Sunday, August 5, 2012

Roots of Romney. Rumney Many Meanings of Romney, Including an Aristocrat. Gypsies, Sheep, Locale. - Other Roots of Romney - Surname of Mitt Romney. A Post Script

Mitt Romney. Roots of Romney.
The Surname Romney first was Surname Rumney, as to Mitt.
Other meanings: 
Sheep (still Roma roots), Locales, a Population of Roma, and Updates.

Add: An aristocrat of Romney name - 
Not of the Mitt branch (Henry Sidney, Earl of Romney) 

Track some Roots of the Name

Update 2012.  This site disavows any connection with, or sympathy with, the ideas and pejorative, self-aggrandizing, causation-ignoring innuendoes of Romney connections to Roma as stated at

Nomadic peoples: valued and should be, and should be allowed place and dignity. Without that, behaviors emerge that are not that of the nomadic culture, but a survival response where their culture and ways are threatened.  See comparative nomadic culture, the Inuit, a film entitled "The Fast Runner."  See and review, New York Times  June 7, 2002.  Nomadic peoples are the root of Western Civilization, is that so, in that we began Biblically, is that so, and should we not provide room, seek to learn. Honor, loyalty, valued.  Among us, not so.

Flags. How to Hoist with Pride

Surnames and roots. Does your surname in any way affect your attitudes.  This follows up an earlier post here on Gypsy surnames, where we found "Romney" as a word for a clan (?) of gypsies, or Roma.

What does "Romney" mean.  Mr. Romney may be one of these in the ethnic category, with some gypsy or Roma connection to the word, some not.

See the choices: You have your own history with your own surname.  Look into the possibility with other people's names.
1.  Romney as a Breed of Sheep.

Romney is also the name for a breed of sheep. See fleeces on and off the hoof at

Will voters say Baa? Feel fleeced? Or follow follow follow. Need to look up origin of sheep types. A start: the American Romney Breeders at

Romney, then, from the sheep connection,  are sturdy and meat-producing. See The sheep originated in the Romney Marshes of Kent, England - see paragraph on the Romney Marsh at #3 here. Were the people thereafter associated?

2. Romney as colloquial, a clan of Gypsy? Rumneys.
Romney as colloquial. For Mitt's family, the name began as Rumney. Is it merely that?  A search for "romney gypsy" turns up odd references to Romney Gypsies, but nothing concrete. The term is simply used in different contexts, informal mostly.  Later research shows that the name Romney was, in earliest records of the family, spelled Rumney; and that Rumneys was also a name for the Rumnichals, or Romanichals, or gypsies.  Were these specific Romney forbears gypsy?  It was a time of gypsy persecution, ongoing for centuries in Europe and also in England; so a move to find refuge, a kind of refuge theory to explain where the persecuted roma moved, into which new circles, to survive, requires more data than we have; it would not be unusual to move into the mainstream culture, however. Rumneys become Romney.  Or never were gypsies, whatever.  Take some DNA and find out fast.   Origins and Divergence, Gypsy DNA, National Institutes of Health,

Mitt?  Swab a cheek?
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3. Romney as a bog.

Romney is also a marsh in Kent, England, where there is a tearoom serving scones etc. See

Romney Marsh. The location is on Donkey Street. The Romney breed of sheep came from here - see this long-wool type (new word: flockmaster) at  Romney sheep. Do an images search. Look like these.

Rom.  Here are Rom, the cultural nomadic group whose living and life derive from them, the sheep in Romania, and the Vlach-Rom shepherd.  Connections to Roma ultimately entering England via Kent and Romney Marsh, setting up lives there, bringing traditional ways?  Cultural historians, please find out.

4.  Romney as a language, all its own.

Romney is also a word for the "Cant" that was spoken by Gypsies, a languages others could not understand. See "The Genesis of Anglo-Romani" at Scholarship and the Gypsy Struggle. This is the heading for a Google book online with an enormously long URL -

Do a search for England Romney Gypsy and it should come up. See post here at Gypsies, Roma: Cant.

5. Romney as a road to somewhere; and an aristocratic name as well.

And there is a Romney Road in Greenwich, England,  an original Roman Road. That is where the Greenwich Royal Observatory is. Very long URL, so do a search to see it. Greenwich SE 10. Was this connected at some time with a community of gypsies, or not?

No.  Romney Road is not Romani.

