Bringing your family history and heritage together

updated Tuesday, 14th May 2019

News and Events...

The society aims to provide products, services and an inspirational and exciting programme of events and activities for members and visitors alike.

Latest news

Annual General Meeting 2019 This year's venue is the William East Room at Berkshire College of Agriculture, Burchetts Green, Maidenhead. The date is Tuesday, 25th June, starting at 7.15 pm. A talk follows on 'Film and sound archives for the family historian'.

Note The Centre for Heritage and Family History is not open on Bank Holiday Monday, 27th May

NEW! Fourth Edition Berkshire Marriages CD Buy now

MarriagesCD Small


MORE NEW PUBLICATIONS for Berkshire and elsewhere, including New CD Berkshire War Memorials, Second Edition See details

EXTENDED MEMBERSHIP OFFER    Join to 30th June 2020  Find out more


Events at The Centre for Heritage and Family History

Grand Houses website

Highlights include:

  • Thursday afternoon talks superb speakers, meet old friends and make new ones, and enjoy a cup of tea and a slice of cake. The Spring series, 'Grand Houses', is now well underway — always book in advance to be sure of your place
    • Next — Thursday, 23rd May Padworth House Book now
  • Workshops  Scrapbooking for family historians on Saturday, 18th May — Censuses of Scotland, Ireland and Overseas on Saturday, 15th June Bookings now being taken
  • Heritage walks and tours Tours and walks for May and June are fully booked. Book for July and August tours and walks
  • DNA interest group The group meets next on 27th July 

Browse all events at The Centre

View April-June events Opens as a PDF in a new window


Branch meetings and local events

The society runs six branches that meet monthly in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley. Discover what's happening


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, research your family history in the Research Zone — with volunteers on hand to help and advise you when needed. 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 — 31.9 million digitised newspaper pages from 1700 onwards. Includes 23,000+ editions of seven Berkshire papers (1770-1993) Search newspapers now

ANCESTRYSearch the WORLDWIDE edition

The society can help your research in so many ways. There's lots of helpful information online here  How to get started

About the society


Members' matters

NEW MEMBERS  Determined to discover the real family history? Find those ancestors — and JOIN THE SOCIETY

REMINDER TO EXISTING MEMBERS Renewals are shortly due for 2019/20 — unless you joined since April with an extended offer. Download your renewal form or Renew online now

MEMBERS' AREA RECENTLY ADDED — key websites to help in finding Scottish ancestors Discover the best Irish websites for your research too. Just two of some 250 items in the Members' Area. Not registered? Do it now

Gift Memberships to June 2020 still available - buy online or in person at The Centre for Heritage and Family History.

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


More News and Resources

Irish Census corrections Professional genealogist, John Grenham, has worked through vast numbers of researcher-submitted corrections in the past 18 months. All verified suggestions now uploaded to the National Archives of Ireland's website. Read John's account of this mammoth task.

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 now delayed to August. Latest details

Irish Genealogy News   Claire Santry's blog

The Great Irish Famine online access interactive maps with detailed information on the famine's impacts on 3,000 civil parishes and 1,600 towns across the island. More details

New York passenger arrivals 1820-1957 Ellis Island website

Reading Abbey Have you explored the Abbey Ruins yet?


Publications for Berkshire and elsewhere

County-wide CD publications:

Berkshire Baptisms ◊  Content and coverage

NEW 4th Edition Berkshire Marriages ◊  Places and dates

Berkshire Burials ◊  Content and coverage

NEW War Memorials CD, and another NEW Berkshire Monumental Inscriptions Volume 3 CD Buy now

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

Buy 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 all aspects of society operations.

With the society flourishing at The Centre for Heritage and Family History in Reading's Abbey Quarter, it is easier than ever for you to volunteer and make a difference. Play a part behind the scenes or take a 'front of house' role with visitors at meetings, events and other activities.

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

updated Tuesday, 14th May 2019

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