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Oxfordshire

When looking at a modern map of Oxfordshire, please do remember that until the local government reorganisation of 1974 much of modern south-west Oxfordshire was in Berkshire. The river Thames (or Isis) which runs through Oxford, defined the southern boundary of the county until 1974 (as shown in the nearby image). Prior to that date towns such as Shrivenham, Faringdon, Wantage, Abingdon, Didcot and Wallingford (to name but a few) were in Berkshire as, indeed, was a considerable piece of what is now the south-west corner of the City of Oxford.

A county of England, 47 miles in length, and 29 in breadth; bounded by Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Berkshire, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire. It is divided into 14 hundreds, which contain 1 city, 12 market towns, 280 parishes, and 51 villages. The air is sweet, mild, pleasant, and healthy, for which reason it contains several gentlemen's seats; and the soil, though various, is fertile in corn and grass, and the hills are shaded with woods. It is also a great sporting country, there being abundance of game preserved here. It has no manufactures of any account, being chiefly agricultural. Its chief city is Oxford. Population, 161,643. It sends 9 members to parliament.

James Barclay's “Complete and Universal English Dictionary”, 1842

You can read a longer county summary from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868).

Archives and Libraries

Oxfordshire History Centre

This opened in July 2011 bringing together Oxfordshire record Office, Oxfordshire Studies (formerly in Oxford's Central Library) and the Oxfordshire Health Archives (formerly at the Warneford Hospital).

St Luke's Church, Temple Road, Oxford, OX4 2HT
Telephone: +44 1865 398200
Fax: +44 1865 398201
Email: archives@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Web: http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxfordshirehistory

A CARN (County Archive Research Network) card is required, bring two passport-sized photographs and some independent ID if you don't already have a CARN card. There is no charge for the card.

Oxfordshire Health Archives

http://www.oxfordshirehealtharchives.nhs.uk

Now part of the Oxfordshire History Centre, above.

Oxford Central Library

Although not an archive, a number of paper and computer resources are available on the second floor in part of the old Oxfordshire Studies area. Oxfordshire Studies is now part of the Oxfordshire History Centre, above.

Central Library, Westgate, Oxford, OX1 1DJ
Telephone:
- General enquiries: 01865 815509 and 01865 815549
- Information and reference enquiries: 01865 815409
Fax: 01865 721694
Email: oxfordcentral.library@oxfordshire.gov.uk
Web: http://www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/oxfordcentrallibrary

There are local and family history sections in a number of branch libraries around the county.

Oxfordshire FHS Research Centre

The Oxfordshire FHS Research Centre - at the Holford Centre in Stanton St John - is open on three days of most months.

Bibliography

John Townsend deals in antiquarian books and specialises in genealogy books. His site is organised by county.

Church History

A Guide to the Churches of Oxfordshire Auth: Jennifer Sherwood (photographs & drawings by John Piper); Pub: (1989) Robert Dugdale in association with Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust; ISBN: 0 946976 0 3

Oxfordshire Churches Auth: Richard Lethbridge; Pub: (2000) for Oxfordshire Historic Churches Trust by The Stonesfield Press; ISBN: 0 9527126 3 6

Church Records

Oxfordshire Parish Registers and Bishops Transcripts Eds: Colin Harris & Hugh Kearsey; Pub: (2006) Oxfordshire FHS; ISBN 0 905863 43 7
(This guide to the location and coverage dates of PRs and BTs, and transcripts thereof, is included in the Oxfordshire FHS new members pack.)

Church History

Brian Curtis maintains this site of Oxfordshire Churches & Chapels - as they are now rather than historical.

Church Records

The County Resources at the Society of Genealogists page will lead you to lists of the many parish register copies they hold. Here is the list of Oxfordshire resources.

Donnette Stringham Smith's pages of Oxfordshire Archdeacon's Marriage Bonds

Ted Wildy's UK Marriage witness index entries for Oxfordshire [ ZIP file download ].

