Author Topic: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?  (Read 73162 times)

Offline richarde1979

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #63 on: Wednesday 15 November 17 09:39 GMT (UK) »
I will respectfully decline to do that, largely because we are now derailing this thread which is specifically about what one would expect to find in DNA results with Romani ancestry, rather than evidence of specific Romani families in the Tudor and Stuart era. 

My research began with exploring the Romani lines on my own family tree and has since snowballed into a general interest in the early history of the Romani community in Britain. It has consisted of a great many hours, days, months and years of research, travel and good hard slog and spending a not inconsequential sum of my own money. I am not as eminent a scholar as Dr Hancock, merely a humble history graduate, albeit with two decades experience in genealogical research. Obviously though I have a good grounding in proper research methods and am satisfied my work is well sourced and evidenced. It would be counter intuitive for me to make my research, or large portions of it, freely available online before it has been published.

I did not write these books (plural..there are eight in total!) for any prestige or financial gain. I haven’t had any and neither do I expect any, though I do hope they will interest and help others with similar family histories to mine. I hope you purchase the books and read them Sally, as you clearly are interested in the subject. If you disagree with my methods or conclusions, (I suspect you might!), you are as free as anyone to write and publish your own books countering my conclusions, offering your own research and alternative ideas. I look forward to you doing so. But unless you wish to specifically discuss Romany DNA with me, I will leave it at that for this thread.


The Powells are a very interesting family, of clear importance to the British Romani community of the past. I have dedicated an eleven page chapter to the Powell family, and their allied family the Finches, in the first part of my upcoming five volume work on the Early British Gypsy Families. I aim to begin publishing summer next year. Together the work comprises over 1,100 pages and attempts to trace all Gypsy families mentioned in Tudor and Stuart records up to the early part of the 20th century. It's companion piece is a hundred page work I have written on the Tudor Gypsies which I aim to publish early in 2018. The Powells are mentioned there also. There are many sources for Powells in the Tudor and Stuart era which unambiguously state them to be 'Egyptians' or 'Gypsies'. They are one of the better documented families in that period. They continue to appear in the Georgian era, and also in the Victorian era and early 20th century, though had decreased significantly in numbers by then.

But I think we are in danger of derailing this thread now from its original subject Romany DNA, so I will leave it at that. Perhaps those who are genuinely interested will search out my work when it's available.


I have not come across any 'Powell' Romany before. I think it is more of an Irish or Scots surname?.



There's many Powells in the Forest of Dean records.

Yes you are writing a book, but it is usual in Family History circles to provide evidence. It is one thing to make a claim about our ancestors but if we do that we also need to list the primary source too, in order for other researchers to know that the claims are true and documented.
Census
Parish records
Criminal records
Newspapers
Ships manifests and so on

Could you please post the primary source evidence, re bolded in your quote above, that you have found about the 'Tudor' era 'Powells'?
Bellenger, Sebire, Soubien, Mallandain, Molle, Baudoin - Normandy/London
Deverdun, Bachelier, Hannoteau, Martin, Ledoux, Dumoutier, Lespine, Montenont, Picard, Desmarets - Paris & Picardy/Amsterdam/London
Mourgue, Chambon, Chabot - Languedoc/London

Holohan, Donnelly, McGowan/McGoan - Leitrim, Ireland/Dundee, Scotland/London.

Gordon, Troup, Grant, Watt, McInnes - Aberdeenshire, Scotland/London

Offline richarde1979

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #64 on: Wednesday 15 November 17 09:51 GMT (UK) »
Hi janicejo. Great to hear your family story. My mother and grandfather are not particularly dark skinned, but both have, or had, jet black hair. They were at times taken for Jews living in East London, as on occasion I have been myself.  We expected Ashkenazi Jewish might show up somewhere  in our DNA, but it didn't. For my mum, the dark hair might have come from her 19th century maternal Romani ancestors, but as her father also has it, more probably originates with his forebears in the west of Ireland.

SallyYorks and Richarde1979:  I have read your posts and found them very interesting.  I'll let the two of you handle the historical disputes, as I have been a gypsy for only 2 years now.   The only thing I can add is my father was told something before he went off to WW2, that made him think he was Jewish!  That's how impossible it was for his mum to tell him her family was gypsy and in the community while back in England, before they immigrated in 1912.  My Dad lived his entire life thinking his dark complexion was the result of a sunburn, and my brother and I, well we're dark because we're Californian.  I encourage everyone to come out, tell their family stories good and bad, so we can preserve the history of the English gypsy community.
Bellenger, Sebire, Soubien, Mallandain, Molle, Baudoin - Normandy/London
Deverdun, Bachelier, Hannoteau, Martin, Ledoux, Dumoutier, Lespine, Montenont, Picard, Desmarets - Paris & Picardy/Amsterdam/London
Mourgue, Chambon, Chabot - Languedoc/London

Holohan, Donnelly, McGowan/McGoan - Leitrim, Ireland/Dundee, Scotland/London.

