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

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. http://www.sog.org.uk/learn/census-detectives/

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.

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.]

 

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

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