Oxenham History, Family Crest & Coats of Arms

Early Origins of the Oxenham family

The surname Oxenham was first found in Devon in the parish of South Tawton at Oxenham, famous for 'the Oxenham omen.'

"Oxenham gave name to a family of repute, one of whose members was John Oxenham, of Plymouth, the first Englishman who sailed on the Pacific, a comrade of Drake at Nombre de Dios, who eventually fell into the hands of the Spaniards and was by them executed as a pirate one of the bravest and most unfortunate of the great seamen of Elizabethan Devon. The ' omen ' consists in the appearance of a ' bird with a white breast,' or of a white bird, before the deaths of members of the family. The earliest record of this apparition refers to the year 1618 ; but in 1641 what is now a rare pamphlet was published, detailing four appearances before the deaths of four members of a branch of the Oxenhams, settled at Zeal Monachorum, in 1635. "

"The tradition continues in the family, where the reality of the appearances is not doubted, though 'no decided conviction obtains as to their cause.' Recent instances of the ' omen ' are quoted in connection, the most remarkable of which was the appearance of a white bird outside the windows of a house in Kensington a week before the death of Mr. G. N. Oxenham, then head of the family, in 1873. The bird refused for some minutes to be driven away, and a sound like the fluttering of wings is stated to have been heard in the bedroom. Probably this belief in the white bird of the Oxenhams is associated in some way with the wide-spread superstition that the flying of birds around a house and tapping against the window, or resting on the sill, portends death." [1]

Early History of the Oxenham family

This web page shows only a small excerpt of our Oxenham research. Another 186 words (13 lines of text) covering the years 1242, 1814 and 1642 are included under the topic Early Oxenham History in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.

Oxenham Spelling Variations

Spelling variations of this family name include: Oxenham, Ockenham, Oakhampton, Okhampton, Ockhampton, Ocksenham, Oksenham, Oxnam, Oxnum, Oxenum, Oxenam and many more.

Early Notables of the Oxenham family (pre 1700)

More information is included under the topic Early Oxenham Notables in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.


United States Oxenham migration to the United States +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oxenham Settlers in United States in the 18th Century
  • William Oxenham, who arrived in Maryland in 1725
  • Ann Oxenham, who settled in Charles Town, South Carolina in 1765
  • John Oxenham, who settled in Charles Town [Charleston], South Carolina in 1766
Oxenham Settlers in United States in the 19th Century
  • Thomas Oxenham, who settled in New York in 1812
  • Thomas Oxenham, aged 22, who landed in New York in 1812 [2]

Canada Oxenham migration to Canada +

Some of the first settlers of this family name were:

Oxenham Settlers in Canada in the 19th Century
  • Hugh Oxenham, who settled in Prince Edward Island in 1831

Australia Oxenham migration to Australia +

Emigration to Australia followed the First Fleets of convicts, tradespeople and early settlers. Early immigrants include:

Oxenham Settlers in Australia in the 19th Century
  • Eliza Oxenham, aged 20, a domestic servant, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836 [3]
  • kate Oxenham, aged 18, a domestic servant, who arrived in Kangaroo Island aboard the ship "Buffalo" in 1836 [3]
  • Joseph Oxenham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "David Malcolm" in 1847 [4]
  • John Oxenham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847 [5]
  • Elizabeth Oxenham, who arrived in Adelaide, Australia aboard the ship "Phoebe" in 1847 [5]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

New Zealand Oxenham migration to New Zealand +

Emigration to New Zealand followed in the footsteps of the European explorers, such as Captain Cook (1769-70): first came sealers, whalers, missionaries, and traders. By 1838, the British New Zealand Company had begun buying land from the Maori tribes, and selling it to settlers, and, after the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840, many British families set out on the arduous six month journey from Britain to Aotearoa to start a new life. Early immigrants include:

Oxenham Settlers in New Zealand in the 19th Century
  • Jemima Oxenham, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • John Oxenham, aged 29, a shipwright, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Sarah Oxenham, aged 19, who arrived in Wellington, New Zealand aboard the ship "Aurora" in 1840
  • Sydenham Oxenham, aged 43, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852 [6]
  • Mary Ann Oxenham, aged 45, who arrived in Auckland, New Zealand aboard the ship "Inchinnan" in 1852 [6]
  • ... (More are available in all our PDF Extended History products and printed products wherever possible.)

Contemporary Notables of the name Oxenham (post 1700) +

  • Elsie Jeanette Oxenham (1880-1960), English girls' story writer
  • William Oxenham (1823-1875), English recipient of the Victoria Cross
  • Henry Nutcombe Oxenham (1829-1888), English ecclesiologist and author
  • Anselm McEvoy "Voy" Oxenham (1882-1919), rugby union player who represented Australia
  • Ronald Keven Oxenham (1891-1939), Australian cricketer

RMS Titanic
  • Mr. Percy Thomas Oxenham, aged 22, English Second Class passenger from London, England who sailed aboard the RMS Titanic and survived the sinking escaping on life boat 13 [7]


  1. ^ Worth, R.N., A History of Devonshire London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E.G., 1895. Digital
  2. ^ Filby, P. William, Meyer, Mary K., Passenger and immigration lists index : a guide to published arrival records of about 500,000 passengers who came to the United States and Canada in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries. 1982-1985 Cumulated Supplements in Four Volumes Detroit, Mich. : Gale Research Co., 1985, Print (ISBN 0-8103-1795-8)
  3. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) HMS BUFFALO 1836. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1836Buffalo.htm
  4. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) DAVID MALCOLM 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847DavidMalcolm.htm
  5. ^ State Records of South Australia. (Retrieved 2010, November 5) PHOEBE 1847. Retrieved from http://www.slsa.sa.gov.au/BSA/1847Phoebe.htm
  6. ^ New Zealand Yesteryears Passenger Lists 1800 to 1900 (Retrieved 17th October 2018). Retrieved from http://www.yesteryears.co.nz/shipping/passlist.html
  7. ^ Titanic Passenger List - Titanic Facts. (Retrieved 2016, July 13) . Retrieved from http://www.titanicfacts.net/titanic-passenger-list.html


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