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Oxfordshire Family History Society

Parish Register Coverage

These notes explain the interactive map showing the OFHS Transcripts available for each of the parishes of present-day Oxfordshire. The map shows:

The notes which follow are intended to help you get the most out of this map. Please read them, then click the button at the foot of this page to view the map.

Parish Registers, Transcripts and Indexes
  • Parish Registers are a principal source of information for family historians researching events before the introduction of civil registration of births deaths and marriages in 1837. In Oxfordshire we are fortunate in that the vast majority of the surviving parish registers have been transcribed by volunteers over the years.
  • Parish Register Transcripts for all the transcribed parishes are available for purchase from OFHS in the form of CD-ROMs, in which the transcripts for a number of neighbouring parishes are combined onto a single CD. For some parishes, individual parish transcripts are still available as microfiche however these are slowly being phased out.
    Our transcripts cover almost all the parishes of the historic county of Oxfordshire and the former North Berkshire parishes that were transferred to Oxfordshire in the 1974 boundary changes.
    Lists of the available transcripts may be found on our CD-ROM Sales and Fiche Sales pages.
  • Monumental Inscription Transcripts are records of the inscriptions writen on tombstones and other monuments in churchyards. Where a readable stone exists it can provide a wealth of genealogical information. Around a half of Oxfordshire's churchyards have been transcribed so far and the work is ongoing, though it is necessarily a slow process. Like the parish register transcripts these MI transcripts are all available for purchase on CD-ROM. The transcripts produced before 2000 are typewritten text and these are all combined on a single CD, OXF-MON. Some of these are also still available as microfiche covering individual churchyards but like the parish register microfiche these too are being phased out. Transcripts produced since 2000 include photographs of every stone alongside the transcribed text for that stone and each of these transcripts is on a separate CD. MI transcripts are included in the lists of available transcripts on our CD-ROM Sales and Fiche Sales pages.
  • Oxfordshire Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts by Colin Harris is the definitive work of reference describing which registers exist, where they are archived and what transcripts exist. This invaluable book also contains details of which Hundred and Poor Law Union each parish is in and includes a map giving the location of the parishes. It covers all the parishes of present-day Oxfordshire. It is published by OFHS and details are included on our Book Sales page.
  • The OFHS Search Service is a finding aid, which helps locate people anywhere within the confines of present-day Oxfordshire. If your ancestors obligingly lived all their lives in one parish, purchasing the transcript for that parish will give you all the information you need. Often however, they moved around within the county. It is then that the Search Service can help you. It is based around a set of computer indexes of Baptisms, Marriages Burials and Monumental Inscriptions. People are indexed by name and age, and the index entry identifies the parish and date for the event. The available indexes are described in detail on our Search Services page.
  • Coverage of the Search Service Indexes is not yet complete and the indexes are continually being extended. The Marriage Index is virtually complete for the historic (pre-1974) county of Oxfordshire and also contains most of the former North Berskshire parishes. The Baptism and Burial indexes are approaching completion and now include coverage up to 1851 for around 95% of parishes. The Monumental Inscription Index is complete for all the graveyards that have so far been transcribed (about 50% of parishes), but here the limiting factor is the rate at which the actual graveyards can be recorded. So this index will grow more slowly.
  • The Interactive Parish Register Coverage Map provides an up-to-date picture ot the transcripts available and the search service coverage for each of the parishes of present-day Oxfordshire.
  • A Search Index Coverage Page provides the same information in tabular form
  • A Details Buttons on each of thes pages provide a way of seeing the exact year-by-year coverage of the search indexes for baptisms, marriages and burials, in graphical form. It will eventually also provide details of the transcript coverage for the parish but this is not yet available.
  • Census Indexes are also included in the Search Service for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses. These indexes are complete for all the surviving census records and are described in full on our Search Services page. They are therefore not included in the Parish Register Coverage Map.

