Benefits of membership

page updated 1st June 2019

What does membership bring?

Researchers become members of Berkshire Family History Society, and remain society members, for many different reasons.

Here are 19 of them

FREE ACCESS to The Centre for Heritage and Family History in central Reading — the society's premises on the second floor of Reading Central Library, and adjacent to its local studies collection.

EARLIEST ADVICE of the highly popular talks, family history courses, walks, visits, workshops, advice sessions and other events organised by this society.

MEMBER SAVINGS when buying society products, publications, research services and when booking your place at a society-organised talk, walk, workshop or course — all helping to make membership even better value for money

IT'S NOT JUST ABOUT BERKSHIRE The Centre for Heritage and Family History offers you Berkshire's foremost facility for family history research — wherever your ancestors came from.

FREE ACCESS TO KEY ONLINE RESOURCES in the Research Zone at The Centre for Heritage and Family History,access to local, national and international resources, including

RESEARCH ADVICE and GUIDANCE if needed, from friendly and experienced volunteers



More benefits of membership

MEMBERS' AREA Once you have registered, access some invaluable Berkshire data not online elsewhere, interactive maps, surname lists by publication, the best gazetteer on Berkshire and more...

CONTENT NOT ONLINE ANYWHERE ELSE Much of the Members' Area content data is unavailable online anywhere else...

MEMBERS' HANDBOOK Work continues on a new and extensively revised online version. This will be published online as a PDF in the Members' Area next year. In the meantime, you should find most areas are covered in the useful content on this website.

REPORTS of PAST MEETINGS and EVENTS in the Members' Area

DISCUSSION LIST New members are encouraged to sign up to the List! It can be very useful if you live out of county — or out of country. Seek advice or ask a question on any topic (not just on things related to Berkshire). Everyone benefits from the (very considerable) collective expertise of fellow members — worldwide. The society is on social media too, like Twitter and Facebook.

MONTHLY BRANCH MEETINGS held in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — six opportunities a month to learn more about effective research practices and techniques, and to keep up to date on family history news. Out of county members can catch up too, by reading online meeting summaries in the Members' Area.

THE CHANCE TO MEET and TALK WITH OTHER RESEARCHERS whose family history interests range across the UK and, often, worldwide.

BORROW BOOKS on local and family history from branch libraries 

QUARTERLY MAGAZINE  Now at Volume 42, the award-winning Berkshire Family Historian, is your quarterly A4 magazine (40 pages, sometimes more)  packed with news, reviews and features, and a publications list. Read over 130 earlier issues in the Members' Area.

SHARED INFORMATION Share pedigree charts and SURNAME interests

SHOP at The Centre for Heritage and Family History (when open) or Shop online - for latest versions of CDs like Berkshire Baptisms, Berkshire Marriages, Berkshire Burials, Berkshire Overseers' papers, Berkshire Maps, Berkshire War Memorials, Berkshire and the War and the Berkshire Probate Index plus parish register CDs and monumental inscriptions - and maps, books and local and family history publications — nearly 800 lines in all. Savings are available to society members who purchase society publications, and on their personal bookings for events.

RESEARCH SERVICES like Berkshire Name Search — a look up service (fee payable) — more details

PROJECTS Your chance to join with others in society project work — on site, at Berkshire Record Office, in your own home — wherever in the world you may live. It's your chance to give something back to family history — for researchers of tomorrow.

MIs project website

Recording monumental inscriptions at Wokingham All Saints

Find out more about how to join the society

How others see the society

"Thank you for sorting out the log-in issue. I have now successfully logged into the Members' Area and gone on to make some purchases too..."

from a new member who joined in March 2019

"Thanks so much for your suggestions re further research on my elusive house and Grandfather's family..."

from a member in New Zealand in March 2019

"Thank you so much for your in depth reply, I think that the CD would be very useful initially and I will look online to purchase"

from a non-member after a society reply to her query in March 2017

"Can I firstly thank you for getting back to me so promptly, and for the mass of information you have provided me with. It is very kind of you and I greatly appreciate it. You have managed to answer both my questions.

"Thank you for advancing my research so rapidly. I am really grateful to you."

 researcher in Kent in response to a society reply in February 2017

"Great!  Thank you so much. I’ve successfully logged into the Members Area and was able to find the pages we are missing from the April 1976 journal.  I’ll keep my excitement to an acceptable level but, how fantastic is that??"

USA institutional member in October 2016

"Many thanks to you and your colleagues for the comprehensive job you did for me on the [surname witheld] family research."

from an out of county non-member, October 2016

"Just returned from holidays in Iceland to find my June 2016 BFH Magazine in my mail. Great new issue, which I enjoyed with a cup of coffee while sitting on the deck of the cottage near the lake!"

from a member in Canada, September 2016

"What a wonderful response. I have not yet absorbed all of it but it all seems to fit in with the little that I have already."

following an answer to a query raised in June 2016

"Thank you for my  copy of our June magazine which I picked up yesterday with my mail. I am  anticipating an enjoyable evening reading it tonight."

from an Australian member

"Thank you. That was very helpful, I’m now logged into the BFHS web site and exploring."

New member on first accessing Members' Area in November 2015

"Thanks so much for your help. I have now renewed my membership and look forward to the next issues of the Berkshire Family Historian." 

Member renewal in July 2015

"You are so kind and so willing to help, and you've resolved the problem.  And especially over the Ancestry question.  I need go no further! Many, many thanks" 

following a member enquiry in June 2015

"Berkshire CDs are the best products for accuracy and care. Far superior to any other society products."

from a visitor to Who Do You Think You Are? Live, Birmingham, April 2015

"I didn’t realise just how many volunteers work behind the scenes to keep the wheels oiled and turning.' [see list in December 2014 Berkshire Family Historian]

"It pays us to remember that every community endeavour, in all sectors of the globe, often only succeeds due to the efforts of volunteers."

from an Australian member: December 2014

"All sessions I attended were of very high quality. A really excellent day and I came away with lots to think about with regard to my own family research."

Member attending the society conference The early twentieth century: Conflict and change, October 2014

"Thank you for your email and everything else that you (and Bob) have done for me.  I wasn’t aware that the Society was entirely run by volunteers – I guess that the quality of website led me to believe that some of effort was coming from full-time staff."

New member: September 2014


Add more to your family history research  wherever your ancestors came from — with Berkshire Family History Society

Find out more about joining the society


page updated 1st June 2019

Additional information