Thursday, 30 October 2014

Back on the trail of Charlie Ross

We do not have much new information but every step forward is worthwhile. I have had a researcher doing some more work for me and she has established that he is listed as a fishmonger in Gladstone, from 1885 onwards.

Sands & amp; MacDonald directors have him recorded but not in the 1884 edition. But as directories were usually produced in the year following collection of data, he may well have been there in 1884.

His 1907 obituary said he had been in Gladstone for 'more than 20 years' which fits with 1884 or even 1883, although if the latter, it is more likely the obit. would have said nearly 25 years instead of more than 20 years. It being the way of journalism and an arrival of 1882 leaving him one year short.

So, if Charlie arrived in 1883 and lived in Port Pirie, long enough to be 'remembered' and it being considered important to reprint his obituary from the Areas Express in the Port Pirie Recorder, it's a good guess that he spent a few years in the town. I would say a minimum of five years and a maximum of ten years.

This would have Charlie arriving in Australia either in 1878 or between 1873 and 1878. In 1873 he was 24 years old and could still have spent ten years  or more at sea, having joined as young as twelve. And if he was on a British ship for that time, Ithaca being a British Protectorate from 1815, he may well have Anglicised his name many years earlier, as other sailors have been known to have done.

A date of 1883 for arriving in Gladstone,  means Charlie may well have known Mary Ross for some years before their marriage in 1888. He may even have moved to the town because of her although why they would wait so long to marry is a question.  A Glastone business directory first records Mrs E. Atkins in 1878, the year Mary gives birth to her illegitimate son, Edward Welch Atkins.

The family story of Charlie Ross jumping ship in Port Germein, which was first 'discovered' as a port in 1840 but the jetty was not built until 1881, may well be true, although Charlie could have arrived earlier because  ships would anchor in the gulf, before the jetty was built, with barges and boats to ferry people ashore. 

The researcher wrote:

I also found a Charles Ross listed three times in the index to (Ships) Discharge Register, able seaman each time, discharged 11.1.1882 from Anna Bell, 8.12. 1883 from Lass of Gawler, and 6.5.1884 from Empress of China. These appear to be small ships that worked round SA and beyond. Details of Empress of China (plus photo) and Lass of Gawler can be found in State Library of SA catalogue online.
I couldn’t be sure that this is your Charlie Ross or not, but it is a likely scenario, and the dates sort of fit, if he was based in Pt Pirie prior to going to Gladstone.

The dates of 1882 and 1883 don't quite fit with Charlie being in Gladstone, at least by 1886, to fit the 'more than 20 years, and spending enough time in Port Pirie to be remembered so well a quarter of a century on. But it is possible that he was the Charles Ross listed for Discharge in 1882, with four years in Pirie, a small town at the time, and perhaps enough of a character with a heavy Greek accent to be remembered. Or maybe he was also just such a nice bloke that everyone liked him. His son, my grandfather, Charles Vangelios Ross, was like that.

I am going to post again the information written previously because it is so long since it was published and it is easier than wading back through older posts.

Many old Pirieans well remember the subject of this paragraph, which is taken from the Areas' Express :

" It is 'with sincere regret " we have to record the death of Mr Charles Ross, of this town after protracted illness from asthma, &c.

Deceased was born 58 years ago, and, when a young man left his native land— Greece—and after a roving career during which he had his fair share of adventures, came to South Australia and settled at Port Pirie. Eventually he came to Gladstone, where, - for more than twenty years he has carried on his vocation as a purveyor of fish, &s. Although - taking" no part in public affairs, he,- by his unostentatious but genial manner, won a large circle of friends, who sadly deplore his death which took place on Sunday.

The remains were - interred in the Gladstone Cemetery on Monday, the Rev J. Raymont officiating. . The greatest sympathy- Is felt for the widow—-a.daughter of Mrs Atkins —and her, five children." ~

18th September 1907, Port Pirie Recorder from the Areas Express.

I have been drawn back to this having found it again on Trove while researching Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod.

While it is good to read that great-grandfather Charlie Ross was well respected and even better, well liked, in Gladstone it also makes me think that somewhere there is an earlier story about him which throws more light onto his 'roving career' and his 'fair share of adventures. I just have to find it when I have a chance to get to Gladstone and go through the copies of the old Areas Express which was the local newspaper at the time.

The age of fifty-eight fits with a birth year of 1849 and given that the story says he left his native land as a young man, as opposed to boy, it indicates that he did not join the merchant navy as a twelve or thirteen year old (or younger) as was common, but in his late teens or even early twenties. And that makes me wonder if he was married when he left Greece.

