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Oxfordshire Family History Society

Monumental Inscriptions

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Monumental Inscription Transcribing News for 2015

We are coming to the end of a busy transcribing season in Oxfordshire's churchyards. Work has been completed at Duns Tew and as I write the first proof copy of the CD (OXF-MI-DTW) is being checked. The Witney area team has completed work at Witney Holy Trinity, Wood Green; at Dry Sandford; and most recently at Curbridge. The last two are both projects carried out in conjunction with local enthusiasts. A local group at Chalgrove have reached the end of a three year project recording the monuments at St Mary's and a similar group at Littlemore are nearing the end of recording there. So there are several transcripts now in the pipeline for conversion into CD format. Watch this page for updates on the timescales for these.

Recording will start again in the spring. Additional team members are always welcomed. No previous experience is necessary. If you think you may be able to lend a hand with any of these projects, please email me, Alan Simpson, at:


We are also keen to continue working with other local transcribing teams, with a view to producing their transcripts in our standard CDROM format. If you have a project under way at your local churchyard, or are thinking about starting one, we would be very happy to offer help, advice and encouragement. Please email me at the address above.

A Puzzling Headstone at Duns Tew

A puzzling headstone was discovered during recording in the churchyard at St Mary Magdalene, Duns Tew. A piece about this appeared in the August 2015 issue of Oxfordshire Family Historian, in which we appealed for suggestions from members. Details of the stone and the responses received can be found here.

Illustrated Monumental Inscription Transcripts on CD

At Oxfordshire Family History Society we have pioneered a technique for producing Monumental Inscription Transcripts in the form of an Illustrated, Interactive CDROM complete with Plans, an Index and Photographs of every grave. Viewing the transcript requires nothing more than a standard web browser, thus making the transcript available to the widest possible audience. A small example of the final result, for the Church of St Peter-le-Bailey, can be seen by following the link to "View The Transcript" in the section below.

Production of the CDROM has been automated by means of a set of software "tools" that we have developed. These are made freely available, for the benefit of other family history societies or individuals wishing to produce similar transcripts for their own local churchyards. They may be downloaded from their author's web site at www.shotover.org.uk/micd/ and include a comprensive Instruction Manual describing the complete process. No programming experience is required to use the tools, beyond the ability to create a simple web page. Even this is described in detail in another section of the same web site at www.shotover.org.uk/webweave/ which provides all the help needed for complete beginners.

Page background bug in Firefox
If you use Firefox as your web browser you may have noticed that part way down the Index of Names on any of our MI CDs, the textured background stops, leaving a plain white background for the rest of the page. This is a result of a bug in Firefox and there is nothing we can do about it. It affects all long pages. However the effect is only cosmetic. No names are lost from the index. The problem was first noticed in Firefox Version 7 and is still present in Version 12. You can read more about it on the Firefox Help pages at http://support.mozilla.org/en-US/questions/882572

Monuments at   St PETER-le-BAILEY,   Bonn Square,   Oxford

View the Transcript

The redevelopment of Bonn Square, carried out in 2008, provided an opportunity to view and record a number of gravestones which had been buried since the existing church of St Peter-le-Bailey on the site was demolished in 1873 as part of a road widening scheme.

During the redevelopment, archaeological work on the site was carried out on behalf of the city council, by Oxford Archaeology. They have generously made their transcripts and photographs of the grave stones available to OFHS. These are presented here in the same format used for OFHS own Illustrated MI Transcripts (available from the society as CDs).

Monuments at   St CROSS, HOLYWELL,   Oxford
Balliol College has recently acquired a 999 year lease on the former parish church of St Cross, Holywell, Oxford. The church is to be used to house the college's Historic Collections under archival conditions, whilst the chancel will remain in use for occasional services. The monuments in the church and churchyard will be protected during the building works and will remain in situ after the work is completed. Dr John Jones, Fellow of the College 1966-2009 and Fellow Archivist from 1981, is supervising the work and has made a record of the essential details of the monuments. It is hoped that this will eventually be converted to a full transcript complete with photographs and published, either on CD or on-line. In the interim, John has made his summary available on the Balliol College web site for the benefit of Family Historians and others who may be interested. It can be found by following the links below.

An Introduction to the Project
Details of the Monuments
Details of the Stained Glass

(Note that these records relate to the church and the ancient churchyard, immediately beside it and not to the adjacent Oxford City Holywell Cemetery. Monuments in the latter were transcribed in 1986 and are included on CD OXF-MON.)

Contact Details

Information about current MI transcription projects may be obtained by emailing:


Offers of help with transcribing will of course be especially welcomed!

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