Author Topic: Traveller musicians  (Read 26919 times)

Offline kdc650

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #18 on: Tuesday 10 February 09 12:13 GMT (UK) »
Once again, many thanks to all who have responded so far with further information and well wishes. I will now try and answer all the backlogged questions. I need to add now that in addition to the volume on specifically Romany or pas rat musicians, all others born in England or Wales found so far who don't fit into that category have gone into a separate database, which I intend to make available via the Village Music Project website. Musicians born outside of England and Wales were legion during the 19th century (especially Germans working in travelling bands), but fall outside of my current research.

In one sense practically all musicians active before 1900 were travellers, in that they 'travelled' to the performance venues, even when these were close to home. That said, many non-Romany/pas rat players were often on the road far from home. I hope that by creating chronologies for each, which will include all material discovered - biographical (from the usual genealogical sources and even the oral tradition where available), newspaper and manuscript sources, and so on - to be able to show the variety of performance activity. At the very least, establishing dates of birth and death will at least indicate the timeframe each musician could have been active. From this preamble I hope it has become obvious that I have an interest in everyone named as musician born before 1900. Some will (and have) eventually proven to be of a higher social standing than the grass roots players which interest me most, but there are no hard and fast rules. I'm thinking of the source which tells of the twelve men employed to attend upon services twice a day in Salisbury Cathedral during the mid-19th century. Because of insufficient wages, they were forced to find work outside of that regular job : one played fiddle in dancing booths, another played and sang in glee clubs. Even those who played in church bands across Britain would often double as suppliers of music to country dancing (Thomas Hardy's work, of course, but there is much other evidence).

Thanks for staying with me so far. On then to specific responses.

Steve (Reply #2) - I'm certainly interested in details of your 'Wild West Show' ancestor. Travelling shows of all kinds usually had some form of music attached, even if it was just the proprietor blowing a horn and banging a gong. Most larger shows hired small bands of musicians for the season, sometimes family members.

Burto (#3) - Your Swifts sound very interesting. Please tell us more. Once I can outline their life history we might be able to tell if there is a specific Romany connection.

Paulene (#7) - Many thanks for those musicians listed, some of which were now to me. Please tell me of any more that cross your path. Eventually I hope to create biographies for all players.

Lollyross (#8) - Very interesting to hear of your travelling harp-playing ancestor, and would love to learn his name. The harp turns out to have been much more common an instrument used in bands which played for country dancing, even among Romanies, than we first thought. And these were often full sized harps. Goodness knows how some of them overcame the problem of carrying the thing around. In addition to playing in combination with fiddles, trumpets, and so on, I have one early reference to a harpist as sole musician to a set of country dancers.

Pollyb (#9) - I will contact you via a personal message, as Elias Draper and Walter Gage are of especial significance to my Romany book.

Gary (#12) - Again, I will contact you personally, as I can send both you and Pollyb the grids I have already created for your direct ancestors in a form not reproduceable here. But the Hodgkiss family from Wolverhampton are also of great interest.

Neil (#14) - I only have John Flexney gridded so far, though I find his brothers Richard and Frederick as musicians in various censuses and they are high on my 'to do' list. John's birth was registered in Witney, OXF (three miles from where I live) in 1840; trail ends at the 1881 census. I would love to learn what happened to him. Are the two men named Edward on your list related to the other men? Interesting also to hear of your grandmother's musical accomplishments. Was she a violin player? Any idea what instruments the earlier musicians would have played?

Once again, I apologise to all for the delay in replying. Now that I am 'on the mend' I will be sure to monitor this list more often. I hope others will continue to share their finds, family stories, etc. And, once again, I am always willing to share anything I have. You just have to ask.

My very best wishes to all.


Keith

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Offline Old Bristolian

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #19 on: Tuesday 10 February 09 12:43 GMT (UK) »
Hi Keith,

Glad to hear you're back on the case!

I'll reply more fully to you in a PM later this week re the Flexney family - my ancestor (John) & Neils (#14) were brothers - they can be found in 1851 Census travelleing together as musicians. Edward, the eldest brother played the trumpet I think - he moved to Lancashire & taught (I think) at the RNCM. His son, Edward was a violinist with the Halle.

