Jun 112018

News of a festive occasion open to all, sent by Sue Richards, of the Ascott Martyrs Educational Trust.

The Trust’s website is:

The postcode which will take you to the locality of The Green is OX7 6AB


In this centenary year of the introduction of votes for at least some women, 23 June is a day to remember those oppressed women from Ascott who in 1873 were punished for standing up to authority.

Join together on The Green to enjoy a fun afternoon of music and song, and hear more about the Martyrs, their families and life in the village at that time.

Beverley McCombs, a descendant from New Zealand and author of The Ascott Martyrs, will be here to tell the story – we would love to welcome visitors dressed 1870s rural style for the occasion!

At 2.30pm the textile wallhanging that a group have been working on since September will be unveiled. The textile is to have a permanent home in the church, situated opposite the main entrance door where it will provide a powerful and lasting reminder of the women and their experiences.

# Discover the Martyrs story for the first time or catch up on new research and local history
# Shepherds Crook present a programme of topical Cotswold folk songs and readings relating to the events of 1873
# Mark Pidgeon will perform two songs written for the occasion
# Teas in the church from 4pm
# Ascott Village Shop open for picnic fare, icecreams, drinks
# The Swan open for meals and drinks all day
# Beverley is looking forward to meeting you all and signing copies of her book
# Dress 1870s rural style – even just a token shawl or cap will add to the spirit of the occasion

It would be helpful if you could let me know by email if you are able to attend (suerichards@phonecoop.coop) so that we have some idea of numbers.


May 012018


Three items of news and notice of events from Wallingford Museum

Wallingford Museum – now opening Sunday afternoons

This year’s exhibition at Wallingford Museum “Treasures with Tales” is proving very popular. From 3rd June, the Museum will also open on Sunday afternoons (2-5pm) – and free entry for accompanied children continues!

The exhibition features a wide variety of fascinating objects loaned by residents, each with its own special significance – from exotic to fun to poignant  – or just beautiful! Visitors are able to follow the ‘Treasures Trail’ and discover these things for themselves throughout the museum. Each will have its own ‘tale’ displayed and can be enjoyed by the whole family. The treasures are woven in amongst our other exhibitions which include not only the story of Wallingford’s Saxon origins, its great Royal castle, the town’s links with Agatha Christie, but also updates on the recent archaeology that is being uncovered by new developments around the town.

Stu Darby



Wallingford’s Guided Historic Town Walks

Wallingford’s Guided Historic Town Walks have created much interest and now take place regularly on Saturday mornings, starting from the Town Hall at 11.00am. Walks last 1 – 2 hours and cost £5 per person.

These are general walks covering the rich history of Wallingford, but also touching on the links with Agatha Christie and ‘Midsomer Murders’. They appeal to residents and visitors alike.

Just turn up – no booking is necessary!

Philip Burton


‘From above and below – Inner secrets of Wallingford Castle Inner Bailey?’

Kevin Barton (of Landscape & Geophysical Services) will talk to The Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society (TWHAS) about the ‘inner secrets’ of Wallingford Castle Inner Bailey.

In 2001, Kevin founded ‘Landscape & Geophysical Services’ to provide archaeological geophysical services in Ireland and overseas. In recent times he has brought his broad experience of remote sensing to assist communities in exploring their local heritage.

Much detailed historical and archaeological research has been carried on the Anglo-Saxon establishment of Wallingford and the Norman construction of the first Castle. The most up-to-date research has been published in three primary publications with significant input by volunteers from Wallingford Museum and TWHAS. 

Much has been learnt from the integration of the research results which have revealed that the Inner Bailey includes at least three halls and associated kitchens, a church and other buildings with a large garden area surrounding the church. There are questions still remaining about these structures and functional areas in the Inner Bailey which is the heart of the royal Castle. 

