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Sep 102019

25% Discount on new VCH Wychwood volume

The latest VCH Oxfordshire volume (XIX: Wychwood Forest and Environs) can be ordered at 25% discount (£71.25) until 31 December. To obtain a discount, download an order form, or order online from Boydell & Brewer, entering discount code BB768 at the checkout.

Places covered: Ascott-under-Wychwood; Bruern; Cornbury Park; Fifield; Idbury; Leafield; Lyneham; Milton-under-Wychwood; Ramsden; Shipton-under-Wychwood (with Langley); Wychwood Forest.

Read more about the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire:

Sep 052019

Just 30 days until the OFHS fair in Woodstock on Saturday 5th October at Marlborough School and the Marlborough Enterprise Centre. Free entry, free parking and a good range of food and drinks to sustain you during a busy day. On board are a host of interesting people, OFHS advisors and plenty of other societies represented who are also keen on Family History. Please think about using these coming days to go back onto your family tree and identify the biggest gaps in the Oxfordshire part of your family. Using a notebook do make plenty of notes and prioritise the people who you have found the hardest to trace before. Then you will know who to concentrate on during your visit to the OFHS Fair. Make a note of their children, dates of birth of location of their parents and possibly death so that the researchers can make best use of their time.
Do remember that the families prior to 1900 did often vary the spelling of their names- it is always worth writing out all the possible variations so that you have a record of what might fit into your family tree. Although Vicars or Priests were expected to be literate they had a challenge to spell some names that they may not have ever come across before, but it was not their fault.
Oxfordshire has a rich history of unique surnames so investigating the stall at the OFHS Fair headed ‘GOONS’ might well be worth your time. This title stands for Guild of One Name Studies : follow this link and this will help you to see if they will be of interest on the 5th October 2019.
We look forward to seeing you there.

Aug 202019

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

The Victorian Way of Death

In the 1800s, death did not hold the same taboo as it does today. Naturally. a funeral was a time for sombre celebration but it was also an opportunity for the family to gather and to exchange news and gossip. Many of the traditions have evolved and still, in one form or another, survive today. These traditions and their folklore which surrounded the Victorian rituals are investigated in this informative yet humorous talk.

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 1990s, he held the post of Director of the Cambridge and County Folk Museum and subsequently the Amberley Industrial Museum. Tom has recently 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 1840s 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 1953 Triumph Renown cars.

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. Tea and coffee will be available. Non-members are very welcome, though we have a charge of £2 as an entrance fee for them to contribute towards the hire of the hall and the costs of speakers.

A summary of most talks will appear after an interval in the Members’ Only Area of the OFHS website. Summaries of previous talks are also available in the same place.

Aug 132019

There is a sale on from today (13th August 2019) until 31st August on Y-DNA. Prices are: Y-37 is down from $169 to $129;  Y67 is down from $268 to $199;  Y-111 is down from $359 to $299.

Go to to buy.

Y-DNA is for males only. If your pure male surname line comes from Oxfordshire prior to 1875, then please go to which is our Oxfordshire DNA project, click on Join and then buy a test from there so that you become part of our Oxfordshire research project – help us understand Oxfordshire surnames and get support from Oxfordshire experts on your DNA.

Jul 292019

The Oxfordshire FHS team had a good day at the Bucks FHS fair, as their smiles show! Our CDs, both those of transcribed parish registers and those of photographs of individual parishes’ MIs, were hot sellers. We were able to provide help to visitors from our databases, and had the Black Sheep range of books on offer.

The next fair we’re scheduled to attend is our own Oxfordshire Family History Fair, at Woodstock, on October 5th.
See for where to find us, and attending societies and organisations.

Jul 292019

On Monday, 5 August 2019, the subject of the Oxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) computer group meeting will be Fixing Fotos For Free with GIMP, given by Alan Simpson and Kevin Poile. The meeting will be held at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, at 7:30pm (you’re welcome from 7:15pm).

Photo being coloured using GIMP

GIMP is a completely free graphics program that can do just about everything you could possibly want. Its only snag is that at first sight its interface looks intimidating! Alan and Kevin will attempt to take away the terror and encourage you to discover its joys. 

Alan Simpson and Kevin Poile are stalwarts of OFHS, both wearing many hats and highly competent in all things technical to do with family history.

Non-members of OFHS are very welcome to come to the meeting!

For those members who can’t attend, we hope to put a summary of the talk in the Members-Only Area in due course.

Jul 122019
The following surnames were added to the OXfordshire Surname Interest List in June
BAYLISS<1870Handborough (Long)Holly Herda
BERRY>1700WitneyNena Carter
BUCKINGHAMAnyCowleyJane Baird
BUCKLEAnyBicesterDiana Roads
CALCUTTAnyWitneyGordon Parker
CASTLEAnyDucklingtonGordon Parker
CHAVASSE1700-1800BurfordJan Harris
CLAPTON> 1850OxfordPaul Landon
COLLETT<1746Charlton on Otmoor, FencottStephen Collett
COLLIS>1700WitneyNena Carter
COLLIS19cBampton, DucklingtonCarolyn Ramsbottom
COWLEY> 1950OxfordPaul Landon
DRINKWATERc.1850Tackley, HeadingtonRosalea Webby
DUMBLETON1700-1900Tadmarton, North NewingtonSandra Hawkins
EARLY1600-1700WitneyAlison Charter-Smith
FOSTER> 1950OxfordPaul Landon
LEDBETTER1750-1900Banbury, North NewingtonSandra Hawkins
MARRIOTT1600-1750WitneyAlison Charter-Smith
MILLEN>1700WitneyNena Carter
PARMEEAnyWitneyGordon Parker
PAXTONAnyGreat HaseleyBeverley Corney
PAXTON<1800FinmereBeverley Corney
PLOWMAN> 1900AnyPaul Landon
PUCKETT>1700WitneyNena Carter
RUSSELLAnyStanton Harcourt, EynshamJanet Price
SAUNDERS1600-1800Aston Rowant areaGraham Towerton
SKELCHER1750-1930Banbury, Broughton, North Newington, MollingtonSandra Hawkins
SLINGO>1700WitneyNena Carter
TOWERTON1600-1800AnyGraham Towerton
WASHINGTON1600-1760Gosford, Kidlington, BletchingdonDavid Green
WELLSTOOD>1650Oxford, IffleyBrenda Morris
WHITE1600-1800Aston Rowant areaGraham Towerton
WHITLEY<1870Handborough (Long)Holly Herda
WINFIELD>1700WitneyNena Carter

You’ll find the most up-to-date list of recently-added surname interests here.

Jul 082019

Having just had a stand at The Family History Show South West we are now preparing for Bucks FHS Open Day on 27 July 2019 at The Grange School, Wendover Way, Aylesbury, HP21 7NH.

OFHS will have our CD’s of Parish Records and Monumental Inscriptions on sale together with the full range of Black Sheep Books. We will also be providing a search service to help find that elusive ancestor. We look forward to seeing you.

The link to Bucks FHS is


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