Yes we all come across parts of our family tree that make us sit up and take note. And here is one of them.
The Scarrott Family line. A proud herritage.
Gypies: Stories around campfires, dancing, music, violins and tamborines,handsome
young men fighting for their gypsy princesses.
A very romantic Hollywood version of the gypsy life style. Acted out by actors such as Errol Flynn.
And yes that was certainly part of the life style, and I'm sure that part of it was just as mundane as ours can be.
They would and still have to fight to keep their Romani identity as they travelled across the many countries.
They leave behind a very long and romantic history of migration from India, Perisa, Turkey and across europe. No one knows
when the first gypsies left India or, indeed, why.
They were an intelligent people, used to living on their wits, who found it easy to impress the uneducated locals
by giving themselves unwarranted titles and assuming the importance to go with them. Hence they arrived in Europe as Lords,
Dukes, Counts and Earls of Little Egypt, demanding and receiving help and support from those in authority. Claiming that they
had been ejected from their homeland, 'Little Egypt', by the wicked Saracens, or that they were on a pilgrimage, gained them
succour from no less than the Pope himself, who demanded that they be given safe passage in the countries over which he had
So they were able to travel in relative safety, and could expect food and lodging from religious houses, as the rich
of the time felt that it would assist their standing in the eyes of the church if they supported pilgrims. Having been on
a pilgrimage to the Holy Land was the ultimate status symbol, but supporting those who had been on one, or were taking part
in one was the next best thing. So with their quick wits and silver tongues they were soon under the protection of Kings throughout
Their cultures, music and dance being spread wherever they went (music and dance such as Flamenco in Spain and parts of
There are two types of gypsy, Romani and Didicoy.
Romani are the true Gypsy and Didicoys are itinerant tinkers or scrap dealesr, not a true gypsy. Generally leaveing mess
and trouble wherever they stay .
And today there are what is called New Age Travellers.
The Scarrott family must be one of the biggest Romani Gypsy familes in Britian.
Within the family we first hear about them through Sarah Scarrott 1865,
she married into the Roberts side of the family.
She came from Stow on the Wold along with her father Joseph Scarrott and mother Esther Pratley.
There was or still is a large part of the of the world wide Scarrott family connected with the area and is often refered
to as the Stow on the Wold Scarrotts.
In researching the family there seems to be many branches of them all over the country but very large are the Oxford Scarrotts.
Within the Family tree they seem to have have spread out over Great Britian and Ireland, and over to the USA, Canada and
The Scarrotts have long been Fairground people and to this day their stalls and rides can still be seen at fairgrounds
across the country. So nip along and you may get a free ride or at least a coconut.
Although the Romani people are often referred to as "Gypsies" (and prefer to be called by their more proper designation,
Roma), not all "gypsies" or nomadic peoples are Roma. The Roma are descendants of the ancient warrior classes of Northern
India, particularly the Punjab, and they are identifiable by their language, religion, and customs, which can be directly
linked to those of the Punjabi in northern India.
There have been many conflicting stories about where the Scarrott family originally came from. Stories that a
French circus family ( this could be the fairground connection) called 'Scarriot' came across the channel and the name had
gradually become Scarrott, however these could be just stories They were certainly at one time a family of hawkers, travelling
long distances to buy, goods, inparticular, pottery and earthenware and then returning to sell it.
Looking through the family tree there are many Scarrotts with occupations as Hawkers buying and selling earthenware. Some
are recorded as living in caravans and one woman recorded as dying in the caravan in the meadow .
16 September 1793 William Scarrott married Margaret Whitehouse. She was also an Hawker. We don't know
at this time if she came from another Romani Family or she just followed in her husbands footsteps. Both came from
Staffordshire and lived and died in Oxfordshire