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View Full Version : Lookup at Ox RO needed - Church/date provided



sally
22-08-2005, 7:45 PM
If someone who is used to reading old documents is going to Oxfordshire RO,
I would appreciate a baptism check (& photocopy of entry in poss, paid for by me)
of the original entry.

The Oxfordshire FHS has the transcription of a baptism at St Mary the Virgin, Witney
for a James William NELSON son of William & Eliza, gamekeeper, Eynsham,
born 15th Mar 1850, baptised 19th May 1850.

My gt.grandad Lewis William NELSON was born 15th Mar 1850 at South Lodge,
Eynham son of William & Eliza, gamekeeper & registered 8th April 1850.
I have been in touch with the local registrar & she says there is no entry for a twin
or a James William NELSON. The child baptised is obviously my Lewis & I would
like to find out if the actual entry does say James or Lewis.

Transcribing PRs myself I know how difficult it can sometimes be as handwriting
can be appalling & pages very feint or water damaged. I did try to buy fiche copies
some time ago but was told by Oxfordshire RO that this was not possible.

Sally

Peter Goodey
22-08-2005, 8:10 PM
Have you asked the RO if they'll send you a copy? You know the date and church so it ought to be charged at the normal reprographics rate and not at research rates.

sally
22-08-2005, 8:35 PM
Yes I emailed about a month ago Peter but no reply so I thought I would try another route.

Sally

Geoffers
22-08-2005, 9:49 PM
My gt.grandad Lewis William NELSON was born 15th Mar 1850 at South Lodge, Eynham son of William & Eliza, gamekeeper & registered 8th April 1850.Sally, I'm sorry I can't get to the Record Office at Cowley for you. I can try Witney library to see if they have a film copy though. I would guess that the transcriber couldn't make out the first name clearly.

In case you aren't aware, the location is South Lodge, Eynsham Hall - one of a small group of houses around the Boot Inn at Barnard Gate (about 1.5 miles west of Eynsham), just off the A40. If you search using streetmap - South Lodge is under the zero in the blue '40' of the gridline. It also shows on the oldmaps web-site.

Geoffers

sally
22-08-2005, 11:18 PM
If Witney library do have the film then I would be very grateful if you had a look for me Geoffers. I can't ask for anyone more experienced to have a look |bowdown|

No wonder I couldn't find Eynsham Hall, I was expecting it to be right on the edge of the village not some way over at Barnard Gate. Lewis's father came from Norfolk but his mother was an Eynsham girl & his younger sister Eliza married a Walter WEBB who lived with his uncle, Peter GALE, at Barnard Gate from a young age & inherited the farm Peter owned.

No rush for the baptism check so please wait until you have to go that way.

Sally

christopher_n_lewis
22-08-2005, 11:22 PM
Hi Sally

I can go to the record office and check the entry. If you want a copy, they insist (quite rightly) that the final user, and not an agent, signs the appropriate copyright form, so you would have to get in touch with them, fill in the form, and return it to them with the payment.

I'll probably be heading up there next week - is this OK?

Christopher

Geoffers
23-08-2005, 1:12 AM
If Witney library do have the film then I would be very grateful if you had a look
Okedoke, I should be going to Witney on Tuesday/Wednesday. I'll let you know on way or another, then you could take up Christopher's kind offer to check at Oxford.


No wonder I couldn't find Eynsham Hall, I was expecting it to be right on the edge of the village not some way over at Barnard Gate.
I spent 3 months at Eynsham Hall in 1976 (last I heard it was a conference centre and Hotel, it probably has a web-site) - Barnard's Gate is the south end of the estate, the actual hall is away up towards Nor'lye (North Leigh). If you'd like any photos of the area, let me know.


Lewis's father came from Norfolk but his mother was an Eynsham girl & his younger sister Eliza married a Walter WEBB
I did wonder about the name Nelson in West Oxfordshire - and he married a Webb, lots with that surname in the area; I can remember Webbs living near Barnard's Gate and South Leigh about 15-20 years ago.
Geoffers

sally
23-08-2005, 10:42 AM
Hi Sally

I can go to the record office and check the entry.
I'll probably be heading up there next week - is this OK?

