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The Stanley's do appear to be a colourful bunch :) Diverous, your god knows how many great uncle's, my 2nd or 3rd great grandfather was a very naughty boy! He ended up in prison a couple of times. I am not surprised though, the poor sods seem to lead a very hand to mouth existence and he probably did what he needed to do to survive!
Here's a link to a photo of the bender tents.....I think this is probably the kind of tent our Stanley's lived in. Don't fancy that much in winter.


It's funny considering where we come from that I have such a hatred of anything remotely associated with camping.

There is another uncle though who is quite a character George "Digger" Stanley. I don't know if you have come across him at all. Look him up, he was a boxer. They're on the same 1881 census as my Sophia Stanley/Goldsmith shown as living in tents on Mitcham Common.

So is your ancestor Mary Olive or Olive/Olivia Mary?

Olive Mary is my ancestor, although in a few of the later censuses she calls herself Mary. I'm interested to find out if her husband's family the Johnsons were a traveller family also as I've seen on the website that Johnson was a traveller name and they are all hawkers and basket makers. I can't find much about them at all.

I discovered George 'Digger' yesterday and was impressed, (he even had his own wikipedia page!) I'm now in the process of looking in to the family a bit more as up until now I'd only done the main family branches.

It's weird as I do have a real enjoyment of travelling and would love to explore the World in a motor home haha!
What a lot of replies to this thread
I have been searching into Romany families for over 30 years now and have a lot of info on the Romanies and their families,unfortunately I can only do so much for the many individuals that contact me
Since I started replying to this site I have helped many people so please put up with me and I will I promise get to help you .
Please remember that if your post would contain info about any possible living kin ,then please feel free to private message me
Thank you for your patience
Romany Rose:)
For Barbarajoh
It is safe to say that during a quick search of the surnames Bowes and Cromwell that they are both travelling families ,although the Bowes seem to originate from Ireland
I do not send any info until I have checked the contents of my findings thoroughly
I will get back to you over the next couple of days,until then take care
Romany Rose
you might alraedy know about these good reads

1/Yetholm History Of The Gypsies by Joseph Lucas in print 1982
2/The Kirk Yetholm Gypsies by A V Tokely in print 1996 reprinted 2002
Romany Rose:)
Thank you for all your help Romany Rose you've been a Godsend. I'm currently trying to work out whether the Stanley's were Romany or Irish Travellers. My Dad is obsessed with us coming from Ireland but I haven't seen anything to support that claim yet. I'm thinking about becoming a member of Romany and Traveller Family History Society hopefully that will unlock some more closed doors.

Thanks once again for all your help.
Romany Rose,

Before you step away, do you know anything about the Wellings family by chance?
I have, for what feels like an eternity, got completely stuck at Rebecca Wellings, 1st wife of Diverus Stanley.

It seems that Rebecca Wellings, and 2 of her children Frances (female) and Moses just disappeared off the face of the earth.

I have searched and searched and the only lead I have come up with is a Moses Wellings. I don't know if this is the same person and he chose to take his mothers name or if sadly they all passed away in a small space of time. I'm flummoxed!

You mentioned that Diverus and Rebecca married in Putney, can you tell me where you found this information, it could point my in the right direction

Hope you can help, even if it's just a little bit :)

Vicky :)
Hey hloiuse,

I'm sure that I read somewhere that the name Diverus is a Romany name, although that said I have just tried to google it and found nothing to support that claim.
It's funny what families convince theirselves of. My sister was so sure that we came from a land far away, and poor Grandma Rogers was obviously a bit embarrassed of where she came from and told the tale that she had "crossed the waters twice". This proved to be a rather tall tale, as after a bit of digging around, I didn't find anything to back up the rather romantic notion of her coming from a far flung land, instead she was found to have been born in a tent in Mitcham Common!
Like you, I'm intrigued by this branch of the family and it seems we have come full circle. Where she was ashamed of her roots, I have grown to utter love this bunch, even if the are the most difficult people to find!

V :)
I have both those books Romany Rose, thank you, and others but none of them mention Cromwell or Bowes so they were not usual residents in the Borders but visitors from elsewhere.

Hi Vicki.

You're right about the difficult part, it took me ages to find proof to link my Olive Mary to the rest of the Stanley's. Many times I despaired I would ever be able to find a link. My struggle now is to find info about Peter Stanley and his wife. Apart from baptism records for the children I can't find anything apart from Rebecca Stanley in one census. If you want to message me easier my email is [].Sorry Louise, your email address has been removed as per forum policy. You can send it by private message. dave
I'd love to share info and ideas.
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Hello Vicky
You recently asked me if I could confirm the marriage in Putney ..I can a few years ago I did some research for the Stanleys and I will look up this info again and get back to you
take care
Romany Rose
Hi hlouisew and Romany Rose,

Thanks for the replies......sorry it's taken me a while to come back to you, but I've had this lergy which has been doing the rounds, but I am now sort of back and almost fighting fit again!
hlouise....I'll be more than happy to put our heads together and try to unravel the puzzle that is Rebecca and the rest of the Stanley's.
Romany Rose, I'd give you a huge virtual smacker roo if you could help with the wedding details. I work in London so a trip to Putney to check out the records wouldn't be out of the question but I think maybe a few more details would help the quest no end :)
Hi Vicki,

Glad to hear you're feeling better. Feel free to message me here, via email or ancestry at anytime. I'm not always subscribed to ancestry which means I may not always be able to read the message but I am subscribed for the next few weeks. I'm thinking about joining the Romany and Travellers History Society to buy some of their journals but haven't got round to it yet.

It would be great to find out more, although they may not have the best records the wealth of information on their lifestyle and culture means I may know more about them then any of my other relatives.
Vicky and House
1/regarding the marriage of Rebecca Wellings and Diverus they were married at Putney 1839 their 1st child being born 1840-familysearch.org
also found
2/Diverus Stanley born 1872 at 81 Pawsons Rd Woodside,Croydon,Surrey
not sure if either of you are members of Genesreunited-have found 3 people searching Diverus Stanley
--Lisa Matthews has Diverus Stanley born 1872(see above has this is most certainly the same Diverus)
---Jean Hollidge has Diverus Stanley
---Jean Turner has 2 x Diverus Stanley`s they are Diverus Stanley born Wimbledon 1815 and also Diverus Stanley born Walworth London 1841

Romany Rose
Have come acrss the following which may be of interest
the following sites
1.scotlands people
2/kelvin museum
3/Liverpool University /special romany colletions:)
take care
Romany Rosex
message for hlouise and and vicky
Do you now consider this thread closed .I have recently been contacted by a 3rd party who has further info with regards the Stanley family
Romany Rosex
Hi Romany.

Good to hear from you. I would like to keep this thread going if and when there is any more information to share about the travelling communities in particular The Stanley's. Unfortunately my computer is broken and I have to borrow my son's as and when he lets me so can't get on as much as I like.
I would love to hear your contact's information on The Stanleys, you've been such a great help. I really appreciate the work you've shared with us.

Many Thanks

Hello Hayley
So sorry to hear about the poorly computer
I will have uploaded by tomorrow evening to the site some new material on the Stanleys
I am at the moment rechecking the info given to me#
Romany Rose:)