Leicestershire and Cumbria
Each country has its own narrative about its Roma, or Gypsies as they used to be known elsewhere, the groups being different. See Gypsies, Roma, Romani. See the "History of Travelling" at http://www.travellersinleeds.co.uk/_travellers/HistoryEngland.html, for the Roma or Romani or Travellers in Leeds, England. There is a Roma-oriented site for Leicestershire as well, and it presents a brief chronology of historical events to prove its points of persecution of Roma, see http://www.leicestershiretogether.org/antiziganism.pdf
See the mechanics of emigration at http://englandroadways.blogspot.com/2012/01/cumbria-sheffield-immigration-19th-c-to.html. Did more emigrants go through Liverpool? Where would passenger lists be, to find backgrounds of converts?
Leeds: Leeds appears to be central to Roma in England. It also has an industrial underbelly, see history of its feltworks and other industry and the people who worked there, in "Foreigners," by Caryl Phillips - http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/aug/25/society; see Hello, Fodder - Racial Fodder post. Immigrants, or cast-off ethnic groups, similar issues. That story of immigration centers on three individuals, including one David Oluwale, a Nigerian immigrant who died under such suspicious circumstances while in custody, and related issues of racial targeting in England.
- Update: a current candidate for president in the US -- Mitt Romney -- a Roma, Romani name?
- Contemporary politics: Someone ask how Mitt Romney would address access to opportunity issues as to American Roma? Ask even if his name cannot be traced to Romani origins. Ask anyone seeking elected office, as to any ethnic group.
- In England, there is increasing unrest by the community people against the Travellers, as there is in many nations not only against Roma, but any ethnic immigrant group on the move in. See http://www.abc.net.au/abccontentsales/s1519912.htm. It looks like similar immigration issues are arising worldwide, as peoples cross old boundaries. Distrust, resentment, efforts to dislodge without a place for them to go, etc. And the healthcare provided is abominable, like here. See http://www.news-medical.net/?id=22350.
- Ireland: See a similar problem at Ireland Road Ways, Travellers , and there is a good overview historical-social-political site at http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofEnglish/imperial/ireland/travellers.htm.
- Scotland and a cultural history angle, see the post on Johnny Fa, the Scottish gypsy in ballads, at 11/12/2007, Johnny Faa.
- As to Johnny Faa's surname, we find no connection to the solfege do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti system - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solfege. Will keep looking. Perhaps Mother Faa sang?