Apr 252017
 

On Monday, 22 May, Dave Annal will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Lost in London: Solving your London Family History Problems

Tracing your ancestors back to the period before civil registration and the Victorian census returns can present a 1750-marylebonegenuine challenge to most family historians. But if your family came from London, the problems that you’re likely to face can be even harder to overcome. The population of London doubled between 1801 and 1841 making it the most populated city in world. Outlying villages were swallowed up as London spread ever outwards – the boundaries of what constituted London were constantly being redrawn. The administration of the area was enormously complicated – the City of London alone comprised over 100 parishes – and the records of the various authorities responsible for running London are now spread around a number of different record offices. This talk will explain how to access and make the most of the capital’s diverse collection of records and will give some useful tips on tracking down those elusive London ancestors.

David Annal is a professional researcher with nearly 40 years’ experience. He is a former Principal Family History Specialist with the National Archives and worked at the Family Records Centre for many years. He has written a number of family history books (including the bestselling beginner’s guide Easy Family History) and, with Peter Christian, is the co-author of Census: the Family Historian’s Guide. David is also a contributor to Family History Magazine and a regular speaker on the family history circuit. He has been researching his own family history since the mid-1970s and hasn’t finished yet!

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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Mar 282017
 

On Monday, 3 April 2017, members of Oxfordshire Family History Society will discuss the topic  “What Family History Program”.

Previous surveys of OFHS membership have shown Family Tree Maker to be the most frequently used FH program. So Ancestry’s decision to stop selling it from 1st January 2016, and to stop supporting it after 1 January 2017, posed the question; “Now What Family History Program?”. The subsequent purchase of FTM by MacKiev has relieved the situation and promises the continuation of FTM updates and bug fixes but it still seems a good opportunity to address the other options available. As an established FTM user Jan Caddie will describe the current situation for this program and members of the panel will discuss other alternatives available including some or all of; Roots Magic, Gramps, GenoPro, Brother’s Keeper, or even PAF if anyone is interested!

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the meeting starting at 7:30pm.  Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be a warm welcome for all.

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Mar 282017
 

On Monday, 24 April, Jessica Feinstein will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Tracing Jewish Ancestry

How is tracing Jewish ancestry different? Where can Jewish records be found? What do you need to know? Using ofhs-pictureexamples from her own research, Jessica will show you the wealth of resources available. The talk will be of interest to anyone who has already looked for Jewish records or who thinks that a branch of their family might be Jewish, and if time allows we will try to answer your research questions.

Jessica teaches family history locally and can be found once a month in Abingdon Library, helping visitors with their research. Jessica is a student member of the Register of Qualified Genealogists and edits the newsletter and journal of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain. Jessica has researched Jewish ancestors in many countries, and is keen to pass on tips about research methods, resources and useful knowledge gained over many years of practice.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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Feb 282017
 

On Monday, 27 March, Simon Townley will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Benson to Bruern – Recent Victoria County History Discoveries from the Chilterns to Wychwood

This talk will pick out some of the highlights from the Victoria County History’s recent work on Ewelme Hundred 13_ewelme_almshouse_ext_dsc00406(published in the spring of 2016), and its ongoing work on the Wychwood area. Ewelme Hundred stretched from the Thames around Benson and Warborough to the Chiltern uplands around Nettlebed, with its medieval brick and pottery industry. Ewelme is widely known for its Chaucer connections and its 15th-century almshouses, while Benson was successively an Anglo-Saxon royal centre, a coaching stop, and site of the modern RAF station. The ongoing Wychwood work takes in a dozen parishes in and around the ancient Forest, including Shipton-under-Wychwood and the tiny hamlet of Bruern, where the impact of the medieval abbey is still clearly evident in the local landscape.

Simon Townley started working for the Oxfordshire VCH in 1987, and has been County Editor since 1996, overseeing volumes on Witney, Henley, and the Minster Lovell and Kelmscott areas. He is involved in several county societies including the Oxfordshire Record Society, the Oxfordshire Buildings Record, and the Oxfordshire Local History Association.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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Jan 292017
 

On Monday, 27 February, Sharon Hintze will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

The Psychology of Brickwalls

This is not a straightforward how to solve it talk. It takes a more adventurous and philosophical view of brick walls. captureThe usual causes for dead ends are identified, such as not knowing where to look for an answer. Then the subject of which types of questions may not have satisfactory answers is introduced, with plenty of opportunity for those present to contribute ideas. Finally, the role of our own psychology and its impact on our search is explored. The speaker will be happy if listeners go away with some new ideas for evaluating and tackling their brick walls. Come prepared to jump in and debate the issues raised and suggestions given!

Sharon Hintze is the Director of the London FamilySearch Centre, currently based within The National Archives at Kew. As such, she frequently interfaces with people who are stuck somewhere in their tree. She is a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists. A fifth generation family historian, her ancestors come from the British Isles and Denmark.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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Jan 282017
 

On Monday, 6 February 2017Norman Dutton will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on

Cloud Computing for Family History”.

Norman says:

“Cloud Computing is one aspect of our digital world that has blossomed in recent years. Its essential aim is to make it easy for devices and people to communicate more easily with each other. For those interested in family history, this is all about sharing information. The talk will deal with the background and potential of cloud computing as well as the issues it raises. It will conclude with  practical examples of how it has been used to good effect.”

