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Research Tips

The first thing to say about Gypsy genealogy is that all of us make mistakes, the most experienced as well as the least. It’s full of traps for the unwary.
Eric Trudgill
5 June 2011
There are four signs of Gypsy ethnicity: a traditional Gypsy surname, a distinctive Gypsy forename, a typical Gypsy occupation and typical Gypsy mobility. But there are traps here for the unwary.
Eric Trudgill
3 July 2011
Gypsies often interpreted abode as place of origin or settlement: where they, their father, or even some distant patriarchal ancestor, had been born. Besides confirming their ethnicity often gives us invaluable clues to the identity of their forbears and other close relations.
Eric Trudgill
3 August 2011
I can help you confirm a particular Gypsy was an ancestor with my four tests for consanguinity: congruity of time and place; intra-family marriages; travelling ties; and significant forenames.
Eric Trudgill
4 September 2011
If you develop your material in trees, you develop the habit of applying the tests for consanguinity and thereby of spotting possible anomalies.
Eric Trudgill
5 October 2011
If you need research to grow your trees, you need trees to grow your research.
Eric Trudgill
7 November 2011
With forenames be prepared, when searching records, for standard gypsification of gorjer names and standard gorjerfication by clerics or officials of Gypsy names.
Eric Trudgill
4 December 2011
With Gypsy names be prepared not only for standard variants and alternates, but also for non-standard, unexpected variants and alternates.
Eric Trudgill
6 January 2012
With Gypsy names you should be prepared for unexpected vowels and especially unexpected consonants.
Eric Trudgill
5 February 2012
Always look up on a map any sighting you find of a Gypsy you’re tracing: it may supply you with a baptism, and even more helpfully it may help you find your Gypsy’s travel pattern.
Eric Trudgill
6 March 2012
Establishing your Gypsies’ territory can help you spot ostensible coincidences and anomalies that will deepen your understanding of their family structure.
Eric Trudgill
2 April 2012
You need to keep an open mind as to whether a Gypsy family you’re researching were predominantly patrilocal or matrilocal travellers.
Eric Trudgill
6 May 2012
Direct descendants of Gypsies, without research, rarely command reliable data about the generations earlier than their grandparents.
Eric Trudgill
3 June 2012
Some web-sites tend to be chat-rooms; others mix chat with what looks like serious research. You need to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Eric Trudgill
4 August 2012
The gypsiologists had very few records available to them, and were often working with fragmentary, and unreliable, information.
Eric Trudgill
3 July 2012
Don’t regard census data as reliable until you’ve confirmed it in Church and civil-registration records.
Eric Trudgill
4 September 2012
Church records may misinform, if you don’t allow for the laziness, confusion or forgetfulness of the clerics writing them.
Eric Trudgill
30 September 2012
Where after 1837 Births, Marriages and Deaths were civil-registered (many Gypsies long neglected to meet their legal obligation), Birth and Marriage records were usually more reliable than those for baptisms and weddings, but Death records were often just as misleading as those for burials.
Eric Trudgill
5 November 2012
Placing Gypsies with uncommon forenames in the right family, even when they come in a husband and wife combination, is often as difficult as placing Gypsies with common ones.
Eric Trudgill
3 December 2012
TIP TWENTY: Where the name is the same, check the context.
Eric Trudgill
6 January 2013
Gypsy forenames in a husband and wife combination can mislead, if you don’t research the whole family and its travel profile.
Eric Trudgill
3 February 2013
The family of Daniel and Lydia Evans, found mainly from the late 18th century onwards on either side of the Welsh-English border.
Eric Trudgill
3 March 2013
The difficulties caused by missing, or possibly plural, Gypsy names in the records can be resolved often by the use of circumstantial evidence.
Eric Trudgill
3 March 2013
Church baptism records before 1813, marriage records before 1837, and burial records throughout, regularly give less information than you’d like about the people involved. You have to look for clues in locations, forenames, family connections etc.
Eric Trudgill
28 March 2013
If you suspect a Gypsy of interest is using alternate forenames in the records, search for evidence that this is the case.
Eric Trudgill
5 May 2013
Speculations about the parents and siblings of Lawrence Boswell, born about 1757.
Eric Trudgill
3 June 2013
Speculation about the parents and siblings of Lawrence Boswell’s wives, Carnation and Peggy.
Eric Trudgill
30 June 2013
Were the well-known Doctor and Edward Buckland brothers, and brothers also of Henry and Timothy?
