We are pleased to be involved with the project and look forward to the results!!
The British Romany project
The British Romany ancestry study
Background to the study
This University of Leicester study is being carried out by Dr Turi King (genetic analysis) and Matt Sears (recruitment and genealogies) in Professor Mark Jobling's lab. It aims to look at the genetic ancestry of the Romany people living in Britain today.
The Romany are spread across Europe, and are thought to have arrived in Britain in the sixteenth century. Genetic studies have been done of Romany people in parts of Europe, and together with linguistic evidence suggest an origin in north-western India (over 1000 years ago), but the British Romany have not been studied in this way. We would like to know how they are related to European Romany people, and to learn where their ancestors in Europe might have come from. In our genetic studies we focus on the Y chromosome, which is the part of our DNA responsible for maleness and is passed down from father to son. In this study we will also analyse mitochondrial DNA, which passes from mothers to all their children.
British Romany Project
From Matt Sears :- As first published on our sister site RomanyJib
BRITISH ROMANY GENETIC ANCESTRY PROJECT
As part of an ongoing study into surnames and the history of the people of Britain we are actively searching for males with Romany/ Gypsy ancestry. This study is being carried out by the University of Leicester, home of genetic fingerprinting, where we are aiming to look at the history of the British Isles using new DNA techniques.
I use your site on a regular basis,the contributions from the public and interaction between yourself and researchers are a good example how a family history website should operate, keep up the good work !
Not sure if you are aware of our project that has been running for nearly six months now, I might have sent you an email at the beginning.
Currently we have secured forty samples from males carrying the surnames ...
Ball, Boswell, Bowers Brinkley,
Lee Loveridge Lovell
Scarrott Smith Stokes
With three of these families we have four distantly related cousins with common ancestors who lived in the 18th century.
The biological element to the project will enable us to study the origins of Britain's Romany community as a whole and on a family level provide fascinating information linking various branches of families.
We are carrying out this work as a research project and thus it is absolutely free for those chosen to take part in the study. Donors who fulfil the research criteria will be sent kit through the post with full instructions, paperwork (i.e. ethical approval).
In return for taking part, we will provide you with a summary of the results, designed for the layperson, when it becomes available. In addition to this, at the end of the study we will send you copy of your male inherited Y chromosome genetic fingerprint and an explanation sheet designed for the layperson.
The aim of the study is to investigate the biological origins of Britain's Romany Gypsy community,any one wishing to take part in this unique project willl need to provide a basic genealogy through their paternal line.
Alongside sampling individuals, if extensive research has been done into your family and after viewing the genealogies involved we would possibly consider sampling cousins (more distantly related than third cousins) bearing the same surname.
This will help us to find the Y chromosome of the common ancestor and in some cases prove or disprove the genealogical research.
Would you be interested in helping with the project ? As I am sure many of the researchers who visit your site would be suitable for the study.
Alongside the actual sampling sometimes advice on particular family history questions regarding the trees would be of great help.
I do hope you can help in this unique project as it will provide a completely new level of information that will illuminate our understanding of Britain's Romany people.
Please do not hesitate to contact me by email should you require any further information.
Kind regards Matt Sears
There no limitation as in where you live so those interested living in America or anywhere can apply as long as you can link your Paternal male ancestor to a British Romany line.