Parish Records

Parish Records began in 1581 for baptisms (with a gap 1609 – 1621) and in 1622 for marriages and burials.

Those records over 100 years old have been deposited in the Oxfordshire County Record Office a complete records is also held by the Rector.  Churchwardens’ Accounts date from the middles of the 17thCentury.

The use of historical records is always going to throw up gaps and discrepancies depending on the reliability of the recorder. Records added to this archive vary between church records, records of civic organisations such as the Parish Council and voluntary organisations such as the Women’s Institute. These provide an insight to the social and political context of the village. An analysis of the births and death records has been undertaken which offers a silent testimony to the evolving health of the village.

The original parish registers are usually stored in a county record office. These can be viewed by the public, but the archivists are reluctant to allow handling of these old and unique books. The best way to view Parish Registers is either online or on CD. 


Chinnor Historical Archaeological Society - CHAS

For many years Chinnor had a Historical, Archaeological Society known as CHAS.  The society was well supported, however, the society declined and eventually folded in the second decade of the 21st Century.

Many files were taken to Thame Museum and archived.  The Chinnor Heritage team contacted the Museum who were more than willing to return the files to Chinnor.  These files will be available in the future for everyone either on the website or stored on a trolley in our Chinnor library (we are very grateful to the Head Librarian for allocating a space so that easy access to these documents is available)

One interesting story came to light

Symon Howlett, Yeoman of Emmington 1577 - 1635

"putting his life in its contemporary setting, Symon Howlett was lucky in the time in which he lived, an oasis of comparative tranquillity after the troubles of the Reformation were largely over but before the trauma of Civil War, when rival armies disputed Eastern Oxfordshire.

The Howletts first appear in the records of Emmington when icholas Howlett contributed 1s (1 shilling) to the great Subsidy of 1524/25.  The Wills of this Nicholas , and his wife Alice, his son Gyles and his grandson Nicholas were all briefly discussed.

(The Great Subsidy) From 1334 to about 1542, the total quotas were listed along with place names; no individuals were recorded. The Great Subsidy of 1524-5 lists all people over the age of 16 years with income from land or with taxable goods worth £2 per annum, or with annual wages of £1 or more.)

(It is not clear in this narrative if the society discussed the Wills or whether the author meant the Wills contained specific instructions)

The second Nicholas was the father of Symon Howlett.

Fortunately the Inventory of Christopher Mortimer has survived to give an idea of the household style of life, in which the young Symon grew up although he had left home before 1596 when it was prepared

In 1603, Symon married Alice Allnutt of Towersey by whom he had at least five sons, four of whom lived to be adult.  The records of Symon's life indicate a steady rise to prosperity assisted by a close relationship with the Hampden family, Squires of Emmington although Symon appears to have invested substantially in the greater security of freehold cottages and lands in Chinnor.

Howletts remained dominant in Emmington until the end of the century but by 1700, their leases had ended and the centre of the family fortunes moved to Chinnor."