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Messages - shehen23

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Sandra, this website has one of the clearest and accurate descriptions of the path of the Romany gypsies from India that I've seen - - although bear in mind that there will always be some disagreement between experts of some of the finer points . ps. further to my previous comment, unlike in gorja communities illegitimate children were not looked down on but brought into the family group and raised by all the members and often stayed with the group when the mother eventually married so it wasn't uncommon for additional children to be informally adopted by aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc

My 95 year old dad (he's in great health, mentally and physically!) told me recently about how the Gypsies would take kids.  In fact, he said was walking to school one morning, around 7 years old or so, he spotted a caravan of gypsies coming down the road.  He said he got down as low as he could in some tall grass and thankfully they didn't see him as they passed by.  He was pretty scared!
:  My advice to you would be to contact the police and ask them if there have been any cases of children being taken by gypsies. If this myth had any basis in reality the authorities would have some information on it - after all they're quick enough to blame travelers for everything else. I think you'll find it's utter garbage. Sadly children were told these stories so often they grew up believing it. The reason your grandfather hid was because of the false perception not because he was in actual danger. The truth is that gypsies traveled in family groups, and children were brought up by the whole community. When parents died or travelled away for work other family members would take care of the children, especially if they had none of their own. There's really no mystery

Travelling People / Re: Any help appreciated, Carey, Hedges, Lewis and Bragg
« on: Saturday 01 May 10 23:22 BST (UK)  »
Just a couple more travelling Hedges in Guildford area,in case it helps.

1901 census.

Alfred Hedges b 1855  N  general hawker
Betsey Hedges b 1856  N
George            b  1895  N
Esther             b   1896 N
Jobie                b   1898  N 

Harry Hedges b 1881  N  general hawker
Eliza Hedges  b  1881  N

Caravans,Browns Yard,Poole Rd,Woking.

Just around the corner oldest son Alfred was living with his new wife Matilda, nee Matthews (my great great grandparents). This Alfred gave his date and place of birth as 1879 in Wolerbury, Kent. 
Alfred Snr was the son of James and Eliza  seen together on the 1851 and 1861 census'.

Travelling People / Re: Collins family
« on: Monday 19 October 09 12:01 BST (UK)  »
Hi, thanks for replying.  My Great-Grandfather Leonard Collins married Maude Eastwood in Mitcham, Surrey in 1919 but generally they travelled in Kent.
He had sisters Sarah Ann & Priscilla & a half sister who was known as Golie (I don't know what this stands for).
Golie used the surname Coates so we think their mother was also a Coates but we don't know.  Her name may have also been Priscilla but again we can't be sure.
I'm pretty sure their father was Leonard as my grandmother who is in her 80's remembers him quite well. Unfortunately, on the marriage certificate there is a blank space under 'Fathers Name' which is not very helpful!
There may have been other siblings that we are not aware of as I believe some of the family stayed in Kent whereas G Grandad Leonard eventually settled in Berkshire/Surrey.
I have searched & searched but I cannot find any trace of the family. However, I don't know Kent at all. Place names that have been mentioned are Chatham & Cray's pit but they could just have easily have referred to the Eastwood side of the family.
Any small bit of info would be appreciated.

Travelling People / Re: Collins family
« on: Saturday 17 October 09 21:48 BST (UK)  »
I have an extensive tree featuring a large number of the travelling families of the South but I have hit a total brick wall with the Collins line and I would really appreciate any help at all.   My great-grandfather was Leonard Collins  1899-12 Dec 1968. I know his father was also Leonard but I don't know his mother's name.  Can anybody please help?

I would like to add a little about the custom of burning homes & possessions.  My great grandmother's caravan & belongings were burnt after her death in 1988 even though it was sited in my grandparents back garden!  My gran did this because she remembered it being done all through her life and was a familiar custom to her although my Mum was upset by it as she was of a different generation.  So I can confirm that it is no myth.

Also, on the subject of children, to Romanies their children are their life and they feel great love & compassion to all children.  Many times I heard my parents say that if they found an abandoned child they would keep it.  So I can imagine Romany women opening their meagre homes to any unloved or uncared for child.  But to take a child from their parents- I can't imagine it for a minute unless there was concern that a child was being cruelly treated.

Travelling People / Re: Need Advice on connecting HEDGES brothers
« on: Thursday 25 June 09 00:07 BST (UK)  »
I have just discovered this post and find it fascinating.  My grandfather is Joby Hedges and his father is James Hedges (born 1905).  James had Brothers named Joby, Henry, & Jack (John?).  Their father I believe was also called James & married Mathilda Matthews.  Clearly from the family christian names they fit somewhere into the family you have all been researching but can anyone tell me where, please?

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