RTFHS burial/death index – in progress

Looking for the death of a travelling ancestor? Perhaps our index can help. We’re currently building up a collection of extracts from burial registers and death certificates that we’ll add regularly to this page. Some will be open to the public but most will be in a new members-only area of this site, currently under development. So please check back soon. And if you have any to share, please contact us.

The memorial card of Delia Draper (nee Taylor), the widow of James Draper, who died on 26 November 1911 and is buried in Chelmsford Cemetery, Chelmsford, Essex.

It’s always best to check the original registers for accuracy as we receive contributions for this list from many different individuals and sources.

To protect the privacy of individuals, we only publish death and burial information from before 1965.

Burials and deaths A-F

NO SURNAME GIVEN, Katheryn
Buried 5 June 1597, St Margaret with St Nicholas, Norwich, Norfolk, base born daughter of a Scotts shoman [sic].

NO SURNAME GIVEN, Old Bridget
Buried 6 August 1768, Dulwich College, Dulwich, Kent, Queen of the Gipseys.

ANDREWS, Martha
Buried 22 September 1866, Turvey, Bedfordshire. A Traveller. Aged 35. Inquest Cople.

AYRES, Walter
Died 30 September 1957, Little Testwood Garage, Totton, Hampshire. Aged 89 years. Haulage Contractor (retired). Cause: Myocardial degeneration/Arteriosclerosis/Bronchitis. Informant: A. Brewer, Grandson, of 2 The Drove, Harton Heath, Eastleigh.

BENTLEY, Rose
Died 25 November 1923, Haymeads, Bishop Stortford [Hertfordshire/Essex]. Aged 39 years. Of Henham Stansted R.D. Widow of Frank Bentley, a Farm Labourer, an Army Pensioner. Cause of death: Uterine Cancer. Informant: N. E. Friend, Occupier, Haymeads, Bishop Stortford.

BOSS, Caroline
Buried 16 August 1839, Bedingham, Norfolk, a Gipsy who died in the parish of Bedingham. Aged 50.

BOSS, Riley
Died 28 December 1850, Potteries, Kensington, London. Aged 43. Tinman. Cause of death: Delirium Tremens, 1 week, certified. Informant: The mark X of Susan Boss, present at the death, Potteries, Kensington. [Death certificate]

BOSWEL, Elizabeth
Buried 1 November 1798, North Luffenham, Rutland. An infant, str of Shillingworth Boswel, a Vagrant Gipsy.

BOSWELL, Edward
Buried 16 October 1719, North Runcton, Norfolk, son of strolling Gipsey, buried from Setchey.

BOSWELL, Labana
Buried 23 February 1799, North Luffenham, Rutland, a Vagrant Gipsy Woman.

BOSWELL, Letitia
Buried 23 October 1825, Loddon, Norfolk, aged 101. ‘Died in Loddon.’

BOSWELL, Osery
Derby Daily Telegraph, 30 April 1912
“BAKEWELL GIPSY’S FUNERAL
The funeral of Osery Boswell, aged 100, believed to be the oldest gipsy in the world, formerly an inmate of Bakewell Workhouse, took place at Bakewell Cemetery on Monday. Several of the gipsy clan attended, and the service was of a very simple character. One of the most pathetic figures present was the octogenarian widow, who had to be supported at the grave side.”

BOSWELL, Naomi
The Examiner, 11 March 1838
“At Littleport, Isle of Ely, aged 70, Naomi Boswell, Queen of the Gipsies. She was in the habit of sitting outside the tents since the age of 17, and was found dead by the side of one. A coroner’s jury brought in a verdict of ‘Died from exposure to the inclemancy of the weather.’ ”

BOSWELL, Sarah
Suffolk Chronicle, 12 May 1838
“DEATHS – Last week died , in the Union Hospital, Nottingham, Mrs. Sarah Boswell, aged 93,  the Queen of the Gipsies. Her marriage lines, which were seen at the workhouse, indisputably proved that she was married to the great Boswell, the King of the Gipsies, seventy-two years since.”

BOSWELL, Sarah
Buried 19 February 1819, Appleton, Berkshire, aged 25, wife of Moses Boswell, a travelling Brazier

BOSWELL Sophia
Died 21 February 1861, Brindle, Lancashire, aged 100 years, widow of Tiso Boswell, a Soldier. Cause of death: Natural Decay, No Medical Attendant. Informant of death: X The mark of Edward Boswell, Present at the death, Brindle.

BOZWELL, Edward
Buried 20 March 1741, Winslow, Buckinghamshire – King of the Gypsies, buried with a stone. Executed for horse stealing with Finnamore and Edward Smith gypsies? [sic]

BROWN, Sanspareil
Buried 12 December 1882, Thorpe next Norwich, Norfolk, aged 32, of the Asylum, Thorpe.

