Jul 242017

In today’s Oxford Mail, news that Colin Harris, one of our Vice-Presidents, has been awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree by Oxford University, in recognition of his 50 years of “continuous and exemplary service to the Bodleian.”

The university said: “The outstanding feature of his career has been his truly dedicated service to all types of library reader – from senior academics to masters’ students, professional writers to amateur historians – whom he has advised with expertise and unfailing patience.”

Currently, Colin is Superintendent of the Special Collections Reading Rooms.


Congratulations, Colin, from Oxfordshire FHS!


Feb 152015

Following the earlier post about Linda, our Treasurer, a few words about her.

Linda served as our Treasurer for nearly 25 years, competently & quietly efficiently. For a few years before that, she was Programme Secretary.  Current and previous committee members were all fond of Linda, and held her in respect. Howard Fuller, a former committee member, has said words we all echo – “Linda will be greatly missed. She was such a nice person and a very effective Treasurer.”

So true!

We understand that Linda’s funeral is to be held in early March, but that only family will be invited.

Our condolences go to her family and to her partner, Mario.

Wendy (Chairman, OFHS)

Nov 132013

The Society is very sorry to hear of the recent death of one of our early members, Richard Moore FSG.

Richard was a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, a Vice-President of the Guild of One-Name Studies, and a Vice-President of Wiltshire Family History Society.

Richard is pictured here at our recent Open Day in October (thanks to Malcolm Austen).  He had brought his advice table to many of our Open Days.  He will be sadly missed.


Oct 132013

We were delighted that Colin Chapman, Chairman of the Fellows of the Society of Genealogists, attended our Open Day and presented Hugh Kearsey with a Certificate of Recognition.  Full details of the award are at http://news.ofhs.org.uk/?p=534  Thanks to Malcolm Austen for the photography.

Sep 292013

I mentioned recently that our President, Hugh Kearsey, has been awarded an SoG Certificate of Recognition “for actively ensuring a wider availability of materials enabling others to pursue family history in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire”.

The presentation is to be made by Colin Chapman, Chairman of the Fellows of the SoG, during the OFHS Open Day at Woodstock this coming Saturday, 5 October, at 11:30am — with representatives of both Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire FHS present — do come if you can!
Details of the day are at http://www.ofhs.org.uk/OpenDay.html

With regard to Open Day itself, there are several stalls new to the event this year, and there will be plenty of advisors as well as experts on wills, DNA and Oxfordshire photographs.

— Wendy Archer — Chairman, Oxfordshire FHS — www.ofhs.org.uk

Sep 082013

On behalf of Oxfordshire Family History Society, I am delighted to extend congratulations to our President, Hugh Kearsey, on having being awarded by the Society of Genealogists their new “Certificate of Recognition”.

Hugh3Hugh is one of four people/institutions to be so recognised – the special Certificate of Recognition has been newly created by the Society of Genealogists to recognise exceptional contributions to genealogy by individuals and institutions worldwide.

The citation for Hugh is:

“Dr Hugh Kearsey for actively ensuring a wider availability of materials
enabling others to pursue family history in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.”

Full details of the award and the recipients are at

Hugh joined the Oxfordshire Family History Society in 1985 and was elected to its Committee in 1988, becoming Chairman in 1995. Having moved to Gloucestershire in 1997, in 1999 he relinquished the Chairmanship, and was elected a Vice President. He remained on the Committee until 2009, and was elected President in 2002, a post he currently holds.

Hugh is currently our Projects Co-ordinator.  His first project began when he became 1851 Census coordinator in July 1988.  Of the 1841-1901 census indexes and the transcripts of 1841 and 1851 which are key resources of the Society, much of the transcription, indexing and presentation on fiche and, later, on CD, is attributable to Hugh.

Key to the “wider availability” of Oxfordshire information was Hugh’s initiative of microfiching the parish register transcripts held at the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies in 1989.  These were later scanned and Hugh formatted the scans leading to their publication on CD, with the first such being produced in 2003.

Whilst living in the part of Oxfordshire which was formerly North Berkshire, Hugh transcribed some of the parish registers of that area.

The OFHS Search Services, enabling county-wide searches of databases such as, initially, the marriage index, were written by Hugh back in 1990.  Hugh typed up the marriage index, at that time on fiche and on paper slips, as the first index.

Currently, Hugh is busy with extending, both in parishes and in date coverage, the Society’s burial index.  He’s also busy replacing the scanned transcripts on the CDs with digital ones rekeyed by Society volunteers.

These are just some of Hugh’s contributions to his work extending the availability of records relating to Oxfordshire family history, for which Oxfordshire Family History Society is very grateful, and which make him a worthy recipient of this new award.

Congratulations, Hugh!


Wendy Archer
Chairman, Oxfordshire FHS


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