Family, Kin and Community: Reconstitution Techniques for Local Historians

Course details

From £133.00

Sat 23 Nov 2019 - Sun 24 Nov 2019
9.45am Sat - 3.30pm Sun

Family, Kin and Community: Reconstitution Techniques for Local Historians


This course offers practical guidance on how family and community reconstitution techniques that were first developed by demographic and social historians can be used to advantage by local historians. Delegates will learn about the different sources available for undertaking family reconstitution and how to make use of them. Using practical case studies, the workshop will explore how to combine evidence from sources such as nineteenth-century decennial censuses, parish records and wills. It will also investigate the value of some eighteenth-century documents, as well as Duties on Land returns from the early twentieth century. By the end of the weekend delegates will have gained an understanding of reconstitution techniques that will enable them to enhance their own research into how families, kinship groups and communities functioned and changed over time.




Programme details

Saturday 23 November 2019

9.45am            Registration

10.00am          Introduction to the course

10.30am           The significance of reconstitution for local and family


                          Dr Kate Tiller

10.45am          Reconstitution: purposes and sources 

11.15am           Coffee / tea

11.45am          Workshop 1: Reconstituting families (part 1)

1.00pm           Lunch

2.00pm           Workshop 1: Reconstituting families (part 2)

2.45pm           Urban Case Studies

                         Fisher Row, Oxford: Reconstitution in action – Dr Kate Tiller

                         St Martins-in-the-Fields: A London study

3.30pm           Tea / Coffee

4.00pm           Workshop 2: Linking families

5.30pm           Reconstitution: dealing with issues

6.00pm           Break

7.00pm           Dinner


Sunday 24 November 2019

8.15am            Breakfast (residents only)

9.30am            Reconstitution as a method for understanding communities

10.30am          Coffee / Tea

11.00am          Workshop 3: Reconstituting a community

1.00pm            Lunch

2.00pm            Reconstitution: potential and achievements

3.00pm            Course conclusions

3.30pm            Course disperses



Recommended reading


Wrightson K. and Levine, D., Poverty and Piety in an English Village, Terling 1525-1700 (Oxford, 1995 edn.).

Reay, B., Microhistories: Demography, Society and Culture in Rural England, 1800-1930 (Cambridge, 1996).

Prior, M,  Fisher Row, Fishermen, Bargemen and Canal Boatmen in Oxford, 1500-1900 (OUP, 1981; Philimore reprint, 2011)




Accommodation for this weekend is at Rewley House for Saturday night only.

Depending on availability it may also be possible to extend your stay, please enquire at the time of booking for availability and prices.

All bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.



Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £133.00
Baguette Saturday: £5.00
Baguette Sunday: £5.00
Dinner Saturday evening: £21.00
Full Hot Lunch Saturday (3 courses): £15.00
Full Hot Lunch Sunday (3 courses): £15.00
Single B&B Saturday night: £82.00
Twim Room (2 sharing) B&B Saturday night: £116.00


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses



Dr Gary Crossley

Course Tutor

Gary Crossley completed his doctoral degree at the University of Oxford in 2018. His research focused on how kinship patterns influenced the way Cornish society functioned from the end of the Early Modern period to the beginning of the twentieth century. This involved undertaking extensive family reconstitution for a number of communities. Prior to that he undertook a Masters in Local History at Oxford, and has a particular interest in agricultural and social history.


Dr Kate Tiller

Course Contributor

Kate Tiller, MA, PhD, FSA, FRHistS; Reader Emerita in English Local History, University of Oxford; Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford.


Dr Fiona McCall

Director of Studies

Departmental Lecturer in Local and Social History at the University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education and a Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford