Thursday, 3 October 2013

Romany and Traveller FHS family history event

From the Romany and Traveller Family History Society (

We're holding an informal, drop-in family history event in October for anyone who's interested in tracing their British Romany Gypsy, Traveller or Fairground roots.

Here are the details:

Date: Saturday 19 October 2013
Time: 11.00am until 4.00pm
Location: Old School Hall, Hadlow, Kent TN11 0EH

This year the Romany and Traveller Family History Society is celebrating the lives of the Gypsy and Traveller hop-pickers who drowned near Hadlow 160 years ago in the so-called Hartlake Disaster.

What’s on offer at our event?

Memorial to those who died in the Hartlake Disaster
• Displays about the Disaster, hop-picking and useful family history sources
• Presentation about the Hartlake Disaster by local historian and RTFHS member Anne Hughes
• The chance to see the monument to the victims in in Hadlow churchyard, just a short walk away from the Old School Hall
• The chance to attend a dedication by the vicar of Hadlow of a new commemorative plaque to those who died. We hear that this dedication will take place in the afternoon of 19 October 2013 in Hadlow churchyard. Time to be confirmed on our website shortly:
• Family history research help desk
• Books for sale including Romany, Traveller and Fairground family history and culture
• Live music and song: join in with your own instruments, voices and stepping shoes

The event is free for RTFHS members. Token £1 charge on the door for non-members to include coffee or tea.

How to find the Old School Hall in Hadlow:

Enter Hadlow village on the A26 (High Street) from Tonbridge or Maidstone and turn into the unnamed road opposite Victoria Boorman’s hairdressing salon in the village square. There’s a bus stop on one corner of this road and a phone box on the other. The road entrance is marked Hadlow Primary School. The Old School Hall is at the end of this short road on the left.

(With thanks to Sharon Heppell)

Hop pickers encampment near Maidstone, Kent


My latest book, Discover Scottish Civil Registration Records, is now available from (print) and (ebook), whilst Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet is available at My next Pharos Scottish course, Scotland 1750-1850: Beyond the OPRs, starts Nov 13th - see

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