Using the Interactive Map
  • Viewing the Map is best done with a screen resolution of at least 800 x 600 pixels. You will also find it helpful to set your browser into full screen (or "kiosk") mode. With most browsers this can be achieved by pressing the F11 function key. A second press of the same key restores the normal mode, with the toolbars visible.
  • The Map shows all of present-day Oxfordshire with parish boundaries indicated as they were around 1900. The parishes of the historic (pre-1974) county of Oxfordshire are coloured yellow, whilst those of the former North Berkshire are coloured pink.
  • A Drop-Down List contains all the parishes, in alphabetic order. It provides one way of selecting a specific parish.
  • The Results Table shows the transcripts and search facilities available for the selected parish, with the data grouped together in coloured blocks.
  • To Select a Parish you have a choice of options:
    1. Click within the outline of the parish on the map.
    2. Open the Drop-Down List by clicking the button, then click on a parish name to select it from the list.
    3. Type the first few letters of the parish name. When you have entered enough to identify the chosen parish uniquely it will be selected. If you pause for more than two seconds between letters, it will be assumed that you are starting a new name.
    4. Use the up and down cursor arrows on your keyboard to step to the previous and next entries in the alphabetic list. (This gives an easy way of stepping through the Oxford City parishes for example.)
  • To Identify a Parish on the Map you will find the selected parish is shown in red if you are viewing the page with Internet Explorer. In most other browsers, a red dot will be displayed on or very close to, the selected parish. With some older browsers, it is not possible to achieve even this functionality. With these you can only gauge the approximate location, from the map reference given in the title block of the results table.
  • Hover your Mouse Pointer over a parish on the map to display a pop-up box giving the parish name. Most, but not all browsers provide this feature. Note that this feature may cease to work if you have scrolled down the page to the point at which the most northerly parish is no longer included in the visible area of the screen. If you have followed the advice for viewing the map given above, you should not need to scroll down to view the complete map.
  • Geographically Small Parishes are not shown individually on the map, so cannot be selected by clicking the map. One of the other methods described above must be used. The same applies to any non-parochial or non-conformist churches. An extreme case of this is the city of Oxford, which is shown as a single outline on the map, but consists of many parishes. When such parishes are selected the red area shown on the map will include the whole area in which the parish lies.
  • Click the Details button beside the parish name to display a new page showing graphs of the year-by-year coverage of the baptism, marriage and burial search indexes. After viewing this page, you may return to the map either by clicking the button at the foot of the page of simply by using your browser's Back button. Note that the graphs specifically display the coverage of the Search Service Indexes. In most cases the coverage of the transcribed data available on microfiche or CD, is considerably greater than this.

Interpreting the Results
  • The Heading Block shows the name of the selected parish, together with its historic (i.e.pre 1974) county, and a map reference showing its position on the map.
  • The Register Transcript Block shows whether the parish registers have been transcribed and if so in what format or formats the transcript exists. If the transcript is available in CD-ROM form, the Reference Number for the CD containing the transcript is given. (A very small number of parishes are included on more than one CD, in which case either one may be purchased. Each contains the complete transcript). If the transcript is available on CD, it may be assumed that it is also available on microfiche if preferred.
    N.B. The existence of a transcript does not indicate the date range covered nor whether there are any gaps in this coverage. For this level of detail it is necessary to consult the book "Oxfordshire Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts" described above.
  • The Search Index Block shows which of the parish registers are included in the Search Service Indexes. The number of entries in the index gives an approximate indication of the number of people in the parish. This often bears little resemblance to the area of the parish on the map. Some of the larger rural parishes are often the least populated.
  • The Monumental Inscription Transcript & Search Block shows whether the parish churchyard has been transcribed and gives some idea of the number of legible monuments found. It does not indicate whether the transcript is available on microfiche and CD or whether it is only available on microfiche. This can easily be ascertained from the CD-ROM Sales page. The Search Service MI index includes entries from all the churchyards that have been transcribed. So if a transcript exists it may be safely assumed to be included in the search index.
  • The Date Range included in the Search Service Indexes is normally less than the full range included in the transcript. In particular, search index coverage stops at 1837 for Oxfordshire Marriages and in 1851 for North Berkshire Marriages and for most Baptism and Burial indexes. The displayed numbers will indicate the number of baptisms etc. up to that cut off date. The graphs on the Details pages are derived from the search indexes, so they too will exhibit a cut off date of 1837 or 1851, although the transcribed data available on microfiche or CD will usually extend beyond this date.
    For the majority of parishes, if the parish is included in a particular search index, it is likely that all the transcribed entries up to the cut-off date are included in the index. There are a few exceptions to this, where for technical reasons a partially-completed index has been included in the search service. This can normally be seen from the presence of a large gap in the coverage shown on the details page for the parish. Small gaps in the graphs are more likely to indicate gaps in the actual register coverage, where parts of a register have been lost or are unreadable, or in some cases were never recorded in the first place due to some hiatus in the parish.

  • The interactive parish map, is based on original maps at the Centre For Oxfordshire Studies. These were researched and traced by Howard Fuller and digitised by Malcolm Austen.
  • A larger version of this map with parish names and including some parishes in neighbouring counties, is available for download, from this web site. It will be found in the OFHS Web Resources section, where there is also a larger scale map showing the Oxford City parishes.
  • Alan Simpson created this interactive version of the map and wrote the rest of the JavaScript used to implement the interactive map page.
  • The Transcripts and the Search Service indexes only exist by virtue of the efforts of a great many volunteers. This work is on-going and more help is always welcome. So if you have a little time to spare to help fellow family historians, why not volunteer to help? Most of the indexing can be carried out from microfiche or photocopies, so it is not necessary for you to live near Oxford. Indeed our volunteers come from all over the world. If you are able to help please email our Project Co-ordinator, Hugh Kearsey at projects@ofhs.org.uk   The Oxfordshire Baptism Index is our newest index, where more volunteers are most urgently required. If you would like to help with this project please contact our Baptism Index Co-ordinator, Wendy Archer, directly at baptisms@ofhs.org.uk

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