Branch Meetings, Events, Other Services

Page last reviewed and revised 2nd February 2016

Branch Meetings

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

Bracknell and Wokingham Branch (at Bracknell)

 Computer Branch (at Woodley)

 Newbury Branch (at Shaw)

 Reading Branch (at Tilehurst)

Vale of the White Horse Branch (at Abingdon)

 Windsor, Slough and 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 meeting, join in and chat with other family historians. You will meet researchers of all ages – and at all stages — from beginners (we were all beginners once!) to the more experienced. All are welcome — and you don't have to be a member to come along.

This society and its Branches are not just about Berkshire. Those at meetings have research interests ranging across the UK, even worldwide. Draw on the experience and advice of others, it is surprising how much you can learn — wherever your ancestors came from.

The illustrated talks at most meetings feature subjects likely to interest all family historians, and are given by experts in their respective fields.

Computer related matters are predominant at Woodley Branch meetings — but most branches feature one or two such meetings each year too — because all family historians need to know how to search for, organise and present information using the best online means and available programs. The principles of sound family history research do not change, but many research techniques have been dramatically improved with intelligent use of a PC or mobile device, and the internet.

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

computerbranch18feb2004

Jeanne Bunting explains how best to search the censuses

 

Events and Open Days

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

The society usually supports national shows like Who Do You Think You Are? LIVE, and some family history fairs, open days and workshops staged by local organisations and other family history societies.

At these events, you can usually buy CDs and other items from a growing range of society publications, including indexes and transcriptions of original Berkshire Parish Registers, an index to Berkshire's probate records and full details, with photographs, of monumental inscriptions. Other 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 have ancestors in the historic (pre-1974) county of Berkshire, transcriptions in the Berkshire Baptisms, Berkshire Marriages, and Berkshire Burials CDs (containing some 2 million names in total) are essential finding aids. These CDs include parish records in North Berkshire and the Vale of the White Horse too.

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

An extensive Berkshire Search facility (including the publications mentioned above) is usually 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, Cippenham, Mortimer, Slough, Thatcham, Wantage and Wokingham. A session starts at Tilehurst in March 2016. The Events Calendar shows advice sessions taking place this month.

Just collect together your names. dates and questions, bring them along with you, and get some friendly 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 details of more events in other locations in historic Berkshire.

The society also hosts occasional 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.

Always 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 2nd February 2016

There are no articles in this category. If subcategories display on this page, they may contain articles.

Subcategories

  • Bracknell and Wokingham

    The activities of the Bracknell and Wokingham branch

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    1
  • Computer Branch

      

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    1
  • Newbury

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

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    1
  • Reading

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

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    1
  • 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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    1
  • 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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    1
  • Meeting Summaries

    Summaries of many past meetings are available on this website. A handful of examples appear below.

    Many more summaries can be read in the Members' Area.

    All current members of Berkshire Family History Society can access the Members' Area. Please note that before you can do so, you need to register on this website — it is very quick and easy to register.

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    78
  • Events
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    1

Additional information