GEDmatch question: How to find Romani in admixture charts?

+10 votes
I've done extensive research on my maternal grandfather's side and during that, I found out that I'm part Romani. I'm the 6th great granddaughter of a woman named Marie Barbe Marchant dit Varrangue. Her parents were Cecile Christophe and a soldier named Bernard Marchant. Cecile's mother was listed on deportation papers as a "boheme". She was part of a group of Romanis who were deported from France to New Orleans, Louisiana. Interestingly enough, it is not known if Cecile's father was Roma or not because he was not listed that way. The man Cecile had her daughter, Marie, with was a French soldier station in New Orleans at the time. And likewise, Marie, was listed on censuses as a "boheme". So I'm not sure just how much Roma Marie Barbe Marchant dit Varrangue was. With that being said, I should have inherited at least some Romani DNA. I know it's not always passed down and some things don't get inherited but I figured it would at least show up in a  GEDmatch admixture chart if it was there. But it hasn't.

I was curious to know if Romani DNA is listed as Romani in admixture charts? Or does it come up as a different ethnicity? Basically is there a way to tell if my DNA is showing Romani roots without Romani coming up as an ethnicity?
in Genealogy Help by S G G2G6 (7.7k points)
edited by S G
Here are some notes that might be of interest:
Ah thank you for this! This is very interesting and helpful to me!
Hi, we are related through this lineage.  I have a lot of info and articles on this entire gypsy clan.  They were quite well known in Louisiana.  Let me know and I can send them, or direct you to the websites.  Wanda
I am helping a friend find her Romani great-grandmother who was from Louisana. She doesn't have a name, we are relying on dna to help. Any suggestions appreciated.
June, this is a pretty old thread.  It might be useful for you to post a question yourself.

1 Answer

+2 votes

In French records this can have more than one meaning and the meaning may have changed with the time period and type of record.  

Boheme literally means from Bohemia which is a part now of Czeckoslovakia   in archaic French use it did represent the Romani and an itinerant lifestyle.... later in the 1700s and 1800s it took on the meaning of someone living the lifestyle of a Romani... having no fixed home, being poor, moving around a lot.  So it may have been a description more of homelessness and poorness than of being Romani.  

In the 1900s to took on more of a romanticized meaning of being more of an artistic person with a lifestyle that was followed by artists, musicians, thespians and the like.  

Women who followed the French troops were also sometimes referred to this way.  

If you read French I would suggest you read the English wikipedia article and the French one because there are nuanaces in the way the word is used and applied.  

here is the English

here is the French accent on first e

The opening line says:  La bohème est une façon de vivre au jour le jour dans la pauvreté mais aussi dans l’insouciance. Elle correspond à un mouvement littéraire et artistique du xixe siècle,  Which means The Bohemian is a way of living day to day in poverty but also recklessness. It corresponds to a literary and artistic movement of the 19th Century.

L’apparition du mot bohème remonte en France à 1659 chez Tallemant des Réaux, dont l’accent grave diffère avec l’habitant de la Bohême.  (this says the word appeared in 1659 from Tallemant des Reaux using the accent et grave to differentiate those with an itinerant moneyless lifestyle from those coming from Bohemia.  So, look at the original record and does it have an accent on the first e?  What is the time period of it?


by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (706k points)

Well, the first account of Marie Barbe that I have found was her baptismal from June 21, 1755. But since I don't speak French and I can't figure out the handwriting, I'm not sure if it lists Boheme or not on it.

Now the first one that lists her that way that I know if is when she's 17 in a Spanish census from February 1, 1773. She was living in Rapides Parish, Louisiana at the time with her mother, Cecile and family.

"The Widow Varangue" is her mother's married name since she re-married quite a few times. 

Another instance of where her race was mentioned was in a newspaper article from 1851 when she was living in Alexandria, Louisiana. There was a man living there named José Maríe Torres. In it, it claims:

"“The wife of Mauritaurus was an Indian woman. her father was an Indian—her mother was called Babé and was what is called an Egyptian."

'Mauritaurus' was José Maríe Torres in this and of course, 'Babé' was Marie. Egyptian was another name for 'Gypsies'.

From articles I've read, there seems to have been thorough research done on them such as a lot of colonial records that have yielded dozens of additional documents on both the mother and the daughter which firmly establish Cécile’s ethnic roots as Romani. Cécile's mother had been one of several 1720 deportees from France who appear variously in Louisiana records as bohème, gitano and (in English) Gypsy and Egyptian.

The first url (fig. 5) lists a child named Marie being baptized.  It does not say the child is named Marie Barbe and the mother's name is not given as Cecile.  But Marie Barbe Josephe is listed as the marraine.  That means a witness or a godmother.  

The second url is a transcribed record so we really can't see how it was written.  

The third url is in English so no translation needed there.
Hm, I see. Well, on the article it said that Cecile was the mother and that the French solider, Bernard Marchant, was the father. But like I said, I couldn't read it for myself to see lol.

So do you think that is proof enough of her being Romani? I think it is but I'm not for sure on it. I don't want to claim anything that could be false but at the same time, it makes me interested to learn more about if I inherited that DNA or not.
I went back and looked again.   Here is what it says... line by line:

462...  The year 1755 the 28th of Juin I have

Marie baptized with the ordinary ceremonies of the Church Marie Joseph Jospehe daughter of Bernard Marqant and Emilie Christope who live.

Parraine (witness or godfather) Marsant a "oke' (might be "ole" hard to read it) Jacques Lamig (can't read the next series of letters so can't tell if it s a name or something else).  and the marraine (witness or godmother) Marie Barbe Josephe.   Then there is a closing and signed by Sebastiene.
Ah, thank you so much for translating this for me! Huh, seems as if the article got it wrong then as far s her birth date. And I had no clue that Cecile's name or middle name, I'm guessing, was Emilie. So does the "live" mean they were living together? I'm guessing it does but that's something I never knew either.

Thank you again for translating it for me because I had no clue what it said.
Sharon I did not see the name Cecile in the document at all.  

I think the intent of the the living was to indicate that both parents were living in the parish where the baptism took place.  I did not see the word ici meaning here but some of the handwriting was difficult.  Also some clerics used a shorthand where they left out a word or thought the word used carried the intent. I see that a lot in Latin.  But this was not a mixture of Latin and French which I also see.  Habitant can indicate an inhabitant of a given place since no place was listed I took it to be living in the parish.
I'm reading this a little different: Marie Josephe Marsant as the name in the left margin, then the main text: ... Marie Jospeh fille de Bernard Marsant et de ???? Christophle habitant. Le Parain a été Jaque Lamig soldat et la maraine Marie Barbe Josephe Depein en feri de quoi j'ai signé ...
Hm, well, I know that Christophe was Cecile's surname and Bernard Marchant/Marsant was Marie Barbe's father. That I know for certain and actually where I found this baptismal listed as Marie Barbe's was through another researcher, Elizabeth Shown Mills actually.
Helmut I can see that.  The handwriting was a bit hard to make out in places.  I can go with your version.

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