June is Gypsy, Roma and Traveller History Month

What makes a home?

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller (GRT) History Month is a chance for everyone to celebrate the unique and diverse histories, cultures and languages of GRT communities across Surrey. This year's theme is 'What Makes a Home' which works towards explaining to the wider community what it actually means to our GRT residents.

How you can get involved

To celebrate, there will be a tour around Surrey Libraries of a Gypsy, Roma and Traveller history display. The display celebrates the heritage, culture and contribution of GRT people in Surrey. You'll be able to learn some words and phrases in Romani dialects and even pick up a recipe card which features some traditional Gypsy recipes such as Joey Grey, a traditional Gypsy stew.

Full dates and locations for the summer tour have yet to be finalised but will include Woking library, Dorking library, Guildford library and Woodhatch.

Tracing your ancestors

During GRT history month take some time to learn more about the history of the GRT community in Surrey.
The first mention of the GRT community in Surrey dates back to 1596. Many areas of Surrey have well-established links to the GRT community including Hurtwood near Shere which was the site of Surreys first school for Gypsies.

On the Surrey Heritage web page you can find lots of resources on GRT communities in Surrey.
You can also find out if you have GRT ancestors by following the comprehensive guide on the Exploring Surrey's Past web page and on the tracing Gypsy, Romany and Traveller ancestors Surrey Heritage web page.

Surrey History Trust have created a video with author and Surrey Gypsy history expert, Alan Wright, where you can learn more about Surrey Romany weddings including a mass of ceremonies at St Peter's, Old Woking, in 1906. Watch the video below.

View on YouTube

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