Roma (Gypsy) Query

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WELLS, Maryland. July 5, 1902;


Cecil Whig, Elkton, Cecil Co., MD

Saturday, July 5, 1902

Front Page

GYPSY PRINCESS DEAD: Mary Wells, Daughter of "Father" Robert Wells, Passed Away in Camp - Queer Burial Rites of the Nomads

"Mary Wells, a gypsy princess, daughter of "Father" Robert Wells, the gypsy patriach who died near Warwick, this county, has departed this life. Her remains will be taken to Wilmington, Del., and Brandywine Cemetery for interment alongside of those of her father.

Just before Princess Wells died, she made a request that the funeral sermon be preached by a Presbyterian minister. Tribal rites were held over the remains on Sunday and Monday. After the princess had been declared dead the remains were laid in the open air and fires lighted at the head and feet. One after another the members of the tribe approached the body and said their last farewell. On Monday morning at dawn the remains were bathed in pure, clear spring water and robed in white, according to the custom of gypsies, and a gold chain was clasped about the neck.

At noon on Monday, all of Princess Wells's clothing and personal effects were burned in the watch fires, after which the members of the tribe gathered about the corpse and sang. This continued for more than an hour, and then each member took a stick from a bundle called the "fagots of life." They broke the sticks and placed them on the breast of the corpse. The watch fires were kept burning for two days, to keep "bad spirits" from the body until the departed soul had reached its resting place."

Mary Wells, Daughter of "Father" Robert Wells, Passed Away.  "Mary Wells, a gypsy princess, daughter of "Father" Robert Wells, the gypsy patriach who died near Warwick, this county, has departed this life. Her remains will be taken to Wilmington, Del., and Brandywine Cemetery for interment alongside of those of her father.  The funeral sermon was preached by a Presbyterian minister. Tribal rites were held over the remains on Sunday and Monday.  Please contact Fred Kelso.  9 May 2005

This digitization is Copyright ©2005, Fred Kelso, all rights reserved.

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Copyright ©2005, Fred Kelso, all rights reserved. This document may be freely used for private purposes, and included in your own genealogy. However, this document is copyrighted and may not be sold, nor given to anyone who may attempt to derive profit from same.