Jun 262019
 

Where are we going?

The Oxfordshire DNA Project aims to collect detailed DNA information for people who can document a significant association (interaction with the gene pool) with this English county.  The county is not an island so for many there will also be interest within neighbouring counties.  We are particularly interested in Y-DNA because of its association with surnames, but also have interest in female-line mtDNA and autosomal (Family Finder) DNA.  Advanced matching with autosomal DNA can be used by to look for DNA ‘cousins’ among the group project members. To be able to reach valid conclusions about the genetic/genealogical makeup of the county, a much larger sample of members is needed but, like most group projects, the Oxfordshire one is growing slowly but steadily.

Your project administrators have sought to build on its Y-DNA data and its association with surnames by working with the Oxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) to establish in parallel an Oxfordshire Surname Project.  About 1500 surnames have been listed, though we find that a proportion of these should probably not be considered ‘Oxfordshire’.  A shorter list of about 340 surnames has been selected which show a distinct association with the county.  Through OFHS, about 450 people have shared information about their family trees which will support the compilation of material related to the surnames of interest.  A group of enthusiasts are trawling through Oxfordshire sources for records of surnames.   OFHS has also indexed parish registers that enables locating surnames in specific parishes over the period 1538 to 1899. The initial output from this activity is expected to include a publication (book) describing the history of a sub-set of selected surnames with commentary relating to DNA, if available.  As there will be too many surnames case studies for a single book, further surname studies are expected to be available on-line through the OFHS website.  The surname project entails a large amount of work and its results will take a little while to be productive.

How are we selecting our initial list of about 300 surnames? What is an Oxfordshire surname? Are early records biased towards those who have fame and status, something that DNA might be independent from?  With rare surnames it is relatively easy to decide if they are historically associated with the county and the parish records will show if it was present in the county before 1600. This is one end of a range the other end of which would be very common names, like Smith or Green, but we can look for early records of the name and whether the surname is over-represented in the county in more recent records, such as the 1881 census.  We hope initially to cover a range of rare through to common surnames.  Many families move location over time and may have appeared at some stage in Oxfordshire and thrived there. Others may have branches that left the county and thrived elsewhere in the world, hopefully not dying out in its original location.  There are many small, but important, things to consider.

What are we asking of the Oxfordshire DNA and Surname project members?  There could be many things, but first we’d ask you to hang in there because we hope that we can start to draw on DNA and surname information that should be of use to you.  If you have a detailed family tree, consider sharing it with the surname project if you are asked.  If you know of other males with an Oxfordshire heritage, ask them to consider taking a Y-DNA test and joining the DNA project. 

Richard Merry

dna@ofhs.org.uk

Jan 232019
 

More surname musings. If anyone has any comments do get back in touch.

TOWERSEY/TOWSEY – we believe comes from the place Towersey, near Thame but there seem to be two groups in Oxfordshire – one spelt Towersey (that is more common in the Banbury area initially) and one Towsey which was in Bicester but is more common in the south of the county. Does anyone know a connection between the two?

There is an early TRUELOCKE family in Iffley but then they were manly in the Appleford/Sutton Courtneay area. Does anyone know where this family was before it came to Oxfordshire?

If ayone has very early instances of GOLD (or variant ancestors) in the 16th and, ideally, earlier centuries we’d be keen to know.

We don’t think BATT(S) and BETT(S) are the same name but are keen to see if anyone has any overlaps in their family trees.

 

As always we are very keen to get more males DNA tested with some of these key surnames so do contact us if you are willing.

surname-project@ofhs.org.uk

 

Dec 312018
 

We are working hard on our Oxfordshire surname project. Periodically we would like to get help from experts in a particular surname. If you can contribute to the discussion please contact us here or via surname-project@ofhs.org.uk

Questions for the start of 2019:

SHURY and SHEWRY seem to be spelling variants of the same name in Oxfordshire. Does SHIRLEY fit in with these names? Does anyone have some family history where SHIRLEY is mixed with spellings of SHURY/SHEWRY? Places like Thame and Witney have all 3 variants but are they different lines?

LINDARS is found in the Chipping Norton area early on but later appears in Tetsworth. Does anyone have a family history that shows where the Tetsworth family came from?

Does anyone have knowledge of SAW/SAWE and SOAR/SORE/SOR spelling variants being in the same family?

