Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Genealogy and the Romani

By AdiJapan - Own work, Public Domain, Flag of the Romani people
Possibly, one of the most persecuted minorities in the world are the Romani, also called gypsies or Roma. Rom is the Romani word for "man of the Roma ethnic group." The plural of the noun "Rom" is "Roma." The word "Romani" is the feminine adjective and the masculine form is "Romano." Here is a short description of the Romani from Wikipedia: Romani people.
The Romani (also spelled Romany /ˈroʊməni/, /ˈrɒ-/), colloquially known as Gypsies or Roma, are a traditionally itinerant ethnic group living mostly in Europe and the Americas and originating from the northern Indian subcontinent, from the Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab and Sindh regions of modern-day India and Pakistan. 
Genetic findings appear to confirm the Romani "came from a single group that left northwestern India about 1,500 years ago." Genetic research published in the European Journal of Human Genetics "revealed that over 70% of males belong to a single lineage that appears unique to the Roma." The Romani are widely known among English-speaking people by the exonym Gypsies (or Gipsies), which some people consider pejorative due to its connotations of illegality and irregularity. They are a dispersed people, but their most concentrated populations are located in Europe, especially Central, Eastern and Southern Europe (including Turkey, Spain and Southern France). The Romani originated in northern India and arrived in Mid-West Asia and Europe around 1,000 years ago. They have been associated with another Indo-Aryan group, the Dom people: the two groups have been said to have separated from each other or, at least, to share a similar history. Specifically, the ancestors of both the Romani and the Dom left North India sometime between the 6th and 11th century.
Genealogy is of universal interest and it should not be surprising the Romani genealogy has some very active and even academic methodologies. Here is a list of websites dedicated to Romani genealogy. In some cases, you may need to be aware of the emphasis on copyright protection exhibited by some of the writers.

Here are a very few books and articles on the subject:

Hayward, James. Gypsy jib: a Romany dictionary. Wenhaston: Holm Oak, 2003.
Michael L. Chohaney. “Hidden in Plain Sight: Mixed Methods and the Marble Orchards of the Vlach Rom (Gypsies) in Toledo, Ohio.” Journal of Cultural Geography 31, no. 1 (2014): 57–80.
“New Methodological Approaches in the Anthropological Demography of Romani Groups: An Example from the Study of the Evolution of the Infant and Child Mortality of the Gitanos or Calé of Spain (1871-2007).” Sociologia: Revista Da Faculdade de Letras Da Universidade Do Porto tematico (2014): 175–204.
“Romanies,” 2014, 213.

I have researched at least two of my lines back to individuals that have indications that they might be or have been Romani. So I do have a personal interest in the subject.


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