Cheveley with Oare, Berkshire Genealogy

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Berkshire Parishes
Cheveley with Oare

Guide to Cheveley with Oare, Berkshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Cheveley with Oare, Berkshire
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Faircross
County Berkshire
Poor Law Union Newbury
Registration District Newbury
Records begin
Parish registers: 1560; Separate registers exist for Oare beginning 1802
Bishop's Transcripts: 1607
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Newbury
Diocese Pre-1836 - Salisbury; Post-1835 - Oxford
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Archdeaconry of Berkshire
Location of Archive
Berkshire Record Office

Parish History

CHEVELEY, or Chieveley, a village and a parish in Newbury district, Berks. The village stands 4½-miles N by E of Newbury; and has a post office under Newbury. The parish includes also the hamlet of Oare, and the tythings of Courage, Snelsmore, Leckhampstead, and Winterbourne. The property is subdivided. The (parish) living was united with the parishes of Leckhampstead (1754), and Winterbourn (1564), the chapelry of Oare (1802), and the tything of Courage (or Curridge). There were three dissenting chapels here.[1]


There is an ancient civilisation nearby that indicates early settlement. The parish boasts a fine Iron Age hill fort in Snelsmore, called Bussock Camp. This is in private grounds but is visible in May when they are opened to the public to view the fine display of bluebells.

The name Cheveley is said to be derived from 'Field of Chives'. The WI's 'Berkshire Book' assures the reader that chives were noted in the area as far back as 951. This is the same year that King Edred gave the village to his bailiff, Wulf.

The Domesday Book has this to say of Cheveley (source: The National Archives):

In Rowbury Hundred
The abbey itself holds Cheveley. It has always held it. TRE it was assessed at 27 hides; now at 7½ hides. There is land for 20 ploughs. In demesne are 3 ploughs; and 28 villains and 10 bordars with 18 ploughs. There are 3 slaves, and 4 acres of meadow, [and] woodland for 60 pigs. Of this land William holds of the abbot 5 hides, and Godfrey 1½ hides, and there is 1 plough, with 3 villains and 2 bordars having 1 plough, and 3 acres of meadow. The whole, TRE and afterwards, was worth 12l; now the abbot's portion [is worth] 10l; [that] of his men 50s.

This text is a structured shorthand tax assessment.

In August 1207, King John seems to have had a good few days' hunting in West Berkshire. He is reported in Curridge on the 3rd and Cheveley on the 5th.

The first vicar of Cheveley was Elias, appointed in 1154. It is likely that there was a Saxon church before it was replaced by the Normans and later the Victorians. Cheveley parish registers start on 10 April 1560. There are still several families in the area who were recorded in those annals.

Cheveley once had its own maypole, on the site now occupied by Maypole Cottage (on the corner of the High Street and Church Lane).


Cheveley is a village of 1481 people (2001 census) and 508 households and a civil parish. A map of 1877 stated the area at the time to be roughly 5328.189 acres. Cheveley Service Station serves Junction 13 of the M4 motorway. It is located approximately 4 miles to the north of Newbury, close to the M4 motorway and A34 road.

The landscape is of gently rolling chalk hills. The land is predominantly arable with some dairy, sheep and pigs. There is a healthy quantity of woodland and abundant wildlife. There is a network of green lanes and footpaths that afford good walking.

The civil parish consists of the villages of Cheveley and Curridge and the hamlets of Downend, Oare and Snelsmore Common. The original parish also included Leckhampstead and Winterbourne. The structure has been much affected by roads. The M4 passes east-west through the middle of the parish and has done much to cut Curridge and Oare from Cheveley. This was opened in 1971. The A34 running north-south quarters the parish. Its path has moved several times, the most recent development being a change to Junction 13 that opened in Autumn 2004.

The landscape is dominated by farming. There are currently three working farms in the parish. Other industries include a garden centre, land-fill site, hotels, baker and many small businesses.

Famous People


Civil Registration

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records

Cheveley parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FMP = Berkshire Baptism, Marriage, Burial Indexes (FindMyPast) - ($)
FS = FamilySearch - free
ANC = England & Wales Christenings and Marriages (Ancestry) - ($)
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[2]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
Cheveley Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images

FS 1538-1975
ANC 1530-1980

IGI 1560-1751, 1700-1865, 1813-1835
1560-1719, 1720-1837, 1837-1892

FS Catalog PRs
FS Catalog BTs

Oare parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

Oare Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images

FS 1538-1975
ANC 1530-1980

IGI 1813-1875

FS Catalog PRs
1560-1975, 1802-1975
1560-1975, 1802-1975
1560-1975, 1802-1975
FS Catalog BTs

To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Non-Conformist Churches
  • Baptist
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • Primitive Methodist
  • Protestant Dissenters
  • Society of Friends/Quaker
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Berkshire Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.


Cheveley with Winterbourn and Oare in Genuki


  1. John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870). Adapted. Accessed: 15 Apr 2013.
  • Much of the historical text for this page was originally taken, with permission, from and copied here from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.