Does anyone have knowledge of MOULD/MOLD and the other versions MOULDER/MOULDEN spelling variants being in the same family?

All knowledge appreciated, especially if you have information from primary sources.

Sue Honore

Nov 292018
 

FamilyTreeDNA, having just finished one sale, now have another one on for the month of December 2018. If there is a male in your family who has Oxfordshire ancestors on his surname line, why not buy him a test for the holiday season? Y-37 is $99 and Y-67 is $179 so saving (in UK money) about £50-80 per test. See www.familytreedna.com

We need more males tested for our surname/DNA project as we are beginning to gather together our results with big strides forward planned for 2019. So you’d be  helping the project enormously if you helped more Oxfordshire males to be tested. If you want to buy a Y-DNA test and join the Oxfordshire project in one go, then go to www.familytreedna.com/groups/oxfordshire and click on the ‘join’ button then buy your test. We need you to send us your/the male’s brief family history when you have bought the test to show us your Oxfordshire connections.

Due to some benefactors, there are also reduced price tests available (and some are even free) for those males with the surname ancestry of TOWNSEND in the Drayton St Leonard/Abingdon area;  MILAM and variants from the Henley area; RIMAN/RYMAN/RYMEL; PRATLEY/SPRATLEY and two other tests if you have great Oxfordshire surnames we need – see our list of asterisked surnames at  https://news.ofhs.org.uk/oxfordshire-surname-project/oxfordshire-surname-project-list/

Please contact dna@ofhs.org.uk if you want to discuss if you qualify for these special tests or have any questions.

Make your Oxfordshire DNA project administrators and surname researchers happy in December!

Jun 052018
 

Help our research and get a discount!

FamilyTreeDNA have a sale on until 18th June 2018 on DNA tests for males (Y-DNA) tracing the surname line (your father’s father’s father’s family).

Here at the Oxfordshire surname project we need many more males tested to help us trace all the surname lines in the county. If you are male with your male line existing in Oxfordshire before 1875 please consider buying a DNA test this month.

The Y-DNA 37 test (starter level) is down to about £97 (down from $169 to $129). The even better Y-67 test is down to about £164 from well over £200. If you qualify with your male line Oxfordshire ancestry go to:

www.familytreedna.com/public/oxfordshire , click on the join button and buy a Y-37 or Y-67 test – that means you will join the Oxfordshire project and buy a test at the same time – so helping our research.

Any queries to dna@ofhs.org.uk

There are over 1500 surnames we want but some of them are: Absolon, Acott, Akers, Allnutt, Allom, Ambrose, Ashby, Attewell, Ayris, Banbury, Barefoot, Bartlett, Baston, Beale, Beckinsale, Beesley, Betteridge, Billington, Bitmead, Bloxham, Bowles, Buckingham, Chaundy, Cherrill, Clinch, Coggins, Coppock, Costiff, Couldrey,  Couling, Coxeter, Dore, Drinkwater, Druce, Dumbleton, Dunsdon, Edgeworth, Edgington, Eeles, Eltom, Ferriman, Flexney, Gardner, Gillett, Goodgame, Hambidge, Harris, Hedges, Hirons, Hitchman, Hone(y), Howse, Ilot, Jakeman, Kearse, Kench, Kite, Lamprey, Lanchbury, Luckett, Maisey, Margetts, Merry, Messenger, Millin, Moberley, Munday, Neighbour, Orpwood, Padbury, Pether, Phipps, Plester, Pratley, Puddle, Quarterman, Radband, Rowles, Rymill, Scarsbrook, Seary, Shayler, Shelswell, Shury, Silman, Slaymaker, Souch, Steptoe, Templar, Thornett, Tidmarsh, Toovey, Townsend, Tredwell, Trinder, Tuckwell, Upstone, Vasey, Viner, Waine, Wastie, Wenman, Wheeler, Whitehorn, Wiblin, Widdows, Wiggins, Wilsdon, Windows, Wing, Witney, Wixon, Yates, Young.

[There are many spelling variants of all these names.]

 

May 022017
 

Our DNA Competition runs until 15th June. The good news is that I have been able to upgrade the tests to Y-67 – worth over £215 each, so not only a wonderful prize, but also more accurate than a Y-37 test. You do not need to be a member of OFHS to enter.

