Marriage record CDs donated to Library Service

Twelve copies of a viewable data CD each containing over 150,000 indexed records of marriages from all historic Oxfordshire churches, covering from 1538 to 1837, have been given to the county council's Library Service by the Oxfordshire Family History Society. The data includes full names, dates, places and spouses.

The contribution, the latest in a number of similar such gifts from the group to the council, is in line with its objective of making more information about baptisms, marriages and burials readily available to Oxfordshire's public.

Copies of the CD - which the society usually sells at £50 from its website - can now be used on free-to-access public computers at Abingdon, Banbury, Bicester, Carterton, Chipping Norton, Didcot, Goring, Henley, Thame, Wallingford, Wantage and Witney libraries.

The data can also still be viewed at Oxford Central Library and the county council's Oxfordshire History Centre in Temple Road, Cowley, via a master file accessible on the networked Heritage Service computers.

Wendy Archer, Chairman of the Oxfordshire Family History Society, said: "Our society is pleased to help family historians across the county in this way.  Our volunteers worked over many years to transcribe the old registers of the churches to generate this index."

Valued resource

Stella Wentworth, Oxfordshire County Council's Librarian for Reader and Information Services: Local and Family History, said: "This is a wonderful resource for anyone with Oxfordshire ancestors.  It can be very time-consuming to trace family records before the start of civil registration and an index like this one can save you hours of research.

"We are so fortunate that Oxfordshire Family History Society volunteers have given their time and skills to compile this index, and even more fortunate that Oxfordshire Family History Service has been so generous in making it readily available through the Library Service."

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay-Gale, Oxfordshire County Council's Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: "It is wonderful that the Oxfordshire Family History Society has donated these CDs to the council's Library Service and I am sure the information on them will prove useful to the many local people who are interested in finding out more about their genealogy."