John H. Jones MA,DPhil,FRHistS

John H. Jones

My special Interests  are: family and local history in Oxford and Oxfordshire and adjacent parts of surrounding counties, especially northern Berkshire; the people and history of the City of Oxford, Oxford University and its Colleges; biographical and genealogical research without regional limitation; online genealogical research; science and scientists especially chemists biologists etc. I have an extensive personal library on these subjects, and easy access to the relevant repositories.

I was a Fellow of Balliol College Oxford 1966-2009 (Dean 1972-2002); I am now an Emeritus Fellow of Balliol. Although my primary academic activity was in Organic Chemistry (CChem, FRSC 1981), I was appointed Fellow Archivist of Balliol in 1981 and elected FRHistS in 1991.The College is 750 years old and consequently has very extensive and diverse administrative and estates archives, so I have experience of a wide range of material and can cope with practically any English handwriting since 1500. I am the author of numerous books, including Balliol College: a History (OUP 1987, 2nd revised edition 2005), The Archives of Balliol College (Phillimore 1984, revised and published on the College website 1999), The Portraits of Balliol College (1990), etc. I was a multiple contributor to the Oxford Dictionary  of National Biography and have written numerous Biographical Memoirs of distinguished Chemists.

I prefer interesting research projects with some meat in them to routine small tasks. I do not usually look for payment in advance but only guidance on financial limits. Telephone briefing is in my view unsatisfactory, and I need briefing and instructions in writing, but I am very willing to meet with clients in, or within easy driving distance of, Oxford City. If I am unable or unwilling to accept any commissions, I will give advice without charge.

I also welcome enquiries from firms in the legal and related professions who need archive investigations . An example of such work was research into the history of a lane to assist in substantiating a claim by A.F. Macdonald & Partners that it should be shown on the list of streets maintainable at public expense.  

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30 Manor Road
OX20 1RY

"John Jones' genealogical research into our family histories was carried out with painstaking erudition and was presented to us in a form that will make it a fascinating family heirloom for generations to come.

Ramona and Desmond Morris, Oxford."

"John Jones's  research provided accuracy for a biography of a particularly elusive nineteenth-century British artist, born just before  BMD  registration became mandatory. Despite nearly 100 years' of a widely accepted birth-year, he found a record of her of baptism---an event that occurred two full years earlier than the  accepted birth-year. He also found military files, wills, property records, school records, and more, establishing a factual basis for a very challenging research project.

 MaryEllen Weller,Wisconsin, USA"

"Dr Jones has been involved with us on a family history research project over a couple of phases in the last few years. It hasn’t been easy. Our Reynolds’ have neglected the niceties of documentation and a religious doctrine demanded silence for several generations. Despite it all, however, Dr Jones has dug, delved and discovered a huge amount of what there is to know with a steely determination, sound reporting and a resolve to separate fact from fiction that would do credit to Conan Doyle. There is more to do, but the family is already forever grateful.

Richard Meredith (for the Reynolds family) Newport Pagnell"


  • Family History
  • England Research
  • Local History
  • Oxfordshire Research
  • University Records
  • Gloucestershire Research
  • Will and Probate
  • Berkshire Research
  • Wiltshire Research
Box A, 14 Charterhouse Buildings
Goswell Road
London EC1M 7BA