Nov 092018

In case you have not noticed, this Armistice-100 weekend has brought  free military record offers from Ancestry/Fold3, FindMyPast and MyHeritage.

If you think it all finished at 11am on 11-11-1918, have a read of this blog post:
The war that did not end at 11am on 11 November

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

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 262018

Do you have a story and/or photographs or other items connected to women in your family or community who have done something pioneering in their lives?

The Rumble Museum at Cheney School is holding a digital collection afternoon to preserve these stories, memories, and objects. We are also looking for World War One and World War Two artefacts and storiesWe will record your story or photograph any objects and these will be uploaded to a national online database. The website will be freely available to anyone to use and will preserve these objects and documents.

Please come along to the school Library with your objects between 2 and 5pm on Friday 2nd November, 2018. We will have experts on hand to help to give you more information on the items. There will also be artefact-handling, refreshments and an opportunity to talk to members from the wider community.

For more information contact

This is part of a national project called ‘Lest We Forget’ co-ordinated by the University of Oxford – see

Please contact us in advance with rough details of what you will be bringing along.

Details at

Cheney School is at Cheney Lane, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7QH

Oct 262018

On Lilley Mitchell’s BBC Radio Oxford show between 2:00pm and 2:30pm on Monday 29th October 2018, OFHS member Elizabeth Mills will talk about her fascinating Jamaican slave ancestry and how a chance encounter in Oxford and DNA testing helped her to solve a long-standing family mystery.

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

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 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.


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