Bringing your family history and heritage together

updated Friday, 19th July 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

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

A perfect moment to join the society (and for existing members to renew)  Find out more

The Trustees would like to thank all existing members who have renewed promptly. If you are one of the few still to renew, no time like the present!

Who Do You Think You Are? back next week on BBC1 Daniel Radcliffe features in the opening programme on 22nd July


Events at The Centre for Heritage and Family History

CashRegister website2

Booking now for July - 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, 25th July Shops and Businesses: Queues, U-boats and useless mouths: Food in WW2  Starvation killed more people than bombs or bullets. Learn of the choices made by warring nations, and of food available in Britain and to the Army abroad. 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
  • DNA interest group meets next Saturday, 27th July 

View July-September events Opens as a PDF in new window


Branch meetings and local events

The society runs six branches that meet monthly during most of the year in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley. But most branches take a short break in July and August before meetings resume in September.

Windsor has an interesting meeting and tour at Eton College School Library on 30th July 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, 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 — 32.9 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) can now secure useful savings in three key areas. Find out more in the Members' Area.

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

CURRENT MEMBERS Your renewal is due for 2019/20 — unless you took up the recent extended offer (from April or later).  Download your renewal form or Renew online now

Looking for those 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 now delayed to August. 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 shortly  Buy soon

Members enjoy valuable savings 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 Friday, 19th July 2019

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