Do come along!  Non-members are also welcome.
The meeting will be held at the usual venue at Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1AB. Doors open at 7:15pm, for the talk at 7:30pm.

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Nov 302016
 

On Monday, 23 January 2017, Liz Woolley will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Child Labour in Nineteenth Century Oxfordshire

“It will do him more good than going to school”: Child labour in nineteenth-century Oxfordshire


The image commonly evoked by the phrase ‘child labour’ is one of young children toiling in the grimy factories and chimney-sweeps-boyof the Midlands and the North. Yet in rural counties like Oxfordshire, child labour was as much a feature of everyday life in the nineteenth century as in industrialised areas. This illustrated talk tells the story of our county’s child workers, many of whom started work part-time at the age of six or seven and, until the compulsory school legislation of the 1870s, left education for good by the age of ten to become permanently employed. Oxfordshire children worked in agriculture, in domestic service and in lace-making, gloving and in a host of other small-scale occupations. The talk highlights the differences between girls’ and boys’ experiences of work, and the particular fates of pauper apprentices. It also shows that, contrary to popular belief, cottage industry and agricultural work were by no means the ‘soft option’ in comparison with work in the factories and mines of industrialised areas.

Liz Woolley lives in Oxford and has a Diploma and an MSc in English Local History from the University’s Department for Continuing Education. Whilst investigating child labour in the Industrial Revolution as part of her MSc she became interested in the experiences of child workers in Oxfordshire: a rural, rather than industrial, county

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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Nov 292016
 

SnowmanYou are invited to Oxfordshire Family History Society’s Christmas Forum, our December computer-focussed meeting, this coming Monday 5 December 2016 at 7:30pm. It’ll be complete with festive fare!

Audience members will be very welcome to enthuse about any tips or tricks they’d like to share, or, indeed, to challenge the panel with any “How do you?”s that may be troubling them. Perhaps we might discuss the new GRO indexes, and the associated registration records in pdf format.  Maybe there will be comments or questions on the scans of Oxfordshire parish records, now live on Ancestry.  The panel hopes everyone will have an evening of becoming a little wiser, whilst in a festive mood.

Do come along! Non-members are also welcome.

The meeting will be held at the usual venue at Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1AB. Doors open at 7:15pm.

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Oct 252016
 

On Monday, 28 November, Tony Hadland will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Pilgrimage to Plug Street 

1915-approx-robert-fisherTony Hadland’s great-uncle Robert Fisher, born in Bristol, was the son of an Irish soldier. Robert grew up in Co. Donegal and on the British army camp at the Curragh of Kildare, west of Dublin. He became a waiter in London, where he married and fathered two children. In WW1, he joined a local “pals’ regiment” and fought in Flanders, just a few miles from Armentieres. Robert died at “Plug Street” (Ploegsteert), leading a charge and was awarded a posthumous Distinguished Conduct Medal. Robert’s body was never recovered but his brother-in-law, Tony’s grandfather, soon learned of the death, as he was an ambulance driver working nearby. Tony Hadland has visited many of the places Robert Fisher knew, including Plug Street and, in this illustrated talk, he traces the life of this brave young man, who died leaving a widow and two small sons.

Tony spent 13 years in the West Midlands, literally having been sent to Coventry by his employer. He studied architecture at the Oxford School of Architecture and surveying at Reading College of Technology. Tony is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; a historian specialising in local, family, recusant and cycle history; honorary president of the Moulton Bicycle Club; and chairman of the Oxfordshire Local History Association. Between 2004 and 2009 he was administrator of the Vale & Downland Museum. He has written, edited and contributed to a number of books and has had many articles published in magazines and journals. He has made numerous appearances on radio, particularly in recent years on BBC Radio Oxford, and has also appeared in documentary films and on regional TV. His most recent book, co-authored with Professor Hans-Erhard Lessing, is Bicycle Design: an illustrated history, published by MIT Press. He has a website at hadland.wordpress.com.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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Oct 042016
 

On Monday, 24 October 2016, Gill Blanchard will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Tracing Your Own and Your Ancestors’ Houses

Discover the main resources to find out where your ancestors lived and trace the history of your own home. Find out which documents can be used to build a picture of what homes looked like in the past inside and out. Discover how to find out who lived in a building at different points in time and when, how and why it was built.

Gill Blanchard is a professional genealogist, house historian, author and qualified tutor. hearthShe has been a full time researcher since 1992, including six years at Norfolk Record Office. She set up her own historical research business called Past Search in 1997 www.pastsearch.co.uk and qualified as an adult education tutor the following year as well as having an academic background in history, sociology and politics to post-graduate level. Gill has designed and run numerous family, house and local history courses and talks locally, nationally and online from beginners to post-graduate level. These include at the Society of Genealogists and online for Pharos Tutors. Gill has conducted much background research for authors, journalists and academic researchers, including the BBC Who Do You Think You Are? television series and appeared on the Mary Berry episode. Gill is also the author of: Tracing Your East Anglian Ancestors, Tracing Your House History and Writing Your Family History (Pen and Sword Books). Other local histories and a biography will be published in 2016 and 2017.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the talk starting at 8:00pm. Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be advisors offering computer and genealogy help, and tea and coffee will be available.

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