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Romany / Gypsy surnames in the USA

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  • Romany / Gypsy surnames in the USA

    Just so the project Admin's know, I am building a web page with a ton of
    Romany " Gypsy" family's who migrated from England to the USA.
    The term Gypsy to many is now viewed as a negative term, the exceptable term is Romany or Traveler.

    I am sharing this link with you all so you can keep an eye out for participants who can be traced to the family's on my web page.
    This is an on going project, and as new family's are found, the web page will be updated.

    As you will see from my web site, Romany from England have very common surnames, like Smith, Jones, Harrison, Boswell, Wells, Stanley and many others.

    I would greatly appreciate you watching for descendants of the family's on my web site. If you by chance have a participant in your project that is a descendant of a person from my web site, i'd appreciate you putting me in contact with that participant.

    Donald Locke

  • #2
    There is a Jones in my tree. That was the maiden name of the mother of my great great grandmother who was from Cardiff, Wales.

    I googled some and found that Cooper and Smith and Boswell and Stanley etc are Gypsy/Romany surnames.
    -info came from this link (careful clicking on it, too many pop-ups)

    I wonder, does this mean that Paul Stanley of KISS is of Gypsy descent?
    Remember the old tv show 'One Day At A Time'. The girls surname was Cooper, but their mothers maiden name was Romano. And Tom Bosley of Happy Days, I wonder if his family name was originally Boswell? Maybe the Jonas Brothers surname was originally Jones?


    • #3
      I am not sure what to make of names

      I have found in doing my family tree the names change with the name taker. Many of the family members reporting out were not literate. The name taker, often a clergyman, spelled the name phonetically. In my family the names Josap, Beniman, Jone, Johan (Johannes) showed up in 2 generations. The names as spelled could be taken to indicate Basque, Rom, Dutch, Ahkenazi, or German ancestry. In the next prior and next later generations the names are Anglicized. The difference was the person who wrote the name down not the person who provided the name. Hard to generalize from one person's experience, but I found that repeated with another family member, whose surname was alternatively spelled Brabin, Brabyn, Brabyant, Bravin, Braven, Brahnan. In the same family of "Dyer" I have seen Dier, Dayer, Deyhre, Diure, again depending on the person recording the information. For example, my great grand aunt was named Rebecca Dyer in one document, Rebeka Dier in another. It is difficult to follow and keep in mind. I don't know about "especially" in UK, but in the UK there were as many as 209 different dialects that varied widely from North to South and East to West. I have not sorted out in my own mind what these different spellings really mean.