Civil Registration

Brett Langston has put online details of Oxfordshire's Registration Districts and the towns and villages served by each.

Description and Travel

County

Here is a quite substantial county summary from ”The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)”.

Oxfordshire County Council

Town (Oxford City)

Welcome to Oxford

Oxford City Council

B&B in the City Centre in College accommodation

As long as you don't have a car in tow, you'll not find B&B much closer to the City Centre than Lincoln College

Gown (Oxford's Universities)

Directories

Rod Neep has put page images of Pigot's 1830 directory of Oxfordshire online. An index of places and of names is also on the web site.

There is a terrific selection of local and trade directories spanning the period from 1750 to 1919 on the Historical Directories website.

Genealogy

GenWeb

The GenWeb page for Oxfordshire can be found at http://www.rootsweb.com/~engoxf/.

Email lists

As a general pointer to email lists covering this (or any other) county have a look at this list

There are the main lists that may be of general interest to those whose ancestors came from Oxfordshire:

Oxfordshire

This is the list for Oxfordshire discussions. For detailed joining instructions and access to the list archive look at http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/ENG/OXFORDSHIRE.html.

OFHS

This is a closed list for members of the Oxfordshire Family History Society. The traffic volume is low but if you just want news of OFHS activities without the high-volume discussion element this is just the list for you.

Eng-Banbury-Area

This is the list for specifically 'Banburyshire' discussions. For detailed joining instructions and access to the list archive look at http://lists.rootsweb.com/index/intl/ENG/ENG-BANBURY-AREA.html. If you are unsure just what area constitutes 'Banburyshire', look at http://www.rootsweb.com/~engcbanb/index.htm.

Wessex-Plus

This is by far the longest established of the three list. You may not think of Oxfordshire as being part of Wessex, that's where the “Plus” comes in, this list covers Berkshire, Bristol, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Somerset and Wiltshire. For details see http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/intl/ENG/WESSEX-PLUS.html

Surname Interests

OXSIL, the Oxfordshire Surname Interests List is looked after by Paul Brazell. As well as accepting all interests in Oxfordshire, it includes world-wide interests of members of Oxfordshire FHS

Look-up Exchange

Karen Fraser's Oxfordshire Lookup Exchange has gone missing …

If it is a research exchange scheme you are looking for, have a look at the Oxfordshire FHS's Link scheme (you have to join the Society, of course).

For completeness, I should mention that the Oxfordshire FHS runs a search service which will often help to establish which of its microfiche publications may contain material of interest.

Maps

Military – History, Records

Parish Registers

– see Church Records

Probate Records

Nick Hidden, as part of a one-name study has put together an indexed set of probate abstracts for Hungerford (Berks) and Wantage (ex-Berks, now Oxon) covering the years 1500 to 1958.

Here are three files forming “Index Of Probate Inventories, Oxfordshire 1550-1590” based upon an original document “Household And Farm Inventories In Oxfordshire, 1550-1590” published by the Historical Manuscript Society & H.M.S.O. (Editing By Dr. W. O. Hassall. Original transcription by M.A.Havinden, D.G.Vaisey & Jane E. Sayers. Computer transcription by M.Brewerton © Copyright 1994.)

Societies

Oxfordshire FHS covers the whole county

Remembering that many (south/west) Oxfordshire towns used to be in Berkshire you might also want to contact the Berkshire Family History Society. Note that for these “overlap” areas either (or both) societies may have published material available for sale. Note in particular that a Vale (of White Horse) group holds regular meetings in Abingdon under the auspices of the Berkshire FHS.

For other surrounding counties that may overlap, check the full county-by-county FHS list.


Towns and Parishes

The main list of place names: Oxfordshire places (towns, parishes, ...)
The above list includes links to pages for individual places.

These old lists will be gradually merged into the above list/pages:

Parishes of Oxfordshire and the dates of the earliest known/surviving registers.

Towns and Place names taken mostly from modern sources.

 


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start.txt · Last modified: 2011/08/10 16:14 by Malcolm Austen