Christopher Fance

Oct 082019
 

On Monday, 28 October, Kathy Chater will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Coroners’ Inquests

Coroners’ Inquests are not just about how a person died. They can provide much useful information for genealogists: where and how people earned their livings, how they got on with family, friends and neighbours and a host of other facts that rarely appear in other official records. Family historians may also find an ancestor involved in another way, as part of the jury, as a witness or one of the officials managing the hearing.

Kathy Chater has been tracing her own ancestry for nearly forty years. She is the author of Tracing Your Huguenot Ancestors (2012) and The Reformation in 100 Facts (2016) Her doctoral thesis was published as Untold Histories: Black People in England and Wales during the British Slave Trade (2009) and she has also writtenTracing Your Family Tree in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales (2nd ed. 2008) and My Ancestor Was A Lunatic (2014). She contributes articles and reviews on social and family history to magazines and websites.

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 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.

Jun 252019
 

On Monday, 22 July, Rebecca Probert will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved – Interpreting Your Ancestors’ Second (and Subsequent!) Marriages

It’s very likely that some of your ancestors married more than once over their lifetime. But why precisely? and what can their remarriages tell us? How likely was remarriage after a bereavement, and what social and legal factors affected that decision? Was divorce an easy way out of marriage? If people committed bigamy, what were the likely consequences for all concerned? Drawing on thousands of cases, from the Old Bailey to magistrates’ courts, this talk provides new research findings on the nature and extent of remarriage in past centuries and decades to help family historians interpret their ancestors’ lives.

Professor Rebecca Probert began researching her family tree as a teenager and built on this interest in her academic zcareer, researching large-scale cohorts for her monographs Marriage Law and Practice in the Long Eighteenth Century: A Reassessment and The Legal Regulation of Cohabitation: From Fornicators to Family, 1600-2010, both published by Cambridge University Press. She now teaches family law at the University of Exeter and has written on all aspects of modern family law, as well as the history of marriage, divorce, cohabitation and bigamy. She has also appeared numerous times on TV and radio, including Heirhunters; Harlots, Heroines and Housewives; Historic Houses; A House Through Time and Who Do You Think You Are?

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.

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.

Jun 042019
 

On Monday, 24 June, after the AGM Sue Honoré will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

The Oxfordshire Surname Project

The Oxfordshire Surname Project was started two years ago and aims to record all significant surnames in Oxfordshire – over 1550 of them (including variants). The first 350 are underway with the aim of creating a book, web pages for each surname and longer term a massive database of all surnames recorded in name lists from across the county from 1200-1900 for OFHS members to access. Sue will update everyone on the projest’s progress and the links to DNA.

Sue Honoré is an independent research consultant specialising in different generations in the workplace. Wearing her family history hat, she is editor of the Oxfordshire Family History Society’s journal, a family history advisor and co-manages the Oxfordshire DNA project with Richard Merry in Australia. In 2017 she is working with a small team on a new project to research all the surnames in Oxfordshire. Apart from her normal academic qualifications for work, Sue has an Advanced Diploma in Local History from the University of Oxford.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the AGM starting at 8:00pm. The talk will follow as soon as it finishes. 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.

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.

May 062019
 

Ofhs members should think of visiting events to do with the 175th anniversary of GWR Didcot to Oxford railway line, Saturday 15th June 2019. Have a look at the following from the organisers of the events: –

Join us on Saturday 15 June for celebrations all along the Didcot to Oxford line!

The Didcot to Oxford Branch of the Great Western Railway opened in June 1844 and we’ll be celebrating its 175th anniversary with events at or near all five stations along the line – Didcot, Appleford, Culham, Radley and Oxford – on Saturday 15 June 2019.

The railway came rather late to Oxford, mainly due to opposition from the University which feared for the morals of its students. In particular it was very worried about providing undergraduates with easy access to London, where they might be involved in “improper marriages and other illegitimate connexions”. After several years – and two failed parliamentary Bills – the University finally dropped its opposition when it was agreed that its officials could patrol the station and physically prevent students from travelling to unsuitable destinations. Moreover, the Act of Parliament giving permission for the branch line stated that the Great Western could sell undergraduates tickets only to approved stations, and not to places like Ascot and Henley.

