Gay Sturt

Feb 012019

OFHS is now able to take payment via PayPal. This secure system is very useful for many purposes: including joining OFHS or renewing your subscription or purchasing the latest three Memorial Inscriptions CDs (for Sandford, Littlemore, and Wroxton). Many people use PayPal to pay for a wide variety of services elsewhere and can now make these payments easily to Oxfordshire Family History Society.

Nov 022018

Members may be aware that there has been an ongoing audio project talking to some interesting people from this area. In the most recent episode, Elizabeth Mills of OFHS was interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford’s Lilley Mitchell show on Monday 29th October. She described an incredible story of her Jamaican ancestry and unknown cousins. You can hear the recording on iPlayer (from about 2:07pm on the show’s timer) at

Well worth a listen, especially if you have an interest in that part of the world.

OFHS members have the added bonus of being able to access this and all the recordings of our previous BBC interviews from the OFHS Members-Only Area –
– direct link

Oct 052018

Today we start to put together the layout for the OFHS Fair. The time has flown by- electrical leads, covers and over 87 tables have been booked. Banners, posters and masses of other items are packed and ready for the set up today. Maps have been prepared for the event so all can find their way around. The catering is booked, the parking is organised people are assembling to pull together all the elements of the Fair. Since last year, a brand new floor in the main hall has been installed and we all understand that no high heels are to be on it at all. The power cables have been checked to see they are good to go, the books are packed in their boxes, the CD’s double-checked, and almost all last minutes queries answered. Saturday is so nearly here and I still have not discovered all that is on offer at the Fair, but here are a few more tasters.

The Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives (AGRA) is the professional organisation promoting high professional standards in the field of genealogy and historical research in England and Wales. AGRA is also prominent as a representative voice in matters relating to genealogy. Talking to someone on the stall at the Fair in Woodstock will cost nothing and might make a difference to your research.
Chipping Norton Museum are also hosting a stall. Apart from the artefacts in the Museum, they have an interesting reference collection for the area- well worth talking to them if your family lived in that area.

The East of London Family History Society is now a registered charity with over 1,800 members worldwide, the Society has no central offices, telephones or paid staff, and volunteer members provide all their help. I am sure that whether you are new to studying family history or a seasoned genealogist you will find something to interest you. Their geographic area of interest is that part of Greater London, north of the Thames and east of the old City of London gates of Aldgate & Bishopsgate. Then eastwards through the modern day London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Newham, Barking and Dagenham through Redbridge to the edge of Metropolitan Essex at Havering. Such a central area housed many families- perhaps your history may have links there? Do go and see what they have to offer.

The Census Detectives have a very straightforward approach to searching for a missing person. Start with the first bit of knowledge and then work through all the difficulties. However, you will need to know that you have to book a slot on the day, and then remember to arrive promptly. Like many of the stands at the Fair, they are very popular so if in need of their help, do go there first.

Finally- remember to bring some notes about your family history so you can make best use of all the help available.
Come and enjoy all there is on offer.

Sep 272018
Sep 052018

Just 31 days until the OFHS fair in Woodstock on Saturday 6th 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 30 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 6th October 2018.
We look forward to seeing you there.

Sep 052018

Witney & District Museum 75 High Street, Witney, Oxfordshire OX28 6JA
This article is to highlight their Heritage Open day on Saturday 8th September between 10.00 and 16.00. The Museum is found close to the junction of the High Street and Witan Way, though the archway marked ‘Bartlett Builder’.
This day is free to all, and will be well worth attending.
Oxfordshire Family History Society advisors will be present to help people find previous generations of their Oxfordshire families. They will be bringing with them various leaflets, booklets & CD’s of registers and masses information on the computers.
During the day the museum will allow access to some of its wealth of material for those interested in local or family history. Among their records they hold the only known surviving register of inmates at Witney Union Workhouse, covering 1839 to 1841, and the Quit-rent rolls showing the owners and occupiers of around 350 properties in Witney, Hailey, Crawley and Curbridge, (1845-1890) with loads more information. There is no need to book.
Access: Wheelchair access only to the ground floor.
This small independent museum is run entirely by volunteers.
Do come and join us there. Contact for the day: 01993 775915

Aug 132018

54 days till the 2018 Oxfordshire Family History Fair at Marlborough School in Woodstock comes round. Do not forget that this event has free parking and free entry to all areas. The catering is done by ‘Good Food’ a company who have served us well in past years with a good range of hot and cold drinks and various edible items.
This year we are welcoming both Glamorgan FHS and Suffolk FHS. Glamorgan is especially interesting because of the link between the two steel foundry centres. I understand that there was a fair amount of migration from Glamorgan to the Cowley car factory and this might be quite relevant to some family historians in the area.
In this centenary year of the conclusion of the 1st WW it will be very appropriate to have the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum, as well as the unknown Soldier and Western Front Association present. Military figures have figured frequently in this year and the various events have been well covered by the press both here and abroad.
During the Fair there will some of the OFHS computer experts helping visitors to track down their relatives and there will be practical help with exploring the DNA possibilities to find other relatives.
Sadly, Shropshire FHS is now longer able to attend this year as I reported in my last blog, but we hope to see them in another year.

Aug 032018

Just 64 days to go until Oxfordshire Family History Society is holding its annual Fair in Woodstock, at the Marlborough School, OX20 1LP- Saturday 6th October 2018
Do put it in your diaries now. We have over 30 organisations from a wide range of sources coming to share their expertise with our visitors. Using both the main gym at Marlborough School and the Marlborough Enterprise Centre the event- is FREE. Easy access for all visitors and FREE parking makes it a really easy venue to visit and with excellent refreshments available you can make a day of it! Doors open at 10:00 and close at 16:00.
The Oxfordshire History Centre will also be there with their experts, ready to share some of their treasures. There will be 8 other Family History Societies some neighbours for example Buckinghamshire and Berkshire and others from further afield East of London, Shropshire, Suffolk and Wiltshire.
For anyone who has not been to a fair like this before, the stalls are all concerned with helping people research their family history. OFHS has done a large amount of transcribing of the Parish Registers, graves in many of the cemeteries, and war memorials throughout the county. These results are available on CD’s which are available for purchase. In addition, there are a range of books and details of plenty of details of other Oxfordshire families and their occupations. Other stalls will be offering maps, postcards and a wide variety of subject experts to ask for help.
As the days go by we will be highlighting some of the other attendees so do visit this site again.


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