Advisors & Helpdesks

Mick Dumbleton helping at the Oxfordshire History Centre
Wendy Archer

Due to the COVID outbreak, OFHS is not presently running its helpdesk sessions.

OFHS have advisors located in various libraries in the county as well as at the Oxfordshire History Centre (OHC), Temple Road, Cowley. For more details see the table and OHC information below.

How Can We Help?

All the advisors have years of experience researching their own families. They can offer free help with either starting your family history or unblocking the brick walls in your research. They are not limited to advising on the county records but can generally advise wherever your ancestors come from. However, whilst English and Welsh families are relatively easy to trace with the resources available to the advisors some other countries like Scotland & Ireland can be more difficult, but not impossible. When an advisor is unable to help they may know somebody you can advise you.

As well as the main family history sites, e.g. Ancestry; Findmypast; FamilySearch and the Birth Marriage & Death indexes for England & Wales held by the General Register Office (GRO) etc., the advisors also have access to a USB device containing OFHS’s own search suite and copies of our parish transcripts; Monumental Inscription CDs and Quarter Session CDs which they can search.

Be Prepared

When visiting an advisor for the first time it is advisable that you bring as much information as you can.

  • If you are starting out then it is best to talk to your family beforehand and note down any names, places and dates that they mention. Basically the more information you can bring the better.
  • If you are looking for help breaking a brick wall down then please bring details of all your existing research including any areas you’ve looked at and been unable to find anything.

NOTE: We are a Family History Society and as such cannot help track down living relatives.

On return visits at the smaller libraries you are likely to see the same advisor whereas at the bigger libraries and at the OHC you may see a different advisor.

Any information you provide to an advisor will be treated in confidence.

Library Sessions

Please note the normal days, listed in the table, are subject to change due to availability of the advisor(s) the relevant library should be able to let you know of any planned changes. It is also advisable when booking to provide a telephone number so the library can contact you on in case of any last minute changes.

LocationNormal DaysTelephoneWebsite
AbingdonFourth Saturday
10:00 – 14:00
01235 520374Abingdon Library
BanburyFirst & Third Tuesday

11:00 – 16:00

01295 262282Banbury Library
BicesterWednesdays & Thursdays

10:00 – 15:00

01869 252181Bicester Library
ChinnorFourth Thursday

14:30 – 18:00

01844 351721Chinnor Library
Hook NortonThird Wednesday

14:30 – 16:30

01608 737793Hook Norton
KidlingtonAlternate Tuesdays

13:30 – 16:00

01865 373067Kidlington Library
Oxfordshire County Library (Westgate)First three Thursdays of the month01865 815509Westgate Library
WallingfordFourth Tuesday

12:30 – 16:30

01491 837395Wallingford Library
WatlingtonLast Saturday of the Month


01491 612241Watlington Library
WitneyFirst & Third Thursday

10:30 – 16:30

01993 703659Witney Library
WoodstockFirst & Third Wednesday

12:00 – 16:00

01993 814124Woodstock Library

Oxfordshire History Centre

At the OHC we offer drop-in sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays (10:00 to 16:00) and the occasional Saturday morning. There is no requirement to book. However, if you are travelling specifically to talk to an OFHS advisor it is best to ring the OHC ( 01865 398200 ) after 10 o’clock on the day to check that an advisor is present. The drop-in sessions run on a first come first served basis and have no set time limit. However, if people are waiting the advisor will have to limit the time they spend with you and if they are already busy you may have to wait.

To check opening times, contact details and any planned closures visit the OHC’s website.

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