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Selina Buckland

Eric Trudgill    -    5 July 2015

Selina, often known as Reni, was the daughter of Manuel Buckland (son of John) and Sinfi Buckland (daughter of Ravishing Billy). Following Mantus, christened in November 1817, and John, christened in January 1821, she was christened in Leafield, Oxf in 1823 daughter of Sinfrida. She married first Henry Hazard and then Edmond Smith, and died in Reading, Berks in 1912 “aged 96”.

By Henry Hazard she had General Buckland, christened in Longworth, Berks in 1840 daughter of Selina. By Edmond (sometimes Edward) Smith she had the following eight children: Liza, born about 1843; Charles Smith christened in Gt Marlow, Bucks in 1845 son of Edward and Selina, gypsy; Eldery, born about 1848; Louisa, born in Henley, Oxf about 1850; Zara Julia Smith (usuallyDesira or Sarah), christened in Henley in 1852 daughter of Edwin and Selina, gypsy; Rosetta (Zubi), born about 1855; John, born about 1858; and Owen, born in Reading about 1865. I have nothing solid to pass on about any marriages contracted by Liza, Rosetta, and John, but I’ve made some progress with the other six of Selina’s children.

General Buckland married (19 daughter of Henry Hazard) Nelson Cooper (26 son of Leonard) in Easthampstead, Berks in 1858, and barely nineteen took on four or five step-children. She quickly added to these several children of her own: Thomas and Louisa Cooper, christened in Bracknell, Berks in 1859 and 1862; Ellen Cooper, christened in Sunningdale, Berks in 1866; Nelson (Johnny) and Sabina Cooper, christened in Egham, Sry in 1869 and 1872; Edward, born in Berks about 1874; George Arthur Cooper, christened in Clewer, Berks in 1877; and presumably the Matilda Cooper who said she was twenty and daughter of Nelson when she married James Perry in Clewer in 1901. General, incidentally, is sometimes Jane Cooper in the records, and on one occasion, in the census, Hazard Cooper.

Charles Smith, son of Edmond, married Ruth Bunce daughter of James Bunce and Phoebe Smith, and had the following children: Plato Giles Smith, christened in Oxford St Philip and St James in 1871, who married his cousin, Caroline Brown daughter of Benjamin and Selina; Selina Mary, Louisa Ruth, and Zenobia Theresa Smith, christened in Oxford St Philip and St James in 1873, 1875 and 1877; Cicely, born in Amesbury, Wilts about 1879; Charles Smith, christened in Reading St Lawrence in 1882; Ruth Smith, born in 1884 and christened in Oxford St Philip and St James in 1886, James Smith, born about 1886 and christened in Reading Greyfriars in 1890, where his younger brother, Edward (Donovan) Smith had been christened the previous year; Sefton, born in Bracknell about 1891; John, born in Reading about 1893; and Ellen Smith, christened in Clewer in 1900.

Eldery Smith, daughter of Edmond, married a cousin of her brother Charles’ wife, Matthias Smith son of Benjamin Phelps and Charlotte Smith. They had perhaps an Emmie, born in Middlesex about 1868; and Owen and Alfred Smith, christened in Oxford St Philip and St James in 1871 and 1877 respectively.

Louisa Smith, daughter of Edmond, married Samson James son of Samuel and Mary, and had the following children: Andrew James, christened in Reading St Lawrence in 1869; Edward James, christened in Alkerton, Oxf in 1871; Albert, born in High Wycombe, Bucks about 1873; Mary Ann, born in Hurscombe, Glos about 1875; Samson, Selina, and Owen Andrew James, born respectively about 1879, 1882 and 1884, and christened in Reading Greyfriars, Selina in 1882 and the others belatedly in 1890; Leah, born in Bristol, Glos about 1886; Ellen, born in Peterborough, Northants about 1888; and Selina James, christened in Reading Greyfriars in 1890.

Zara Julia/Desira/Sarah Smith, daughter of Edmond, married her brother-in-law, James Bunce son of James and Phoebe, and they had the following children: James, born about 1873; George Bunce, christened in Swindon, Wilts in 1876, who married Alice Black; Louisa (Sissy), born about 1878, who married Henry Black son of Amos and Mary in Inkpen, Berks in 1900; John, born in Reading about 1800, who married Selina Cooper daughter of Walter and Sarah; Charles, born in Devizes, Wilts about 1885; Albert James Bunce, born in 1889, and Ellen Maude Bunce, born in 1891 (who married William Whyatt), christened together in Stratton, Wilts in 1892; and Samuel, born in Trowbridge, Wilts about 1893.

Owen Smith, son of Edmond, married Ellen Lee in Windsor Holy Trinity, Berks in 1890, and had the following children: Louisa, born about 1892; James Smith, christened in Caterham, Sry in 1894 (showman from Reading); Rose, born about 1896; Amy, born about 1898; and Henry Smith, christened in Clewer in 1900; and Walter Smith christened in Ascot Heath, Berks in 1904.

As is often the case, in tracing the family of a Gypsy woman I’ve listed few descendants who shared her maiden surname. But of course researchers, pursuing a one-name study that pays scant attention to female family members who give up their maiden surname, aren’t just being old-fashioned in their gender politics, they’re being short-sighted. Often you can only sort out problems in the male main line by exploring the female side lines.

Copyright © 2015 Eric Trudgill