Branch Meetings, Events, Other Services

Page last reviewed and revised 14th November 2015

Branch Meetings

SIX branches cover ‘pre-1974 Berkshire’ – bringing you key resources and information for your family history research. Meetings are usually monthly (not August).

Bracknell & Wokingham Branch (at Bracknell)

 Computer Branch (at Woodley)

 Newbury Branch

 Reading Branch

Vale of the White Horse Branch (at Abingdon)

 Windsor, Slough & Maidenhead Branch (at Windsor)

 Discover what is happening at your nearest branch.

What’s On this month or use the menu to the left

Come to a Branch meeting and meet and chat with other family historians. You will meet researchers of all ages – and at all stages — from beginners (and we were all beginners once!) to the more experienced.

People you will meet don't just research Berkshire ancestors! Their research interests range across the UK, sometimes worldwide. It is NOT just about Berkshire. Draw on the experience and advice of others, it is surprising how much you will discover – wherever your ancestors came from.

Illustrated talks at most meetings feature topics likely to interest all family historians, and are given by experts in their fields. These topics will benefit your family history research – wherever your ancestors came from.

Computer related matters feature regularly at Woodley Branch meetings — but most branches feature one or two such meetings each year too. While the principles of sound family history research do not change, research in some areas can be made dramatically easier with intelligent use of a PC and the internet.

Branch meetings usually offer a monthly branch newsletter, sometimes in print, sometimes electronic. Society members can borrow from a range of family and local history books from those branches with their own libraries. Some branches (not all) offer the latest society publications for sale. To summarise, wherever your ancestors came from — Branch meetings will help you with your research.

Visitors are always welcome at branch meeting which are free to attend.

And, if you wish, you can join the society at any Branch meeting at any time.


Jeanne Bunting explains how best to search the censuses


Events and Open Days

Meet society volunteers at Open Days and other outreach events held throughout the year in Berkshire and central southern England. See calendar for details.

There are national shows like Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE, family history fairs, and open days and workshops staged by other family history societies and local organisations.

When you come to these events, you can usually buy CDs and other items from the society’s growing range of publications. These include indexes and transcriptions of original Berkshire Parish Registers, an index to Berkshire's probate records and full details, with photographs, of monumental inscriptions. More items for family and local historians include historic maps,  directories, electoral rolls, calendarised Berkshire overseers’ papers, Berkshire coroners’ reports and CDs covering Berkshire and the First World War and Berkshire War Memorials.

If you are researching ancestors in the historic (pre-1974) county of Berkshire, the transcriptions contained in the Berkshire Baptisms CD, Berkshire Marriages CD, and Berkshire Burials CD (containing some 2 million names in total) are essential finding aids. The CDs include parishes in North Berkshire and the Vale of the White Horse and much more besides.

Go to Shop for details of all current publications and how to buy them.

An extensive Berkshire Search facility (including all of the publications mentioned above) is generally available on a PC at most events too.


Drop-in advice sessions

Society volunteers run regular drop-in advice sessions at many of Berkshire’s libraries, including those at Abingdon, Bracknell, Mortimer, Slough, Thatcham and Wokingham. Just collect your names and dates, bring them with you, and get some help and advice with your research and in breaking down those brickwalls – wherever your ancestors came from.

The society is expanding its outreach programme in line with its charitable objectives. In coming months, look out for additional events.

The society also hosts regular open evenings at Berkshire Record Office in Reading, where you will find almost all of the surviving original records of the pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire, including those for the parishes of the Vale of the White Horse, and Abingdon/North Berkshire.

Do check date, time and detail of an event before you travel. Very occasionally, there can be a change of speaker or late alteration in arrangements.

Page last reviewed and revised 14th November 2015

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  • Bracknell and Wokingham

    The activities of the Bracknell and Wokingham branch

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  • Computer Branch


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  • Newbury

    The Newbury branch meets in the Hall of Shaw St Mary on the 2nd Wednesday of each month

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  • Reading

    The Reading branch normally meets in Tilehurst on the last Thursday of each month

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  • Vale of the White Horse

    The Vale of the White Horse branch meets in Abingdon on the third Monday of each month.

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  • Windsor, Slough and Maidenhead

    Thie Windsor, Slough and Maidenhead branch meets in the URC Church Hall, William Street, Windsor on the last Tuesday of each month.

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  • Meeting Summaries

    Summaries of many past meetings are available. Only a few of these appear here.

    Many more are being added in the Members' Area.

    You need to be a current Berkshire Family History Society member - and to register on this website (if you have not already done so) - to be able to access all that are currently available.

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  • Events
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Additional information