If you are a male with strong Oxfordshire ancestry on your pure male line (father’s father’s father’s… – your surname line)  or a woman who can persuade a brother/male cousin/father to take the test, then please enter our competition.

Write a few paragraph’s on your Oxfordshire ancestry on your male line; describe why a test would be useful to you and provide all your contact details. Send to dna@ofhs.org.uk

 

Mar 272017
 

Look here to see the current state of the Oxfordshire Surname Project.

OFHS has started a new Oxfordshire surnames research project, examining surnames recorded in Oxfordshire parish registers from 1538 onwards, currently estimated at up to 20,000 key variants. The team is also using many other early recorded sources to build a comprehensive database of Oxfordshire surnames.  The aim is to trace their whereabouts in different parishes over time, their origins, hotspots, DNA connections and many other facets of Oxfordshire surnames. The project will take about 2 years to complete.

The project team is appealing for help in a number of ways:

– Those who have a good recorded family history in Oxfordshire or who manage a one-name study would be welcome to contact the team with a brief description and their contact details, so that when their surname is analysed they may be able to participate in submitting content for that name. All significant contributors will be acknowledged.

– People who have been DNA tested and are not yet part of the Oxfordshire DNA project on FamilyTreeDNA are welcome to join the project at www.familytreedna.com/public/oxfordshire. The team also welcomes help with publicity to encourage more people with good Oxfordshire ancestry to be DNA tested. As an incentive, Oxfordshire Family History Society has donated the cost of six Y-37 tests to be won in a competition. Any male (or female who could persuade a male relative to take the test) is eligible. We are looking for the six best candidates with good Oxfordshire surname history on the pure  male line (father’s father’s father…) going back before 1870 and with good personal reasons to think a DNA test will be valuable. All that is required is an email describing your known Oxfordshire male line ancestry, why you think a DNA test would be valuable and full contact details. Full Ts & Cs can be obtained on application. The closing date is the 15th June 2017. If you know of a friend, relative or neighbour who might be a good candidate, then do tell them about this competition. Please mark any emails for the competition with a title of ‘DNA Competition’.

– If you are keen to help, there are a number of pan-Oxfordshire resources the team needs help in transcribing. Please get in touch if you are able to help. Many can be done remotely without being located in Oxfordshire. If you possess electronic versions of any early documents listing Oxfordshire names (for which you have obtained the original author or publisher’s permission for use), please contact the team.

If you have any queries, please contact Sue Honore via surname-project@ofhs.org.uk

Oct 022016
 

cakeOn Monday, 3 October 2016, Alan Simpson and Nick Archer will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on “The Oxfordshire Parish Registers, scanning & launching on Ancestry”.

This is a special 40th birthday meeting, to be held in the large hall at Exeter Hall, to celebrate the launch of the scans of the Oxfordshire parish registers on the web on Ancestry.  Do come!

Alan Simpson is going to start the evening by looking back at the history of parish registers.  He aims to cover significant events that have happened affecting parish registers from 1538 to the present day, with lots of illustrations from our scans.

We’ll have a break for refreshments, including celebratory OFHS cupcakes, before Nick Archer talks about the actual scanning process, the Society’s reasons for carrying out and investing in the project, and Ancestry’s involvement.

We then aim to access the collection on Ancestry live, and do some exploring!  williammorris

This image from the collection is of the burial of  William Morris at Kelmscott (click to enlarge.)

We meet at the Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, with Alan’s talk starting at 7:30pm.  Doors open at 7:15pm, when there will be a warm welcome for all.
More details of our meetings can be found at www.ofhs.org.uk

Feb 132016
 

20160128_09201920160128_091953A couple of years ago, Oxfordshire Family History Society funded the scanning of about 4,000 parish registers of Oxfordshire. They had never been filmed, so the scans are a valuable back up, and can be viewed at Oxfordshire History Centre.  As reported in our journal, in due course, subject to date constraints, they will be available worldwide on Ancestry.co.uk.

Snce then, more registers have been deposited, and so a further 78 Oxfordshire parish registers, including several for Kidlington, Oxford St Ebbe, Launton, Minster Lovell & Thame, were taken off site recently for scanning, again funded by Oxfordshire FHS.

They were all checked into crates by Mark Priddey, the Archives Manager, and carefully packaged by Linda, one of the archivists.

In due course, the scans of these registers will also be available at the History Centre.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: