Christopher Fance

Feb 262019
 

On Monday, 25 March, Mark Davies will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

An unexpected discovery of Indian ancestry in Oxfordshire (via Ireland)

Mark’s Indian heritage came as a complete surprise, realised only because of the totally unexpected revelation in the 1881 census that a great grandfather had been born in Calcutta. This in turn led to the discovery of an Oxfordshire heritage of considerable antiquity and a somewhat bizarre coincidence of Indian/Irish ancestral landownership in Oxford. He will discuss Some Dos and Don’ts of Indian ancestral research (via Ireland and Oxfordshire) and how to take the first research steps in dealing with Ancestors in India. 

Mark Davies is an Oxford local historian, author, and guide with a particular knowledge of the history and literature of the city’s waterways, including the Oxford realities which underlie Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’. This interest stems from having lived on a canalboat in central Oxford since 1992. A biography of the Oxford pastry cook and first English aeronaut James Sadler – from a family with very long Oxford associations – is the most recent addition to his range of local publications.

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. 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.

Jan 292019
 

On Monday, 25 February, Julian Hunt will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Julian’s talk Coaching Days on the Oxford Road brings together his knowledge of the turnpike trusts which greatly improved the condition of our main roads in the 18th century, the stage coached which plied between the major towns and the coaching inns where the travellers broke their journeys.

Julian Hunt was born in Romsley, Worcestershire in 1949. He began his career at Birmingham Reference Library in 1968 and was Local Studies Librarian in Oldham, Lancashire, from 1976. He was co-author of The Cotton Mills of Oldham, now in its third edition. He moved to Buckinghamshire in 1988 to become the County’s first Local Studies Librarian. He has written numerous histories of Buckinghamshire towns, including A History of Amersham (2001) A History of Gerrards Cross (2006) and A History of Beaconsfield (2009).

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. 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.

Dec 042018
 

On Monday, 28 January, Ian Wheeler will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Four Generations at Fair Mile Hospital, Cholsey

This presentation aims to examine a wide range of aspects of the county lunatic asylum system bequeathed to the nation by high-minded Victorian thinking. It does so through Ian Wheeler’s family connections with Fair Mile, Berkshire’s asylum from 1870; nine of his family worked there in a period of a little over a century. A key message is that, although ultimately in need of reform, the asylums were a force for good and that their value and importance has been overshadowed by a long-standing ‘bad press’ – some of which is simple misunderstanding and some the result of miserly government policy.

Ian Wheeler has spent years at a time in selling, purchasing, quality assurance, academic editing and train driving without causing major disasters. Most of his employers were enjoying better fortunes by the time he departed; some were beyond salvation. Now a gentleman of leisure, he tries to get around to all those tempting little retirement projects that beckoned as he slaved at his desk. In reality he spends most of his time slaving at a different desk and reflecting on the culpable fiction that is information technology.In quieter moments, Ian enjoys good literature, walking and classical music. He is also a performing folk musician, a morris dancer and a railway modeller, which goes to show that nothing in life is perfect.

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.

Nov 122018
 

In case any members would like to come to this –

Exhibition (St Nicholas, Islip 11-5pm daily ) contains 40 laminated posters giving details of the 25 local people killed in action with photographs, Commonwealth War Graves Commission details, and biographies

(as much as known) plus 52 others who fought and survived with details of where they lived, worked and died, supported by photographs and newspaper cuttings including Robert Graves (lived in Islip 1921-6).

 

 

Nov 092018
 

The committee of the Oxfordshire Family History Society has decided that from January 2019 there will be a charge of £2 for non-members attending our talks in the large hall in Exeter Hall, Kidlington. This will not apply to Computer Group meetings, which are held in the small hall.

Members will be welcomed as in the past at no charge as this is one of the benefits of membership of our Society.

If notices are found anywhere which do not mention this, please inform the Publicity co-ordinator, Gay Sturt, who can be contacted at publicity@ofhs.org.uk

Oct 262018
 

Do you have a story and/or photographs or other items connected to women in your family or community who have done something pioneering in their lives?

The Rumble Museum at Cheney School is holding a digital collection afternoon to preserve these stories, memories, and objects. We are also looking for World War One and World War Two artefacts and storiesWe will record your story or photograph any objects and these will be uploaded to a national online database. The website will be freely available to anyone to use and will preserve these objects and documents.

Please come along to the school Library with your objects between 2 and 5pm on Friday 2nd November, 2018. We will have experts on hand to help to give you more information on the items. There will also be artefact-handling, refreshments and an opportunity to talk to members from the wider community.

For more information contact lorna@irisproject.org.uk

This is part of a national project called ‘Lest We Forget’ co-ordinated by the University of Oxford – see https://www.facebook.com/OxfordLWF/

Please contact us in advance with rough details of what you will be bringing along.

Details at https://rumblemuseumsuffrage.wordpress.com/2018/08/01/womens-suffrage-and-ww1-collection-afternoon-2nd-november/

Cheney School is at Cheney Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7QH

Oct 232018
 

On Monday, 26 November, Tony Hadland will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

My Last Ag-Lab

Most of us have agricultural labourers (‘ag-labs’) somewhere in our family tree. Tony Hadland’s paternal ancestors were Oxfordshire ag-labs for centuries. When Tony was a small boy, he met the last of them, who was born in Finstock in 1865. This was George William Hadland, who left the land as a teenager and made the transition to urban living in the city of Worcester. In this talk, Tony (former editor of Oxfordshire Family Historian) traces the history of his ag-lab ancestors and tells the story of his great-grandfather’s transition from penniless farmhand to self-employed property owner, including why and how he left the land.

