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May 19th, 2009

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10:33 am - A question
Hello everyone!
I want to say right off that I'm American, and I don't identify as Roma in any way. My grandparents are Romanian, though one grandmother would sometimes say she was Hungarian. This grandmother recently passed away and I was having a Romanian friend translate some of her old documents for me when he said to me, "I didn't know you were a gypsy." He says that her maiden name, Badila (or Badilia, her writing is sometimes unclear), is a Roma name and she wasn't either Romanian or Hungarian. I feel terrible that I'm only learning about her life now that she's gone, from old papers rather than her, but I wanted to know if this was true, and if it is, whether there's any way I can learn more about where and how she might have lived before coming to America.

Thanks if any of you know anything about this, and sorry to bother you if this community isn't the place to ask this question.

(2 comments | Leave a comment)


Date:June 2nd, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
Personally I have not heard of that particular last name. But that's not to say its not indeed a Romany name.

Through out Hungry and Romania there have been several case of Romany families that where forced to change their name, life style, religion and so forth. You will find that you can have one person whom is Roma and another person whom is Hungarian and they may have the same last name, not related. There are even a few cases of a Roma whom has a strictly Hungarian/Romanian name yet may be 100% Roma. Another problem posed by Romay last names is sometimes if a woman marries into another clan she may use both last names. Sort of like how we do here in America where a woman may be Jannet Marie Jones Smith (Or even Jones-Smith) except often times (I've found at least) they will actually combine the two last names. And example might be, her maiden name is Lee and his last name is Grey, she (out of respect) may change her name to LeeGrey or Legrey or any combination there of.

Further more, its really hard to tell by a name alone that one is Romany simply because the last names of the Roma are generally very common names like Cooper, Smith, or Lee. But again they can be much more complex and unique to the Roma alone.

I too have been researching my family histoy for 8 years now; I know how difficult it is! But the best way to know about your family roots and your blood line is to talk to your family memebers and even dig deep into records. Libraries can help, search your family into geneology sites who knows someone could have already made you a small family tree wich will aid in your search.

I hope this has helped you even just a little!!! Good luck in your search. ^^
Date:August 15th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)

It's good to learn our heritage

My family originally is from the Romanian Hungary border - of the Churari. This is what I was told. My father's mother was Churari gypsy. I remember when I was younger of being told stories, and learning customs. However, my family has pulled away from this beautiful heritage, and don't really want to know and to talk about it.
My aunt who is the last survivor of the older generation reinforces tellings of the past. It is ashame that we have to dig for our roots -or try to reach roots after the older people in the family have died.
Some of my family members are quite embarressed. I feel that it should be learned.

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