Jun 112020

At the OFHS Executive meeting on the 3 June the decision was taken to not hold our annual Fair this year due to the uncertainties over Covid-19.  This decision was made with much sadness, particularly as we had already done quite a lot of work on the Fair (booking the venue, catering and tables and inviting stallholders).

There is the logistical problem of providing social distancing measures and restricting the number of people in the venue at any one time.  Equally for OFHS there is the problem of providing all the help that we have in the past.  As many of our volunteers are potentially in the vulnerable groups it would be very difficult to provide the search services etc. that many of our visitors to the Fair use.

We intend to hold the Fair next year, on 2 October, and will start our organising at the beginning of January 2021.

Feb 272020

Having had a successful day at The Family History Show in Bristol OFHS will next be attending Family Tree Live. This is the second year of this event which we thought was very successful last year.

OFHS will be selling our CD’s of Parish Records and Monumental Inscriptions together with the full range of Black Sheep books. Included in the Monumental Inscriptions are three new releases, Great Milton, Bampton and North Leigh. We will also be providing a search service to help look for that elusive Oxfordshire ancestor.


Jan 282020

The first event OFHS will be attending this year is The Family History Show, South West which is being held on the 8 February at the University Of West England Conference Centre in Bristol, 10am to 4.30pm. A free shuttle bus service will be provided from the Parkway Railway Station.

OFHS will be selling our CD’s of Parish Records and Monumental Inscriptions together with the full range of Black Sheep books. Included in the Monumental Inscriptions are three new releases, Great Milton, Bampton and North Leigh. We will also be providing a search service to help look for that elusive Oxfordshire ancestor.


Oct 022019

In just two days we start putting together the layout for the OFHS Fair. The time has flown by- electrical leads, covers and 97 tables have been booked. Banners, posters and masses of other items are packed and ready for the set up on Friday. 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. 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 here are a few more tasters of what you can find at the Fair.

Military historian Captain Graham Bandy will be one of our stallholders, with his wife who is very knowledgeable in her own right and has a particular interest in the Women’s Land Army.  Our Fair would therefore be an excellent opportunity for anyone with military ancestors they don’t know much about to get some expert advice. You can bring along copies or photographs of any hard-to-interpret military records,  as-yet-unidentified family photos of distant ancestors in military uniform.

Dave Beames, will be in the hall with the other OFHS helpers, giving advice on deciphering wills. If you have a will that you need some help with please bring it with you.

Chipping Norton Museum are 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 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. http://www.sog.org.uk/learn/census-detectives/

New this year is the Crafty Genealogist. If you’re looking for a unique way in which to record your family history their stall is well worth a visit.

Finally- remember to bring some notes about your family history so you can make best use of all the help available.

Sep 282019

7 days now to go to the Oxfordshire Family History Fair on Saturday 5th October in Woodstock at Marlborough School and Enterprise Centre. For those who have never visited a Family history Fair before it is full of people who are all interested in tracking their relatives often from quite some years ago. On arrival, you will be offered the chance to win a year’s subscription to either “Ancestry”, “Find My Past” or “The Genealogist”. It is well worth filling in the form, as although all the county libraries have access to “Ancestry” and “Find My Past”, it is much more comfortable in the winter to have access at home.

Oxfordshire has an excellent record of transcribing old Parish records whether involving Births, Marriages or indeed Burials in the local graveyard. Thus, there is a large quantity of materials available to be found by those who have Oxfordshire relations. The bonus with this Fair is that we also have other organisations coming to join us. Amongst them will be Berkshire FHS, Bucks FHS, Northants FHS and Wilts FHS – our near neighbours. In addition Essex FHS, Hampshire FHS, Sussex FHS will be attending.

We have one author bringing their new book to the fair- do come and chat to the author and see what they have to offer. Angela Fortnum offers Leaflets and Pages of North Oxfordshire – My Lineage Pre 1700 – 1959. Her maternal family story begins eight generations before her and reaches back to the turn of the eighteenth century in England—and it is a story that she will tell and continue today. Please do come and chat to the author!

Oxfordshire History Centre, who are based in the redundant church of St. Luke’s in Temple Cowley, just off the Cowley Road, will bring with them some familiar faces to help visitors who have various enquiries. I am sure that they will appreciate plenty of attention from our visitors as well as the opportunity to catch up with others who already know them.

Do remember; free Parking, free entry, a good range of drinks and snacks and plenty of people to help you succeed in finding those missing people from the past. We look forward to welcoming you in Woodstock. Do pass the word around to anyone you know is also travelling this path to find their relatives.

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 https://one-name.org/ 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.

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 https://news.ofhs.org.uk/fair/ for where to find us, and attending societies and organisations.

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 http://www.bucksfhs.org.uk/


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