Taking twenty as a 'round' age for a young man, it means he left in 1869 and given that he spent more than twenty years in Gladstone, he had to arrive in that town by 1886 and he had to have spent long enough in Port Pirie to be remembered by 'older Pireans.' A minimum of five years, although more is likely, would have had him arrive in South Australia in 1881 and possibly a few years earlier. That would have given him ten years for a 'roving career' which is probably more than enough.

So what was happening on Ithaca  and in Greece, during the 1860's which might have prompted a young man to embark on a 'roving career' as a sailor?  Ithaca had come under English rule some sixty years earlier so young Charlie, or perhaps Carolus, would have had a reasonable education.

The "United States of the Ionian Islands" was formed, governed by a Constitution imposed in 1817 where Ithaca was represented by one member (in the Ionian Senate). During the years of the Greek Revolution against the Turks, Ithaca offered hospitality and medical care to the revolutionaries and Ithacans took part in the War of Independence of 1821, participating in the Hellenic Revolutionary fleet. "

Productivity, trade, private and communal education developed and increased the living standard on Ithaca. The British, as they did in other colonies or protectorates, brought a great deal of good along with the 'bad' aspect of having power imposed by a foreign nation. However, in this instance, the Ithacans may not have thought much about the 'bad' since they had been held by foreign powers for centuries. And overlords and colonial masters who were less enlightened than the British.

Photo: Gladstone Cemetery where Charlie Ross was buried in 1907.

The British may have been patronising, superior and at times oppressive but they also built roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and established trade links as well as developing agriculture and industry. Ithaca became a better place under British rule and young Charlie would never have known anything different. By the time he was born the British had been in charge for thirty-four years and his parents would also have known nothing other than the British as colonial masters. Having taken them from the French, perhaps Charlie's grandfather had welcomed British rule.

In 1864 Britain relinquished control and Ithaca, along with the other Ionian Islands, became a part of the new Greek State. Perhaps it was at this point that Charlie Ross decided his future lay elsewhere. He may also have joined the British Merchant Navy and anglicised his name at that point. Although the family story was that he came out on his 'uncle's ship' which could have meant, if there is a connection with the Rossolimos family of Ithaca, this being the most likely Greek surname for him, that his uncle owned ships and found him a job. Then again, his uncle could also have been in the British Merchant Navy and helped his nephew to find a job.

Charlie Ross had grown up as an Ithacan during a time of British rule but the Ionian islands, of which Ithaca is a part, had always had a hybrid nature and while culturally there was much in common with Greece, historically, culturally and linguisticall there was also much more at work than Greek culture and many inhabitants of the Ionian Islands were not Greek. Nearly half a century of British management, and exposure to Anglo and European lovers of Greek culture in general and Homeric culture in particular, would have influenced the Ithacan people just as they had been influenced by other dominant cultures in the past.

For more than four hundred years the islands had been a Venetian colony and later was dominated by the French, the Russians and the Turks, all of whom introduced aspects of their own laws, forms of government, language and culture. During the centuries of Venetian and French rule, Ithacans in the higher stratas of society had inter-married and some had even converted to Catholicism.

It was the peasants who held to the Greek Orthdox Church and the Greek language and I have no reason to believe that Charlie Ross was descended from a peasant family, despite the potential connection with the rather more illustrious Rossolimos family. I could of course be wrong, knowing nothing much about Charlie Ross beyond the fact that he was Greek, that when he died he was well-liked and well-respected, and given the spelling of some of his children's names in the birth register - Clesanthows for Chrysantheous - he had an atrocious accent, also verified by family stories, and perhaps his reading and writing of English was not as good as it might have been, given his clear failure to correct the clerk in Clare, who took down the details of his son's birth. One would assume, if he had good written English, that he knew how to spell Chryantheous!

But Charlie Ross, like the land of his birth, was something of a mystery and a contradiction. He too had been formed through a variety of influences; that of the culture of the land of his birth; the culture of a sailor who spends years 'roving;' and the culture of the land where he chose to settle, and no doubt, the culture of the woman he married.

The Ionian Islands were indeed hybrid: a mixture of numerous influences and contradictions, and  Ithacans, like other Ionians were in many ways a 'mongrel' race where East met West and where the mix of mind and culture was broad and sometimes deep.

While admiring Greek culture and Ithaca's Homeric traditions, the British saw the Ionians as very different to themselves. The 'superstition, ignorance, duplicity, violence, excitability and subservience to demagogues were the opposite of industrious and upright Anglo-Saxons who possessed self-control, reason, honesty, love for order and freedom, manliness, domesticity, and respect for the law and sobriety.' (

Through British eyes the Ithacans would have been half-civilized and unstable; childlike even, and therefore not capable of looking after themselves. Young Charlie could not have held too many grudges given that he finally made his home in a very Anglo atmosphere, another British colony, Australia.

