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Oxfordshire PRs and BTs

Oxfordshire PRs and BTs

The text on this page is based on the introduction to the Oxfordshire FHS's publication Oxfordshire Parish Registers and Bishops' Transcripts (7th edition) which was published in 2006.

Formatting work in progress


This booklet lists details of parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts, together with modern copies and/or indexes, for ecclesiastical parishes in : (a) pre-1974 Oxfordshire (the historic county); and (b) that part of Berkshire (the Vale of White Horse) which was transferred to Oxfordshire as a result of Local Government Reorganisation in 1974. Also included is a guide to deposited non-parochial registers and/or copies (for further details see National Index of Parish Registers Vol 5 (Oxfordshire), ed. D.J. Steel, Phillimore for Society of Genealogists, 1966, reprinted 1976 and NIPR Vol 8, Part 1 (Berkshire) compiled by Anthony Wilcox, Society of Genealogists, 1989). For non-parochial registers held in the Public Record Office see List and Index Society Vol. 265 (1996) and Vol. 267 (1996).

Against each parish is given the church dedication, the (abbreviated) name of the Hundred (H) and Poor Law Union (PLU) in which it lay, and a map reference (see centre pages). Details of chapelries and peculiars are also shown. A map of Oxford City showing the boundaries of the ecclesiastical boundaries is available from the OFHS.

Townships, tithings, liberties, hamlets and other small places are listed with reference to the ecclesiastical parish in which they lay, thus providing a comprehensive genealogical gazetteer for the county.

The order in which the information is presented is as follows:

1. Parish Registers (PR)

For pre-1974 Oxfordshire parishes, unless otherwise stated, original registers are deposited at the Oxfordshire Record Office (ORO), St, Luke’s Church, Cowley, Oxford; those for former Berkshire parishes, unless otherwise stated, are at the Berkshire Record Office (BRO), Reading. The list also includes details for a few parishes just outside the county, but which, for ecclesiastical purposes, are, or were, within the archdeaconry of Oxford. For (mainly) pre-1900 registers still in the hands of the incumbent (Inc) at the time of going to press, starting dates only are given. Major or significant gaps in the registers are given in square brackets. Registers which existed at the time of the publication of the Parish Register Abstract (HMSO, 1831), but which no longer survive, are stated as “missing” or “destroyed” with an associated date and reason, cause, if known.

2. Bishop's Transcripts (BT)

For pre-1974 Oxfordshire they are held by ORO; most date from about 1720, apart from odd returns for the 17th cent., especially for parishes in peculiar jurisdiction, and are reasonably complete down to the second half of the 19th cent.. For former Berkshire parishes they are at the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office (WSRO), County Hall, Trowbridge (as part of Salisbury diocesan records) covering the period c. 1607-1835, and at ORO for post-1835 returns.

3. Printed (Ptd)

Published copies of parish registers, including Phillimore's Oxfordshire and Berkshire marriage registers.

4. Modern Transcripts (TS)

Mainly typewritten copies made by the late Brigadier F.R.L. Goadby, Vera Wood and other members of the Oxfordshire Family History Society. Manuscript copies are marked `MS'. Locations of copies are given in abbreviated form after the dates covered by the transcripts; in most cases OFHS transcripts have been donated to: (a) Oxfordshire Record Office (ORO), St. Luke’s Church, Cowley, Oxford; (b) Society of Genealogists (SG), London (for a catalogue of their holdings access SOGAT via <>; © Bodleian Library (Bod), Oxford [few transcripts completed since 1993 have been acquired]; (d) Oxfordshire Studies (OxS), Central Library, Oxford; and (e) the incumbent or parochial church council (Inc); in addition OFHS transcripts for former Berkshire parishes have been given to the Berkshire and Wiltshire and Swindon Record Offices (BRO and WSRO). Copies of transcripts relating to their respective catchment area are held by the following branch libraries: Abingdon Library (AL), Banbury Library (BanL), Bicester Library (BicL), Didcot Library (DL), Henley Library (HL), Wantage Library (WanL), Witney Library (WitL) and Reading Central Library (RCL). Copies held by some of the 35 smaller Oxfordshire libraries, generally catering for their immediate vicinity only, are listed here too (for a list of Oxfordshire libraries visit <>). A few copies are also held by Banbury Museum, the British Library, Guildhall Library, The National Archives (TNA) and the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City (LDS). # indicates definitive transcripts on microfiche and/or CD available for purchase from the OFHS. See Members’ Handbook, generally issued with the Spring issue of Oxfordshire Family Historian, for complete lists and prices. The most up-to-date information is always available on the Internet on the OFHS pagesat <> which now includes an imteractive ‘Parish Coverage Map’.

