We are visited by “Travelling Folk” at our house many times during the year. They include tinkers, jews, gipsies and tramps. To those we give alms. The tinkers make and sell tin-cans, saucepans, strainers and other objects. The tinkers we know are very poor and are very careless about their personal appearance. The gipsies seem to be better off and are cleaner in appearance than the tinkers. The tinkers travel from place to place in horses’ carts and they set up at night in tents made of canvas and they generally camp near a wood or log so as to get fuel. The tinkers beg all kinds of food and they also beg oats and hay for their horses. The tinkers remain from two to three days in one place at a time. The gipsies are also a wandering class of people they seldom beg but they offer their wares for sale which are all kinds of wicker-works, lace and floor-matting. They generally travel in caravans drawn by horses and they remain a few days in each district. As a rule the gypsies have a supply of food, (as a rule) the only food they ask for is milk, but they frequently ask for hay and oats to feed their horses. The Jew-men call to us occasionally they buy rabbit-skins and horse-hair and they also barter their goods with us. The tinkers best known in our district are Donahoes, Wards, Delaneys, Donavans, and Connors. The Travelling Folk generally come to this district before local pattern-days and fair-days. Some of them tell stories and bring news from distant parts.
Collector: Ita McDonagh, Moyode, Co. Galway
Place: Esker, Co. Galway
Footnote: Duchas, http://www.duchas.ie