Bringing your family history and heritage together

updated Tuesday, 6th August 2019

News and Events...

The society aims to provide you with products, services and an inspirational and exciting programme of events and activities whether you are a member or a visitor.

Latest news

New membership year Started 1st July (runs to 30th June 2020). Members enjoy savings on society publications, on event bookings and on subscriptions to online genealogy services.

Now is the ideal moment for you to join this society (and to renew if you have yet to do so)  Find out more

The Trustees thank the 85 per cent of members who have renewed promptly. Early renewal saves volunteer time and society costs. If you are one of the remaining few, renew today — don't lose your benefits. 

Who Do You Think You Are? Episode Four features Berkshire's Oscar winner, Kate Winslet BBC 1 9.00 pm 12th August


Events at The Centre for Heritage and Family History

CashRegister website2

Booking now for August and September events. Always book in advance to be sure of your place. Events are open to everyone. Highlights:

  • Thursday afternoon talks superb speakers, meet old friends and make new ones, and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake. The Summer series features 'Shops and Businesses'
    • Next talk — Thursday, 8th August Reading's Old Shops with Ann Smith  Jacksons, Langstons and Tuttys may be familiar. How about Hawkes Ironmongers, Cook's Dairy, or Farm Equipment? Reading shops from the 19th century to today. Book now
  • CourseBasic Latin for family historians Thursdays in September Book now
  • Workshops  Next one Parish Registers on Saturday, 28th September Book now
  • Heritage walks and tours Places on tours and walks sell out quickly Book for August 14th walk 

View all the quarter's events Opens as a PDF in new window


Branch meetings and local events

The society has six branches that meet monthly during most of the year in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley.

There are no Branch meetings in August. Meetings resume from September. Visitors are welcome at all meetings.

Heritage Open Days 2019, with a host of events in Berkshire and across the rest of the country. The society welcomes visitors to The Centre over six days in September. Full details here


Discover your ancestors at The Centre

The Centre for Heritage and Family History

  Reading Library cleaned resized3 website

Research Zone opening times:

Monday: 11.00 to 16.00 (not Bank Holidays)

Tuesday: 10.30 to 16.00 and 18.45 to 21.00

Saturday: 10.30 to 14.30

and the last Thursday each month from 10.30 to 16.00

The Centre for Heritage and Family History, (2nd Floor, Reading Central Library, Abbey Square, Reading, Berkshire RG1 3BQ)easy to reach and fully set up for talks, events, meetings, courses, workshops.

In the Zone

WHEREVER your ancestors came from, this is the place to research your family historywith volunteers on hand to help and advise you. About The Centre

FREE access to:

FINDMYPAST  Search Berkshire Baptisms now

THE 1939 REGISTERKey 20th century records

THE GENEALOGIST data you may not find elsewhere  

BRITISH NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE — over 33 million digitised newspaper pages from 1700 onwards. Includes 32,000+ editions of seven Berkshire papers (1770-1999) Search newspapers now

ANCESTRYSearch the WORLDWIDE records

The society can help your research in so many ways — more helpful information here  How to get started

About the society


Members' matters

MORE SAVINGS Current members (2019/20) now enjoy useful savings in three key areas. Discover more in the Members' Area.

NEW MEMBERS  Looking to uncover the real family history? Find your ancestors — and JOIN THE SOCIETY

MEMBERS YET TO RENEW Renewals for 2019/2020 are now overdue — unless you took up the extended offer (from April 2019 or later).  Download your renewal form or Renew online now

Looking for your Scottish ancestors? Check out the weblists.  And discover the best Irish websites for your research too. Just two of 250 useful items in the Members' Area. Not registered? Do it now

Gift Memberships will be back later in the year.

Follow  @BerkshireFHS   on TWITTER  and link up with Berkshire Genealogy on FACEBOOK


More News and Resources

Irish Civil Registration additions. You can now search online for births (1864-1918), marriages (1864-1943) and deaths (1878-1968) at Irish Genealogy.

Irish Genealogy News   Claire Santry's blog

National Archives of Ireland — new website design Learn more

DNA testing For more about DNA in family history, visit the ISOGG wiki

New Archive Card launch details awaited. Latest details

Great Migration Parish Map American Ancestors has a new web mapping app showing last known (English and Welsh) parishes of confirmed emigrants to New England from 1620 to 1640. Find the eight people who  in 1638 left Caversham. More details

New York passenger arrivals 1820-1957 Ellis Island website


Publications for Berkshire and elsewhere

County-wide CDs:

Berkshire Baptisms ◊  Content and coverage

NEW 4th Edition Berkshire Marriages ◊  Places and dates

Berkshire Burials ◊  Content and coverage

NEW Kintbury Parish Registers CD Available NOW  Buy

Members enjoy valuable savings on society publications and when booking their place for an event

Buy your publications (some for other counties too) at The Centre for Heritage and Family History or  visit the online Bookshop

Volunteers are vital

Unpaid volunteers run every aspect of society operations.

New volunteers are always welcome. Having set up The Centre for Heritage and Family History in Reading's Abbey Quarter, by volunteering (at The Centre or working from home) it has never been easier to make a genuine difference. There are roles for everyone, whatever your expertise and experience.

Being a volunteer is fun, socially and personally rewarding, and fulfilling. Give a little, gain a lot Come and chat with us - or send an email

updated Tuesday, 6th August 2019

Update your browser — Firefox (latest - 68.0.1), Opera (62.0.3331.99), Google Chrome (76.0.3809.x - dependent on device) or try Vivaldi (2.6.1566.40). Pages may display imperfectly with outdated versions. Tell us if something isn't working. Website problem? Check here

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE 1 2 3 4


Unless otherwise stated, all text and images on this website are the copyright of Berkshire Family History Society Trustees and article contributors — and may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system (other than as part of normal web browsing and backup processes), or transmitted by any means without the prior written permission of the rightsholders.

Opinions expressed are those of article authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Trustees.

Inclusion of an advertisement on this website implies no endorsement, nor recommendation by the society of any product, service or organisation concerned.

Reviewed 30th December 2018


Berkshire Family History Society is registered as Charity No. 283010 with the Charity Commission


This service is provided by Berkshire Family History Society and its wholly owned subsidiary Berkshire Family History Enterprises Ltd. The Society is a registered charity in England and Wales (No. 283010) and the Company is registered at Companies House (No 4733795). Berkshire Family History Society is registered under the Data Protection Act (Registration reference Z6777187) with the Information Commissioner's Office

If you wish to know more about the cookies that this web sites uses, please read the cookie article.

If you register with the service you will have provided your name, email address, postcode and country.

If you order by mail order you will have provided an address for despatch.

In addition, if you pay by a credit or debit card transaction you will have also provided a full address, card number and other details. Only our payment service WorldPay (UK privacy policy) will receive details from your credit or debit card. Online payment transactions are conducted using Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) which encrypts all information sent between your computer and WorldPay.

All data collected is used solely for the delivery of services supplied.  Under no circumstances will Berkshire Family History Society or Berkshire Family History Enterprises sell or pass your e-mail address to other organisations or third parties.

The Members' Area of the society website is accessible to registered users only. Some Discussion List posts and historic posts in the Discussion List archive may contain email addresses and information as posted by other society members.

At your direct and specific request only, the society may forward email and correspondence to other current members of the society, so providing your name and contact details to the final addressee.


Revised 24 April 2017

Maps & Place Names

  1. Vision of Britain
    Maps, statistics, descriptions of Britain through time
  2. Multimap
    Includes OS maps to various scales
  3. Gazetteer
    Gazetteer of UK place names

under construction

This page is under construction.

Additional information