But there were others who saw the Ionians differently and perceived a nobility of character. Whether this was sourced in romantic notions drawn from Homeric history, as was alleged by some, it would still have softened the general view. Some saw them as respectable, possessed of moral virtue, skill and sincerity - not to mention independence of mind, a quality which young Charlie must have had.

Photo: (Left) Flora Ross Swincer who was said to be the spitting image of Charlie Ross with her mother, Hilda Rose Jones Ross and her sister, Jessie Ross Sands. Jessie clearly takes after her mother's side of the family.

How much he brought from the land of his birth to Australia it is not yet possible to say and may never be known. While he had an anglicised name, from what we can find, from the very beginning, he gave all of his children Greek names. One wonders why, having given up his Greek name, he continued a tradition to give his children names which would always set them apart from Anglo society to varying degrees, some names being more unusual than others and unusual first names, being more of a burden than unusual second names such as my grandfather was given in Vangelios.

His wife after all was Australian of English descent and a devout Anglican from what can be seen and yet either he had the 'power in the house' or she, for some reason agreed because it was important to him, and their five children all carried Greek names in a very Anglo culture. It was not as if Charlie was part of a Greek community in Gladstone as he could or might have been in Port Pirie. He was probably the only Greek in town! It is not so much unusual that he anglicised his name but it is unusual that he did so and then called his children by Greek names.

There are a variety of reasons why he might have changed his name to an English 'version' and it is an assumption that it was simply Anglicised instead of changed completely: 1. he joined the British Merchant Navy and it was easier with an English name or they Anglicised it for their records; 2. he was 'running away from something' and an English name was harder to trace, 3. he changed his name or Anglicised his name when he 'jumped ship' in South Australia because it made him harder to find.

Photo: (Left) the youngest son of Charlie Ross, Spiros Andrew with his wife and daughter. Spiros looks less like the Atkins side of the family and more like my grandfather so clearly he takes after his father.

My gut instinct is that (1) is the correct answer because it would mean he had gotten used to being called Charlie Ross and it was too hard to change it but as part of Greek tradition and in honour of the land of his birth, his long-lost or perhaps now dead parents, he gave Greek names to his children.

Theory (2) might be possible because we have no way of knowing if his children were given family names which might be traceable. I suspect they were but until we trace his Greek family we do not know.

Theory (3) seems unlikely because a Greek deserter who has jumped ship and changed his name so he cannot be found is unlikely to draw attention to himself by giving his children Greek names.

As it stands, it is the names of the children which may yet open the way finding the Greek family of Charlie Ross, particularly if he has followed traditional naming practices, although it is pretty clear, if the information on his marriage certificate is correct, that he was no purist. 

Traditionally, Greeks named their first son after his paternal grandfather, and  if this is correct and if Charlie was the first-born, which we donot know, and his name is an Anglicisation, then his paternal grandfather was Carolus.

But with Christie given as the father's name on the marriage certificate for Charlie Ross and Mary Atkins, it is clear Charlie was his own man - or perhaps he did not want to draw attention to his family in case there were other Greeks around, for the first-born was John (Iaonnis) Constantinus.

But if there is any relevance to his naming practices then the first daughter, Georgina Anastasia is named after her paternal grandmother, so Christie was married to an Anastasia or a Georgina but the former is more likely because Georgina could easily be English; the second son, my grandfather, was named after his maternal grandfather, Charles Vangelios, which could either have been Carolus or Vangelios and then we have a third son, Chrysantheous Christus, who shares a name with his paternal grandfather and finally, Spiros Andrew who, as the fifth child, gets one Greek and one English name.

So questions are raised because Charlie has chosen to use English names and yet has given all of his children at least one Greek name, and he has apparently not followed Greek naming tradition.

One presumes that the giving of Greek names is in a bid to honour the land of his birth and his family. So why not follow naming tradition? He has Christie as his father's name on his marriage certificate, presumably from Christus or possibly Chrysantheous, but he gives these names to his third son and calls his first John with the Greek Constantinus as a middle name.

Photo: Charlie's daughter, Georgina Anastasia Ross Hillard circa: 1960. Auntie Teenie looks like the Atkins side and a lot like her grandfather, Edward Atkins to my mind.

The only reason for not following tradition is to make it more difficult, perhaps impossible, for him and his family in Australia to be linked to family in Greece, something any Greek could do, knowing naming traditions and something which would provide identity for an Ithacan, between Charlie and his Greek family, should an Ithacan end up in Gladstone. Given that Charlie had spent a few years in Port Pirie he would know there was a large Greek community in that town and amongst them, a few Ithacans.

