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An Lucht Siúil (Traveling Folk lit. the Walking People) or Travellers can refer to a variety of people who lived life on the road. Irish Travellers aka Mincéir aka Pavee are a distinct Irish ethnic group with their own customs, language and traditions. Many live in the UK for all or part of the year. They are a recognised ethnic minority group.
Irish Traveller culture and ancestry
Irish Travellers are a separate cultural group that started migrating to Britain in the early 19th century and can be traced back to 12th century Ireland.
Genetic research found that Irish Travellers are of Irish origin and have significant genetic makeup compared to their settled community. An estimated 40,000 Travellers (less than 1% of the population) are living in Ireland today. Although sometimes called gypsies, they have no genetic relation to Romani.
The Celtic Travellers DNA project is for descendants and members and of Irish Travellers, Highland Scottish Travellers, Lowland Scottish Travellers, Fairground Travellers and other Non-Romani travelling families. However, Roma or mixed Traveller heritage are also welcome to join.
Searching Census & Vital Records for clues
Clues that can suggest Traveller ancestry include:
Place of Birth: All the children in the family being born in different places is also a big clue.
Residence: Unusual residences such as "tent on common"
Irish Gypsies and Irish Travellers are distinct ethnic groups often referred to in parish registers as 'Pavees' or 'Minceir'.
Irish Traveller Genealogy Resources
Here is a list of useful resources to help you trace Irish Traveller or Mincéir ancestors:
IrelandXO Message Board
The IrelandXO message board can be a great resource for finding out more about Irish Traveller family histories and connecting with other descendants. Click on the links to read some interesting message board threads:
IrelandXO Traveller Timelines
Irish Traveller Buildings & Places
Irish Traveller Photo Collections
Common Irish Traveller Family Names
Berry, Brown, Cash, Carmody, Carthy, Casey, Cassidy, Cawley, Clark, Collins, Connors, Conroy, Corcoran, Cunningham, Delaney, Doherty, Donoghue/ O’Donoghue, Donovan, Doran, Dunne, Flynn, Furey, Gallagher, Green, Hanafin/Hannifin, Hand, Hanley, Hanrahan, Harper, Hennessey, Joyce, Keating, Keenan, Kerrigan, Kiely, Lawrence, Lee, Lynch, Maguire, Malone, Maloney, Maughan, Mongan, Moorehouse McCarthy, MacDonald, McDonagh, MacDonnell, MacAleer, McCann, McDonnell, McGinley, McInerney, MacLoughlin, McRea, Nevin, Nolan, O’Donnell, O’Reilly/ Reilly, Power, Purcell, Price, Quinn, Stokes, Sweeney, Ward, Wall, Windrum.
Famous Irish Traveller Ancestors
The Duchás Folklore Collection
Between 1937 and 1939, primary school pupils across the Republic of Ireland interviewed the elderly in their neighborhood to collect and record local stories and folklore from the 19th century. "The Schools Collection" as it became known is held by the Dúchas Folklore Collection in UCD and is and has been digitized online at duchas.ie. One of the topics schoolchildren were asked to write about were "Travelling Folk" or An Lucht Siúil. Click here to read a selection of what "settled" children wrote about travelers in the late 1930s.
Are you descended from Irish Travellers? Add their story to the IrelandXO website and connect with other descendants living all around the world.