Author Topic: Bohemia WOOD 1715  (Read 3899 times)

Offline Gadget

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Re: Bohemia WOOD 1715
« Reply #9 on: Sunday 04 October 09 08:22 BST (UK) »
Thanks for that,  Steve  :)
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Offline king otg

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Re: Bohemia WOOD 1715
« Reply #10 on: Tuesday 18 December 12 13:45 GMT (UK) »
SHR Selattyn, 1715, Bohemia the son of Abraham WOOD of Frome in the county of Somerset was baptised the 25th day

The above baptism appears in Dr John Sampson’s ‘Pedigree of Abram Wood and His Descendants’ in the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society (Series 3, Vol.13) which was published after he died. The official register at Shropshire Archives does not say ‘supposed King of the Gipsies’ although the JGLS article does.

As Sampson travelled through Wales and along the English border, finding evidence for his WOOD Pedigree, he took the liberty of adding information to entries in parish registers in order to highlight which gipsies he intended to make famous. He then acted as if he had found the information already written there. Such interference would alarm archivists and genuine researchers of today but Eric Otto Winstedt, whether knowingly or not, published Sampson’s concocted notes in 1934 and thereby ensured their perpetual existence.

I extracted all the checkable information from the Abram Wood Pedigree and examined the details at source. There is a change in hand-writing when information is added after the event and it appears to be the same clear hand-writing across several counties. In some cases the name of the parish has become garbled, as Winstedt interpreted Sampson’s information, so that now some references cannot be found.

Expressions like “King of the Gipsies” were invented by writers wishing to please their readership. It is not something that a Vicar would include in a baptismal entry because it is essentially a fiction reserved for aged gipsies at their burials, on their  gravestones, and in newspaper reports. The father of a baptised child is not normally an old man. Abraham was no older than 38 in 1715 so why should he be regarded as a gipsy King? These additional remarks only ever occur in registers which Sampson has personally inspected and, in his enthusiasm, he appears to have tampered with official documents.

Presumably, because it contradicted the fiction, Winstedt wrongly dismissed the most obvious progression which, in this case, would have been:

SOM Frome bp27/7/1694 Abraham & Isaac, sons of Nicholas [no surname given]

When Abraham WOOD was executed for Highway Robbery at Gloucester on 26 August 1737 his age was given as ‘about 60’ but the age differential does not detract from the significance of the baptism at Frome only 43 years earlier because Abraham need not have been a baby in 1694 and was probably old enough to remember where it took place. Sampson said that Abraham WOOD was born about 1677 at Carmarthen. Whether true or not there is no evidence stronger than the Selattyn baptism.

Details of the trial are available in the Gloucester Journal of 16 & 27 August 1737. The robbery for which Abraham and his brother, John, were convicted (40 shillings in silver, 16 in brass) was against another gipsy, Henry LOVELL. The second of the two accounts, published on the day after the executions, throws doubt upon the safety of the convictions.

TL

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Offline Cameyturpin

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Re: Bohemia WOOD 1715
« Reply #11 on: Friday 22 February 19 17:39 GMT (UK) »
Someone on here posted that they had found baptism papers for Bohemia Wood.  I know about this family and the lineage.  My husband is a descendant of Bohemia.  If I could get any information I'd be very thankful.