Born 1949 in Reading, Tony has also lived in Oxford, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse. He spent 13 years in the West Midlands, literally having been sent to Coventry by his employer. He studied architecture at the Oxford School of Architecture and surveying at Reading College of Technology. Tony is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; a historian specialising in local, family, recusant and cycle history; honorary president of the Moulton Bicycle Club; and chairman of the Oxfordshire Local History Association. Between 2004 and 2009 he was administrator of the Vale & Downland Museum. He has written, edited and contributed to a number of books and has had many articles published in magazines and journals. He has made numerous appearances on radio, particularly in recent years on BBC Radio Oxford, and has also appeared in documentary films and on regional TV. His most recent book, co-authored with Professor Hans-Erhard Lessing, is Bicycle Design: an illustrated history, published by MIT Press. He has a website at hadland.wordpress.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.

Oct 022018
 

On Monday, 22 October, Helen Ford will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy … Family History and Trade Unions

This illustrated talk will provide an introduction to the Modern Records Centre at Warwick University and an overview of the wide range of occupations and trade union collections held there. Using several examples of different trade unions archives Helen will provide details of the specific types of membership records and the information they often contain, including marital status, employer, sickness and unemployment payments, retirement and cause of death. The talk will focus on the transport workers, carpenters and printing trades. It will also touch on other sources in the collections such as photographs and records of social activities.

Helen has been an archivist for over 30 years and has been Archive Manager at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick for the past 11 years. Previous posts were at Devon County Record Office, Sheffield City Archives and Rochester Archive service. She has also worked as archivist for Laura Ashley plc and British Gas plc. Helen has worked on her own family tree and given many talks on archive sources for genealogists.

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.

Jul 242018
 

On Monday, 24 September, Liz Woolley will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

66 Men of Grandpont 1914-18

Sixty-six men are named on the First World War memorial in St Matthew’s church in Grandpont in south Oxford. In 2015 a team of local volunteers set out to learn more about these men, the neighbourhood they left behind, and the impact of the First World War on this one small Victorian suburb. The result is an innovative community history project which has uncovered some surprises, involved hundreds of people and captured the imaginations of those far beyond the local area. This talk explores some of the 66 men’s lives and explains how the project provides a model for other local groups who are thinking of carrying out similar work. Excerpts from a documentary film which has been made as part of the project will be shown. 

Liz lives in Oxford and has an MSc in English Local History from the University’s Department for Continuing Education. In 2015-16 she co-ordinated a community history project, ’66 Men of Grandpont 1914-18′, which researched the lives of the men named on the First World War memorial in St Matthew’s church in south Oxford. The project involved hundreds of local people and resulted in a poppy trail around the streets of Grandpont, a touring exhibition, a substantial website, a 40-minute documentary film and a Book of Remembrance which is on permanent display in the church.

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.

Jun 262018
 

On Monday, 23 July, Muriel Pilkington will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

The Oxford Canal and its People

The speaker often goes to Oxford and is fascinated by its history. One aspect of that history, that has nothing to do with the university, is the Oxford Canal. She spent a fascinating six months researching the story of the development, heyday and decline of canals in England in general and the Oxford Canal in particular. The talk first looks at how canals have developed in the past two millennia , and then it focuses on their importance to the development of the industrial revolution in this country. The need to build bridges, cut tunnels, build aqueducts meant that huge engineering expertise and innovation evolved. The canal companies were the ancestors of the development of numerous companies and financial speculation that were such a feature of the nineteenth century. The Oxford canal serves as a good illustration of the role played in the way that canals formed a national network for the distribution of goods in a way that had never been possible before. It also looks at the men, women and children who spent their lives working on the canals and finally it speculates about the possible future of this fascinating part of the national infrastructure.

Muriel Pilkington read history at Oxford University and then began a career in teaching. Apart from some time off for having a family, she worked in schools for well over 30 years, ending as head teacher of Wycombe High School, a post she held for 12 years. Although her love of history continued, she inevitably became increasingly interested in education. She was awarded two Certificates of Advanced Professional Studies in Education at the Cambridge Institute and an Honorary Doctorate at the Bucks New University in 2006 for services to education. She was active in the Association of School and College Leaders and was the president of the Bucks, Berks and Oxon section. She also served as governor in a range of educational institutions including vice chair of a university senate, membership of the council of a drama school, chair of a Pupil Referral Unit and four governorships of schools in Buckinghamshire. She now works as an educational consultant and writer for a national centre for education management. After her retirement, she has returned to her pet subject of history and started giving talks to a variety of societies and other institutions and clubs, giving her fees to charity. She is also a fairly active supporter of her Oxford college. After retiring, she and her husband relocated to Witney in Oxfordshire and used some of their proceeds from the sale of their former house in Buckinghamshire to acquire a presence in France. They belong to a variety of groups in each town. Her husband is an active member of the Lions club in Witney and in France and Muriel helps their work in both towns. They are sponsors of the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra.

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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