5. Microfilm Copies (Mf)

A limited number of microfilm copies of (mainly) original registers is held by ORO; those marked with an asterisk (*) are on revocable loan from the Bodleian Library. The Society of Genealogists' collection mainly comprises copies of BT's for parishes A-F. The ORO also holds deposit copies of many Berkshire parish records, including parish registers for which a detailed handlist is available. The bulk of the microfilming has been undertaken by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and therefore copies should be available through LDS Family History Centres. Details of LDS holdings may be found by consulting the Family History Library Catalogue, available at any Family History Centre, on FamilySearch CD-ROM and online via <>. The Berkshire Record Office holds microform copies of most deposited Berkshire parish registers and in general these will be produced for researchers in place of the originals.

6. Monumental Inscriptions (MI)

A guide to deposited copies of monumental inscriptions in Oxfordshire churchyards, burial grounds and cemeteries, with details (where known) of the year(s) in which the transcription took place, followed by a key to holders of the transcripts. Manuscript copies are marked “MS”. # denotes OFHS copies on microfiche available for purchase; those marked ‘CD/#’ denote illustrated MIs on CD. The unillustrated recordings are also available on a CD with a consolidated index which is held on computer and is available for searches through the OFHS. See Search Services at the back of this booklet.

OFHS Indexing Projects on Computer

Oxfordshire Marriage Index

Complete coverage for the historic (pre-1974) county for both parties, 1538-1837. Held on computer by the OFHS and available on microfiche and CD. The original slip index was microfilmed by LDS and copies (16mm) are available through LDS Family History Centres; the OFHS CD-ROM version is held by OxS and microfiche copies are available at ORO, OxS, SG, AL, BanL, HL and WitL (for details concerning the Berkshire Marriage Index 1538-1837 view the Berkshire Family History Society’s web-site

North Berks Marriage Index

This is an index being compiled by the OFHS covering those Berkshire parishes in the present county of Oxfordshire. It is indexed separately for brides and grooms and will cover the period from the start of registers to 1851. The index is held on computer and is available for searches. On OFHS CD-ROM at OxS.

Baptisms Index

In progress. 80% coverage of present county to date. Oxford City, 1800-1837, including non-parochial registers, available on microfiche. On OFHS CD-ROM at OxS.

Burials Index

In progress. 70% of present county. On OFHS CD-ROM at OxS.

Monumental Inscriptions Index

In progress. 50% of graveyards. On OFHS CD-ROM at OxS.

For full details of all the OFHS indexing projects and associated search services see the Members’ Handbook or OFHS web-site which now includes a ‘Parish Coverage Map’ which is regularly updated.

International Genealogical Index (IGI)

The microfiche index of baptisms and marriages, arranged by surname within a given county, area or country, compiled by LDS. The latest microfiche edition is for 1992, although it should be noted that some data from the 1988 edition was not included in the 1992 edition.. It has since been supplemented by CD-ROM and together with Ancestral File they are both available via the Internet In addition the 2001 (second) edition of the Vital Records Index: British Isles (a supplement to the IGI) may be purchased from the LDS on 16 CD-ROMs and available at OxS. Coverage of the IGI, in terms of parishes and dates included, and whether BT's have been used in place of original registers, is listed for each parish, but it should be borne in mind that the coverage may not coincide precisely with the dates as quoted in the LDS listings which actually record what has been filmed, rather than what has been indexed.