Gordon, Troup, Grant, Watt, McInnes - Aberdeenshire, Scotland/London

Offline sallyyorks

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #65 on: Thursday 16 November 17 00:27 GMT (UK) »
SallyYorks and Richarde1979:  I have read your posts and found them very interesting.  I'll let the two of you handle the historical disputes, as I have been a gypsy for only 2 years now.   The only thing I can add is my father was told something before he went off to WW2, that made him think he was Jewish!  That's how impossible it was for his mum to tell him her family was gypsy and in the community while back in England, before they immigrated in 1912.  My Dad lived his entire life thinking his dark complexion was the result of a sunburn, and my brother and I, well we're dark because we're Californian.  I encourage everyone to come out, tell their family stories good and bad, so we can preserve the history of the English gypsy community.


In my experience the English Romany are quiet reserved people, gentle even. Not because they find it 'impossible' to talk about their family heritage or are trying to hide it away, just that it is their nature to be reserved and quiet about things. I was brought up told that to call oneself 'a Gypsy', you would have to have both parents with Romany heritage.

Yes the history is very interesting.
I would recommend the Angus Fraser book I mentioned earlier. It is an academic book but is easy to understand, clear, comprehensive, non-partisan and fully referenced

 


Offline sallyyorks

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #66 on: Thursday 16 November 17 01:05 GMT (UK) »
I will respectfully decline to do that, largely because we are now derailing this thread which is specifically about what one would expect to find in DNA results with Romani ancestry, rather than evidence of specific Romani families in the Tudor and Stuart era. 

You decline to share any primary sources, already in the public domain, yet you have no qualms about repeatedly mentioning your forthcoming books and you now say the thread is being derailed.

My research began with exploring the Romani lines on my own family tree and has since snowballed into a general interest in the early history of the Romani community in Britain. It has consisted of a great many hours, days, months and years of research, travel and good hard slog and spending a not inconsequential sum of my own money.

Join the club!

I am not as eminent a scholar as Dr Hancock, merely a humble history graduate, albeit with two decades experience in genealogical research. Obviously though I have a good grounding in proper research methods and am satisfied my work is well sourced and evidenced. It would be counter intuitive for me to make my research, or large portions of it, freely available online before it has been published.


This is a Family History website and people usually share their research
Census
Parish records
Newspapers and so on

I did not write these books (plural..there are eight in total!) for any prestige or financial gain. I haven’t had any and neither do I expect any, though I do hope they will interest and help others with similar family histories to mine. I hope you purchase the books and read them Sally, as you clearly are interested in the subject. If you disagree with my methods or conclusions, (I suspect you might!), you are as free as anyone to write and publish your own books countering my conclusions, offering your own research and alternative ideas. I look forward to you doing so. But unless you wish to specifically discuss Romany DNA with me, I will leave it at that for this thread.

There are Romany Gypsies (real Gypsies, from a real Gyspy background) online, on this site, and on other sites like RomanyGenes, who have spent many many years and hours of their free time researching and sharing their information. They are probably some of the best historical researchers out there.
They do this because they want to share their family history. They might not have been to college or university or had much schooling but what they do do is ,very kindly, provide documentation and primary sources and they share it for all to see.

Offline richarde1979

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #67 on: Thursday 16 November 17 07:22 GMT (UK) »
Sally, you just seem to be a particularly argumentative and confrontational person. Whether you are aware of it or not you come over as impolite. As it happens someone with a genuine connection to the Powell family asked me for more information and I gladly provided it through PM. You only have to look through my past posts to see I have selflessly helped people throughout many years as a genealogist. I have made a great many good friends and contacts on the way. My books are one more way of doing that. Again I hope you read and enjoy them. I won't respond to pointless baiting as it adds nothing to the thread. Have a good day and best of luck with your research.
Bellenger, Sebire, Soubien, Mallandain, Molle, Baudoin - Normandy/London
Deverdun, Bachelier, Hannoteau, Martin, Ledoux, Dumoutier, Lespine, Montenont, Picard, Desmarets - Paris & Picardy/Amsterdam/London
Mourgue, Chambon, Chabot - Languedoc/London

Holohan, Donnelly, McGowan/McGoan - Leitrim, Ireland/Dundee, Scotland/London.