I've no idea what John played - as far as I know none of his descendants were very musical - he was with the "Wild West Show" in Wiltshire in 1891 & then disappears

Best wishes

Steve
Bumstead - London, Suffolk
Plant, Woolnough, Wase, Suffolk
Flexney, Godfrey, Burson, Hobby -  Oxfordshire
Street, Mitchell - Gloucestershire
Horwood, Heale Drew - Bristol
Gibbs, Gait, Noyes, Peters, Padfield, Board, York, Rogers, Horler, Heale, Emery, Clavey, Mogg, - Somerset
Fook, Snell - Devon
M(a)cDonald, Yuell, Gollan, McKenzie - Rosshire
McLennan, Mackintosh - Inverness
Williams, Jones - Angelsey & Caernarvon

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Offline tiggi

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday 10 February 09 14:19 GMT (UK) »
I found this thought might interest you  kdc650  :

Quote :
Tommy Lewis was a gypsy fiddle player who often, at least in later life, camped at nearby Standlake; as is often the case with travellers, I have been unable to trace any details of his birth or death.  He is, however, also recorded as playing for the Abingdon (Berkshire) Morris Dancers, just prior to the First World War.  Edward 'Deedlum' Butler, so nicknamed for his habit of 'diddling' the tune while playing (as did William Wells at a later date), was born in Burford about 1813, and later lived at Asthall, where his son Richard was born in 1854.  The older Butler had a dancing booth which he used to take round and erect at fairs as far away as Blackwell in Warwickshire.  There was no charge for admission but a man paid a small sum (perhaps a penny) for each dance in which he and a partner joined.

http://www.mustrad.org.uk/articles/bampton.htm
TENETT BUCKLAND & PLATO BUCKLAND ( MY LINEAGE)
  Buckland Smith James Stanley Lovell Loveridge Lee Cooper Penfold/Pinfold Orchard Boswell Broadway Wells
 
AREAS OF INTEREST CORNWALL DEVON

USA   Worton Stanley Joles Cooper  Jeffrey Small
 all English lines of Roms who are found in America

UK Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline kdc650

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday 10 February 09 14:25 GMT (UK) »
Thanks for that Tiggi. I wrote that article, but please continue to draw my attention to anything that looks interesting.

Keith (Chandler)

Offline tiggi

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #22 on: Tuesday 10 February 09 14:34 GMT (UK) »
Lol sorry Keith I should have checked who wrote it :-[
 I must admit I found it really interesting  :)
TENETT BUCKLAND & PLATO BUCKLAND ( MY LINEAGE)
  Buckland Smith James Stanley Lovell Loveridge Lee Cooper Penfold/Pinfold Orchard Boswell Broadway Wells
 
AREAS OF INTEREST CORNWALL DEVON

USA   Worton Stanley Joles Cooper  Jeffrey Small
 all English lines of Roms who are found in America

UK Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline kdc650

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #23 on: Tuesday 10 February 09 15:00 GMT (UK) »
Glad you found the article interesting, Tiggi. I wrote it in 1992. Seventeen years on I know so much about Tommy Lewis that he forms a separate chapter in my forthcoming book!

My very best wishes,


Keith

Offline Branston21

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #24 on: Thursday 26 February 09 13:23 GMT (UK) »
Hi
I'm related to Horatio Lamprey Lovell and his son William Horatio Lovell who was also a musician (harp). I don't have any personal stories to pass on, but I do have certificates & census returns which state that they were musicians.
I would be happy to pass on the information via private message . Please let me know what you require and of course if you have any info to share.

Best wishes

S

Offline Gaille

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #25 on: Friday 27 February 09 00:48 GMT (UK) »
When I was looking in the 1881 Cencus for Bollington I decided to do a "next household" walk around looking for my Nanas Aunt.

It would seem that there was an acting troupe or a group of Musicians lodging throughout the village at various households.

I'll try & look for names next time I am in there.

Gaille
Manchester Bate(s) / Bebbington / Coppock or Coppart / Evans / Mitchell / Prince / Smith

Cheshire Latchford Bibby / Savage / Smith.
Cheshire Macclesfield, Bollington & Rainow Childs / Flint / Mc'rea
Cheshire Crewe Bate(s) / Bebbington
Shropshire Wellington, Wobwell Smith
Walsall Midds Smith
Norfolk - Childs / Hanwell / Smith

Also looking for:
Mc'Rea/McCrea Ireland to Cheshire

And
any relatives of Margaret Bibby married to Thomas Smith all over country

Offline kdc650

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Re: Traveller musicians
« Reply #26 on: Friday 27 February 09 07:52 GMT (UK) »
Thanks to S and Gaille for the responses. Look forward to details of the musicians in Bollington.


Keith