Eric Trudgill
4 August 2013
An attempt to trace two famous Gypsy families back to the beginning of the 18th century
Eric Trudgill
1 September 2013
Manfield Lee, baptised in 1760, had four documented children and no documented siblings, but we can add probably two children and possibly three siblings.
Eric Trudgill
6 October 2013
To fill in the missing members of a major Lee family in Kent and adjoining counties about 1750-1850 you need to consider another major family, the Scamps.
Eric Trudgill
3 November 2013
Barneys and Bowers in the environs of Hampshire.
Anne-Marie Ford
1 December 2013
Two documented children of Thomas and Hannah Smith, baptised in 1761 and 1768, can be supplemented safely with four more.
Eric Trudgill
1 December 2013
To the two documented sons of Thomas and Sarah Smith, baptised in 1759 and 1768, we can almost certainly add two more.
Eric Trudgill
5 January 2014
The children and descendants of the famous eighteenth century patriarch, Dick Heron, by Devit, his alleged first wife.
Eric Trudgill
2 February 2014
A discussion of George Hall\'s roster of children for the 18th century Dick Heron by his second wife.
Eric Trudgill
2 March 2014
The Major Lovell who died in Worcestershire in 1832, supposedly 76, and the Daniel Lovell who died in Flintshire in 1843, supposedly 87, were surely brothers.
Eric Trudgill
8 April 2014
Possible forbears of the Major and Daniel Lovell born in the middle of the 18th century
Eric Trudgill
4 May 2014
An attempt to trace the siblings and antecedents of Sylvanus Pike, baptised in 1792.
Eric Trudgill
1 June 2014
An exploration of five 18th century Penfolds, for whom as yet no baptisms have been found, who were probably siblings.
Eric Trudgill
6 July 2014
John and Ann Orchard are known to have baptised six children 1783-1802 in east Wiltshire and neighbouring west Berkshire. We can surely add two more even with their baptisms as yet unfound.
Eric Trudgill
26 July 2014
John and Ann Orchard are known to have baptised six children 1783-1802 in east Wiltshire and neighbouring west Berkshire. We can surely add two more even with their baptisms as yet unfound.
Eric Trudgill
14 August 2014
Thomas and Rice Beldam’s children’s and grandchildren’s forenames and marital connections point us to the identity of Rice’s parents and siblings.
Eric Trudgill
30 August 2014
The family of Edward Orchard, baptised in 1798, traced through to the twentieth century.
Eric Trudgill
5 October 2014
Baptisms have been found for seven children of George and Ann Florence (married in 1780), the last in 1807. A plausible case can be made for five other children.
Eric Trudgill
5 October 2014
Evidence that the famous James Dighton, born in Hertfordshire about 1803, may have had an older brother called William may help us trace James’ parents.
Eric Trudgill
1 November 2014
John Bland, baptised in 1740, and Ann Davis had four children for whom baptisms have been found. To these we can surely add a Joseph and John junior.
Eric Trudgill
29 November 2014
William Jeffs, a Buckinghamshire traveller: two likely brothers who baptised children in the 1780s, and five likely offspring in addition to one baptised in 1798, who’s certain.
Eric Trudgill
3 January 2015
Church records show Clark Boswell was not Shadrach’s son, as is still often believed, but almost certainly his nephew.
Eric Trudgill
31 January 2015
The famous Shadrach Boswell, baptised in 1750, his certain and probable siblings and children.
Eric Trudgill
28 February 2015
The family of Isaac Lamb and Elizabeth Earley, married in Hampshire in 1830, traced through to the beginning of the twentieth century.
Eric Trudgill
6 April 2015
Evidence that Old Joe Buckley, father of some famous Essex-based Gypsies born around the turn of the nineteenth century, was a son of Shadrach Buckley.
Eric Trudgill
6 April 2015
Suggestions about the birth order of Old Joe Buckley’s children and of his son Joiner’s.
Eric Trudgill
3 May 2015
Problems solved and unsolved in the family of three siblings born between about 1780 and 1800.
Eric Trudgill
27 May 2015
The parents and siblings of the famous Zachariah Lee transported to Australia in 1835.
Eric Trudgill
5 July 2015
Evidence that Edward Smith (baptised in 1786 son of Wisdom and Hannah) christened seven children by a Mary 1808-16, three by a Sarah 1822-29, and at least three by a Mary Ann 1849-55.
Eric Trudgill
2 August 2015
Evidence that the Mendoza Smith and Theodosia Smith identified by the gypsiologists as the husband of Ann Hodgkin were one and the same.