Gordon, Troup, Grant, Watt, McInnes - Aberdeenshire, Scotland/London

Offline richarde1979

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #68 on: Thursday 16 November 17 08:20 GMT (UK) »
To return this thread to point, here is a quote from a recent (2013) DNA study of Iberian Romanies:

'Distinct genetic hallmarks of their past and migration route were detected, namely: an ancestral component, shared by all Roma groups, that reflects their origin in India (H1a-M82; ∼17%); an influence from their long permanence in the Balkans/Middle-East region (J2a1b-M67, J2a1b1-M92, I-M170, Q-M242; ∼31%); traces of contacts with European populations preceding the entrance in the Iberian Peninsula (R1b1c-M269, J2b1a-M241; ∼10%); and a high proportion of admixture with the non-Gypsy population from Iberia (R1b1c-M269, R1-M173/del.M269, J2a-M410, I1b1b-M26, E3b1b-M81; ∼37%)'.

This mix has been shown to be not too dissimilar in other Western and Northern European Romani populations. I believe the ongoing Leicester University study of British Romani DNA has discovered much the same mix of Y Haplogroups, with the Indian H1a-M82 at slightly higher levels of 22-23%.

Mt DNA Haplogroups show greater diversity, probably reflecting the greater ease with which females were assimilated into Romani society, but nevertheless the two main ones present are M5a1b (believed to be ancestral to India) and U3b (believed to be a later Middle or Near Eastern assimilation).

The South Asian origin does sometimes show in the autosomal results, sometimes not. To quote Donald Locke on his smaller study, which has so far identified over 30 different Romani families across Europe, each carrying the same Y H1a-M82 Haplogroup with the null value 425 marker mutation  -

"Some show very little South Asian, others have high South Asian percentages".

Some or all of these findings in DNA results might indicate Romani origins, particularly if they can be backed up on the paper trail. They also give lie to the idea 'a Gypsy', can only be said to be someone with both parents Romani. The evidence is there loud and clear, insular as Romani culture is, they have nevertheless been mixing and assimilating outsiders quite happily for the last thousand years, both male and female. The 'pure blood' nonsense was a myth largely perpetuated by non-Gypsy scholars and linguists in the 19th century, with disastrous consequences for many.
Bellenger, Sebire, Soubien, Mallandain, Molle, Baudoin - Normandy/London
Deverdun, Bachelier, Hannoteau, Martin, Ledoux, Dumoutier, Lespine, Montenont, Picard, Desmarets - Paris & Picardy/Amsterdam/London
Mourgue, Chambon, Chabot - Languedoc/London

Holohan, Donnelly, McGowan/McGoan - Leitrim, Ireland/Dundee, Scotland/London.

Gordon, Troup, Grant, Watt, McInnes - Aberdeenshire, Scotland/London

Offline Bobmills6

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #69 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 09:09 GMT (UK) »
Interesting reading. My greatgranfarther married outside Gypsy communitey. Would my grandad have been a Gypsy we thought so but I never meet him died young wud he be excepted by them ? is dad Ambrose Mills is on 1881 census with granfarther Moses Smith, norn 1816 in Hertford. Is moses in any of your book richaerde79??

Offline richarde1979

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #70 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 09:53 GMT (UK) »
Hi Bobmills6, my own family line also originates with 19th century Smiths. I have written a book on the Romany Smith family, though it is not published just yet. Checked my research files and this is the info I have for your Moses, starting with his baptism and that of his siblings:

1] Thomas Smith, son of Benjamin and Mary Smith ‘Trampers’ baptised at Datchworth, Hertfordshire on 7th Feb 1808.
2] Moses Smith, son of Benjamin Smith, and Mary, baptised at Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire on 12th February 1815.
3] James Smith, son of Benjamin Smitha stranger’ and Mary, baptised at Aspeden, Hertfordshire on 28 Sep 1817.
4] Sylvester Smith, daughter of Benjamin Smith ‘labourer’ and Mary, baptised at Bengeo, Hertfordshire on 1 July 1821.
5] Caroline Smith, daughter of Benjamin Smith and Mary, baptised at Graveley, Hertfordshire on 9 oct 1825.
6] Sharlender Smith, aged 12, daughter of Benjamin Smith ‘Tinker’ and Mary, baptised at Datchworth, Hertfordshire on 27 July 1828.
7] Jemima Smith, daughter of Benjamin SmithTinker’ and Mary, baptised at Datchworth, Hertfordshire on 18 July 1830.
8] George Henry Smith, son of Benjamin Smith ‘Brazier’ and Mary baptised at Hertford All Saints on 17 Feb 1833.