Christopher
Thanks for your kind offer Christopher. If you don't mind being held in reserve I would be grateful for your help if Witney library does not hold the film.

Sally

sally
23-08-2005, 11:43 AM
Hi Geoffers

Thought I would ring the library to check they have the film to save you a wasted visit & was told that yes they do have St.Mary's Witney & the baptisms for 1850 are on fiche no.10.

The only trouble now is that although I have the email from the chap who sent me the entry from the transcription back in 2001 saying it was St.Mary's, in the back of my brain I have the feeling that a later contact said it was North Leigh. :confused: Needless to say I cannot find that initial email from this contact so I am just hoping they were wrong.

By the way it was Lewis' sister that married a WEBB & they had 2 sons & 5 daughters in Barnard Gate so it is possible that some of their descendants are still there.
Lewis' mother was a BUSHNELL born 1821 in Eynsham & her dad, James, unlike most of that surname was not born at Hardwick but at Northleigh according to the 1851 census.

Sally

Geoffers
23-08-2005, 3:47 PM
Thought I would ring the library to check they have the film to save you a wasted visit & was told that yes they do have St.Mary's Witney & the baptisms for 1850 are on fiche no.10.
Thanks for checking, I'm busy today, but will be going into Witney tomorrow, so will check the registers then. If he stayed in the area, I can take one of my dogs for a walk around Nor'lye and see if he's buried there - any use?

Geoffers

sally
23-08-2005, 9:45 PM
If he stayed in the area, I can take one of my dogs for a walk around Nor'lye and see if he's buried there - any use?

Geoffers
Hi Geoffers
My Lewis moved up to Lincolnshire with his parents c.1855 & was in Islington where he & was the first of a NELSON tribe who became Loco Drivers & died 1933 in Islington.

If you are talking about James BUSHNELL then he & his wife Ann were 68 yrs on the 1851 census at Eynsham. I have it from the chap who did the actual transcriptions for the Eynsham PRs that although all of James & Ann's children were baptised in Eynsham not one BUSHNELLs is
buried there.
Living in Eynsham from at least 1808 until 1851, James & Ann must have been buried somewhere nearby soooo, weather permitting & if one of your dogs would like to take you for a walk around the graveyard then any BUSHNELL burial would be of great interest to me.

Regards
Sally

Pennie
23-08-2005, 11:21 PM
Hi Sally ...

Hope you don't mind me butting in on your thread, but I noticed your reference to North Leigh, and as I have the PRs thought I would have a look for any NELSONs.

There were only two entries - both baptisms:

01 MAR 1846 - George NELSON, s. William and Eliza, Gamekeeper, Eynsham
16 JUN 1861 - Eugenia NELSON, d. Lewis and Mary-Anne, Railway Guard, St. Pancras

Both look like they could be of interest! Hope this may help.

Pennie

Geoffers
24-08-2005, 12:28 AM
...North Leigh, and as I have the PRs thought I would have a look for any NELSONs.
There were only two entries - both baptisms:Thanks Pennie, this will hopefully make my seach at Witney easier.


Living in Eynsham from at least 1808 until 1851, James & Ann must have been buried somewhere nearby soooo, weather permitting & if one of your dogs would like to take you for a walk around the graveyard then any BUSHNELL burial would be of great interest to me.I'll have a look when I get a chance, it should be easier to get around a few churches for you once the kids go back to school (oh blessed thought) on 5th Sept.

Geoffers

sally
24-08-2005, 10:07 AM
Hi Geoffers

I hope to goodness you haven't left yet as I have found the email I was looking for & it wasn't Northleigh it was Southleigh that my contact said she found Lewis' baptism in. Phoned Witney library & they say they also have fiche for that parish. Seems my NELSON's spread the baptising of the 3 children born in Eynsham around as only Henry Horatio was baptised in Eynsham.

Mind you if you come across another NELSON baptism between 1845 & 1850 to Wm & Eliza then I would be glad of it as I have a 5yr gap with no known children born.

Sally

sally
24-08-2005, 10:22 AM
Hi Sally ...

