Monday, October 29, 2007

Romney - Rom'nie --Surname from English Gypsies? Romnichel. Romani.

 Many family tree roots, one main trunk perhaps, but many branchings.

Of all the branchings, which do we choose as our identity.

Does that conscious choice negate in any way 
the other branches we elect to ignore, 
in order to better ourselves.

Family trees. Romany surnames, see

The Romnichels are a distinct group of Gypsies, with origins in England. Derivations include Rom'nie. Sounds similar to Romany, the term in older literature for Gypsies, or Romani. Or Romney.

They sound alike for good reason. Romana, Romney. Gypsy surnames dating from 1567, see, fair use from the PDF site,

"ROMANA/ROMNEY 1567-1623 (int) Shrophshire, Suffolk) (See Robert Dawson ARITF)",  from JJ Gypsy Index PDF.

See also Romney Marsh Gypsies, at

We have an interest in geneology as it may or may not be evidenced in last names, for recreational thought, and here focus on the last name, Romney. The Gypsy Lore Society addresses the Romnichels or Rom'nie, at :// .

Actual Romneys may well have their own family tradition of origins, but the name Romney - Rom'nie standing alone suggests English Gypsy roots: dealing in draft horses, horses for transporation, horse traders, basket makers and that term included making rustic furniture, and fortune telling.

See this Gypsy Lore Society site for description of this group and many others, along with the trades that the groups specialized in: Scroll down to Romnichel. The information is from a further book's introduction, "Gypsies and Travelers in North America: An Annotated Bibliography," by William G. Lockwood and Sheila Salo, that book linked at ://

Update - here is a young man in Kent, England, who identifies as a "romney gypsey" in a message board entry dated 1/29/06 at ://

Compare the Rom. The Rom were Gypsies not from England, but from Serbia, Russia, and Austria-Hungary says the same Gypsy Lore Society site. Coppersmiths, including "repair and refinement of equipment used in bakeries, laundries, confectionaries...." They also told fortunes. The Kalderash are a Rom subgroup.

The "Black Dutch" group of Gypsies has largely been absorbed into the Romnichels. Same Gypsy Lore Society site, scroll down to "Black Dutch." This group was from Germany, but the term is also used for other non-Gypsy groups apparently. Again, horse traders, basket makers, and many provide to the Mennonite and Amish communities. See Pennsylvania Dutch. Hard to get reliable info on "Black Dutch," says site.

So: the papers already have found an ancestral link between Vice President Cheyney and Senator Barack Obama, ://, and this adds a possible Mitt Romney to the ancestral Rom'nies.
In a name. See ://
Other Romani first names: Dangerfield, Cinderella, Britannia, Sabina 9those Sabine women?)
And surnames: Lee (Gypsy Rose Lee?), Ayres, etc. and the site notes that all with those names are not Gypsies, just that Gypsies with those names traveled in England. At Geneology Forum you can join the fray in searching for answers with probably no way of checking what you get. Still, recreational.


Anonymous said...

Romanichel are a branch of Romani (Gypsy) who were in Hungary & Romania for a while before going west into the UK. Romanian words spoken by the Romanichal of such as Bauri meaning snail confirm this. There are also Romanisael found from Scandinavia. The other branch of Romani in the UK is the Welsh Kale (Kale from Indian meaning 'Blacks'). The Kale are a branch of the same Romani group who entered into Europe via what is now Turkey. They are a large number of Romani found in Spain, Portugal and also in Scandinavia.

It should be noted that the majority of travellers in the UK are not Romanichel yet many try to claim to be. There are only so many Romanichel families such as the Lees, Smiths, Coopers, Stanleys, Marshalls and Lockes. The majority of other travelling families are either of Irish descent or some other European descent. True Romani are dark skinned in appearance with black hair but some have lost their complexion due to marrying ethnic Europeans. Unlike the Romani, European ethnic travelling groups such as Irish travellers or showground travellers speak European languages completely different to Romani and their appearance is often very fair. Irish travellers are often ginger or blonde haired.

Anonymous said...

My father has passed away but he was adopted by a circus Fellows Moreton and Clayton and thats as far as i got.His name was Johnnie Fellows.Side show boxing name was Darkie.Any help would be appriciated.
christina Flack nee fellows.

gina said...

If You are Roma and you are OUTRAGED with how TLC and "My Fat Gypsy Wedding" are portraying our folkie like Uneducated Hillbillys please visit Thanks and God Bless and stand together and give us your support!

Anonymous said...

More than that. Halls and Trails are also Romanichels came from Europe

Anonymous said...

My Grandfathers mother was Gypsy and her husband was a Welsh Tinker,his surname was Thomas,but I do not know her maiden name,i do know though that they were based at Romney Marshes before entering London.

The family led a gypsy lifestyle with wooden Caravans and were part of a group that had a plot of land in south Tottenham,before they were all moved into housing,my Grandfather Len Thomas then became a florist and had a shop in westgreen road.

I do believe that he was from true Romani stock,weather he was part of the Romanichels I do not know.