American Roma Records

From: "Kenneth W. Stanley" <kstanley@pen.k12.va.us> d.. Date: Sat, 17 Aug 96 15:38:21 EDT

I am interested in learning more about the Rockingham Co., Va., Gypsies who had their village of tents with stovepipes, located near the hamlet of Lilly in the period 1840-1930.

A book by John L. Heatwole, "Folklore, Legends, and Traditions of the Valley (published 1995) references this band of Gypsies, 60 members strong, who used the surname STANLEY and who traded in potware, baskets and fast horses. This Gypsy band was also said to have a Gypsy Queen, called the Gypsy Queen of Otterbine, (1835-1910) who married a man by the name of Cooper. This Gypsy Queen, named Dilly Stanley Cooper, died in May 1910, and is buried in the Methodist Cemetery in Otterbine, West of Dayton, Va. A news article reported in the Harrisonburg, Va., "Daily News", dated May 17, 1910, reports that when she died, enroot to Sangerville, her Gypsy Wagon, filed with jewelry, silks and other valuables, was burned, her horse was killed and her two parrots were released.

Does any subscriber to Virginia-Roots know any further details regarding this Rockingham County, Va., band of Gypsies, called by the surname STANLEY? Any information you might have would certainly be appreciated, regarding this band, other names of this band's members, and their original place of origin.

Dr. Kenneth W Stanley
90 Sunset Drive
Waynesboro, Virginia 22980
Telephone: 540/949-5474
E-Mail: kstanley@pen.k12.va.us

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Anyone with information on Gypsies in this area please contact me.