Hope you don't mind me butting in on your thread

01 MAR 1846 - George NELSON, s. William and Eliza, Gamekeeper, Eynsham
16 JUN 1861 - Eugenia NELSON, d. Lewis and Mary-Anne, Railway Guard, St. Pancras Hope this may help.

Pennie
Hi Pennie
I have no problem with you butting in & am over the moon that you did.
Funnily enough my Lewis did marry a Mary Ann but as they would only be 11 yrs old in 1861 I somehow don't think this one is mine.

George however is mine & I am very grateful to you for taking the time to look for any NELSON entries & pass him on to me. It also made me realise that when I said I thought Lewis' baptism maybe in Northleigh that I was wrong. I ploughed through a mass of emails for over an hour to find the one I needed with an alternative parish to Witney.

Thanks again Pennie
Sally

Geoffers
24-08-2005, 12:28 PM
So that's why I couldn't find the baptism in Witney - such is life. As it is, they only have fiches of the OFHS transcripts of registers, not the original registers themselves. I thought I was cracking up when I couldn't locate a Nelson entry in May 1850. I even checked the 1851 census to make sure I'd written down the corect details:

HO107/1731 f144 sch.62
South lodge, Ensham Hall
William NELSON, hd, mar, 31, gamekeeper, bn Lenwade
Eliza Nelson, wf, mar, 29, bn Ensham
George Nelson, son, 5, scholar, bn Ensham
Lewis Nelson, son, 1, bn ensham

As they only have transcripts at Witney, perhaps you might take up Christopher's kind offer. I'll have a run through some of the other parishes 1845-1855 when I'm next in Witney and when the weather's drier I'll check the churchyards.

Geoffers

sally
24-08-2005, 4:13 PM
Sorry Geoffers I was hoping to catch you before you left. What a pain that the lady in the library didn't tell me it was only the transcriptions that were on fiche as I feel I sent you on a wild goosechase.

I will try again to get in touch with the RO before getting back to Christopher as it will depend on how long it takes the form to get to me.

Thanks again for trying to help me.

Sally

Geoffers
24-08-2005, 6:01 PM
Sorry Geoffers I was hoping to catch you before you left. What a pain that the lady in the library didn't tell me it was only the transcriptions that were on fiche as I feel I sent you on a wild goosechase.
Not a problem as I was going to Witney anyway, so it was just a case of a few minutes spent sheltering in the warm library whilst it rained heavily outside. When I next go in, I'll double check the transcript for baptisms and burials to,

a) confirm the name you've been given
b) make sure there are no associated burials
c) see if there were any other Nelsons bapt in South Leigh

Geoffers

sally
24-08-2005, 8:22 PM
Thank you very much Geoffers, I am now off to your Nfk Transcription site to see if I can find any more of my NELSON tribe there.

Regards
Sally

sally
26-08-2005, 10:26 AM
<<I can go to the record office and check the entry.>>

Hi Christopher
If your offer is still on I would like to take you up on it. The RO tell me anyone is allowed to view the original books as long as they have a CARN ticket.

They will only take digital photographs (photocopying not allowed) but I have been told that the entry will not come out as clearly as a photocopy would. Because of this I would be happy to see what you make of the entry & have deciced I do not want a photograph.

Transcribing from the original books myself I would have thought it would do the books more damage having lots of people handling them, turning page after page, than the staff taking photocopies where they can.

If I have missed the day that you were visiting the RO then thank you anyway for your kind offer.

Sally

christopher_n_lewis
28-08-2005, 12:21 PM
Hi Sally

Fine, I'll just look at the register. Probably toward the end of the week.

Lots of places have various restrictions on what they will and won't photocopy.
Concern no. 1 is 'Will the light and heat harm the original?' - Generally we don't know, but sunlight certainly fades objects, so best to apply the precautionary principle.
Concern no. 2 is 'Will the handling harm the document?' If a book has to be opened widely to place on the copier, then the binding is likely to be affected. If the item is larger than the top of the copier, then there are concerns that it may catch on one of the sharp metal bits, or be dropped. (The Bodleian Library has a weight limit as well, so things like large county directories have to be copied by staff - but I was told this is to protect the copiers from clumsy users!).
Concern no. 3 is 'Are we being reasonable to the users?' which could be argued either way. Seemingly paradoxically, experience shows that simple rules that are rigidly adhered to do lead to fewer disappointed or angry users.

