Feb 172019

Oxfordshire FHS is pleased to announce a new library helpdesk – at Woodstock library, now housed in the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock.

Phil Isherwood will be available to help enquirers with their family history on alternate Wednesdays, 12noon – 4pm, starting on 20 February. Whilst having access to a variety of Oxfordshire records, Phil, like all our advisors, is also happy to tackle questions about other areas, and also military matters.

Help sessions at Woodstock library can be booked by phoning the library on 01993 814124.

See https://www.ofhs.org.uk/#meetus for other helpdesks across the county.

Feb 012019

On Monday, 4 February 2019, Alan Simpson will talk to Oxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) and visitors on Photographing and Transcribing Old Books, at the Exeter Hall, Kidlington, OX5 1AB, at 7:30pm (you’re welcome earlier!).

Alan has been photographing various books both for OFHS and his own family use, since first getting a digital camera around the year 2001. During the course of this he has come up with a number of techniques for making the job easier. In his talk he will be describing these and illustrating the results from an assortment of books ranging from an amazingly neat copy book written in 1860 by his then 13 year old step great grandfather to the amazingly untidy collected notes of a mid 19th century vicar of Forest Hill.

Alan is very involved with OFHS, from being Monumental Inscriptions Co-ordinator, to carrying out searches in the OFHS databases for clients, to being lead on the computer group panel.

Non-members of OFHS are very welcome to come to the meeting!

Feb 012019

OFHS is now able to take payment via PayPal. This secure system is very useful for many purposes: including joining OFHS or renewing your subscription or purchasing the latest three Memorial Inscriptions CDs (for Sandford, Littlemore, and Wroxton). Many people use PayPal to pay for a wide variety of services elsewhere and can now make these payments easily to Oxfordshire Family History Society.

Jan 292019

On Monday, 25 February, Julian Hunt will talk to Oxfordshire FHS on:

Julian’s talk Coaching Days on the Oxford Road brings together his knowledge of the turnpike trusts which greatly improved the condition of our main roads in the 18th century, the stage coached which plied between the major towns and the coaching inns where the travellers broke their journeys.

Julian Hunt was born in Romsley, Worcestershire in 1949. He began his career at Birmingham Reference Library in 1968 and was Local Studies Librarian in Oldham, Lancashire, from 1976. He was co-author of The Cotton Mills of Oldham, now in its third edition. He moved to Buckinghamshire in 1988 to become the County’s first Local Studies Librarian. He has written numerous histories of Buckinghamshire towns, including A History of Amersham (2001) A History of Gerrards Cross (2006) and A History of Beaconsfield (2009).

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. Non-members are very welcome, though we have a charge of £2 as an entrance fee for them to contribute towards the hire of the hall and the costs of speakers.

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.



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

Dec 072018

The following surnames were added to the OXfordshire Surname Interests List in November. If one is of interest, do follow the link to the relevant researcher.

Surname Time Place Researcher
BAYLIS <1863 The Bartons Sylvia Checkley
BEARD <1850 Binfield Heath, Shiplake, Eye&Dunsden Patrick Beard
BRICKNELL <1850 Any Pauline Francis
BULGIN Any Oxford Terri Bonham-Samuels
CASTLE 1880 Deddington Julie Castle
CHECKLEY <1863 Steeple Barton, Lower Heyford Sylvia Checkley
COLLETT 1823 Murcott Brenda Purves
COX >1790 Wiggington Vanessa Cox
DEAN Any Oxford Ann Docherty
EGGLESTONE <1863 The Bartons Sylvia Checkley
HAWES >1650 Oakley, Bicester, Little London, Witney Dene James
HENWOOD >1740 Nuneham Courtney Vanessa Cox
LYGO 1880 Oxford Debbie Lygo
MARGETTS Any Any James Margetts
MERRY Any Oxford Terri Bonham-Samuels
MIDDLETON >1900 Any Maureen Short
PAINTIN Any Oxford, Witney Terri Bonham-Samuels
PARKER >1783 Piddington Vanessa Cox
POUND >1772. Stanton Harcourt Vanessa Cox
PROFFIT <1863 The Bartons Sylvia Checkley
PROPHET <1863 The Bartons Sylvia Checkley
ROWLAND c1800 Any Maureen Short
SAVORY c1750 Any Maureen Short
SHEPHERD 1814 Oddington Brenda Purves
WILLOUGHBY >1900 Kidlington and surrounding areas Susan Chance
WRIGHT 1818 Ambrosden Paul Wright

Continue reading »

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.


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