This was named after an aristocrat Romney.  Henry Sidney First Earl of Romney born in Paris 1641:

  • The aristocrat Romney is a different family entirely from the Rumneys of Dalton. 
  •  Henry Sidney First Earl of Romney was born in Paris in 1641, a/k/a Viscount Sidney of Sheppey, also spelled Sydney, Baron Milton.  
  • This Romney was active in the Revolution of 1688 to bar the Catholic James, Duke of York, from succession to the throne of England, see  This Romney also supported the Protestant William of Orange
  • "Diary" of Henry Sidney -- see

6. Romney is not a traditional surname itself for gypsies. Rumney, or Rumneys, or Romni, was used, however, for the group:  Rumneys, for example.

The word is similar to the word for Gypsies or Roma, but we have not found it as a surname in itself, chosen or used by a specific family. Could it have been used as an adopted surname, when persecuted gypsies moved out of a threatening locale, or economically downtrodden one, to another place to blend in.  The first Rumney, for example, that we find in Dalton (where Mitt Romney claims his roots) is in a marriage record there very late, in 1730. Is that a taking of a new name, to escape difficulties, then an intermarriage and assimilation, or not?

Ask about context: What was going on with Roma in England in that century and after, if not before, that might lead to many numbers converting to the new religion, Mormonism, in the 1830's or so, when it appeared?

Or that would have led to some (how many?) leaving old roots and blending into the mainstream instead. Thomas Rumney the joiner in Dalton: was he one of those?

England, Kent in particular, makes no reference at all in this bland overview, see  This site, however, also from the UK, is realistic and includes the persecutions, killings, expulsions, see
Romney as a surname in itself is not listed among the gypsy surnames at this site.  See the other names that appear -

Click there for the link to the Romany and Traveller Family History Society and other links.

  • As with other families of other groups coming here, the surname ultimately adopted by a family could be one applied by a bureaucrat or deaf clerk in ignorance at Ellis Island, where the place of origin or occupation or some mis-heard version attached to the forms and the use.
  • Even in our family, people from Sweden who apparently dropped the plebeian name for children, that would have been "Andersson" for the sons, and Andersdotter for the daughters. That custom, of including the father's name as the surname of children -- were following the naming custom where simple farmers (as opposed to the nobility) just identified their offspring as so and so's son, or so and so's daughter. 
  • In many cultures, people take the names of a place, or an illustrious family. Our gang, at least a branch of it descended from the Swedish males with big egos, took the more glamorous name of a place generally nearby -- Osterlund -- East Land.  Or was that a husband along the line, name now forgotten?  Farmers, folks.  From Kajsa Johannsdotter and her Anders to Osterlund

Our gang in another direction added an "e" just to help the post office deliver de letter de sooner de better to the multiple farms, yes, farms, all with people related, in Ottawa. Spell, spell, cast the spell. FN 1


FN 1

There is this similarity in roots, Romney and Romani and Roma, Rom'nie.

Perhaps, with that similarity in association alone, Mr. Governor Mitt Romney will catch an interest in roots of names, and take a deeper interest in the wellbeing of the uncountried, the immigrant, see Joy of Equivocating, Immigration, the cast-offs, the travellers with lesser cameratic profiles.

If he does this, he should be forewarned: These are dangerous diggings. If you think you are "somebody," guess who you are not.  We find ordinary folk, like most other people, and were not even expecting royalty when we looked back.  But would it be fun?  Sure.  My own birth name stems from (among other untangles) an Old Norse word for "cormorant," or cormorant breeding grounds at rocky shale cliffs, like we found at the Orkney Islands.

The World. A Place to Hoist Many Flags

See Orkney Road Ways, and this new site - :// Phalacrocorax pelagicus, the green cormorant. See :// Hardly glamor.

It gets worse. Cormorants throw up a lot. A family of vomitus, are we. See ://, so the crocorax in Phalacrocorax must be that. The Croak.

This is hardly a pedestal of ancestry connections. People with horns on, trading in cormorants, vomiting under the aurora borealis. Stereotypes! How do we ever rid ourselves when even our own sense of humor betrays us. Feet of clay. Or in fur boots.

With that in mind, I remain interested in surnames, from all origins, all parts, all occupations, places, deeds. My crowd dispersed (wisely) so I have great respect for those who stayed together.


granpa fred said...

my name is fred hayes, my mothers maiden name was whole life she told me stories of her great grand parents and their conection to the romny marsh gypsys. she had some very old pictures of their wagons(the pictures vanished years aga)she told me that one of her relatives (female) married out of the clan and that they were banished forever.truth or lie i can not prove.very recently i have started to trace my heritage. born in folkestone in 1945 and living in toronto canada since 1957 i have lost touch with every one i new,so this site was of great interest,but it did not answer any questions.maybe at a future time.

Anonymous said...

Would the german Rummel surname be connected in anyway to the Romney?