History and Lifestyle

AVAILABLE AGAIN!
Travellers Remember Hopping Time

Edited by Janet Keet-Black and the late Mary Horner

A5 paperback book, 60 pages, black-and-white family photographs

This RTFHS publication has been out-of-print for 10 years. We are pleased to make it available again so that today’s family historians can get a real sense of what their Romany ancestors experienced in the hop-gardens of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Herefordshire.

The book contains people’s memories and photos of when they or their older family members used to go hop-picking plus articles about the history of the craft. All these were originally contributed by RTFHS members for a special hopping exhibition held in 2001 at the RTFHS Society Day in Hatfield, Hertfordshire.

Surnames of individual Travellers mentioned in the book: Ayres, Bassett, Beaney, Black, Brazil, Bridges, Carey, Cooper, Doe, Frankham, Gray, Gregory,  Hawkins, Hearn, Hiscox, Hunt, Johnson, Lee, Loveday, Loveridge, Macklin, Mitchell, Moore, Othen, Pickett, Price, Ray, Smith, Stevens.

Like to buy?

Price: £7.50 + UK postage rate C
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque.

 

NEW!
Travellers Through Time: A Gypsy History

By Jeremy Harte

Published by Reaktion Books (London, 2023). Hardback with dust jacket, A4 format, 317 pages, 40 photographs and illustrations

This well-researched and very readable book guides the reader through the six centuries that Romany Gypsies have made Britain their home: from their arrival in these islands in the early 16th century to the modern-day.

The author is curator of the Bourne Hall Museum in Ewell, Surrey, and also creator of the Surrey Gypsy Archive. This is clearly reflected here where many of the examples of the impact of historic events and legislation on Gypsies through the ages are Surrey-based. So too are the individuals and families mentioned by name: references that help to make this story very human and personal. This and the county-focus are very unusual in a general Gypsy history. They are also an added bonus for those whose own ancestors once travelled through or lived in Surrey and its surrounding region. Included are a glossary, extensive notes and references and a bibliography.

Surnames included in the book: Anthony, Ayres, Bagley, Baker, Barney, Bastian, Beckett, Birch, Boss, Boswell, Bowers, Brazil, Brown, Buckland, Buckley, Bushnell, Canning, Chapman, Cherry, Chilcott, Clifford, Cole, Collins, Cooper, Costa, Curder, Davis, Deacons, Denewe, Devall, Doe, Durant, Easton, Eastwood, Equal, Fageance, Faulkner, Fenner, Finch, Fisher, Frankham, Fuller, Fulleston, Gilham, Gobey, Golbee, Gowan, Gregory, Hampton, Hancock, Harber, Harris, Hawkins, Hearn, Hilden, Hoadley, Hope, Hughes, James, Jones, Kemp, King, Lamb, Lambert, Lasy, Lawrence, Lazar, Lee, Love, Loveridge, Lovett, Lynch, Marney, Marshall, Martin, Matthews, Miles, Misteldon, Nichols, Orchard, Oxford, Palmer, Parker, Pateman, Penfold, Peroo, Pharo, Pinder, Plunkett, Powell, Poynes, Price, Proudley, Raynes, Ripley, Rossiter, Ryley, Sanger, Scamp, Sergeant, Shaw, Sherlock, Shoebridge, Sines, Skarratt, Skemp, Smith, Spragg, Squires, Stacey, Stanley, Stevens, Stockin, Taylor, Todd, Valentine, Vincent, Vinson, Walker, Walters, Wells, Wharton, Williams, Wilson, Wingfield.

Like to buy?

Price: £20.00 + UK postage rate F
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque.

Memories of the Marsh: A Traveller Life in Kent

By the late Betsy Stanley • Edited by Janet Keet-Black

A5 paperback book, 60 pages, black-and-white family photographs

Memories of the Marsh: A Traveller Life in Kent
was first published by the RTFHS in 1998. The book has been out-of-print for several years but now, due to popular demand, we are pleased to make it available again.

This is the author’s autobiography, describing her life growing up in the close-knit Belvedere Marsh Gypsy community in North Kent from the late 1930s to the 1950s and remembering earlier generations of her own family as well as her neighbours. 

The book includes a sketch map of the streets on the Marsh plus a list of the names of the families who lived there, van by van, plot by plot. This list was recalled by the author after the book originally appeared. It’s been added to this edition to create a more complete picture.

Surnames mentioned in the book: Alford, Amer, Anderson, Atkins, Baker, Barnard, Beaney, Beckworth, Blackwell, Boswell, Brinkley, Brown, Buckland, Burkley, Chapman, Coates, Collins, Cooper, Corbett, Dighton, Driscoll, Eaves, Ellis, French, Gardner, Giles, Golding, Grey, Gumble, Hanson, Hilden, Hitchcock, Hughes, Jackson, Jefferies, Jinks, Johnson, Jones, Laing, Lane, Lazone, Lee, Lockie, Loveridge, Mantel, McCreery, McQuiry, Miles, Nicholls, Page, Powell, Ramp, Reader, Redworth, Roberts, Runnerfold, Saunders, Scott, Shalder, Shepherd, Skinner, Sope, Smith, Stewart, Taylor, Turner, Upton, White and Wingrave.

Like to buy?

Price: £7.50 + UK postage rate C
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque.

The Gypsy Countess

By Anne-Marie Ford

This is an unusual biography: that of a young woman who, despite the strictures of the British class system, rose from a childhood in a farm cottage and a career with Astley’s Circus to earn a place in the British aristocracy.

The Gypsy Countess recounts the life of Catherine Cox, daughter of a Romany Gypsy woman and an agricultural labourer, who in 1855 married George Harry Grey, Earl of Stamford and Warrington, one of England’s richest bachelors. Thus she became chatelaine of two great estates: Dunham Massey in Cheshire and Enville Hall in Staffordshire.

