Author Topic: Grays of Whittlesey  (Read 3268 times)

Offline Lisa Skeels

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Grays of Whittlesey
« on: Friday 17 July 15 13:39 BST (UK) »
I am looking for some help on this one.  Family stories indicate that Ada Gray who was born in 1879 was a gipsy who married without the travelling community; I have a copy of her marriage certificate from 1902 in Whittlesey stating her father as John Gray, General Labourer.  It is said that her marriage did not work out and the couple lived apart for years and that she was not allowed to go back to her gipsy family.

I have traced John Gray's birth back to around 1852 in Whittlesey and it does seem that, during his childhood the family travelled between, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire.  John Gray married Isabella Whyman (I think, although I can find no evidence) between 1871 and 1881.  John's father was Samuel Gray, bn 1825 Whittlesey who married Isabella Goode 1850 in Whittlesey.  The 1881 Census finds them in Lancashire where Samuel was an excavator and barer of stone.  His occupations include hay cutter, labourer and excavator.

I think, although I am not sure, that his father may also have been Samuel Gray bn around 1793 in Fenstanton, Cambridgeshire; he married Letitia Bird.

I would like to be able to confirm the family links I have made and perhpas go back further.  It has also been said that the family travelled around Norfolk before finally settling in Whittlesey.  I can find no links to Norfolk ... yet.  Lots of the evidence fits to a travelling family and there are modern(ish) memories of travelling people visiting and being fondly welcomed by them.

Can anyone cast any light on this family - there are so many Grays I am going round in circles?

Thank you so much.

Lisa
Johnson, Bly (Bligh, Blyth), Blowers, Rallison
Elliott, Dawson
Denny, Barley, Skeels, Gray
Mostly Norfolk

Offline Lisa Skeels

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 04 October 15 15:23 BST (UK) »
I am posting this reply to myself to bump my message. 
I am really struggling with this link to the Gray family, I'm not entirely sure they were part of the Gray Travelling family.  My oh's grandmother was Ada Gray and, as stated previously, there are family stories of a travelling history including visiting relatives at Grays Yard in Whittlesey.  I would be enormously grateful if anyone could throw some light on this for me.
Thanks again.

Lisa
Johnson, Bly (Bligh, Blyth), Blowers, Rallison
Elliott, Dawson
Denny, Barley, Skeels, Gray
Mostly Norfolk

Offline rob g

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #2 on: Monday 05 October 15 10:24 BST (UK) »
Hi Lisa. Without much information it can be hard tracing Romany people. But I. My father. And gfather have all known the grays. And camped with them. Large. And old traveller family. Moved around all uk. But grey is a common name. Anyway a gypsy girl who married a Gorgio. Non Romany. Could be cast out of the family. Or. Sometimes he would be accepted. And could change his surname to his wife's. Easier for him and the children. To intergreat.  Sometimes she never came home. Or she was chased. For bringing shame to the family. But she could just as easily be accepted. Anyway. occupations are a good source of information. Ie. Hawker. Dealer. Horse trading. Basket maker. Tinsmith. Potter. Brazier. Scrap. Or marine and rag merchant's.   Note. Most are self employed. Women. Often Dukkering. (Fortune. Telling) children seasonally did farm fruit picking. Not many labourers. Or permanent navvies./ farmhands.  In Romany.  Olso In those days people went where the work was often moving several times a year. Does not make them gypsies.  In gypsy. folks  In censuses. you. Will find them camping. Or Sometimes lodging. Some did have houses. As always look at those living around them. And people marrying into the family with Romany names. We tend to camp/live close to other traveller folks. Not very much. But might be a help.  Cushty bocht..( Good luck.)    ...Rob
romany history, mitchell family history. Earthenware. general . And horse. I dealers/hawkers. market trading.  lancashire. cumbria. staffordshire.scotland. paternal, side. wilson. lee. burton. miller .burnside. Smith. varey. howard. Jones. Lowther. Evens. Ward. Dale.maternal, side. miller cumbria, stewert. mitchell. allan. Ireland. donaghue, Kelly. Murphy. Young. Plus many others. .


