Re: Gipsy Simon Smith
Hi again,Liana.Naomi's baptism (09 Sep 1860, Wanstead, Essex) I got from the back page notes of 'The Life Story of Gipsy Cornelius Smith' (Romany and Traveller Family History Society Classic Reprints).It was the same date as cousins Ezekiel, Lovinia and Rodney Smith (children of Cornelius Smith and Mary 'Pollie' Welch/Welsh).
I originally had Naomi listed in my tree as Naomi LEE, as that was what was on her marriage certificate to her husband Alger TAYLOR.But she registered the births of her children sometimes using the maiden name LEE and sometimes SMITH - this was quite random and cause me a lot of confusion at the time!
Recent findings, however,confirm that her father was a SMITH and it was her mother who was a LEE.Apparently, it is not uncommon for Romany people to make use of their mother's maiden name, sometimes alternating it with their patronym.
The biggest breakthrough in determining Naomi's background -other than a Pedigree Resource File posted by Roy Taylor on Family Search which gave me a good nudge to help me make the link - was the following mention in the autobiography of Naomi's cousin, the evangelist 'Gipsy' Rodney Smith:
"My uncle Bartholomew was the father of twelve children, to every one of whom he gave a scriptural name; Naomi, Samson, Delilah, Elijah, Simon, and the like."
I cannot trace Naomi and/or her family via the 1861 census returns.However, recently an appearance in the '71 has come to light - complete with a LOT of mistranscriptions! ...
At the time of the 1871 census Naomi is 10 years old and living in a tent in Cherry Island, Plaistow.Her place of birth is shown as Barking, Essex.Her name has been mistranscribed "Martha" ... but I have no doubts this is her.Father's name, her age, POB all fit ... and her siblings include Samson and Delilah!This page has several other known errors in it, so it's assumed the original enumerator's notes made 'in the field' (literally!) were very badly written.For example, her mother's name is "Tamer", rather than Susan; in the next door tent her cousins Lovinia, Rodney and Maria are down as"Louisa", "Richard" and "Martha"; in the next door but two tent her future husband's uncle Santalina (aka Sant) Buckley is down as "Sadham Butler".Of course, the other option is that the Gypsies were deliberately giving some false names!
At the time of the 1891 census Naomi is 32 and she is living at 2 Shipwright Cottages, Plaistow, West Ham.Her place of birth is given as Barking, Essex.
My grandfather (married to my half Romany grandmother Clara Naomi Skingley, who died young) related to my mother that his former wife had been somehow related to "the famous evangelist Gipsy Rodney Smith" - so this all ties in.
Incidentally, the relationship between Rodney and Clara is 1st cousin twice removed)
All for now - I'll drop a short email to your off-site address as well.
Sarah-Lou (aka Sarah!)