The rest of the children's names may well follow naming tradition but probably they do not. Although he has, by the fourth child, the courage to use his father's name ... that is if the name Christie on the marriage certificate is correct.

There seems only one reason why Charlie would not want clear links with his Greek family and that would be if he had another wife or even children there. Given Greek culture it is hard to believe he would not want his parents to know where he was, but he might not want a wife to know he was a bigamist.

Having said that, the fact that Charlie spent a few years, probably at least five, in Port Pirie and it makes one wonder why, if there were a first wife, he did not send for her. Perhaps he was just forgetful and there is nothing manipulative about his naming practices. Time will hopefully tell. Although he would have been the only Greek in town since Greeks did not begin arriving until the 1890's.

Photo: John Constantinus, the eldest son of Charlie Ross. John or Jack Ross is not clear here but the shape of the face is more Atkins than Ross.While I have yet to truly 'find' Charlie Ross I do know more about him than I did when I began and I certainly know a great deal more about the Mashford and Atkins sides of the family which is a huge bonus.

But the absolute facts about Charlie Ross are still few:

1. He was born in Greece in 1849. He went to sea as a young man, circa: 1869, sometime between the ages of 17 and 23. The earliest date would be 1866.
2. He became a sailor and spent some years at sea 'roving' and having adventures - minimum of five, maximum of ten.
3. He settled in Port Pirie after arriving in Australia. The earliest date would be 1871 and the latest, circa: 1877, for enough years to be 'remembered.' 
4. He moved to Gladstone circa. 1886 and worked there as a fishmonger as he had in Pirie.
5. He married Mary Atkins in 1888. He gave his father's name as Christie on the marriage certificate.
6. He had five children to whom he gave at least one Greek name.
7. He anglicised his Greek name or adopted an English name after arriving in Australia or the Port Pirie report would have included another name for 'old Pirieans to recognise.
8. The Greek names he chose for his children, Constantinus, Anastasia, Vangelios, Chrysantheous, Christus and Spiro are likely to have family connections.
9. He died in 1907 and was buried in an Anglican cemetery.
10. His grand-daughter Flora RossSwincer was said to be the spitting image of him.
11. He had a very strong accent given the poor phonetic spelling of some of his children's names on birth records.
12. He was obviously an amiable and personable character, as stated in his obituary, given the fact that the death notice was reprinted in the Port Pirie newspaper more than twenty years after he had left the town, for the benefit of those who had known and remembered him fondly.
13. There is no record of him ever taking up citizenship. (Perhaps evidence that he did jump ship.)

Photo: Charles Vangelios Ross, Charlie's second son, in his First World War uniform. Charles looks to be a mix of both parents with the 'shape' from the Atkins side and other features from his father, if his daughter Flora was truly the 'spitting image' of her Greek grandfather and we have no reason to believe she was not.

Other possible facts drawn from family history are:

1. He was born on Ithaca, one of the Ionian Islands.
2. He 'jumped ship' at Port Germein and so entered Australia illegally.
3. He came out on his 'uncle's ship.'
4. He spoke a number of languages.

Photo: Charles Vangelios Ross in his fifties looking more like the Greek side of the family but with the Atkins shape face from his grandfather, Edward. Elizabeth Mashford also had a 'long' face.

So the questions which still need to be answered are:

1. What was his Greek Christian name and surname?
2. Was he born on Ithaca? If so where?
3. Is his English name an anglicisation of his Greek name or something he adopted?
4. On what date and just how did he arrive in Australia.

Port Germein was established in 1878 and the jetty built in 1881 while Port Pirie was founded as a settlement in 1845 and the town was surveyed in 1871. In 1876 it had 971 people.

The Greek presence in South Australia was said to begin in 1842 when Georgios Tramountanas arrived at Port Adelaide with his brother Theodore who went on to Western Australia. George born in Athens in 1822 settled on the Eyre Peninsula. But it would be another seventy years before there was a documented Greek presence in Port Pirie. Naturalisation papers for South Australia have a Peter Warrick, who anglicised his name, working as a carpenter in Port Pirie in 1892. He had arrived in the colony in 1875 but there is no record of where he was living between then and 1892. It may have been Port Pirie in which case Charlie would have had a companion and perhaps one, who, having anglicised his own name, encouraged him to do the same.

So the earliest Charlie Ross, given his age, could have arrived in Port Pirie would be 1871 although if the 'jumping ship at Port Germein' story is correct it would have been 1878. This would have given him eight years in Port Pirie before he moved to Gladstone, long enough to be 'remembered' by a few 'old ones' at his death in 1907.