Eric Trudgill
6 September 2015
Evidence that the Mendoza Smith and Theodosia Smith identified by the gypsiologists as the husband of Ann Hodgkin were one and the same.
Eric Trudgill
6 September 2015
Ambrose Burton
Eric Trudgill
3 October 2015
Speculations about the antecedents of two brothers, born in the 1740s, from whom most of the best-known Sherriff families can be traced.
Eric Trudgill
1 November 2015
Discussion of the 18th century origins of the Small family of S W England
Eric Trudgill
5 December 2015
A demolition of the story given to the gypsiologists that the Booth family descended from property-owning Derbyshire gorjers illegally dispossessed in the notorious Edensor evictions.
Eric Trudgill
2 January 2016
With baptisms found for only four of Thomas and Jane’s children, circumstantial evidence is offered for another five.
Eric Trudgill
31 January 2016
Arguments for adding two or three extra children of James and Wisby Robinson to the eight already found in the Baptism Registers.
Eric Trudgill
5 March 2016
An account of six children baptised by Joseph and Tabitha Butler 1756-74 with special attention to the cousin-marriages contracted by three of them.
Eric Trudgill
2 April 2016
Evidence in travel patterns and inter-marriages that George and Tabitha Davis, active in the mid-eighteenth century, were brother and sister.
Eric Trudgill
4 May 2016
Suggested ways of filling gaps in our knowledge of the children and grandchildren of the Elisha Cooper, born about 1770, who married a Tryphena.
Eric Trudgill
6 June 2016
Proven and probable children of Henry and Mary Cooper, parents of the famous Matty.
Eric Trudgill
3 July 2016
Five documented children of the Righteous Draper baptised in Oxfordshire in 1775, plus two possible children.
Eric Trudgill
31 July 2016
Two possible siblings to add to the five documented children of the Israel Draper and Sophia Smith who married in Bedfordshire in 1807.
Eric Trudgill
4 September 2016
A distinction between what we know to be true, what’s probably true, and what’s possibly true, about the family of Lucy Boswell, wife of Viney, who baptised a child in 1801.
Eric Trudgill
2 October 2016
Absalom Boswell, baptised in 1785, and his second wife had four children confirmed as theirs in the wedding or baptism records. To these we can surely add one child and possibly three others.
Eric Trudgill
6 November 2016
Thomas and Judith Buckland baptised children (in Wiltshire) in 1757 and 1761, and there is strong circumstantial evidence they had at least three more.
Eric Trudgill
4 December 2016
Established facts about the descendants of Emmanuel Buckland and Aquila Draper (who married in Buckinghamshire in 1769), and speculations about their birth-families.
Eric Trudgill
29 December 2016
Complications identifying the wives of two of Joshua & Joanna’s sons.
Eric Trudgill
4 February 2017
A disentangling of two Amos Lees (uncle and nephew) and a suggestion that both found spouses for their children through the dead first husband of the younger Amos’ wife.
Eric Trudgill
5 March 2017
The likely father of four famous brothers baptised 1829-36 (Christopher, Cornelius, Woodlock and Bartholomew Smith), and his parents and grandparents
Eric Trudgill
2 April 2017
A disentangling of two Amos Lees (uncle and nephew) and a suggestion that both found spouses for their children through the dead first husband of the younger Amos’ wife.
Eric Trudgill
2 April 2017
Saintes Maries de la Mer in France ...
Anne-Marie Ford
29 April 2017
The six children of Samuel and Cinamenta baptised 1814 -25 can be supplemented, using circumstantial evidence, by a Trenata, Samuel junior and James.
Eric Trudgill
29 April 2017
The children of James Alford/Halford and Martha Loveridge born between 1785 and about 1806, including 3 or 4 with no baptisms found as yet; and identification of Martha Loveridge’s brother.
Eric Trudgill
2 June 2017
Some of the gypsies of Oxfordshire.
Anne-Marie Ford
29 June 2017
Identifying the wife, children, brother, son-in-law and nephews and nieces of Solomon Low.
Eric Trudgill
29 June 2017
An attempt to name the first wife and children of “a gypsy hanged and supposed wrongfully” in Wiltshire in 1801.
Eric Trudgill
5 August 2017
The Hoadley Family
Eric Trudgill
2 September 2017
The children of James Hoadley and Sarah Formeger, born between about 1823 and 1848, distinguished from the children of their son James Hoadley and Sarah Botton, born about 1848 onwards.
Eric Trudgill
29 September 2017