I didn't know that ORO offered a digital photo service - that is new. I often take digital photos there (no flash allowed) and they come out very well even though I don't have anything more than a simple point and click camera. Even Parish Register entries come out well - I would have said they were clearer than photocopies, and you can 'tweak' them with an image editor. They are certainly better than the alternative of a print from a (usually old and scratched) microfilm - which is still the main option in many record offices.

Christopher

sally
28-08-2005, 3:02 PM
Thank you very much Christopher. I can understand the different points you have put but I just wish all RO's could put their PRs on microfiche for those researchers who have no chance of getting to their building.
I personally prefer to buy a copy on fiche myself & stroll through it at my own pace, suprising what you can find on other ancestors. I have been lucky to find RO's who will sell just the register I want to look at, others who will not split the PRs so I would have to pay 30 + for fiche covering all the PR baptisms from 1858-1955 when I only want to look at a 5 year span. There are though quite a few like Oxfordshire that do not have fiche only transcripts or film.

The digital service they provide costs 6.50p inc postage for 1 photograph. I personally think this is a little steep (I am sure others would disagree) & would much rather pay them double that to have the fiche which may include another branch of my family.

I look forward to seeing what you make of the entry in South Leigh as to whether it is James or my Lewis.

Regards
Sally

Geoffers
02-09-2005, 4:54 PM
When I next go in, I'll double check the transcript for baptisms and burials to,

a) confirm the name you've been given
b) make sure there are no associated burials
c) see if there were any other Nelsons bapt in South Leigh
Sally, I went into Witney today and looked at the transcript

a) The name is recorded as James William
b) There are no NELSON burials 1840-1860
c) There are no other NELSON baptisms

No other baptisms or burials of NELSONs in Witney Eynsham, North Leigh that I could see. I'll get around some churchyards for you next week when school restarts and my horrible monsters leave me in peace and quiet.

Geoffers

christopher_n_lewis
02-09-2005, 6:32 PM
Hi Sally

Not good news - I went and looked at the original register in ORO this afternoon. The name is very clearly 'James', not 'Lewis'.

The entries were all in the same handwriting so I could compare it with others. It is possible that the entries were written up from rough notes, after the events - there was nothing about the page which would support or disprove this.

There was also an Incumbent's Notebook dated 1869, which seemed to mention all the families in the parish, but no NELSON amongst them them.

Sorry I couldn't bring you better results
Christopher

sally
02-09-2005, 9:24 PM
Hi Sally

Not good news - I went and looked at the original register in ORO this afternoon. The name is very clearly 'James', not 'Lewis'.
Sorry I couldn't bring you better results
Christopher
Hi Christopher

What I needed to know was whether it had been transcribed correctly as James or not & you have cleared that up for me. Guess it was down to the vicar & written up from rough notes at a later day as you say. I have found depositions written up in PRs years later stating that a child written down as one name should have been put put in as another name. As my NELSON's moved out of the area between 1852 & 1855 I don't suppose they even new it had gone down as James.
Thank you very much for taking time out to check for me.

Regards
Sally

sally
02-09-2005, 9:43 PM
Sally, I went into Witney today and looked at the transcript
a) The name is recorded as James William
b) There are no NELSON burials 1840-1860
c) There are no other NELSON baptisms
No other baptisms or burials of NELSONs in Witney Eynsham, North Leigh that I could see. I'll get around some churchyards for you next week when school restarts and my horrible monsters leave me in peace and quiet.
Geoffers
Thank you very much for looking Geoffers, if you have seen Christopher's reply you will see that it was transcribed correctly. I don't think you will find any NELSON gravestones although if you wander round any local graveyards for anyone else I would appreciate any BUSHNELL's you come across. I have been told that there are no BUSHNELL burials at Eynsham where I would have expected them to be.

Regards
Sally