Reasons for Immigration
Gypsies have been in America from at least the mid 1600s ,1650 being the last known execution for being Gypsies, in Suffolk. Others are transported to America. when entire families of English Gypsies Romanichals were, for the crime of being Gypsy, enslaved or "indentured for life" alongside Africans on the Virginia plantations. German Gypsies arrived under similar duress. But Gypsies had been given additional reason to emigrate. Since 1577 anti-Gypsy legislation had forbidden them to do business or settle. By 1710 flogging, branding, separation from kin and exile became the standard punishment for Gypsy men and women with no criminal charges against them,the same fate was also handed out to " Beggars, Dissolute Women, Sorners, and Vagabonds in fact any one whom the Country felt was undesirable !! With the introduction of the Enclosure Acts:-
(Enclosure and Open Fields)
Before enclosure, much of the arable land in the central region of England was organised into an open field system. Enclosure was not simply the fencing of existing holdings, but led to fundamental changes in agricultural practice. Scattered holdings of strips in the common field were consolidated to create individual farms that could be managed independently of other holdings. Prior to enclosure, rights to use the land were shared between land owners and villagers (commoners). For example, commoners would have the right (common right) to graze their livestock when crops or hay were not being grown, and on common pasture land)
This had a big impact on where the folks could pitch their camp and thus it became increasingly hard to "atch their tan" Many fed up with constantly being "moved on" by the Police and losing many of their regular stopping places sought the freedom and wild open spaces of America with all that it promised them it must have been a real adventure setting forth in a brand new Country and also of course being seen by their Countrymen as somewhat as celebrities as they played upon the old "Gypsy Kings & Queen" from the old Country!!. However this is just a brief background to the very early Emigrants , for me what started me looking at American Romanichals was the connections that led back to many of the well known English families:- Ayres/Boswell/Broadway/Buckland/Cooper/Palmer/Scamp/Stanley/Smalls/Hicks/Lee/Lovall/Harrison to name but a few! and what was more interesting was the fact that many went of their own free will in the mid 1800s ,dates being 1820s and and a large group in the 1850s .
Because of so many articles and stories wrote about them I felt a new site dedicated to them was needed and also to make my main site less confusing to folk! myself included! Of course one must not forget that many forcibly or by their own free will made a home in Australia and new Zealand as well as many other Countries , but I will try and cover them on my other site unless of course I get a hugh amount for those Countries and maybe a fourth site will be needed !!!I hope our folki across the Seas will join in celebrated and recorded the Romany History past and present Kusti Bokt.
Method of Immigration - Ports of entry
Prior to 1820, there were no requirements to maintain passenger lists. Most of the sailing ships were primarily cargo ships and the passengers may be listed on the ship's cargo manifest. These lists vary broadly in the amount and type of information they contain. The lists may possibly contain information for the passenger:
Therefor the information on these pages will mainly be from 1820 onwards ,apart from some historical articles that predate these dates.
From 1892 to 1954 over 12 million immagrants passed through the portal of Ellis Island a small island in New York harbour and entered the United Sates of America.
Prior to January 1, 1820, the U.S. Federal Government did not require captains or masters of vessels to present a passenger list to U.S. officials upon arrival in America. Therefore, for pre-1820 passenger lists, researchers must rely on surviving ship cargo manifests which have been scattered among archives, museums, and other historical agencies. The good news is that most of these surviving passenger manifests have been published, and several indexes have been compiled to these pre-1820 published passenger lists. Picture below Ellis Island
The Five Major Ports of Arrival :-
The five major U.S. arrival ports in the 19th and 20th Centuries were: New York, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New Orleans. New York was by far the most commonly used port, followed by the others. You can use these links to find information about the available indexes for these ports...
New York Passenger Lists
Boston Passenger Lists
Baltimore Passenger Lists
Philadelphia Passenger Lists
New Orleans Passenger Lists
Don't Overlook The Smaller Ports Some immigrants also arrived at a number of smaller ports. You can find a list of nearly every U.S. arrival port at... US Ports of Arrival & Their Available Immigration Records 1820-1957. It would seem by the records found ,that the Stanley & Buckland family who were related by marriage many times over were travelling back and forth from America from mid 1850s onwards, some members returned to England and remained here while their grown up children remained and married often with in their own kin, and settled and reared their family Stateside.
Between the Buckland Cooper,Wharton,Bryer,Harrison,Lee,Lovall,Broadway and Hicks families,their seems to have been many accounts written in the American papers of the English Gypsy "Kings and Queens" and by their accounts as said far better than me by Felix Cooper in an article 30/12/1888 in the The Sunday Herald:- sent in by Sandy Buckland.
“ Its amazingly amusin to ear talk about gypsy queens drawled Felix Cooper when approached on that subject “ that's only chin to hoax the gillies with, we sets no person over us Its but abit of chaff, the gillies they always want to know something about us wot we don't know oursleves, they askin and pryin and it serves them right to give em the hoax.”Tilly Cooper his sister tall angular with her shining jetty hair in curls an excellent and honest spinster of 55 took up the subject of Gypsy Queens.
“ It is true, she declared , that never de we ave King, Queen nur ruler. Ow wat may ave been in long time ago gone I know not.Seems like I recollect my great-gran-dad when I was but a wee a lass and was bidden my time in in the South of England tellen me of a far off day when the Romany had a King and houses and said lands all like the white folks , Then he took to tellin tales about old romany times and Gypsy Kings & Queens I know nothin about it, but I does know we ain't got no such now.but poor old man was nigh daft before he died".