What we don't hold at the Oxfordshire History Centre

Here is a list of subjects that we commonly receive enquiries about, but have to forward elsewhere.

Adoption records

We do hold some adoption records in court registers, but to access any adoption files or information, you should first contact the County Council's Adoption Team. 

Armed Services records

We hold very few records relating to the Army, Navy, or Air Force, even if units were based in Oxfordshire. The National Archives have a series of useful research guides to help you track down what you are looking for. Go to the website.

Specific information on World Wars 1 and 2. Records of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, The Queen’s Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and the Oxford University Officer Training Corps are held by the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Trust.

Assize courts

Crimes such as murder, arson, and robbery, were thought to be too serious to be tried by the Quarter Sessions, so were tried by the Assize Courts instead. Judges would travel to the different Assize circuits, including Oxford. You may come across a mention of your ancestor awaiting trial in the Calendar of Prisoners but the records of the criminal case itself are held at The National Archives.

Birth, marriage and death certificates

We are unable to provide copies of post-1837 birth, marriage or death certificates. For events that took place in Oxfordshire, please contact the Registration Service . If the birth, marriage or death took place elsewhere in England and Wales, you can either contact the relevant registration service for that area, or you can order a copy certificate from the General Register Office.

Chancel repair liability

Whilst we do hold the records of Oxford Diocese, we are not often able to help with tracing Chancel repair lLiability. There is a useful research guide at the National Archives website on where to start looking for information.

Civil War

Although the Civil War was a significant part of Oxfordshire’s history, we hold very few archival records about it. As a good starting point on research resources for the Civil War in general, please see The National Archives Research Guides. We do hold a variety of printed material relating to the Civil War. This can be found under classification 944.32 in Heritage Search .

Common land and village greens

Information on common land and village greens.

Current electoral registers

Current, and recent, registers of electors are held by the relevant district council for that area. Historic registers of electors are passed to us for archiving. Please note that most electoral registers are arranged alphabetically by street name, not by personal
name, which can make it much harder to trace individuals.

College records/Oxford University

We hold relatively few records relating to Oxford University or the individual colleges. The University Archives are located in the Bodleian Library. Most Oxford colleges have their own archives, please see the Oxford Archives site for contact information and opening hours.

Parish registers for Vale of White Horse or ‘Old’ Berkshire

Parish registers for the towns and villages which were located in Berkshire prior to the 1974 county boundary change are held at Berkshire Record Office.

Planning and building control records

Planning applications and building control are handled by the district councils in Oxfordshire, so you will need to contact the relevant one for your area. Many have online planning portals, where you can view recent (and sometimes historic) planning applications. We may hold some historic planning applications; see our pages on house history  and district councils for more information.

Rights of way

Information on Oxfordshire rights of way, including the definitive map, can be found here.

School attendance and examination records

Most of our school records date from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Schools are under no obligation to deposit their attendance records with us, and we hold relatively few examples. If you need proof of your attendance at a specific school we probably won’t be able to help you.

Similarly, we are unable to provide you with information on your exam results as we do not hold these. You may want to try https://www.gov.uk/replacement-exam-certificate instead.

To find out what school records we do hold and dates they cover, search our online catalogue, Heritage Search. Printed catalogues for individual schools are also available in the searchroom along with an index by parish.  See also our schools page.

Thames Valley Police

Some archival material relating to Thames Valley Police is retained by the Thames Valley Police Force Museum at Sulhampstead, near Reading. Access to the collection is by appointment only. We do however hold the records of their predecessor, the Oxford City Police Force.

Tracing missing people

We are unable to help trace missing people, or to put you back in touch with friends or family. More information on where to go for advice