I'm a gypsyologist AMA

(335 Posts)
Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 16:27:36

Just this really, anyone interested I'll answer if I can.

OP’s posts: |

What is a gypsyologist?

Elwynne Mon 14-Sep-20 16:31:36

I second @WinterAndRoughWeather's question! And do you do this full time or is it hobby?

TrollTheRespawnJeremy Mon 14-Sep-20 16:35:37

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

BeTheHokeyMan Mon 14-Sep-20 16:36:58

Are you a gypsy yourself ? If not what drew you to studying them

Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 16:38:29

Hi, thanks for asking. It's why I started the thread thanks

I study the culture, history, language, social norms and of course family history of Romany gypsies.
I do come across other cultures like Irish travellers, but it's mostly Romany.

It has enabled me to earn money, not a living as such, but more about what I do with the information if that makes sense.
It's both a hobby and a small business atm.

OP’s posts: |
lughnasadh Mon 14-Sep-20 16:39:08

Where did you study/qualify, and in what?

Where have you published?

Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 16:39:40

Yes, I'm full Romany, my ancestors were written about by Queen Victoria, in her diaries. She was very fond of them.

OP’s posts: |
Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 16:42:12

There are no qualifications, there are quite a few of us though, and I study/ research daily.
Not quite ready to publish, but getting there.
I'm qualified to Pg level in education, so used to research, albeit a different topic.

OP’s posts: |
FiveFootTwoEyesOfBlue Mon 14-Sep-20 16:43:12

Where in the world do Romany gypsies originate? Have theories on this changed?

Very cool!

I live in southern Portugal and there are a lot of gypsies around here. Do you know if they are Romany?

Sadly they are very marginalised, and dirt poor. They often travel around via pony and trap (to the extent that there are road signs for them in some areas). I chat to them a bit at this time of year as they gather carob from the trees to sell to the agricultural co-op. They are quite shy and reticent, though very pleasant.

NoSquirrels Mon 14-Sep-20 16:44:15

How does this make you money, OP? Sounds fascinating. It’s a richly interesting culture for sure.

ItsAHardKn0ckLife1 Mon 14-Sep-20 16:47:42

Interesting! My ancestors include a “king of the gypsies” who lived in the Gypsy Palace in Kelso.

I find the whole culture fascinating.

Sorry no questions atm, but will no doubt be back later smile

lughnasadh Mon 14-Sep-20 16:50:06

What are the numbers of Romany gypsies in the UK, comapred to Irish travellers> And How do the numbers change across Europe and the rest of the world>

Are there places where Romany Gypsies living a traditional way of life/keeping up the language/customs are unknown?

lughnasadh Mon 14-Sep-20 16:51:28

And my keyboard has lost its '?' grin

Saucery Mon 14-Sep-20 16:54:01

Have you read The Stopping Places, by Damian Le Bas? I found it eye-opening and fascinating.

Itwasaquarterpast11 Mon 14-Sep-20 17:01:19

Random one - my DGM's cousin set up the Romany museum in Spalding. Have you been and, if so, did you get a 'feeling' when you went to the little girl's wagon?

Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 17:09:29

Romany originate from India, although this is apparent in most DNA there are those recently arguing the origins are Egypt.
The language when broken down is certainly interesting and definitely concludes the origins as Indian.

Yes, those in Portugal will be Romany as this was a stopping place during the first 500 years of migration.
It's a significant marker in DNA too, although mine must have come through Italy and Sardinia, I have no portuguese markings. It's lovely you find time to stop and chat to them.

I'm not sure about unknown, but many/ most keep the traditions even if they live in Bricks n mortar.
However, yes, they are dotted about all over the place, but unless you know that's where they are you'd never guess.
I think the caves in Almeria Spain are a good example. There were fires a couple of months ago in the hills. I have distant family there it was quite scary for them. They live in the caves just as always.

I have, and yes it's fascinating. The only problem is and one I'm finding is everytime you come up with a theory that quite often can neither be proved or disproved there's always somebody who rejects the claim. Plus of course we are always learning new facts.
But yes, a significant piece of writing.

OP’s posts: |
Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 17:13:43

Whoops, missed one.
It's hard to say how many Romany are in the UK because it can change depending on who is recording figures and if they are counting Roma from Eastern European countries or just those born here.
But estimates would say around 500,000 Roma to around 70k Irish travellers.

OP’s posts: |

Thanks, very interesting.

Actually it’s not so much stopping and chatting - we have some very fruitful old carob trees in our garden and I look forward to them asking if they can come in and gather the pods every year. It saves me doing it (the pods get everywhere) so I’m very grateful!

teacake89 Mon 14-Sep-20 17:18:01

Interesting! My great grandmother was a Romany Buckland, do you know much about them?

Saucery Mon 14-Sep-20 17:30:26

The only problem is and one I'm finding is everytime you come up with a theory that quite often can neither be proved or disproved there's always somebody who rejects the claim. Plus of course we are always learning new facts.
Drawback of the oral history tradition.

Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 17:34:43


It started by mistake tbh.
I've helped people with family trees, wasn't asking for money as just a hobby and felt unfair to charge.
But commented on a group for people to slow down with the requests as couldn't keep up and time consuming.
They started offering me money for my time, not much nor to sustain a living but a tenner here and there.

The main income came from my business, I used the knowledge I was gaining to educate kids with stories, write music set to the stories and produce shows and sessions for festivals, theatres, schools, museums etc.
Covid saw it all go, but I'm writing new stuff and hoping to be on the road again soon.
Before Covid we were on the road for about 8/9 months of the year. Wherever our work took us.

OP’s posts: |
Devlesko Mon 14-Sep-20 17:54:49

Buckland, very old family and married into lots of others typically.
I have them on my Stanley line. Not got back as far as Plato but he moved to Transilvania and finished his life off there.
They are known for longevity, if the records and past genealogists writings are still accurate.
We are probably related somewhere along the line as all Romany are, due to years of endogamy.
This is the reason we have Indian DNA, it would be unlikely to still be appearing after 1,500 years otherwise.

OP’s posts: |
teacake89 Mon 14-Sep-20 18:04:04

Thanks @Devlesko I know my gg grandfathers name was Tenant and he married a Smith. Df has had his ancestry DNA done and got in touch with a lot of distant relations that way. @Itwasaquarterpast11 that museum sounds really awesome!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in