Personally I would be happy to have the Greek names which would open so many more doors in the land of his birth. I am still hoping for that one lost photograph to appear with the name on the back. Either that or a distant Greek relative looking to find out what happened to a great-uncle who sailed away never to be seen again.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The news is that there is no new news on our Mashford family, but, we will get there....

Photo: Elizabeth Mashford (Lewis) Atkins, mother-in-law of Charles Ross.

Photos (three): John Mashford Lewis, the second-born son of Elizabeth Mashford Lewis Atkins, who died at Gladstone, South Australia and who is buried in Gladstone Cemetery.

In that hope turned to hiccup way of research, my  re-awakened Mashford contact had no information which was of use because the branch of the family is in Lincolnshire and details relate only to Mashford family members in the 20th century.

I suspect there is a good chance that the Devon Mashfords originated in Lincolnshire given the supposed connections with the French, but we have traced a John Mashford back to the early 18th century in Devon and so any useful information out of Lincolnshire would have to be earlier than this.

And so the steady plodding which is the nature of ancestry research goes on. I still have not managed to get to Gladstone to look through old copies of The Areas Express where I hope there might be an article on Charlie Ross, the local fishmonger, but it will be done eventually.

The fact that his obituary was copied over to the Port Pirie Recorder because he lived there for 'some years' - one presumes three or four at least - before moving to Gladstone sometime before 1888 when he married Mary Atkins, indicates that he was a likeable and well-known character.

The Areas Express apparently began writing about local personalities from 1900 and so I am hopeful that in the eight years before Charlie Ross died, that he had his 'moment of fame' in the local newspaper.

I say this also because unexplained references were made in his obituary suggesting that people would know more of his history, which, after many decades as a journalist, I know is an indication that the newspaper had carried a previous story. It is of course sloppy journalism because one should never assume and facts should always be repeated and not hinted at on the basis of presumed prior knowledge.

But, getting to Gladstone which is a couple of hours north of Adelaide when I am in town, which often I am not as we are based in Africa, is a little more problematic than it might be for the moment. But it will happen.

If I have learned anything about ancestry research it is that all happens in its own good time and there is and never can be any desperate urgency. I would however appreciate a bit of help from Charlie Ross if he can make a connection from the next world to this one and tweak the cosmos to cough up some more useful information.

Until then, and to all those following this 'search for Charlie Ross,' we have come a long way and we will get there but it takes time. The work goes on!

Monday, 2 June 2014

Research does continue but at snail's pace....

This is just a brief note for anyone who follows the blog. There has not been much time for research in recent months and therefore nothing to report.

However, work does continue and I am hoping to have more information before too long. At which point it will find its way here.

NB: And in that way of synchronicity, shortly after posting this yesterday I began more research and within a nanosecond of doing so an email landed in my inbox from a Mashford connection in the UK, replying to my email of 14 months ago. There is it seems new research on the way although how relevant it may or may not be has yet to be seen.

But it did make me smile at how life is working away at things even when we are not!

Monday, 10 February 2014

Considering again the Celtic Traveller or Gypsy connections for Edward Atkins

The possibility of a connection between Edward Atkins and gypsies came up some time ago but has re-surfaced and warrants further research.

I found in gypsy records the names Atkins and Haynes (Haines) which is a link to our family. At the time we did not have the information we now do, with a marriage between Joseph Atkins and Ann  Haines/Haynes, the parents of the convict Henry Edwin Atkins and probably the parents of our Edward Atkins with the two being one and the same man.

We now have more names associated with Joseph and Ann and more names associated with Edward and his two wives, Hannah McLeod and Elizabeth Mashford Lewis and many of those names are included in the list of Celtic Travellers, Gypsies, of Irish origin.

My first thought had been that gypsy meant Romany but of course it does not - the gypsies of Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales were as often as not Celtic and known as 'tinkers' or travelling traders.

These are the connections to date where family names are listed on the Celtic Traveller register, starting with Henry Edwin Atkins. There are quite a few names which run through the three 'families' - Henry Edwin Atkins, Edwin Atkins, convict, (who did have HE tattooed on his arm and so is very likely to be the son of Joseph and Ann Haines Atkins) and our ancestor Edward Atkins.

Given the strength of connections between families and even more for those who emigrated to strange and distant lands, it is no stretch to say that these many name connections mean something. One could also argue, at a more esoteric level, that 'like attracts like' and even if there were not conscious connections there were unconscious connections.

While it might seem that there are a great many names on the Celtic Travellers Register, once studied, it is clear how many there are not. To find so many connections for Atkins is, to my mind, meaningful. Not that it means anything in concrete terms and is more curiosity than anything, but, at the same time, it is another linkage between our ancestor and the two men who are very likely to one and the same man.

