Apr 062018


On Monday, 9 April 2018, the subject of the Oxfordshire Family History Society meeting will be ‘Fixing Photos’, with the talk given by Alan Simpson.

Alan says he will demonstrate some of the techniques you can use to enhance the visual appearance of damaged and faded old photographs. It will be an interactive session so if anyone cares to bring along an old photograph or two, Alan is prepared to rise to the challenge and will have a scanner and camera to hand. Don’t expect miracles though!. If information is completely lost from the original it cannot be recovered but what does remain can often be shown to much better effect, as evidence this snap of a Sutton family gathering in Yorkshire taken around 1919.

Alan is the Chairman of the OFHS computer group panel, and, as well, he carries out searches for the Society’s Search Services. He’s also our Monumental Inscriptions Coordinator.
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.


Mar 272018

On Monday, 23 April, Tom Doig will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Old photographs; their identification and dating

Great grand-mother’s boxes of photographs, particularly her cartes de visite, were a source of fascination when we were children. She knew who the people were and so rarely wrote their names on the back. Many Victorian photographs were taken on specific occasions, such as coming of age, emigration or wedding anniversaries. Using unsual techniques, the speaker will look for clues for their identification and suggest procedures for dating them. He will spend some time before his talk discussing old photographs that members of the society may like to bring from their collections.

Tom Doig is a qualified engineer, teacher and social historian researching rural life in the 19th and 20th century. He is well known for his books on local history and for his radio and television programmes and has lectured widely in the UK and abroad. During the 1990’s, he held the post of Director of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum and subsequently the Amberley Industrial Museum. Currently, he is Honorary Curator to the 398th USAF Bomber Group Museum at Nuthampstead. Tom has recently the completed five books of old photographs in a series on Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire for the Francis Frith Collection. A member of the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists, Tom Doig served a term as Vice-President of the Cambridge Antiquarian Society. He lives in a remote rural part of north Hertfordshire in a converted cattle shed built during the 1840’s as part of a model farmstead. When relaxing from his history research, Tom devotes his time to the preservation of his 1923 Morris ‘Bullnose’ Cowley and 1973 Triumph Stag car.

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.

Feb 272018

On Monday, 26 March, Malcolm Graham will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Women in Oxford during the Great War

The talk about Women in Oxford during the Great War will cover women’s reactions to the war and its effects on home and family life; the part played by university women; the range of work, both paid and voluntary, undertaken by local women; the new financial independence enjoyed by some women; moral panic about khaki fever among young women and girls; and society’s changing attitudes to women (women’s suffrage, health and housing).

Malcolm Graham is an Oxford local historian, now retired after a professional career as local studies librarian and then Head of Oxfordshire Studies with Oxfordshire County Council. He has published many books and articles about the city and county, including Oxfordshire at War about the county in the Second World War in 1994 and, in 2014, Oxford in the Great War. When he retired in 2008, he was honoured to be made one of Oxfordshire Family History Society’s Vice-Presidents for his work in improving the county’s services for family historians.

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.

Feb 092018

Familytree DNA is having a sale which will end at midnight on 14th February 2018 for the autosomal DNA test (can be taken by both men and women and will show you cousins going back to common ancestors about 5-6 generations ago). It a basic first step into DNA testing.

Sale price is $59 – down from $89. Please note postage to and from the US is extra.

If you have Oxfordshire ancestors going back before 1875, please order the test through the Oxfordshire DNA project which is at:

www.familytreedna.com/public/oxfordshire . Click on the join button and follow instructions to order a test.

If you need help on understanding which kits are best for you and how to join/help the Oxfordshire DNA group with its DNA research, please email dna@ofhs.org.uk.

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”

Jan 232018

On Monday, 26 February, Maggie Loughran will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Researching ancestors in Ireland

Over the centuries, one of Ireland’s greatest exports has been its people. This has taken many guises be it voluntarily to travel the world, to explore seeking fame and fortune, economic migrants, trade, colonise, govern or forcibly transported, to fight or to garrison some far off settlement. It is estimated that there are over one million people of Irish birth in Britain today, plus numerous second, third or fourth generation Irish. The major challenge to those of us with Irish ancestors is to determine their actual place of birth, without this it is nigh on impossible to undertakeany research within Ireland, even if you trying to research a fairly uncommon surname. This talk will guide you through sources to help determine your ancestors place of birth and also look at some of the more easily accessible Irish records.

Maggie Loughran is a lecturer, educator and author, regularly contributing articles on family and local history to various journals and magazines and is co-author of the best selling ‘Discover Your Roots’ (published 2006). She has lectured extensively both in the UK and USA and organised courses and conferences on family and local history related subjects. She is a past Chairman of both local and family history societies and a past Administrator of the UK based, Federation of Family History Societies. Also for the blog: She is half Irish and has been actively researching her own and her husband’s Irish ancestors for over 25 years.

By courtesy of www.dreamstime.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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