OFHS has started a new Oxfordshire surnames research project, examining surnames recorded in Oxfordshire parish registers from 1538 onwards, currently estimated at up to 20,000 key variants. The team is also using many other early recorded sources to build a comprehensive database of Oxfordshire surnames. The aim is to trace their whereabouts in different parishes over time, their origins, hotspots, DNA connections and many other facets of Oxfordshire surnames. The project will take about 2 years to complete.
The project team is appealing for help in a number of ways:
– Those who have a good recorded family history in Oxfordshire or who manage a one-name study would be welcome to contact the team with a brief description and their contact details, so that when their surname is analysed they may be able to participate in submitting content for that name. All significant contributors will be acknowledged.
– People who have been DNA tested and are not yet part of the Oxfordshire DNA project on FamilyTreeDNA are welcome to join the project at www.familytreedna.com/public/oxfordshire. The team also welcomes help with publicity to encourage more people with good Oxfordshire ancestry to be DNA tested. As an incentive, Oxfordshire Family History Society has donated the cost of six Y-37 tests to be won in a competition. Any male (or female who could persuade a male relative to take the test) is eligible. We are looking for the six best candidates with good Oxfordshire surname history on the pure male line (father’s father’s father…) going back before 1870 and with good personal reasons to think a DNA test will be valuable. All that is required is an email describing your known Oxfordshire male line ancestry, why you think a DNA test would be valuable and full contact details. Full Ts & Cs can be obtained on application. The closing date is the 15th June 2017. If you know of a friend, relative or neighbour who might be a good candidate, then do tell them about this competition. Please mark any emails for the competition with a title of ‘DNA Competition’.
– If you are keen to help, there are a number of pan-Oxfordshire resources the team needs help in transcribing. Please get in touch if you are able to help. Many can be done remotely without being located in Oxfordshire. If you possess electronic versions of any early documents listing Oxfordshire names (for which you have obtained the original author or publisher’s permission for use), please contact the team.
If you have any queries, please contact Sue Honore via firstname.lastname@example.org