He might be the Moses Smith who married Rebecca Harris at Thorley, Hertford, 13 Oct 1845. He is stopped alongside several families, including Harrises, on the 1861 census:

1861 Census, caravan, Chipping Barnet, Hertfordshire
Moses Smith 42 Tinman and brazier at the Fair
Fanny Smith 40 wife
William Mills, 26 mat maker at the fair
Sarah Mills, 24 wife, mat maker at the fair
Charles Grosvener, 16, lodger, mat maker at the fair
John Mills, son, 4
Alice Mills, dau, 3,

A John Anderson and his family are also there that year and he had appeared in the following newspaper report with Moses eight year earlier:

Chelmsford Chronicle, Essex 14th October 1853 - Saffron Waldon 'William Hoadley, Moses Smith, C. Lee, Wn. Stone, and John Anderson, gipsies, were convicted of lighting a fire and creating a breach of the peace at Little Ilford’

As you already have him on the 1881 census, and I see in your other thread someone else has found him in 1891 at the ‘Hole’ in Loughton, I wont replicate that info again. He died there later that same year, death cert ref:

Moses Smith, age 65, Oct-Dec 1891 Epping, Essex, Vol 4A Page 153.

Might be worth ordering a copy of that that if you don’t have it already. Death was also reported in his local paper:

Chelmsford Chronicle, Essex  October 1891 - Death of a Local Character.—Moses Smith is dead. In Loughton and its neighbourhood he was well known as an " eccentric." He followed the avocation of a travelling tinker, and had lived for a number of years at a place called the "Hole."
Bellenger, Sebire, Soubien, Mallandain, Molle, Baudoin - Normandy/London
Deverdun, Bachelier, Hannoteau, Martin, Ledoux, Dumoutier, Lespine, Montenont, Picard, Desmarets - Paris & Picardy/Amsterdam/London
Mourgue, Chambon, Chabot - Languedoc/London

Holohan, Donnelly, McGowan/McGoan - Leitrim, Ireland/Dundee, Scotland/London.

Gordon, Troup, Grant, Watt, McInnes - Aberdeenshire, Scotland/London

Offline richarde1979

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Re: Romany DNA - what would you expect to see?
« Reply #71 on: Tuesday 21 November 17 10:00 GMT (UK) »
I think the Romany and Traveller Family History Society may have published some books on Smiths, if you check their website. The late Terence Lee also published two books on the Smiths but they are difficult to get hold of. He built up an impressive database of Romani parish register entries, which he made available through record offices, and complimented with several self-published works. In my own small way I’m following his example. I had some interaction with him, shortly before he passed, where he expressed satisfaction at the standards I had put in place for my sources and evidence, which he evidently felt was lacking in some researchers. Gordon Boswell who owned and run the Romany Museum in Lincolnshire, was similarly supportive when I visited him with my family, and expressed interest in writing his own autobiography with help, but sadly this did not come to fruition, as he too unexpectedly passed just months later. I regret that neither man, who each did so much in their own way to record, share and preserve Romany heritage in the U.K, will see the finished work, but their support and encouragement was appreciated and is not forgotten. Once published I intend to share my own database of more than a thousand early sources, many original discoveries, with the Anglo-Romani Heritage Project, a great free online resource. There’s already much useful information on the Smiths there, so worth checking for your family on there if you havn’t already.

Whether your grandad would have been considered a Gypsy or not is difficult to say one way or another. I have Romani ancestry and genes, and close Romani family, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces and nephews, but I don’t call or consider myself a Gypsy, so wouldn’t presume to judge who are, or are not, so called ‘Real Gypsies’, from a ‘Real Gyspy background’, (whatever that might mean). I can only say in my experience an upbringing among the community is more important than blood lines, the importance of which tends to be overstated. My brother in law’s family is a good example of that. They originate in the union between a non-Gypsy man, and a Romany female [Ayres] in the late 1890’s. The next generation, his great grandparents, who married in 1916, was also a mixed marriage, his great grandfather marrying a local non-Gypsy girl. The family lived on fixed sites travelling seasonally after WWI, and from the late 1950’s moved permanently into houses, but have never been thought of anything other than fully Gypsy within and without their community.

The idea of unmixed bloodlines is a myth, and probably always has been. The conclusion to the same DNA study quoted before reflects a similar reality, where lifestyle and upbringing trumps genes:

We contest the common idea that Gypsies in general are an extremely closed group. The minimum estimate of around 37% as the proportion of male admixture that had already occurred in Iberia is in clear contradiction with the stereotype. This high rate of lineage assimilation means that through adoption of a socio-cultural style of life, many people became and are becoming Gypsy (and vice-versa). More than reflecting a biological/linguistic entity, the term “Gypsy” must be perceived as a social construct in a continually changing environment.


Thanks for the interest in the books Bobmills6, and best of luck with your own research.
Bellenger, Sebire, Soubien, Mallandain, Molle, Baudoin - Normandy/London
Deverdun, Bachelier, Hannoteau, Martin, Ledoux, Dumoutier, Lespine, Montenont, Picard, Desmarets - Paris & Picardy/Amsterdam/London
Mourgue, Chambon, Chabot - Languedoc/London

Holohan, Donnelly, McGowan/McGoan - Leitrim, Ireland/Dundee, Scotland/London.

Gordon, Troup, Grant, Watt, McInnes - Aberdeenshire, Scotland/London