The following indexes are also held on CD-ROM at OxS: BFHS burial index (3rd ed., 2004), Glos FHS marriage index, 1800-37 (2003), burial index, c.1813-51 (2002), Wilts FHS index of Salisbury Diocese marriage bonds, 1573-1837, the Federation FHS national burial index (2nd ed., 2004), Pallot’s baptism and marriages indexes for London and Middlesex, 1780-1837.

This edition of the booklet has been revised and fully up-dated . Every attempt has been made to ensure that the information is correct at the time of going to press. If, however, any factual errors are discovered, I would be pleased to be notified of them, so that they may be corrected in any future editions. In any event researchers are always advised to check with repositories to establish the availability of records.

Abbreviations and List of Hundreds and Poor Law Unions

Abin : Abingdon (PLU)
AL : Abingdon Library
B : Burials
Bam : Bampton (H)
Ban : Banbury (H/PLU)
BanL : Banbury Library
Berks : Berkshire
BDRO : Birmingham RC Diocesan RO
BFHS : Berkshire Family History Society
Bic : Bicester (PLU)
BicL : Bicester Library
Bin : Binfield (H)
Blox : Bloxham (H)
Bod : Bodleian Library
Brad : Bradfield (PLU)
BRO : Berkshire Record Office
BT : Bishop's Transcripts
Bucks : Buckinghamshire
Bull : Bullingdon
C : Christenings/baptisms
CBS : Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies
Chad : Chadlington (H)
Chipp : Chipping Norton (PLU)
Coll : College
Comp : Compton (H)
D : Deaths
DL : Didcot Library
Dor : Dorchester (H)
Eureka : [Publishing] Partnership
 - 19A Station Road, Stoke Mandeville, Aylesbury, Bucks HP22 5UL
 – publications on sale via OFHS book sales
Ewe : Ewelme (H)
Far : Faringdon (H/PLU)
FH : Friends House (Society of Friends)
FHS : Family History Society
Gan : Ganfield (H)
Glos : Gloucestershire
H : Hundred
Head : Headington (PLU)
Hen : Henley (PLU)
Heritage : CD available at OxS (not available for purchase)
HL : Henley Library
Hor : Hormer (H)
IGI : International Genealogical Index
Inc : Incumbent
Kint : Kintbury - Eagle (H)
Lang : Langtree (H)
LDS : Latter-day Saints (Genealogical Society of Utah)
Lewk : Lewknor (H)
Lib : Library
M : Marriages
Mf : Microfilm (copy)
MI : Monumental Inscriptions
Mor : Moreton (H)
MS : Manuscript (copy)
Mus : Museum
Northants : Northamptonshire
Ock : Ock (H)
OFHS : Oxfordshire Family History Society
ORO : Oxfordshire Record Office
Oxon : Oxfordshire
OxS : Oxfordshire Studies
p. : in the parish of
PDRO : Portsmouth RC Diocesan RO
Pirt : Pirton (or Pyrton) (H)
Plo : Ploughley (H)
PLU : Poor Law Union
PR : Parish Registers
Ptd : Printed (i.e. published)
R.C. : Roman Catholic
Reg(s) : Register(s)
RO : Record Office
RCL : Reading Central Library
SG : Society of Genealogists (London)
Shr : Shrivenham (H)
SMR : Sites & Monuments Record (OxS)
Tha : Thame (H)
TNA : The National Archives (Kew)
TS : Modern transcript (mainly typewritten)
URC : United Reformed Church
Wall : Wallingford (PLU)
Wan : Wantage (H/PLU)
WanL : Wantage Library
Warw : Warwickshire
Wit : Witney (PLU)
WitL : Witney Library
Woo : Wootton (H)
Wood : Woodstock (PLU)
Worcs : Worcestershire
WSRO : Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office
Z : Births
# : OFHS transcript available for purchase on microfiche and/or CD
(for details refer to Members’ Handbook or OFHS web-site with ‘Parish Coverage Map’)