Searching Berkshire Parish Registers

Berkshire Baptisms

Volunteers are working hard to build a database of baptisms for pre-1974 Berkshire. While this work is at a less mature stage than the society's Marriages and Burials datasets, in March 2016 the society published the Second Edition of Berkshire Baptisms as a CD. Transcribing continues.

This fully searchable second edition holds 250,000 baptism transcriptions and 777,000 names from 102 Berkshire parishes, predominantly Anglican parish records. The earliest entries date from 1538, while some modern records run to 2004, exact time spans varying from parish to parish. be issued. The vast majority of people named are the baptised individual (usually a child) and the parents. Other common entries are godparent and sponsor, but other family members are mentioned in a number of cases. Find out more about this publication

Berkshire Marriages

In 2014, the society published Berkshire Marriages, Third Edition on CD. Berkshire Marriages holds transcriptions of some 170,000 marriages and 580,000 names from 172 parishes with 50 new parishes added compared with the previous Second Edition. In most cases, entries are from the period from 1538 to 1837 although for some parishes later entries run into the 21st century. More recent entries provide not just names of brides and grooms and dates, but details of fathers' names, occupations, addresses and witnesses too. The CD is fully searchable. Find out more about this publication

Much (but certainly only part) of this most recent dataset is also accessible via the society's Berkshire Name Search service and on computers at the society's Research Centre in Reading. Some of these transcriptions (but again not all of them) are also included in the Parish Records Collection of Findmypast

Berkshire Burials

Berkshire Family History Society also publishes a comprehensive Berkshire Burials CD. The 12th Edition includes transcriptions of over 900,000 burials in more than 270 churchyards, cemeteries, workhouses and burial grounds across the pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire.

Fully and easily searchable, this CD is a definitive and essential finding aid for anyone who has a Berkshire ancestor. As well as a simple Name Index which acts as a finding aid, the CD contains two distinct datasets (by name by place - and by place by date) providing transcriptions of the burial register entries. Searchable by name, place and date, the Berkshire Burials datasets will open new lines of enquiry, linking surnames with particular time periods and places (and you may not be aware of all of these). Find out more about this publication

This dataset forms part of the Berkshire Name Search service and is accessible on the PCs at The Centre for Heritage and Family History, the society's home in central Reading. Many of these transcriptions (but not all) are also included in the Parish Records Collection of Findmypast

Parish Register transcriptions

If many of your ancestors were living in one particular Berkshire town or village for some time, you may also be interested in the transcribed registers of those specific places. Society volunteers have transcribed parish registers (that is births, marriages (including banns) and burials) of a number of pre-1974 Berkshire parishes and project work continues to add more. You can buy these transcriptions in searchable CD form. Find out more in the Shop section of this website.

Over time other groups and individuals have indexed or transcribed records of some parishes in a variety of traditional (non-electronic) formats. You can see their outputs at Berkshire Record Office, the Society of Genealogists and in some local studies collections within the county.

If you would like to help with work on any current Berkshire project, you can find out what is involved on the main Projects page (You do not have to live in or close to Berkshire to play a useful part in project work, although some tasks (like checking against original records) can only be completed with convenient access to Berkshire Record Office in Reading.)

NOTE: Copyright and database rights subsist on all indexes and transcriptions of parish register entries produced by the society.

You must take great care at all times not to infringe those rights. Care is essential both in your use of information and, in particular, when sharing information with others.

Sharing information informally, or posting details publicly — online on a message board or discussion list in response to an enquiry, for example — could constitute a serious infringement of copyright and database rights.

Unauthorised use or incorporation of another party's indexes or transcriptions in any other shared or published form or database is an infringement of rights and could have civil or criminal consequences. Written permission should always be sought from the rightsholder.

Additional information