BUCKLAND, Sidney
Died 3 April 1948, The Barton, Clyffe, Pypard, Wiltshire. Hawker and General Dealer. Aged 84 years. Cause: Cardiac Failure/Acute Bronchitis. Informant: W. Hughes, Son-in-law, Hollow Street, Gt Somerford, present at the death.

BUCKLAND, Traney
Died 29 December 1948, The Barton, Clyffe Pypard, Wiltshire. Aged 75 years. Widow of Sydney Buckland, a General Dealer. Cause: Cerebral thrombosis. Informant: W. Hughes, son-in-law, of Hollow Street, Great Somerford, Wilts.

BUCKLAND, Uriah
Died 6 February 1906, In a van at Stratton St Margaret, Swindon, Wiltshire. General Dealer. Aged 80 years. Cause: Phthisis. Informant: Henry Buckland, Son [signs X]. Present at the death, of Lower Stratton.

BUCKLEY, Righto
Buried 2 November 1763, Albury, Oxfordshire, son of a Gipsy.

BUNTS, Louisa
Mentioned in the History of Hertfordshire (published 1881) as having been buried in the north-west corner of the churchyard of Ridge, Hertfordshire. Her gravestone reads: “In memory of Louisa Bunts, Who died April 8th 1878. Aged 15 Years.” The book also records: “…under the shelter of a large tree is a pretty grave, covered with choice flowers, which are carefully guarded by wirework. Beneath lies a poor gipsy girl, who died in a caravan at the roadside. Her father pays a local gardener a weekly sum to attend to the grave…”

CAREY, Levi
Buried 22 April 1902, Hayes, Middlesex, aged 81.

CURTIS, Morella
Buried 1 November 1849, Cople, Bedfordshire, aged 62. [GRO death index lists her name as Marella].

DOE, Pleasanter
Buried 30 May 1879, Hagbourne, Berkshire, of Hagbourne Down, gypsey child, aged 1 year 6 months.

DRAPER, Damon
Buried 15 October 1801, St Mary Northgate, Canterbury, Kent: 45 yrs, Sol [short for ‘soldier’. Canterbury was a garrison city and soldiers and their families were stationed in the Northgate area and routinely used this church]

DRAPER, Diffrey
Death certificate states: Died 5 February 1838, St David, Brecon, Wales. Aged 18. Occupation: Gipsy. Cause of death: Smallpox. Informant of the death: Thomas Morgan, Relieving Officer, Brecknock.

DRAPER, Diffrey
Buried 6 February 1838, churchyard of St David, Brecon, Wales. Aged 18 years. A Stranger. Abode: Heol Hwant.

EMMETT, John
Buried 9 December 1833, St Mary’s, Walmer, Kent. Aged 4 months. A Gipsy child.

EVANS, Charlotte
Died 8 January 1908, Promenade, Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland. Married to John Evans, Hobby Horse Proprietor. Aged 58. Parents: John William Hazard, Hobby Horse Proprietor (deceased) and Helen Hazard, maiden surname Davis (deceased). Cause of death: Cerebral Haemorrhage, Hemiphagia – 1 day. Informant: Christina Evans, Daughter, Present.

EVANS, John
Died 9 October 1915, Elliot Street, Edinburgh. Amusement Caterer. Widower of Charlotte Hazard. Aged 71. Parents: William Evans, Coal Pitman (deceased) and —— Evans, maiden surname ——— (deceased). Cause of death: Pulmonary Congestion 8 Days, Cardiac Failure. Informant: Isabella Evans, Daughter-in-law, 1 [illegible] Place, Portobello.

FLETCHER, Sydney
Buried 5 October 1896, Hagbourne, Berkshire, [of] van in Mr Dixon’s Yard, aged 24.

Burials and deaths G-Q

GASCOIGNE, William
Portsmouth Evening News, 20 March 1897
“William Gascoigne, who was known as the ‘King of the Gipsies’, has died in hospital at Ipswich at the age of 61, from blood poisoning. He was a native of Totham, in Essex, and will be buried at Colchester. He will have a grand gipsy funeral.” [No doubt a member of the East Anglian Gaskin family.]

GRAY, Belmont
Buried 14 April 1839, Hawsted, Suffolk, of Oakington, Cambridgeshire, aged 24.

GRAY, Israel
Buried 22 October 1859, Willingham, Cambridgeshire.

GRAY, Lazarus
Buried 19 June 1839, Welney, Cambridgeshire, aged 5

GRAY, Oezery alias JOHN
Buried 16 August 1862, Mattishall, Norfok. Gipsy from Hanningsea, Cambridge. Aged 40.

