Society

First steps to finding your ancestors start here

Established for over 40 years, Berkshire Family History Society works to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas - as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire

A registered charity, Berkshire Family History Society exists to help your research... WHEREVER your ancestors came from... and you do not need to be a member to benefit 

The society offers you:

  • a research facility in the centre of Reading that is FREE to use and open to all

  • FREE ACCESS at the Centre for Heritage and Family History to online resources like Findmypast, The 1939 Register, The Genealogist, the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry (that's the worldwide edition)

  • Regular help and advice sessions in locations across the 'old' Royal County of Berkshire — these are FREE too

  • regular meetings in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — open to all

  • an online discussion list for members, offering informed answers to research queries and advice from other experienced researchers

  • a Members' Area with data and other information not readily accessible elsewhere

  • key resources — high quality indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire's historic records on CD — including parish registers, probate documents, monumental inscriptions, maps, First World War history and more

  • significant numbers (but not all) of the society's transcriptions can be viewed on Findmypast

  • an online shop

  • a quarterly magazine, the Berkshire Family Historian, for members

  • a chance to join in project work, recording, transcribing and helping to preserve records of 'old' Berkshire for the benefit of future family historians

  • friendly links to the research experience, advice and support of members worldwide

Berkshire Family History Society is the one society that covers all of the 'old' Royal County of Berkshire

The society is moving from its premises next to Berkshire Record Office where the county's original records are held, to its new facility — The Centre for Heritage and Family History — on the second floor of Reading Central Library. The Centre will open during December 2017.

Explore this website to discover how your family history research can benefit from services and products of Berkshire Family History Society


After recently celebrating its 40th Anniversary year, today the society has around 2,000 members worldwide. It is a registered charity (Number 283010) and subject to the provisions of charity law in England and Wales.

 Objects of the society

to advance education of the public in research into family history and genealogy, primarily but not exclusively within the boundaries of the pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire; and

to work to promote the preservation, transcription, indexing and ready public accessibility of related records and information

An Executive Committee and a 170-strong volunteer team run day-to-day operations and activities. All are unpaid.

The personal rewards that can come from volunteering are well-documented. Extra hands are always welcome. You too could play a major part in the society's work — wherever in the world you may live.

page last reviewed and revised 16th November 2017

Additional information