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 272018
 

You are invited to Oxfordshire Family History Society’s Christmas Forum, our December computer-focussed meeting, this coming Monday, 3 December, at Exeter Hall, Kidlington.

Rather than there being a set subject, the meeting will be an opportunity for the computer group panel and the audience to raise and discuss recommendations, comments and queries about software and hardware relevant to records for us as genealogists.  We’re expecting a lively evening!

There will also be festive fare to set the seasonal mood.

The meeting will be held at the usual venue at Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1AB.  The doors will open at 7:15pm, with the meeting starting at 7:30pm.

Do come – with your thoughts for discussion!  Non-members are welcome too!

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 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.

Sep 242018
 

On Monday, 1 October 2018, the subject of the Oxfordshire Family History Society meeting will be ‘Research Techniques using Online Resources’, with the talk given by Elizabeth Mills.

Elizabeth says:
This will be a special bring and share session. Starting with my own best ‘hit’ from Airbnb!! Intrigued? I hope so!
Please can you bring examples of websites you have used to break down brick walls?
We hope to learn from one another how to keep clear notes of the origins of information, remembering to check and double check. Expect online research to lead to long walks, and expect surprising outcomes.
The session will end with the story of how we confirmed the cousin whose grandmother WAS legitimate and therefore she IS my cousin in Wallingford.
 
We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the meeting starting at 7:30pm. Doors open at 7:15pm.  The talk is open to all; non-members are very welcome.

Image is of King William II of the Netherlands.

Jul 242018
 

On Monday, 6 August 2018, the subject of the Oxfordshire Family History Society meeting will be ‘Sharing your data with other people’, with the talk given by Kevin Poile.

Kevin says that his talk will involve a look at the things you need to consider when sharing your family tree information with other people, be they family or other researchers who have a common ancestry. There will be a look at GEDCOM files and the benefits and drawbacks of using them. He will also look at some of the different media devices available. Kevin will demonstrate how using the same techniques for sharing your data can be used to help stop you losing all your data in case of a system failure. He will also show how he’s created a totally free on-line presence for the work he’s done for St Catherine’s College.  The same principles can be used by anybody else for sharing information.

Kevin is  a member of the Oxfordshire FHS computer group panel, and also of its executive committee.

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with the meeting starting at 7:30pm. Doors open at 7:15pm.  Both members and non-members will be very welcome.

 

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.

May 222018
 

On Monday, 25 June, after the AGM, Christopher Fance will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Finding Relatives using DNA Tests

Christopher will explain what he hoped to discover by taking two DNA tests and what the results of the tests showed. Like many family historians, he has a number of ‘brick walls’ in his ancestry. He has obtained new information which has shed new light on his mother’s ancestors. He will also explain where the results have been problematic.

At present he arranges speakers for the main meetings of OFHS in the Exeter Hall in Kidlington and is a member of the society’s committee. He is a retired schoolmaster and has been working on his and others’ ancestry for many years. He has researched individuals in Canada, the USA, South Africa, India, Burma and Australia.

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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