GRAY, Peter
Buried 18 October 1811, Hatley, Cambridgeshire. A travelling tinker belonging to the parish of Burwell who died in a barn in this parish after a sudden illness.

GRAY, Riley
Bury and Norwich Post, Tuesday 5 January 1875: Deaths
“On Christmas Day, at the Newmarket Union-house, at the advanced age of 87 years, RILEY GRAY, a well-known gipsy.”

GREY, Lydia
Buried 21 January 1810, Weeting, Norfolk. “A gipsy child born at Isleham in Cambridgeshire, died at Weeting January 19th and was buried aged 4 months.”

HERN, Fuddle
Buried 16 November 1801, West Deeping, Lincolnshire, a gypsey.

HONE, William
Buried 29 May 1800, Horsell, Surrey, Fiddler.

LEE, Bendigo
Death certificate states: Died 17 July 1916, 25 Atkinson Street, Preston, Lancashire, aged 58 years, Horse Dealer. Cause of death: Valvular Disease of Heart. Informant: Amy Smith, Daughter, 35 Queen’s Road, Blackpool.

LEE, Coronation
Buried 4 January 1833, Compton, Berkshire, aged 80, vagrant.

LEE, Union Cooper
Buried 25 Match 1874, St Mary’s, Battersea, London. Aged 60. Address: The Gipsy’s Camp, Orkney Street.

LEE, Thomas
Died 5 November 1801 and buried in the churchyard of Ridge, Hertfordshire. The History of Hertfordshire (published 1881) states: “Adjoining the north-west angle of the [church] tower is a stone to Thomas Lee, still traditionally remembered as ‘old gipsey Lee’ who died on 5th December 1801, at the ripe age of  one hundred years.”

LOVERIDGE, Alfred
Died 18 March 1929, Haymeads, Bishop Stortford [Hertfordshire]. Aged 75 years. Address: The Row, Henham, Stansted R.D. [ie, Registration District]. Cause of death: Senile Decay, No P.M. [ie, no post-mortem]. Informant: N.E. Friend, Occupier, Haymeads, Bishop Stortford.

LOVERIDGE, Eliza
Died 13 February 1961, St Albright’s Hospital, Stanway [Essex]. Aged 88 years. Widow of Israel Loveridge, a Grinder and Umbrella Repairer. Cause: Senility. Informant: A. L. Woods, Occupier, St Albright’s Hospital, Stanway, Colchester.

LOVERIDGE, James
Died 22 April 1881, Union Workhouse, Ampthill, Bedfordshire. Aged 69. Umbrella Mender, North Crawley, Bucks. Cause of death: Morbi Valvarum, Emphysema. Informant: C. Sharland, Master, Union Workhouse. [Source: death certificate]

LOVALL, Violet
The Leeds Mercury, 30 November 1839
“On the 17th inst.. aged 86, near Wolverhampton, Violet Lovall, said to be queen of the gipsies. This patriarch of her swarthy tribe breathed her last in camp.”

LOVELL, Henry
Buried 9 November 1816, Cold Ashby, Northants. Gypsy, died in Coal Pit Lane, aged 90.

MacPHEE, George
The Leeds Mercury, 9 March 1895
“The oldest travelling gipsy in the North of Scotland, has died, after a few days’ illness. Aged 101″.

MacPHEE, George
Death certificate states: George MacPhee, Travelling Tinsmith, married to Mary Wilson. Died 27 February 1895, 99 Shore Street, Cromarty, County of Ross and Cromarty. Aged 99 years. Parents: George MacPhee (deceased), Travelling Tinsmith, and Nancy MacPhee, maiden surname Wilson (deceased). Cause of death: Pneumonia, 4 days. Informant: George MacPhee (his mark X), Grandson, Present at death.

MECLAM, Mary
Buried 6 October 1818, Great Barford, Bedfordshire, aged 2 years. Traveller.

PARKER, Comfort
Died 11 January 1931, The People Home, Saffron Walden [Essex]. Aged 82 years. Address given as Broxted. Spinster of no occupation. Daughter of William Ellice Parker, a Hawker (deceased). Cause of death: Senile Decay, Influenza. No P.M. [ie, no post-mortem]. Informant: Mrs H. Prior, Occupier, The Peoples Home, Saffron Walden.

PARKER, Sarah
Buried 5 October 1838, Turvey, Bedfordshire. Of Bletsoe. Traveller. Aged 48.

PIERCE, Mary
Buried 5 April 1709, Astwell, Oxfordshire, daughter of Mary of Amwell, Herts, beggar.

PINFOLD, David
Buried 27 September 1837, Thurton, Norfolk, of Pockthorpe in Norwich, aged 16.

