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TRACING GYPSY FAMILIES BACK DESPITE THE LACK OF RECORDS NUMBER FORTY EIGHT: Samuel and Cinamenta Smith

Eric Trudgill    -    29 April 2017

Samuel Smith was baptised in Weston cum Welland, Northants in 1791, son of anonymous gypsies (but surely Nehemiah and Elizabeth Smith). He married consecutively surely his nieces, Cinamenta and Reservoy Smith, baptised respectively in 1792 and 1796 daughters of John and Mary (Iíll be discussing in October the children of Samuelís son by Reservoy, Johnny Two Wives).

We have baptisms for six of Samuelís children by Cinamenta: Phiniel Smith (sometimes Nathaniel) in Harpole, Northants in 1814, who like his father married sisters, Lorywema and Cinamenta daughters of James Booth/Clayton and Sophia Smith; Spiratima Smith in Cold Ashby, Northants in late 1815; Onslow Smith in Guilsborough, Northants in early 1818, who married Lovisa (Louisa) daughter of Cain and Trinity; Plato Smith in Medbourne, Leicestershire in 1822, who probably married Violet Smith daughter of Thomas and Sylvia; Cynthia Smith in Twyford, Leicestershire in 1824, who as Senta Smith married John East, a horse dealer, in N Luffenham, Rutland in 1843; and Righto Smith in Glooston, Leicestershire in 1825, who married a Harriet and christened a Centi Smith in Ryhall, Rutland in 1848.

To these children I believe we can add, on circumstantial evidence, a Trenata (or Trainette) Smith born about 1812 between Samuel & Cinamentaís marriage in 1811 and Phinielís baptism in 1814, a Samuel Smith junior born about 1820 between Onslow and Plato, and a James Smith born perhaps about 1827 after Righto. Trenata married Samuel Smith, baptised in 1812 son of Samuel and Sophia, in Cottingham, Northants in 1834, and later married informally her husbandís brother Righto baptised in 1805; Samuel junior married a Keziah and James an Eliza, their spouses as yet unidentified. The circumstantial evidence for Trenata and Samuel junior being children of Samuel and Cinamenta is as follows.

Firstly, Samuel senior, his son Johnny Two Wives and granddaughter Reservoir Smith were all baptised in Weston cum Welland, and Trenata at her wedding and Samuel junior when christening a child in 1839 both claimed, like Onslow in 1848 and Phiniel in 1860 when christening children, to be of Sutton Bassett, Northants (next door to Weston cum Welland but with only a small chapel to offer for baptisms).

Secondly, Trenata gave her first child Onslowís unusual forename; the priest officiating in 1848 identified Onslow as being of the same family as Samuel junior; and Trenata and Samuel junior baptised three children between them named after Samuel seniorís wife Cinamenta.

And thirdly the 1861 census shows some of Samuel juniorís children camping in Chelveston, Northants with Righto and Trenata next door in Chadwick, Northants and the lattersí daughter Cinamenta managing to appear in both camps.

The evidence for James Smith, husband of Eliza, being a child of Samuel and Cinamenta is as yet less compelling, but the only child Iíve so far found for him was baptised on family territory in Langham, Rutland in 1847 jointly with Nathaniel Smith, son of Nathaniel and Laurie Annie gypsies, clearly the couple who were to christen a daughter close by, in Edith Weston, Rutland, 18 months later, their names being recorded as Finial & Lorowana.

Copyright © 2017 Eric Trudgill