Berkshire Name Search

Search a master index of over two million names

Drawn from original records of the pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire.

Berkshire Name Search (BNS) allows information from various society records to be searched and accessed. A search of the master index, Berkshire Miscellaneous Index, will show the number of entries of that name in individual datasets (indexes). You can then request the details available: these include full transcriptions of some census entries and transcriptions for baptisms, marriages and burials. The reliability of the records is indicated and ranges from records provided by third parties to those checked by society volunteers against original records.

Berkshire Name Search contains versions of the following datasets:


Berkshire Marriages (mainly pre-1837 records) Early entries give basic details only - names of bride and groom, date and place - but later ones include if 'from other parishes' and whether 'by licence'. Witnesses are not included in this particular dataset.

The dataset is an earlier version of (but not identical with) the Third Edition of Berkshire Marriages published in September 2014. This CD - with details of 580,000 people and 172 parishes is currently the most complete collection of Berkshire marriage data available anywhere. You can find out more about this publication here


Berkshire Burials (dating from 16th to the 21st centuries for the pre-1974 county) - includes over 900,000 burial records. Printouts can be supplied to include name, age, parish and date with an indication if more information is contained in the register entry.

This particular dataset is a version of (but not identical with) the 12th Edition Berkshire Burials CD published by the society in March 2017. You can find more about this publication here


Berkshire Baptisms – until recently, there have been too few fully completed (and checked) transcriptions of baptismal records to justify a separate database. This has changed.

Berkshire Family History Society now offers researchers the Second Edition of Berkshire Baptisms published in March 2016. This CD - with details of 250,000 baptisms and 777,000 names from 102 parishes is currently the most complete collection of Berkshire baptism data available. You can find more about this publication here

Berkshire 1851 Census - a complete and fully checked transcription dataset. Printouts can be provided of either the schedule (whole household) or the page from the enumerator's return. It is also available as a CD to purchase from the shop


Berkshire 1861 Census - this dataset contains 25 to 30 per cent (over 50,000 names) from a total of about 200,000. All entries are for those towns and villages west of Reading - modern West Berkshire and the Vale of the White Horse - and also some parts of Hampshire, Wiltshire and Oxfordshire (as pre-1974 counties) where these areas adjacent to Berkshire were enumerated within the Berkshire civil registration districts to which they were assigned.


Berkshire 1871 Census - this dataset covers all registration districts and some of these entries have been checked. As indicated above, printouts can be provided for the complete household or as the page from the enumerator's return.


Berkshire Miscellaneous Index - a  dataset based on an earlier Name Index of about 100,000 Berkshire names from a variety of surviving documents. It includes details of records that have been extracted and submitted by individuals. The Strays Index and names from some family histories have also been included in it. The information content will reflect the record type.


NOTE: Berkshire Family History Society's Research Zone's Library holds numerous items, only 20% of which are Berkshire related. Most of the material covers other English counties, and Wales, Scotland, Ireland, North America and the Antipodes feature too.

The catalogue of Library holdings can be browsed on the computers at the The Centre for Heritage and Family History in central Reading. Or from home.  Browse now


More datasets will be added to the Berkshire Name Search progressively. Candidate datasets for inclusion include parish register transcriptions, monumental inscriptions, Poor Law records, family trees submitted by members, and electoral records, such as electoral rolls and poll books.

Because Berkshire Name Search is a dynamic dataset you should always note the date of any search request, to enable searches of later additions to the master index to be made in future. This will help to keep your search charges to a minimum.


Berkshire Name Search

How to request a search and search charges

You will find full details here

You can also make your own searches of Berkshire Name Search at The Centre for Heritage and Family History the society's home in Reading (on the second floor of Reading Central Library).

And at most regional family history events and open days, , you can request a search on computers at the Berkshire Family History Society stand.

You can also contact Berkshire Name Search at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more details and to get an estimate of the likely cost of your proposed search.

page reviewed and revised 18th June 2018

Additional information