Special Meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday 9th June, 2014
6th May, 2014

Henley-on-Thames Archaeological and Historical Group

Special Meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Monday 9th June, 2014

Members of the Henley-on-Thames Archaeological and Historical Group and others have been working on two projects with the aim of producing searchable databases accessible through the internet containing information about residents of Henley-on Thames and District that will be of interest to family and social historians. The content of these databases and the search facilities will be described at a special meeting to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday 9th June, 2014 in the Margaret Day Room of the Stable Barn at the former Kings Arms pub, accessible from the Kings Road (Waitrose) car park, Henley-on-Thames.

In 2007 the Victoria County History's England's Past for Everyone (EPE) project for Henley invited local residents to participate. Two groups were set up to transcribe:

  • Probate documents
  • Census records

Both groups made useful contributions to the EPE project, but at the end of the time allocated for the EPE project, neither Group had completed their task. Both groups have, however, continued and have now reached a point where the results can be made public.

The Probate Group was ably supported by people who had worked on a similar project in Burford. At the end of the EPE project these people moved on to support the next EPE project, leaving over 400 documents associated with residents of the Henley area, mainly C18th wills, to be transcribed. A new group was subsequently established to transcribe these documents. and build a searchable database accessible through the internet. Currently a final check of all the Wills for consistency and to ensure the accuracy of the transcribing so far as is possible is being undertaken. When this is complete, the information will be available at www.henleyprobate.org.uk.

Search facilities are provided using:

  • Surname of testator, including Metaphone matching
  • Occupation and location of testator
  • Names of benefactors, witnesses and others mentioned in a will
  • Type of bequest, e.g. property, money, gold ring etc.

The Census Group has completed the transcription of the census returns 1841 - 1901 for Henley-on-Thames and the eastern part of Rotherfield Greys parish.

This data is now available at www.henleycensus.info.

The greatest problem family historians face is that the name, age and birth place data for an individual are often inconsistent with consequent uncertainty that any two entries refer to one individual. To help in resolving this uncertainty, the website includes a nameindex feature which brings together possible matches of these three items of data. Results can be filtered in various ways including Soundex or Metaphone matching of names.

A general search facility is also available allowing selection by :

  • Last name(s) with exact, partial, Soundex or Metaphone matching.
  • First name(s) with similar matching
  • Birth year or range of years
  • Sex
  • Relationship to head of household
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Street
  • Birth County

Occupations have been categorized into classes, groups and sub-groups allowing the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers in the town to be identified.

Some studies based on census data are included:

  • School Attendance.
  • The popularity of Christian names.
  • Number of persons in an age range.
  • Numbers of households and buildings.
  • Birthplaces