The opening of the line to the public on 12 June 1844 caused enormous excitement and great crowds gathered in areas adjacent to the railway. Thousands of people watched enthralled as the first public train arrived from Didcot:
“…one of those rampageous, dragonnading fire-devils … arrived at a sufficiently astonishing rate, and though gasping for breath and shining with heat, seemed to have turned not one hair more than was deemed proper by each spectator, even after its long and whirlwind chase.” (Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 15 June 1844)

Join us for an equally exciting day on Saturday 15 June. You’ll be able to buy a special GWR ticket to take you from one station to the next, and included in the price will be discounted entry to the Didcot Railway Centre. There it’ll be a special Steam Day, with locomotives which served on the Didcot to Oxford line on display. At Appleford’s steam-themed fête there’ll be a beer tent and barbeque; at Culham you can explore the 1844 Brunel-designed ticket office; and at Radley you’ll be able to hear story tellers relating tales about the village and the railway. At Oxford we’ll be based in Grandpont, very near the site of the city’s first (1844) railway station, and you’ll be able to enjoy rides on miniature trains, working model displays, exhibitions about the history of Oxford’s railways, and free guided walks to the nearby LMS swingbridge, a national Scheduled Monument.

Take part in our photo competition What does the Didcot to Oxford railway mean to you? from 19 April to 30 May. Fabulous prizes to be won! Further details at www.didcotoxfordgwr175.org/competition.html

For more information on all the celebrations visit www.didcotoxfordgwr175.org or contact Liz Woolley on info@didcotoxfordgwr175.org, 01865 242760.

Celebrations kindly supported by Great Western Railway, Oxford City Council, Greening Lamborn Trust, Brasenose College, University College, St Matthew’s Bridge Builder Trust , Oxfordshire Local History Association, Oxford Civic Society, the Railway Inn, Culham and Entikera Ltd.’

It looks a very exciting day.

Apr 302019
 

On Monday, 20 May, Mark Lawrence will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Picture Oxon

Oxfordshire History Centre’s photographic archive traces its origins to the Oxford City Library of the 1890s in St Aldate’s. The archive rapidly expanded through the 20th century acquisitions of Taunt, Packer and Thomas collections, affording substantial coverage of our region, from Cotswolds to Chilterns and right through the Thames Valley. Gaining its first online presence via the Heritage Search website in 2007, our photographic archive now looks to Picture Oxon to provide a catalogue of 400,000 images of local people, places and buildings. Picture Oxon’s resources include not only photographs, but engravings, drawings and maps too. Our work of saving, collecting and recording photographic imagery of the county never stops, and the enthusiasm and effort of volunteers helps us to extend public access through the scanning and cataloguing of otherwise untapped collections. In future we look forward to more public involvement in our work, with sharing of content, effort and expertise, all directed towards a more effective capturing of our pictorial past and present.

Mark Lawrence is joint Manager of Oxfordshire History Centre, Oxfordshire County Council’s public archive and local history library. He has been a local studies librarian for over 30 years, starting his career in Barnstaple in the 1980s, with Devon County Council, working to improve access to local and family history resources for the previously isolated districts of North Devon and Torridge. Moving to Oxford in 1992, he supported the growth and development of the Centre for Oxfordshire Studies at Westgate, catering for up to 30,000 annual visitors at its peak. Restructuring in 2011 saw that service move from Westgate to Cowley, merging with the county record office, to form Oxfordshire History Centre, where the management of the photographic archive and the development of digital resources are two of his key concerns. Mark’s first brush with local history was as a schoolboy commuter into Bristol city cente, sparking off a long-term interest in photographic recording of the built environment. He vows he has at last transferred his allegiance and interest to Oxfordshire, but the family history ties to Bristol and Gloucestershire still run deep.

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.

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.

Mar 262019
 

On Monday, 29 April, Michael Gandy will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Name Lists of the 17th and 18th centuries

From Jury lists through Tithes to Oaths of Loyalty, most of our ancestors appear time and time again on governement and local lists. This talk explains many possibilities for researchers.

Michael Gandy has been tracing his ancestors since 1962. He is a Fellow and former Chairman of the Society of Genealogists and over the years has been on the committees of a great number of Family History Societies, especially those relating to London and non-Conformists, including Catholics, Huguenots and Quakers.

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.

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.

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