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.
We hold details on 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.
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 Liability. There is a useful research guide on the National Archives website on where to start looking for information.
Although the Civil War was a significant part of Oxfordshire’s history, we hold very few archival records about it. 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
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 and Oxford University
We hold relatively few records relating to Oxford University or the individual colleges. The University Archives is located in the Bodleian Library. Most Oxford colleges have their own archives, please see the Oxford Archives site[SAS1] 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
Planning and building control records
- Oxford City Council
- Cherwell District Council
- South Oxfordshire District Council
- Vale of White Horse District Council
- West Oxfordshire District Council
Rights of way
Information on Oxfordshire rights of way, including the definitive map, can be found on our public rights of way pages.
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 tryinstead.
To find out what school records we do hold, and what 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 online schools resources page
Thames Valley Police
Some archival material relating to Thames Valley Police is retained by the 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.