Photo: Celtic travellers in the 19th century.Name connections for Henry Edwin Atkins, son of Joseph Atkins and Ann Haines.

ATKINS 1728 (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

Edward Atkins, our ancestor, Joseph Atkins and his son Henry Edwin Atkins, Edwin Atkins, convict transported to Australia.

BOLTON/BOULTON(EN) 1873(Gypsies Passing Through)
Thomas Atkins and a Grace Boulton, possible parents for Joseph Atkins, were married on 3 June 1778 in Cirencester. Potential grandparents for Edward, Henry Edwin and Edwin Atkins.

HAINES (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

Ann Haines/Haynes married Joseph Atkins and is the mother of Henry Edwin Atkins, born January 22, 1812 Cirencester. She is the potential mother of Edwin Atkins, convict and Edward Atkins, ancestor, both born 1812 Gloucestershire.

HAYNES (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

Variation of the spelling of Haines.

HOLDER 1744 (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society) (Con)

A David Atkins married a Hannah Holder in Cheltenham, during the September quarter of 1842. David Atkins, born March 31, 1822, Cirencester, son of Joseph Atkins and Ann Haines and brother of Henry Edwin Atkins.

LEWIS 1775 (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

Middle name, and therefore likely family name, for third son of Joseph Atkins and Ann Haines, Joseph Lewis Atkins, born January 18, 1814 and brother to Henry Edwin Atkins.

WEBB/WEBSTER 1590-present (Aust, England)

Middle name, and therefore likely family name, of fourth son born to Joseph Atkins and Ann Haines, James Webb Atkins, born Cirencester, August 14, 1816 and brother to Henry Edwin Atkins.

PRESTON (Bedfordshire) (Gypsies Passing Through) (Lodger with Joseph and Ann Atkins)

Surname of a possible lodger living with Joseph and Ann Haines Atkins, 1841 census. Joseph Preston, 30, painter, born 1811.  Joseph is 50, Ann, 50, and their children at home are David, 15, Marian (Mary Ann), 14 and Eliza, 10. NB: Preston may be a neighbour and not a lodger but people often lived close to or alongside those they knew so a tenuous link remains even if he is not a lodger.

PAYNE (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

From the Gloucestershire researcher: In Slater’s Directory of 1850, under Cirencester,  the researcher found one entry that may be of interest – Payne & Atkins, of Castle Street, who were listed as milliners and straw bonnet makers.  This may be a female enterprise, perhaps one of the sisters listed above in partnership with another person?

Name connections for Edwin Atkins, convict.

WALKER (Ref Journal of the Celtic Traveller History Society)

William and Amy Walker were charged with Edwin Atkins for sheep stealing. William was acquitted and Amy and Edwin sentenced to transportation after a death sentence was commuted. One presumes they were friends.

Photo: Gloucestershire in the early 19th century.

There is no Mashford, Cann or Labbett but there is:

MAY 1746 (Gypsies Passing Through),

Elizabeth's brother was George May Mashford although remembering the Mashfords are from Devon.

MCLEOD ( Scotland Census 1871) (Scource Mary McKay Genealogy)

Edward Atkins' first wife was Hannah McLeod.

McLEOD 1891 (London) (See Robert Dawson ARITF)
NEWBERRY/NEWBURY/NEWBY (Gypsies Passing Through)

Surname for a daughter of Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod.

MCKINNON (born Scotland) ( Scotland Census 1841-1851)

Surname for a daughter of Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod.

STACEY (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

Surname for a daughter of Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod.

PARKER 1592 (Ref Journal of the Romany and Traveller Family History Society)

Surname of a witness at the marriage of Edward Atkins and Hannah McLeod.
CUNDELL / CUNDY 1788-1851(int) (Yorkshire) (See Robert Dawson ARITF)

Surname of a witness at marriage of Edward Atkins and Elizabeth Mashford Lewis.

This is what the site says about itself:
The (brand new) Celtic Travellers DNA project is primarily for individuals looking for help in identifying the origins of their own direct paternal or maternal line of descent
The project is primarily for the members and descendants of Irish Travellers, Highland Scottish Travellers, Lowland Scottish Travellers, Fairground Travellers and other Non-Romani travelling families. However if you are Roma or mixed Traveller race you are welcome to join.

You may suspect that you have Celtic Traveller ancestry in your family and not yet have a suitable surname project to join due to many reasons which could include distant surname changes, forced adoptions and forced resettlement.

NB: I think this is relevant in terms of consideration given the many names which connect to the Atkins family.

