To create and publish a database of marriage transcriptions from the parish and non-parochial registers of pre-1974 Berkshire, to be known as Berkshire Marriages.
To continue to transcribe marriage registers so that additional transcriptions, covering extended time periods and further parishes, can be added and published from time to time.
A Second Edition of Berkshire Marriages was published in CD format in February 2012.
This CD contains transcriptions of almost 140,000 marriages, with 450,000 names from more than 120 parishes of pre-1974 Berkshire, including many from North Berkshire and the Vale of the White Horse. While the main focus of this edition remains with marriages between 1538 and 1837 (and the start of civil registration in England and Wales) some newly-added entries are as recent as 2006, and others run well into the 19th and 20th centuries.
The First Edition of Berkshire Marriages (February 2011) held transcribed details of over 346,000 people from more than 117,000 marriages recorded in over 100 parishes and locations in the Royal County. Since that time, many of its transcriptions - but not all (for a variety of reasons outside the society's direct control) - have been published online in the Parish Records Collection of Findmypast
Some data is also searchable (within Berkshire Name Search) at the society's Research Centre in Reading.
The intention is to update Berkshire Marriages every 12 to 18 months, subject to sufficient transcriptions becoming available to merit a new CD edition. This follows established practice with Berkshire Burials - the 11th Edition of which holds information on over 830,000 burials.
Purchasers of the Berkshire Marriages CD automatically enjoy a very substantial discount on the full price of the next edition that follows (conditions apply).
Berkshire Marriages and Berkshire Burials are supplied in Adobe Reader format. A copy of Adobe Reader for MS Windows is also supplied. Users of Mac, Unix and other operating systems can download a suitable version of Adobe Reader from www.adobe.com. Minimum requirements for these CDs - Adobe Reader 7.0
The project has focused first on marriages recorded in parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts from the earliest entries through to 1837, when civil registration began. More recently some post-1837 marriages have also been added to the dataset.
All of pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire. This includes parishes in the Vale of the White Horse and Abingdon areas.
Berkshire Record Office (in Reading) holds the vast majority of deposited original registers and, later, marriage registers for the pre-1974 county of Berkshire (including the Vale of the White Horse).
Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre (in Chippenham) holds surviving early Bishop's Transcripts for Berkshire (to 1835/1836). In a number of cases these pre-date surviving registers for a number of Berkshire parishes.
The Archdeaconry of Berkshire transferred from the Salisbury Diocese to the Oxford Diocese in 1836 and any original transcripts sent to the bishop after that date will be found at the Oxford History Centre.
Output of the project
The Berkshire Marriages CD offers six Finding Aids and a Full Details report. The Full Details report contains:
Date of marriage and parish
How married - by banns or licence
Source of record - if not Berkshire Record Office
Surname and Forename(s) of bride and groom
(where they appear) aliases, ages, status, occupations, address/parish
whether signed or marked, relationships,
details of officiating minister
consents, witnesses and any other notes in the register
Not all information listed above is available for every entry.
Generally, later entries hold more detail - fathers, their occupations, witnesses, for example.
page last reviewed and revised 25th April 2014