Branch Meetings, Events, Other Services

Page last reviewed and revised 21 August 2012

Branch Meetings

SIX branches across ‘pre-1974 Berkshire’ – bring you key resources and information for your family history research

Bracknell & Wokingham Branch

Computer Branch (at Woodley)

Newbury Branch

Reading Branch

Vale of the White Horse Branch (Abingdon)

Windsor, Slough & Maidenhead Branch (Windsor)

Branches usually meet monthly (not August). Find out now all that is happening at the branch nearest to where you live:

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

Come to a Branch meeting and you can meet and talk with other family historians. You will meet researchers of all ages – and at all stages, from beginners (everyone was a beginner once!) to the more experienced.

And it is not just people researching Berkshire ancestors that you will meet. Local members have research interests that range across the British Isles and sometimes worldwide too. It is certainly not just about Berkshire. Draw on the experience and advice of others, you will be surprised at just how much you will discover – wherever your ancestors came from


Most meetings feature an illustrated talk on a topic likely to be of interest to all family historians, and delivered by an expert in the field. Subjects are carefully chosen to be relevant to your family history research right across country – wherever your ancestors came from.

Computer linked topics are usually covered at the society’s Woodley meetings. But most branches feature one or two such meetings during the year because, while the principles of sound family history research remain unchanged, research techniques have been dramatically altered by the PC and the internet.

When you come to a meeting, you can pick up your copy of the monthly branch newsletter. If you are a society member, you can borrow from a useful range of family and local history books in branch libraries. At some branches (not all) you will find the latest society publications on sale. At Bracknell and Reading, members can also use an exchange magazine service (loaning magazines from some 60 other family history societies).Branch meetings will help you with your research – wherever your ancestors came from

You are always welcome as a visitor at any branch meeting.

You do not have to pay to come to a meeting. And, if you want to, you can join the society - instantly - at any Branch meeting.


Jeanne Bunting explains how best to search the censuses


Events and Open Days

You can meet volunteers from Berkshire Family History Society at Open Days and Events held during the year across Berkshire and central southern England.

These include national shows like Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE, as well as family history fairs, and the open days and workshops staged by individual family history societies and local authorities.

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, and full details of memorial inscriptions. There are other items likely to interest family and local historians too – historic mapsdirectories, electoral rolls and indexes of Berkshire overseers’ papers and Berkshire coroners’ reports.

If you are researching Berkshire ancestors, the Berkshire Burials CD (containing over 720,000 entries) and the Berkshire Marriages CD (with 346,000 names) should be two of your key finding aids.

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

An extensive Berkshire Name Search database is usually available on a PC at most of the bigger 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, Sandhurst, Wokingham and Woodley. 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 21 August 2012

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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