PINFOLD, David
The Ipswich JournaL, 26 January 1888
“PINFOLD.-19th inst., at Hinderclay, David Pinfold, Hawker and Dealer, aged 45 years.”

PUSEY, Emmanuel
Buried 6 February 1838, Hagbourne, Berkshire, of West Hagbourne Down, Traveller’s son, aged 12.

Burials and deaths R-Z

SAUNDERS, Charles
Died 24 June 1957, The Caravan, Bath Road, Chippenham, Wiltshire. Aged 58 years. General Dealer. Cause: Carcinoma of the antrum. Informant: A. Saunders, Son, of The Pike House, Christian Malford, Chippenham.

SAUNDERS, Mary Magdalen
Died 5 November 1947, The Caravan, The Isolation Hospital, Chippenham, Wiltshire. Aged 48 years. Wife of Charles Saunders, Wood Merchant. Cause: Cardiac failure/Malignant hypertension. Informant: X The mark of Charles Saunders, widower of deceased, present at the death, of The Caravan, The Isolation Hospital, Chippenham.

SHAW, George
Buried 8 September 1676, Watton, Norfolk, a Stranger and Travilleur.

SLENDER or SUMMERSBY, Bethorina
Died 20 October 1890, 10 Porter Street, Glasgow, Lanarkshire. Married to Charles Summersby, Hawker. Aged 24 years. Parents: Nicholas Slender, Hawker (deceased) and Frances Slender, Maiden Surname Shaw. Cause of death: Phthisis, 6 months. Informant: Charles Summersby, Widower (present at death). [Source: death certificate]

SLENDER, Noah
Died 13 March 1883 (8 hours 0 minutes A.M.), 142 [?] Westmuir Street, Glasgow, aged 2 1/2 years. Son of Noah Slender, Licensed Hawker, and Mary Slender, maiden surname Muirhead. Cause of death: Diptheria, 1 month. Informant: Noah Slender, His mark X, Father.

SMITH, Abraham
Buried 20 February 1748, West Winch Norfolk: A Stranger. Affidt made by Elizth Bailey.
Monumental inscription on gravestone in churchyard reads: “Here lieth the body of Abraham Smith, who died Feb the 16 1748, aged 60 yrs.”
[An article in the Journal of the Gypsy Lore Society (Third Series, Vol. 25, page 45) suggests that this Abraham Smith aided in the repair of East Winch church, the church in a village close to West Winch, and that he was 'a gipsy king']

SMITH, Arthur
Buried 15 December 1723, Glasbury, Breconshire, son of Jeffery and Damaris Smith, travelling people.

SMITH, Cinderella
Died 5 August 1918 in the Union Infirmary, Devizes, Wiltshire. Spinster. Aged 80 years. Hawker, of Hare & Hounds Court, Devizes. Cause: Senile decay/Gastric influenza. Informant: W. Fear, Master of the Union Workhouse, Devizes.

SMITH, George
Buried 2 September 1835, East Harling, Norfolk, a strolling beggar.

SMITH, Harriet
Buried 3 November 1843, Turvey, Bedfordshire. Of Bletsoe. A gipsy Child. Aged 4.

SMITH, Jane
Buried 23 October 1877, Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, aged 3 weeks, [abode] Travelling Caravan at the Fair.

SMITH, Leo
Died 29 December 1924 aged 39 years. Buried at Gorleston Cemetery, Norfolk. Gravestone commemorates Leo and his parents: Walter Smith and Matilda Smith (nee Gaskin).

SMITH, Matilda
Died 22 December 1927 aged 88 years. Buried at Gorleston Cemetery, Norfolk. Gravestone commemorates Matilda Smith (nee Gaskin), her husband Walter Smith and their son Leo Smith.

SMITH, Phebe
Buried 26 July 1798, Newton Longville, Buckinghamshire, a gipsy.

SMITH, Shipton
Buried 23 October 1843, St John the Baptist, New Windsor, Berkshire, aged 25, Frogmore Road.

SMITH, Soloman
Buried 8 March 1801, Wilstead, Bedfordshire, an Egyptian.

SMITH, Walter
Died 1 November 1921 aged 83 years. Buried at Gorleston Cemetery, Norfolk. Gravestone commemorates Walter, his wife Matilda Smith (nee Gaskin) and their son Leo Smith.

THORPE, Meshach
Buried 9 May 1844, Digby, Lincolnshire, aged 6.

WOODS, Enoch
Buried 23 May 1742, Durston, Somerset, the Egyptian.

YOUNG, Oscar
Buried 10 May 1894, St Mary’s, Walton on the Hill, Liverpool, Lancashire, [abode] Gipsies Tent, City Road, Walton, aged 2 days. No baptism.

This page last updated: 3 July 2016.