Oxford (city), Oxfordshire Genealogy
Guide to OXFORD (city) history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
History[edit | edit source]
Oxford is a city in central Southeast England. It is 51 miles north west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames (also sometimes known as the Isis locally from the Latinised name Thamesis) run through Oxford and meet south of the city center.
It is located on a flat alluvial plain, and the local area is extremely fertile.
The area has been settled from prehistoric times, and due to a beneficial climate, has been always populated with farms and orchards. Because of this, the city and region has always attracted the landed gentry, with the resulting proliferation of fine period edifices.
A number of Graded English manor houses and palaces are in the local area, and available for tourism. An example is Blenheim Palace and gardens, pictured below.
Oxford was first settled in Saxon times and was initially known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "Ford of the Oxen"; fords were more common than bridges at that time. Therefore we can be assured that Oxford as a city is older than Cambridge (Bridge over the river Cam).
It began with the establishment of a river crossing for oxen around AD 900. In the 10th century, Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes.
Oxford was heavily damaged during the Norman Invasion of 1066.
The community never grew large but it earned its place in history as one of Britain's oldest places of formal education.
Oxford's prestige was enhanced by its charter granted by King Henry II, granting its citizens the same privileges and exemptions as those enjoyed by the capital of the kingdom; and various important religious houses were founded in or near the city. A grandson of King John established Rewley Abbey for the Cistercian Order; and friars of various orders (Dominicans, Franciscans, Carmelites, Augustinians and Trinitarians) all had houses of varying importance at Oxford.
The University of Oxford is first mentioned in 12th century records. As the university took shape, tension between the hundreds of students living where and how they pleased led to a decree that all undergraduates would have to reside in approved halls. This led to a huge increase in building, resulting in the present organization of Colleges, each with its own dormitories.
During the English Civil War, Oxford housed the court of Charles I in 1642, after the king was expelled from London.
By the early 20th century, Oxford was experiencing rapid industrial and population growth, with the printing and publishing industries becoming well established by the 1920s. 
Today, Oxford is one of the most diverse small cities in Britain: the most recent population estimates for 2005 showed that 27% of the population were from ethnic minority groups, including 16.2% from non-white ethnic minority ethnic groups. "Department for Work and Pensions".
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]
There are presently four cemeteries, including outlying cemeteries within the Oxford city district.
Other useful sites for general cemetery information follow:
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Parishes[edit | edit source]
Oxford has many historic parishes, due to its historical link with the Anglican Church. These follow:
- Oxford All Saints
- Oxford Christ Church
- Oxford Holy Trinity
- Oxford Magdalen College
- Oxford New College
- Oxford St Aldate
- Oxford St Bartholomew Hospital
- Oxford St Clement
- Oxford St Cross
- Oxford St Ebbe
- Oxford St Giles
- Oxford St John the Baptist
- Oxford St John's College
- Oxford St Martin
- Oxford St Mary Magdalene
- Oxford St Mary the Virgin
- Oxford St Michael
- Oxford St Paul
- Oxford St Peter in the East
- Oxford St Peter le Bailey
- Oxford St Thomas the Martyr
Non Conformists[edit | edit source]
Christian non-conformist groups that meet in Oxford include:
- Bethel Gospel Church
- Church of Christ, Scientist
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Salvation Army
Non Christian groups follow:
- Hare Krishna
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
Birth, marriages and deaths records have been kept by the UK government since July 1837 to the present day. Prior to that, local parishes of the Church of England, and local branches of other faiths were the only repositories of this information. The following link provides access for Oxford records:
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- Local Histories: Oxford
- Britain Express, History of Oxford
- The University of Oxford; A New History by G. R. Evans
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- Oxford City Guide
- Google Map of Oxford
- Old Maps of Oxford
- Oxford University Map
- Oxford County Gazetteer
- The Oxford Gazetteer
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Occupations[edit | edit source]
Oxford's basic occupation has always been education. Obviously Oxford University is world famous, but the secondary stimulus to the work force is with the establishment of science off-shoots. The educated population has given rise to many science and technology based businesses, including Oxford Instruments, Research Machines and Sophos. The university established Isis Innovation in 1987 to promote technology transfer. The Oxford Science Park was established in 1990, and the Begbroke Science Park, owned by the university, lies north of the city.
While not to the same level as Cambridge, Oxford increasingly has a reputation for being a center of digital innovation, as epitomized by Digital Oxford. Several startups including Passle, Brainomix, Labstep, and more, are now based in Oxford.
Oxford is also well represented in the printing industry. Oxford University Press, a department of the University of Oxford, is based in the city, although it no longer operates its own paper mill and printing house. The city is also home to the UK operations of Wiley-Blackwell, Elsevier and several smaller publishing houses.
Oxford has always had its share of Breweries. In fact, there were several associated with the University Colleges at one time. The tendency is now for smaller microbreweries, with their own distinctive maltings, rather than the larger national companies.
Oxford is also the center for shopping for the region, with more than 25 major shopping centers or Malls within the city.
Societies[edit | edit source]
Oxfordshire Family History Society
St Lukes Church
Oxford OX4 2HT, UK
Phone: +44 1865 358151
Archives[edit | edit source]
Websites[edit | edit source]
- Oxford City Council
- Oxfordshire County Council
- Oxford University info. line
- Oxford wikipedia
- Oxfordshire genealogy society
- Genuki Oxfordshire
- Find my past
- Oxfordshire county information
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Oxford," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford, accessed 25 April, 2017.
- Dwp.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 17 April 2009. Retrieved 17 April 2010.
- Wikipedia contributors, "Oxford," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxford, accessed 2 May, 2017.