme, along with the Stanley family and other related families, their daily life at work and at play, and even Death are covered in a very affectionate way by the author who was obviously very fond of the Romany families she made friends with.Old blind Solomon Stanley who was the matriarch of the Stanley family at that time,and uncle Chawny the king of the camp, Sam and Elenda Barney,and Ellenda's parents Ameline and Britannia and little Athaliah's granny who died in her little apple green caravan,and the funeral with little Athaliah and little Clara Stanley and her handsome mother -one of the tribes of the New Forest, superb in face and figure,the people and the events all explained in perfect dialect ' just how they spoke'.For me personally it captured their lives and character perfectly and of course as I had researched all these people it brought them to life,and its not very often when you do your family history that you will get to read about your ancestors yet alone how they lived their lives. Another excellent book is "Tales of the
old Gypsies" pictured below by Jennifer Davies, it has lots of lovely pictures and family stories told by the Gypsies themselves including Hampshire and Dorset folk as well as the North and Midlands all areas are covered, so well worth a look.
Gypsies of Britain by Brian Vessey-Fitzgerald 1973 is another must have and as well as mentioning some of the hampshire Gypsies he also covers some of the early History of the Gypsies as well as many extracts from the Journal of the gypsy Lore Society , this book can still be bought for a reasonable price.
My Gypsy Days(Recollections of a Romany Rawnie) by Dora.E.Yates Pub 1953 is also another excellent
book and also more poignant, as she was also Curator of the Scott Macfie Collection of books on Gypsy Lore
which she had largely been instrumental in obtaining for its Library in 1936.
Dora's first introduction to Gypsies occurred on Christmas Eve 1903 in a snowstorm on a desolate piece of
waste ground at Aintree in Liverpool. Here she met the flamboyant Gypsy character, Kenza Boswell
(Mackenzie Boswell, head of the Lancashire clan). There is a description of this meeting in Yate's
autobiography My Gypsy Days (1953). She spent many years recording the speech and folktales of the
Wood family of Welsh Gypsies, whose members by reason of their isolation still spoke the "deep" inflected
Romani, a dialect of Romani which had already died out amongst many Gypsy groups in Western Europe
by the early 1900's.This material became the basis for John Sampson's great work The Dialect of the
Gypsies of Wales (1926) which is still one of the most authoritative works on the Romani language.
(pictured left is Dora Yates)
The way of the Romany is a new book by Fred Price ,with Lots of information about British Romany
Gypsies plus 200 photos mainly, members of the price and lee families, although other families who have
married into the price family are covered, with the people identified and covering many English and
Welsh counties and families.There is not alot of writing in the book as it is mainly wonderful photos
but what is Written by Fred Price with added information from Robert Dawson and
Siobhan Spencer. is well worth reading!
Published for Derbyshire Gypsy Liaison Group. Hardback.
Book ISBN: 978-1-903418-56-7 Price: £30.00
THE GIPSIES' ADVOCATE
By James Crabb
Originally published in 1832.
The Reverend James Crabb of Southampton tried to improve the lives of Gypsies in Britain. Although not named, other than William Stanley , there are clues to others,f which can be gleaned from the letters sent to Crabb from John West the rector of Chettle .
John West was the rector of Chettle in Dorset and had built two cottages,each with an acre of land attached for cultivation .in these he placed two Gypsy families,"That they may be kept from idle habits,and to help maintain their chilldren who were sent to a parochial school.
The rev James Crabb of course wrote the Gypsy Parson, letters wrote from Chettle Rectory from the rector John West from 1840 ,to the rev James Crabb discuss the cottages and gypsy families etc ).The 1851 Census finds David Stanley and family in one of the aformentioned cottages nest to the Mills family (Emily Mills later married James Stanley,brother of Dangerfield Stanley who, as his grt grt grandson Paul Kimber wrote in (R/Routes Vol 11 No 1 Dec 2012)
Also within the book is the mention of the hanging of Francis Proudley in 1827,who was sentenced to death for Horse stealing, and Crabb taking pity on his young wife Patience nee Stanley and her young chilldren. In the book (A memoir of the Rev. James Crabb ... By John Rudall ... Rudall, John, 1798-1880). references to the name Carter (old Gysy Mary Carter) also leads to more findings of the interwoven relationship of these famlies.
David Stanley abt 1805 Portsmouth Head Basket Maker
Eliza Stanley abt 1810 Fourport, Southampton Head
Henry Stanley abt 1832 Charten, Hampshire Son
William Stanley abt 1835 Alton, Dorset Son
Salomon Stanley abt 1837 Downton, DorsetSon
Peter Stanley abt 1839 Apam, Dorset, Son
Louisa Stanley abt 1841 Farnham, Dorset, Daughter
David Stanley abt 1843 Farnham, Dorset Son
James Stanley abt 1847 Farnham, Dorset Son
Benjamin Stanley abt 1848 Farnham, Dorset Son
MatthewMILLES [MILLS] Head Mar 40 Basket Maker
Vashtie MILLES [MILLS] Wife Mar 51 Andover
Thomas MILLES [MILLS] Son Un 10 Westisland
Alice MILLES [MILLS] Dau Un F 7 Farnham DOR
Elizabeth MILLES [MILLS] Dau Un F 5 Farnham DOR
Julia MILLES [MILLS] Dau Un F 4 Farnham DOR
Emmily MILLES [MILLS] Dau Un F 4m Farnham DOR
Mary Ann SMITH Visitor Un 17 Gunvill