Bringing your family history and heritage together

updated Saturday, 16th March 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! Fourth Edition Berkshire Marriages CD Buy now

Marriages 4

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

EXTENDED MEMBERSHIP With this offer, you can join the society to 30th June 2020. Find out more

EXTRA TALK 'Heroes of Woodley Airfield' proved so popular that we had to arrange another one. On Thursday, 4th April Book now


Events at The Centre for Heritage and Family History

Highlights include:

  • Thursday afternoon talks with superb speakers, and a chance to meet old friends and to make new ones over a cup of tea and a slice of cake. Next talk is on Thursday, 4th April — Heroes of Woodley Airfield   Book now 
  • Family History for Beginners course starts on Friday, 5th April. Places limited, Book now
  • Workshops Next workshop is on Wills — pre- and post-1858 (16th March)
  • Heritage walks and tours See Reading in a new light on a Reading History walk (Tuesday, 12th March)
  • DNA interest group meets on 13th April 

Then the focus switches to 'Grand Houses' starting on Thursday, 11th April.

Grand Houses website

Browse all events at The Centre

View March event details Opens as a PDF in a new window

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 this month


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

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) is in the heart of Reading — easy to reach and fully equipped for talks, events, meetings, courses, workshops.

In the Research Zone

WHEREVER your ancestors came from, research your family history in The Centre's Research Zone — with volunteers on hand to help. About The Centre

FREE access to:

FINDMYPAST  Search Berkshire Burials now

THE 1939 REGISTER 4 million new records added since launch Key 20th century records

THE GENEALOGIST data you may not find elsewhere  

BRITISH NEWSPAPER ARCHIVE — 30.9 million digitised newspaper pages from 1700 onwards. Includes 23,000+ editions of seven Berkshire papers (1770-1993) Reading Evening Post, 1993 just added. Search newspapers now

ANCESTRYSearch the WORLDWIDE edition

The society can help you in your research in many ways. There's plenty of helpful information on this website. Follow this link designed to help you to get started

About the society


Members' matters

MARCH MAGAZINE — was sent last week

NEW MEMBERS Have those family anecdotes and stories made you determined to research your family history? Find those ancestors — and JOIN THE SOCIETY

IN THE MEMBERS' AREA RECENTLY ADDED — key websites to help in finding Scottish ancestors And there's a list of the best Irish websites for research too. Just two of some 250 items in the Members' Area. Not registered yet? Do it now

Gift Memberships to June 2020 are 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

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

New Archive Card coming soon with 41 participating archives and record offices — look out for details of registration.

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

The society's project volunteers have created numerous publications. County-wide CD publications are particularly useful:

Berkshire Baptisms ◊  Content and coverage

NEW 4th Edition Berkshire Marriages ◊  Places and dates

Berkshire Burials ◊  Content and coverage

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

Membership benefits society members enjoy worthwhile discounts on society publications and event bookings

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 now firmly and successfully established 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 — whether in a key role behind the scenes or in 'front of house' work with visitors at society events and activities.

Volunteering is fun, socially and personally rewarding, and fulfilling. Give a little, gain a lot Drop in and chat with us - or send an email

updated Saturday, 16th March 2019

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