Carnation LOVELL was born into her gypsy family in Willenhall, 1889. Finding her family has led me on a bit of a run around over the years and I have decided I need to find some solid records and check my information is correct so far (a previous post can be found here).
She appears on the 1891 census with her parents (Matthew and Maria LOVELL), and elder brother Chandos, living in a gypsy tent in Darlaston, Staffordshire.
She reappears on the 1901 census, living in a caravan on Sneyd Lane, Bloxwich, as Carnation FLETCHER with brother Chandos, younger sister Elizabeth and what appears to be her mother listed as married to Eli FLETCHER. All the children and Maria now carry the name, FLETCHER.
I started to wonder if this was the same Carnation. Carnation’s birth certificate cites her mother’s former name as Maria ANSLOW. Her marriage entry to Eli (7 years after their appearance as a family unit on the census) also records her as Maria ANSLOW, spinster. So, this is clearly the same woman. This also indicates that Carnation’s parents were never legally married. This makes me curious about gypsy marriage customs – was this usual? Was Eli a gypsy or not?
I am yet to find Carnation in the 1911 census. I’m presuming her name was mistranscribed but all the variants I’ve come up with so far have given me no joy.
Instead, I have decided to gather more family records and information about gypsy life paint a clearer picture of Carnation’s life in my mind.
- Find Carnation in the 1911 census
- Research gypsy ancestors