Scottish and Irish nomads (Celtic Travellers) are more commonly and disrespectfully referred to as Tinkers, Pikeys and Gypos. We are probably distantly related the sedentary Celtic folk, but have split from the general population way back in time with our own proud cultures, languages and unique genetic history still waiting to be told.

Here is some of the earlier material I posted in regard to gypsy connections for the Atkins family.

While doing a search on the Atkins's of Gloucestershire I came across a William Atkins listed as a Hawker on the Romany/Gypsy website. He was aged 25 and listed in the 1841 Census as born in Gloucestershire, no address, Lamb Street, Clifton.

He was born 1816, within nine years of the birth of Edward Atkins depending on which age for him is correct, given differences between the age he put when he married Elizabeth and the age of 84 as recorded on his death notice in 1891.

Interestingly, very interestingly in fact I have found the name Ann Haynes on the same Romany site where I spotted William Atkins. She is listed in the 1881 census of Hawkers born in Gloucestershire: Ann Haynes, Bc 1801 St George, Gloucestershire, England Inmate Stapleton, Gloucestershire.  This Ann Haynes is not likely to be the one marrying Joseph Atkins because she is too young, but there is every chance she is a relation.

The Haynes' are listed as gypsy basketmakers and the Stapleton Workhouse, which I believe is close to both Clifton and Cirencester, is likely to be where Ann was an inmate.

In an extract from The National Gazetteer, 1868:
"STAPLETON, a parish in the hundred of Barton Regis, county Gloucester, 2 miles N.E. of Bristol, of which it may be considered a suburb. The Midland and the Bristol and South Wales Union railways have stations here. This parish is situated at the north-western angle of the South Gloucester and Somerset coalfield, and is bounded on the N. by a range of hills 200 feet high, to which elevation the strata of the coal measures has been lifted up by a mass of millstone grit. It is traversed by the river Frome flowing through a glen, and contains the villages of Stapleton and Fishponds. The hat manufacture formerly carried on has declined, but there is a flock manufactory, coal mines, and stone quarries. The palace of the Bishop of Gloucester and Bristol, the diocesan training institution for National schoolmistresses, and the Clifton union workhouse, &c., are in this parish.

In a 1797 report on the poor in England, Stapleton was thus described:

STAPLETON lies about two miles north-east of Bristol, and has 1,377 inhabitants. There are 254 houses; 84 pay tax, 170 exempt so that it appears there is very little more than 5 and two-fifth persons to a house. Day labourers earn from 8s. to 10s. 6d. a week. Provisions are purchased in Bristol market. Farms are small and chiefly pasture. The common was enclosed in 1783, when half an acre was allotted to each cottage. There is now no wasteland, and labourers find great difficulty in getting habitations, and when anxious to set up house have to migrate to other parishes. Land lets at from £2 to £3 an acre. Some of the Poor are maintained at home, some in the Workhouse. Bill of fare in the Workhouse—Breakfast—Sunday—6 oz. of bread, 1oz. butter, and beer; other days—Broth. Dinner—Sunday—Boiled beef, potatoes, bread and small beer; Monday, Wednesday, Saturday—6oz. of bread, ½oz. of cheese, and beer; Tuesday, Thursday—Boiled beef, potatoes or carrots, and beer ; Friday—Milk broth or rice. Supper, every day—Bread and cheese and small beer. The children's allowance of bread at dinner is 4oz. On Christmas Day and Whit Sunday the dinner is baked veal and plum pudding. There are in the house 3 men, 5 women, 5 children. In 1795, 5 men, 7 women, 8 children. The children are employed in spinning flax and hemp, but their earnings are very inconsiderable. 

In the 1841 census of Gloucestershire Hawkers there is:

Charles Haynes aged 50 born circa 1791 Licensed Hawker born in county No address Northleach Northleach & Stow On The Wold
So along with a William Atkins, gypsy hawker of no address, we have a Charles Haynes, gypsy hawker, of no address.

In the 1881 census of Bristol City Workhouse, Stapleton inmates are listed:
Elizabeth ATKINS
Domestic Servant


Harriet HAYNES
Domestic Servant

In the late 19th century imbecile was a term used to describe the uneducated, feeble-minded and mentally ill. If Harriet had worked as a domestic servant then she could not have been too much of an imbecile, but perhaps after the drudgery of probably fifty years of virtual slavery, she had become a tad feeble-minded.