 Remote sensing with associated visualisation techniques can image archaeological features from above – in the air and below – on the ground. The talk will introduce the Castle and review the questions relating to the Inner Bailey. To address some of the questions, we will examine new visualisations of existing and recently processed airborne remote sensing data. Finally, with the help of TWHAS volunteers, some inner secrets of the Inner Bailey may be revealed in the presentation of preliminary results from a new remote sensing survey scheduled to be completed in the days preceding this talk.

This talk will be held on Wednesday 13th June, 7.45 for 8pm, at St Mary’s Church, Wallingford. 

Visitors (£4) are most welcome.

Katharine Keats-Rohan


Jan 262018

On the 2 October last year I posted regarding a proposed mentoring scheme that the OFHS Executive feels would provide an additional benefit to new as well as existing members of the Society. To date I have only had three members putting their names forward to be included as Mentors. While there is a fairly wide range of expertise this is not considered to be enough people to provide this additional service to members.  If you feel that this scheme is something you could, from time to time, help with please contact me. My original post is reproduced below for information. I have also attached the draft details of the Mentoring Scheme.

Thank you.

John Cramer
Executive Member


Post of 2 October 2017
“The OFHS Executive has discussed introducing a mentoring scheme for members of the Society as an additional benefit to members. The purpose of the mentoring scheme would be to provide assistance to OFHS Members in either starting their research or providing advice as to how they might extend their research when they are unsure or have difficulties and cannot advance their research any further.

It is envisaged that there would be a pool of Mentors who would be assigned to help another member depending on the issue to be resolved and the expertise/knowledge they have. There would not be any expectation that the Mentor would carry out research but suggest potential research routes to the member asking for help.

If you are interested in becoming a Mentor please contact me via email events@ofhs.org.uk and I will forward details of the proposed scheme. If you then wish to be included on the list of Mentors you would then need to provide me with details of the areas of research in which you feel you can help.

John Cramer
Executive Member”

Jun 092017

If you are planning to enter our competition, please try and do so as it closes in less than a week.

The tests are Y-67 – worth over £215 each. You do not need to be a member of OFHS to enter.

If you are a male with strong Oxfordshire ancestry on your pure male line (father’s father’s father’s… – your surname line)  or a woman who can persuade a brother/male cousin/father to take the test, then please enter our competition.

Write a few paragraphs on your Oxfordshire ancestry on your male line; describe why a test would be useful to you and provide all your contact details. Send to dna@ofhs.org.uk before Thursday 15th June.

Apr 252017

The Oxfordshire Museum thinks that people might be interested to know that this summer the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock will be opening its doors until 8pm on the first Thursday of each month from May to September.

If you haven’t visited the Museum recently, it’s an opportunity to see it and its extensive gardens in a new light and to enjoy some summer specials including free gallery talks and live music. The Museum’s garden café will remain open into the evening providing light refreshments as the perfect complement to your visit.

Admission to the Museum is free and a programme of talks/lecture is also available to pre-booked groups.

For more information please call the Museum on 01993 814106

The Museum looks forward to welcoming you.

Oct 122016

OFHS will be attending the above event.  The Society will have a display of books, some discounted in celebration of our 40th anniversary, together with our parish CD’s and a range of Monumental Inscription CD’s.  Help will be on hand to help trace those Oxfordshire ancestors who have so far eluded you.  We look forward to seeing you there.

Aug 032016

FamilyTreeDNA have a summer sale starting 3rd August 2016, mainly focusing on bundled products (more than one test at once) but also a remarkable reduction in the autosomal (FamilyFinder) test, which is useful for finding cousins on both sides of the family back 5-6 generations and is suitable for males and females. Sales prices are:

Product Retail Pricing Sale Price Group Price
Family Finder $99 $69 $69
Y37 + Family Finder $268 $228 $218
Y67 + Family Finder $367 $327 $317
Comprehensive Genome (FF+Y67+FMS) $566 $499 $489
FMS + Family Finder $298 $258 $258

If you are a member of the Oxfordshire DNA project you get the ‘Group’ price. If you have Oxfordshire ancestry back into the C19th, have not yet been tested and have queries, please contact dna@ofhs.org.uk.


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