DNA/Surname Project

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Oxfordshire surnames

OFHS runs two linked projects that research Oxfordshire surnames from medieval times and investigates DNA for those with Oxfordshire ancestry before 1880. The Oxfordshire surname project aims to build a comprehensive database of Oxfordshire surnames, tracing their whereabouts in different parishes over time, their origins, hotspots, DNA connections and many other facets of Oxfordshire surnames. The project will take about 4 years to complete.

You can see the list of surnames we are researching, including our top 400 priority surnames. Do check the frequently-asked questions (FAQs) for the surname project as well as DNA FAQs. They should avoid you having to wait for an email reply.

This is an active project with many exciting deliverables. See the current Surname/DNA project status.

Our key needs are:

  • More males with Oxfordshire surnames to have a Y-DNA test
  • More transcribers

DNA Testing

  • We are keen to have more males who have Oxfordshire ancestry before 1880 on their pure male (father’s father’s father’s….) line to come forward and have a Y-37 or even better a Y-111 or Big Y DNA test.
  • If you have been DNA tested by FamilyTreeDNA and are not yet part of the Oxfordshire DNA project you are welcome to join if you meet the eligibility criteria. See DNA Project FAQ for details.
  • We also accept transfers from companies such as Ancestry for autosomal tests. See DNA Project FAQ for details.
  • We welcome help with publicity to encourage more people with good Oxfordshire ancestry to be DNA tested, so do contact your neighbours/friends and try to persuade them to be tested.

Contact the DNA team by email at dna@ofhs.uk to discuss your family history or to check your eligibility to join the Oxfordshire DNA project at Family Tree DNA


If you are keen to help, there are a number of pan-Oxfordshire resources the team needs help in transcribing. Many can be done remotely without being located in Oxfordshire. If you possess versions of any early documents listing Oxfordshire names (for which you have obtained the original author or publisher’s permission for use), or want to help transcribe some of the documents on our "to do" list, please contact the surname team at surname‑project@ofhs.uk

If your village or local group is transcribing Oxfordshire manorial documents, land documents or wills we would love you to help add to our database, so contact us.

Family Histories

Those who have a good recorded family history in Oxfordshire or who manage a one-name study would be welcome to contact the surname team with a brief description and their contact details, so that when their surname is analysed they may be able to participate in submitting content for that name. All significant contributors will be acknowledged.

If you have any queries, please contact us via surname-project@ofhs.org.uk

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