Ann Haynes is not listed here but she may well have been at the Clifton Union Workhouse and with a bit more searching, there she is at Barton Regis Union Workhouse, in the Clifton section:


St George, Gloucester

The Clifton Workhouse was known as Barton Regis from 1877 and has this excerpt regarding it in the 1777 parliamentary report:

The Poor of the out-parishes of St. Philip and Jacob, and of St. George, which contain about 16,000 inhabitants, are partly relieved at home, and partly in a Workhouse in which there are at present 85 persons. The number of out Poor is about 200. It is singular that here it is thought most beneficial to the parishes to maintain the Poor at home, and that the Poor want to get into the house. It is pleasantly situated and appears to be clean and comfortable. There are 2, or 3 beds of flocks and feathers in each room. Bill of fare in the Workhouse: Breakfast—every day, milk pottage. Dinner—Sunday, Thursday, bread and cheese; Monday, rice milk; Tuesday, Friday, pease soup; Wednesday and Saturday, pickled beef and vegetables. Supper—every day, bread and cheese or butter. 3 pints of beer are allowed to each person on meat days, and a quart on other days. One lb. of bread is given out daily and 9oz. of cheese every week. Once a month 12lbs. of butter are distributed, and at particular seasons better fare is provided, more especially for the sick.

And some information on Irish Traveller history.

Irish Travellers sometimes are referred to as ‘Minceir’ or
‘Pavees in their own language known as Cant/Gammon,
the survival of this language is a testament to the
resilience of this minority group in the face of numerous
pressures and threats.

Martin Collins, Irish Traveller and Assistant Director of Pavee Point, has said
"Research demonstrates that we are a people with a unique and turbulent history and
underlines how resilient we have had to be to survive”
(Independent on Sunday, 27/5/2005).

It is difficult to identify the exact origins of Irish Travellers. Some claim they are the
descendants of the dispossessed from the war with Cromwell in the seventeenth
century or the ‘Great Famine’ in Ireland in the mid nineteenth century. However there
are some who contest such claims and propose much earlier origins. O’Riain claims
there is evidence which points to the existence of nomadic groups in Ireland as early
as the fifth century AD and by the twelth century the name Tynkler or Tynker is said
to have been given to a group of nomads who had maintained a separate identity,
social organisation and dialect (O’Riain, Solidarity with Travellers, 2000, 8).
Robbie McVeigh has stated:

Irish Travellers have their roots in a Celtic (and possibly pre Celtic) nomadic
population in Ireland. They are very definitely not Roma (or Gypsies), neither are
Travellers the product of ‘An Gorta Mor’ (the Great Hunger) of 1843 - 50. While the
original Irish nomadic population may have been supplemented at various times in
Irish history by dispossessed labourers and other marginalised people, there was
clearly a distinct Traveller population before the famine” (McVeigh, Third World on
Our Doorstep, 1997)

Like many poor and excluded groups in Ireland Irish Travellers have emigrated in
order to secure better material conditions. One of the first reports of Irish Travellers
in Britain appeared in 1850 (Kenrick and Bakewell, On the Verge: The Gypsies of
England, 1990, 10).
Irish travellers, long derided as anti-social itinerants rather than "true" Gypsies, are an ancient people in their own right, researchers say. Irish travellers, long derided as anti-social itinerants rather than "true" Gypsies, are an ancient people in their own right, researchers say.

Academics claim they could even be the last surviving remnants of a pre-Celtic Ireland, with their own distinctive language called "Cant" or "Gammon". Commonly known as "tinkers" because of their tin-smithing past, Irish travelling families have never enjoyed the romantic associations of Romany Gypsies.

Research by an Irish socio-linguist, Dr Alice Binchy, suggests that more than half the surviving Cant/Gammon lexicon may be derived from a long-lost language spoken in Ireland before the Celts arrived. "A partially pre-Celtic origin would have substantial implications for the way we look not only at traveller history, but at early Irish history as a whole," said Dr Binchy, a delegate at a conference of linguists, historians and anthropologists to be held at the University of Limerick.

Pre-Celtic Ireland started to disappear 3,000 years ago. Irish travellers may first have been recorded in the 13th and 14th centuries. Surnames suggest that many are descended from medieval poets - the Irish bards. Others were metal workers. Significantly, both were separate "castes".

It is probable that numbers greatly increased in the late 16th and early to mid-17th centuries, when English occupation forces dispossessed the Irish aristocracy. At some stage, the newly enlarged community appears to have begun to develop a secret form of verbal communication. Many academics - though not all - believe that words were altered, with syllables inverted and letters transposed, to make it impossible for enemies to understand.

The language remains a source of dispute, with some scholars arguing that any link with the pre-Celtic era is unlikely. But most accept that travellers date back at least to medieval or Tudor times.

The Scottish Celtic Travellers would have originated in Ireland because the Scots are believed to have come from Ireland originally.