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Some Contemporary Lore

Welcome to the never ending road well travelled! (note by ye webmeister: many sources wish to remain anonymous.  I have edited these to remove location information that could be used adversely.  I will eventually organize this as well.) (This is a Romanichal perspective)

There are hundreds of Gypsies (Rumneychels) majority English in Elmwood Cemetery (link is offsite) in Memphis, Tennessee. There are many Cooper, Cooley, Harrison, Peirce, Stanley, Young and Jeffery graves all with headstones. One is huge and even has a whole campground carved in granite or marble with tents and a campfire. They have been buried there since way back and are still being buried there.

There are many places that travellers will bury at mostly where they live. Pine Bluff, Arkansas; Spiro Oklahoma; Texarkana, Arkansas; Mobile, Alabama; Birmingham Alabama; Atlanta, Georgia; Houston, Texas; Louiville, Kentucky; etc.  Travellers will come from all over to a funeral even if it is a distant distant cousin.  It is really something else to see.

The Coopers in Meridian, MS had some double wides on land right on the highway and some equipment.  They went "legal," in the yellow pages, and settled down, quit travelling for work.  A couple of travellers say Gadjo will call the law on you if they see you in town, I guess so you want burn it up and hurt business but I don't personally know that they did that or not.  It could really be the local plant or the hotels that turns em in.  You know the Bucklands in Macon, Georgia is said to do the same to you if they see your equipment in town.  Who knows?  Some areas are now mostly Irish about 80% the rest English but about 30 years ago it was half and half they all lived together in one camp.  Then some moved, which is why if somebody dies that used to live here and that's other family was buried here years ago, then they will be brought back here to be buried by their mother, father, husband, wife etc.  Elmwood is a cemetery with only English buried there.  The Irish are usually buried in the cemetery in Nashville, or if not they are buried at the cemetery on highway 51 in Memphis.  I can't remember the name.  Elmwood is very aware of the Gypsy burials. And at a funeral their grave yard is packed!  Its not unusual for 500 or more to attend.  About 3 months ago I swear it looked like 1000 people were at the funeral home.  They start rolling in town a couple of days before the funeral to attend the wake.  It can last anywhere from 2 to 3 nights before the actual funeral.  And everybody already knows everybody and if they don't you better believe they will know you before you leave.  In a way a funeral is really a huge reunion and they will know if you don't show up.  It just looks bad.  Like you don't care or you are broke or something and can't afford to come.  I know about English, and a little about Irish not too much on Scotch or Turks or Greenhorns.   Greenhorns are Irish from Texas.  Texas Irish are raised a little rougher, you know fighting and stuff, unlike the ones in Augusta and Memphis. "Greenhorn" isn't really a name of a Traveller, its a certain group of a type of Travellers.  You know if you say "he's a greenhorn" that just lets you know he, or his mother or father, comes from TX etc. raised "greenhorn ways."  They're kind of like English/Irish but really Irish, a different brogue.

Most were born in tents and had no birth certificate and had to make one up.  Some were wanted so bad they changed their last names.

I have read a lot of info about Travellers and only about half of it is true. You know, every one wants the truth to be printed but no one wants to be the one to tell it.

The English and Irish are mostly on the web because they are the most modernized.  There are very few that finish school about 5% maybe.  They usually drop out after elementary.  The girls because they are not expected to make a living anyway, and the boys because they help their fathers or either need to get out and make a living for the family.  School is just to learn to read and write and a little math for adding money situations.  A lot of people don't understand why a mother and father would let their child quit school.  It's hard to explain.  But it happens. A lot of Travellers don't really like to be called "Gypsies."  Its not bad really, but the only time they are referred to as Gypsies is by a gorjer/gaujo (a non- gypsy).  The English are called Rummneychels, and the Irish, Travellers.  Also the Travellers that will access this site will mostly be young, like 35 and under, because they all have the web TV hooked up to go to chat rooms and talk to each other.  A certain chat room is packed every night with Travellers from all over America - California to New York.  Again it's mostly all English and Irish, very few Scotch and Turk, but when they are not in chat rooms they will browse the web to see (guess what) what the world knows about Travellers.  That's how I came across this site.  I am always looking to see if someone really knows the updated modern Travellers and usually they don't.  Every site always talks about old old days and where they come from and how they were tortured etc (Gypsy Lore and Patrin web journal), but I guess Travellers are always afraid talking will do more harm than good.  The best site I've ever seen was an Irish site called the Travellers Rest (which doesn't really do us English any good), but he prints what he knows and doesn't let it hurt anybody.  See, a lot of detectives and reporters will approach him, trying to gain info, or crack a case.  And he tastefully denies any negative info. He prints news articles and all kinds of stuff. Check it out.

I have never heard of a real Gypsy King.  A lot of times whoever has the most money will be looked up to, but not labeled a "king."  For instance in our family, one person (who claims German heritage also), now he had a lot of money, and if somebody needed something they would come to him and get it.  Not because he was a king or anything but probably cause he was soft hearted enough to give it up.  This man kept a lot of people up and helped a lot of people get out of trouble by paying bonds or loaning people money for payments on their trucks and stuff.  He was no king though.  I think the Turks may believe in that though.  I've heard of them having a head man or leader years ago.  Maybe the (grave) stones that state King of the Gypsies are Turk related.  They put prices on their girls like the Irish do on their boys.  So they may have a king but it would have to be full blooded Turk that I'm talking about. You know, the ones that stick to their own kind.  They don't socialize too much with outsiders or other Travellers.  When you meet a Turk, you know one that comes around, they are either half English or something, you can just tell.  The real real dark ones are Turk. They almost look like Pakistani or from India.  They are a whole other story though.

Mitchells are Turks. So are Marks. They may have had a king years and years ago but not now. I really don't know too much about German Travellers.  There are some Herrons in Louisiana though.  English surnames are mostly Smith. Cooper, Harrison. Cooley. Young, Lee. Small, Brewer. Ball, Stanley, Whorton, Herron. Joles, Jeffery, Williams.  Turks are Jones, Mitchells, Marks etc.  Irish surnames are Costello, Carroll, McNalley, Mack, Gormon, Ohara, Sherlock, Riley, and more.  Turks are into telling fortunes (spiritual advisor) and some are even in the yellow pages.  The movie, "King of the Gypsies," is about Turks. The movie, "the Traveller," with Bill Paxton, is about Irish, but its so fake its funny!!  I don't know of any movie about English though. I watched a movie the other night "into the west" Irish though and a while back a movie about some Turks in California that sued the state and won.  English are mostly dark haired and medium color skin.

You will not find a Romanichal today that can speak or knows all these words. We do use a lot of them but we have really really "slanged" them up and we use regular everyday words with them too. And Northern English say them with a different accent than us southerners do but I guess that's the same with American everyday English where southerns say "yall" the north says "you guys," or "creek" as compared to the northern "crick," well northern English say "Gaujo" us southerns will say "Gorger" and down south we say " awvley" as compared to "ahver" (meaning "yes") like for instance... if you wanted to say, "go out there to the truck and get me my pocket book and bring it to me so I can get some money out of it." (By the way, we don't keep money in our pocketbooks) but as an example.... we would translate that into ... "jawl out adooi to the vorter and lel mandy my putstie so I can lel some vonger out of it." As you can see compared to the Patrin word list it's somewhat the same yet quite different. This word list is definitely English so if you find any matches, it's a possibility you may have some English heritage. Now keep in mind that the words in a nursery rhyme if it is older are probably how they spoke it way back but if you have any similarities, you can count on it being English rhyme. I know a little Irish "cant" too and it is totally different. But "Herren" is an English name or at least it is now.

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