Offline Lisa Skeels

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #3 on: Monday 05 October 15 11:51 BST (UK) »
Hi Rob

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.  You must have some fascinating stories to tell. I am trying to trace all Gray families from the early Census records to see if I can find a connection somewhere.

Thanks again

Kind regards

Lisa
Johnson, Bly (Bligh, Blyth), Blowers, Rallison
Elliott, Dawson
Denny, Barley, Skeels, Gray
Mostly Norfolk

Offline baz54

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 06 October 15 15:41 BST (UK) »
Hi Lisa I don't know if this will help but I am descended from the Smith family gypsies from Buckinghamshire, Northants, Lincs and I read something the other day which linked the Smiths to the Grays, I can't find the article at the moment, I'm not very organised but I did come across this and thought that it might be of some help to your search? I'm sorry I have just realised that I don't think that I can put a direct link to the article in respect to the author but if you search for gypsygenealogy dot com you will find an article by Eric Trudgill, search in all articles under the letter "w" entitled William Gray.

Offline Lisa Skeels

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 06 October 15 18:28 BST (UK) »
Hi Baz

Thanks for that, I have had a quick look and will look further later.  I really am going round in circles with this one.  I think I may have committed a cardinal sin and followed someone else's research.  I can't find baptism records for many of my Grays which makes things even more difficult.  I know from my own Norfolk families that the first names they used were not always the names they were Christened by and that birth places are not always consistent.

I am now pretty sure I have confirmed the links from Ada back to Samuel Gray born around 1825 but I have been unable to confirm or find any evidence for his parentage.  My Gray's do not appear in Whittlesey in 1841 but I have found a Cornelius and Jane.

I now have more than one tree running to test all connections!!
Johnson, Bly (Bligh, Blyth), Blowers, Rallison
Elliott, Dawson
Denny, Barley, Skeels, Gray
Mostly Norfolk

Offline panished

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 06 October 15 20:19 BST (UK) »
hello Lisa

that was very nice of people who wrote to you trying to help, your so lucky in life to meet such people
 I suppose now I should say that your lucky not to meet the bad ones,  but you know now there's lots who just shame themselves and cherry pick fancy names ,there's lots now could help you, but I would say your lucky for the nice folk who have tried, them decent folk,

I should stop banging on about Sue Day, but I tell everyone she's the real deal, in genealogy she's a gift to suss the lot out, I tell you in one hour she would know if your relatives came from all you seek, one hour she could do it, I don't know if she's the mind, but just write to Romany genes web site and say I ask for her to tell you what you seek, if she says no ,well, I wont  not believe it, I do hope you find what you seek, but look how lucky you was to meet the nice people who tried to help a stranger

in life you are always you, that goes for everyone, nice to know things, nice to understand, but isn't it great to be you, and how nice it is to meet nice like minded folk , you  are a very lucky person in deed,

michael

Offline Lisa Skeels

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 07 October 15 08:06 BST (UK) »
Hello Michael

Thank you for this information, I am very grateful for any help and guidance regarding where to look for clues.

Kind regards

Lisa
Johnson, Bly (Bligh, Blyth), Blowers, Rallison
Elliott, Dawson
Denny, Barley, Skeels, Gray
Mostly Norfolk

Offline An65

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Re: Grays of Whittlesey
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 08 October 15 22:56 BST (UK) »
Both Sue Day and Eric Trudghill are giants among the Gypsy Genealogy world and it will be worth your while contacting  both.

My gran was a Gray from Lincolnshire (although most Grays go back to Cambridgeshire if you go  back far enough, and mine did, and they did intermarry with Smiths.)

I have done a lot of Gray research and have not, sadly, come across your family. What I can say is this, when it comes to baptisms, they were generally baptised. Youd probably find only half as many legal marriages as you would baptisms. Even less burials. So dont worry too much if you cant find those. Not finding them is an indicator that they were a gypsy family, as they didnt worry too much about legal marriages they just did things their own way. The fact that they appear to be attached to Whittlesey is an indicator they were not Romanies - but that isnt always the case. A different group of Grays had strong links to Upwell/Outwell and quite a few baptisms took place there. Evidently a village that accepted them and probably where they "wintered" (Settled for the winter). Keep hunting and good luck.