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.

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.

Jul 042018

Hello all – news from BLHA

THE WILFRED OWEN TRAIL – Monday 9th July 10.30
Join members of the Berkshire Local History Association on a walk around Dunsden to commemorate the centenary of the death of war poet Wilfred Owen and the end of the First World War.
We will start at Dunsden Church, then follow the Wilfred Owen Trail to see the places where he lived and worked as a lay assistant to the vicar in 1911-13.
Optional pub lunch at The Shoulder of Mutton in Playhatch.
Length of walk 3 miles over level ground with no stiles. Please contact Ann Smith or phone 0118 978 3430 to book a place.

Some recent e-mails received by committee members which may interest you:
From Dr. Rosalind Crone, Senior Lecturer in History at the Open University, to announce the launch of a new website with information on nearly 850 penal institutions which existed in 19th-century England, including around 420 prisons and 380 lock-ups.
From Caroyln Sheircliff, about a new book, “The Escape,” by Mark Pennock Purvis.  It is an account of his experiences during the First World War in France, where he was captured and held as a prisoner-of-war before escaping.  He lived in Hungerford.  The book is available from Amazon.
From Marcus Clarke, F.R.S.A., who is interested in what may remain of the Langley Hurricane Factory, and in getting hold of material such as maps and photographs.  Please reply to Marcus if you can help.
From Rosie Whitehouse, a journalist researching the story of 30 teenage holocaust survivors who were brought to Woodcut House in Ascot in 1945 for recuperation.  Please reply to Rosie if you have information.

David Cliffe, Chairman, BLHA.

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.


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