What’s more, Catherine’s life was mirrored by her two sisters, Susan and Mary Cox, who, under her mentorship, also achieved fame as circus ring equestriennes and through high society affairs and marriages.

Catherine and her story were chance discoveries by Anne-Marie Ford, a leading expert in British Gypsy genealogy, during research into the West Country Romany Stanley family, Catherine’s maternal ancestors.

It’s true that Catherine has come to the notice of a few historians before but their sparse accounts have largely focused on scandal and supposition. In this first comprehensive biographical work, thanks to Anne-Marie Ford, readers at last have a fully rounded, life-long portrait of the entrepreneurial and vivacious Miss Cox.

Square A4 format, 144 pages, black-and-white illustrations and family trees.

Like to buy?

Price: £20.00 + UK postage rate D
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque.

An RTFHS South Country Album – free online book

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the RTFHS (1994-2019), we are making available again a number of out-of-print RTFHS publications, as free online books on this site. This is the first: a fine collection of old photographs kindly contributed by RTFHS members, showing members of their own families, mainly from the southern counties of England. It was originally published in 2007. Find out more and browse or print out the book here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British Gypsy and Traveller History to 1900 Through Art

By Robert Dawson

Believed to be the first publication of its kind, this is a pioneering study of the works created by artists in the 19th century and earlier that portray British Gypsies and Travellers.

The book is lavishly illustrated with black-and-white reproductions of more than 150 paintings,drawingsand engravings. But more than that, it also includes an expert analysis of the subject matter of the artworks – from costumes, wagons and tents to accessories, livestock and occupations – to guide the reader through the history of the travelling people of Britain in a surprisingly visual way. The author is a leading authority on Gypsy and Traveller history and culture and has also been the Honorary President of the RTFHS since its foundation in 1994. A4, 170 pages.

Like to buy?

Price: £15.00 + UK postage rate E
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque.
Check here for the RTFHS Mail Order Terms & Conditions.

Current UK postage rates
Rate A = £1.20
Rate B = £1.90
Rate C = £2.55
Rate D = £3.25
Rate E = £3.60
Rate F = £4.50

Gypsies of Britain

By Janet Keet-Black

Published by Shire Publications

This concise, easy-to-read introduction to the history of your Romany Gypsy and Scottish Traveller ancestors comes from the pen of Janet Keet-Black, the Honorary Vice President of the RTFHS.

In it, Janet looks at everything with an expert’s eye: from traditional vardos and travelling patterns to occupations, ranging from the early 1500s to the present day, in Scotland, England and Wales. There’s a large chapter on a subject very close to Janet’s heart: the many Gypsies and Travellers who served and gave their lives for Britain in the Armed Services in past wars, and still do. It’s packed with images and photos, many of which have never been published before. A5, 56 pages.

 

Like to buy?

Price: £7.99 + UK postage rate C
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque.

A Calendar of Fairs and Markets Held in the Nineteenth Century

By Pat Loveridge

A4 PDF document for digital download, 132 pages

Found your ancestors on the census but wonder why they were in a particular place when their children were born? Use this guide to find out if there was a fair or market in the vicinity and to plot their possible travelling circuits. Compiled from numerous directories and almanacs, and indexed by place, day and date.

This book was originally published by the RTFHS as an A5 printed book in 2003 and has now been made available again, this time as a PDF digital download.

Like to buy?

Price: £7.00
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at Parish Chest to order online, pay by card and download the PDF file.


The Winchester Confessions 1615-1616: very low stock

Depositions of travellers, Gypsies, fraudsters, and makers of counterfeit documents, including a vocabulary of the Romany language

Transcribed and annotated by the late Alan McGowan

A series of depositions taken at Winchester House of Correction in 1615 and 1616 paints an interesting picture of the travelling community of the Jacobean period. The final deposition concerns Counterfeit Egyptians, i.e. Gypsies, and includes a list of more than a hundred Romany words and phrases with their English equivalents. With the exception of a few fragments printed in 1547, this list is the earliest known record of the Romany language in Great Britain.
A5, 32 pages.

“A fascinating booklet, to be enjoyed by those who like their history straight from the ‘gry’s’ mouth!” Hampshire Archives Trust Newsletter, Spring 1997

Like to buy?

Only a few copies left. Please contact us at sales[at]rtfhs.org.uk to check availability.

Mi Zee of Kolliko: My Own Memories: very low stock

By The Romany Rai Cove, edited by the late Mary Horner

Travellers are, in the main, a happy lot even though their lot is sometimes not very happy”. The author recalls his young years on the road, describing how they were able to survive whatever life threw at them. A fascinating glimpse into a way of life now largely disappeared. A5, 24 pages.

 

 

 

Like to buy?

Price: £2.00 + UK postage rate A
Go to the RTFHS bookstall at GENfair to order online and pay by card. Or complete this RTFHS Publications Order Form to order by post and pay by Sterling cheque. Please note that GENfair has a minimum order charge of £3.00.

My Favourite Traveller Ancestor: very low stock

A collection of stories by RTFHS members entered into the Romany and Traveller FHS 10th anniversary writing competition in 2004. A4, 24 pages.

Like to buy?

Only a few copies left. Please contact us at sales[at]rtfhs.org.uk to check availability.

Ordering two or more books in a single order and want to pay by Sterling cheque? Contact us first at sales[at]rtfhs.org.uk to see if we can offer you a combined postage rate.

Current UK postage rates
Rate A = £1.20
Rate B = £1.90
Rate C = £2.55
Rate D = £3.25
Rate E = £3.60
Rate F = £4.50

 

 

This page last updated: 2 September 2023.