Berkshire Family History Society

Berkshire Family History Society was founded in 1975 and has approximately 2000 members worldwide.

Their aims are to promote and encourage the study of genealogy, primarily within the pre-1974 Royal County of Berkshire, and to promote the transcription, indexing and preservation of documents and other relevant information.

Contact Information for Berkshire Family History Society:


Berkshire FHS
The Centre for Heritage and Family History
2nd Floor
Reading Central Library
Abbey Square

Society Location

If you are travelling to their Centre by train, Reading station is approximately 10 minutes walk.  Taxis are available at the Station, and buses also stop nearby.

If you are travelling by car, and do not wish to drive into the centre of Reading, a Park and Ride service is available at Mereoak (RG7 1PB)(south of Junction 11 of the M4), Madejski Stadium (RG2 0PL)(South of M4 Junction 11 if travelling from the West) and Winnersh Triangle (RG41 5RD)(Just off the A329 - use this service if using Junction 10 of the M4 or coming from the East).

If you wish to drive to their Centre, and do not mind driving into Reading, no parking is available at the Library, but seven car parks are available in Reading.  The nearest of these is Queens Road Car Park (RG1 4AR, 700 Spaces).  Other car parks in the vicinity are accessible in Kings Road and Abbey Street, but you can only stay for two hours.

Disabled Access

The building in which they operate is fully accessible, having a lift and disabled toilets.  Disabled parking is available at the front of the library, but parking is limited to 4 hours.  


Several branches of the Society operate throughout Berkshire which include those covering:

Bracknell and Wokingham (at Bracknell)

Meetings are held at The New Priestwood Community Centre, Priestwood Court Road, Bracknell, RG42 1TU.

On the second Tuesday of the month, branch members provide advice at Bracknell Central Library in Town Square, and on the last Tuesday of the month at Wokingham Library in Denmark Street.

Many projects are undertaken by members of the branch, which have included transcribing monumental inscriptions.  Those transcribed by the branch include:

  • Ascot All Saints and Priory Road Burial Ground
  • Crowthorne St John
  • Wokingham All Saints
  • Wokingham St Paul
  • Wokingham St Sebastian
  • Wokingham Free Church Burial Ground

Computer Branch (at Woodley)

Meetings are held at The Oakwood Centre, Headley Road, Woodley, RG5 4JZ.

Talks are given at meetings, which are based around a topic of interest to family historians who also have an interest in computers.

Projects undertaken by the branch include publishing a CD of monumental inscriptions relating to Woodley St John.

Newbury Branch (at Shaw)

Meetings are held at St Mary's Church Hall, Church Lane, Shaw.

The branch sometimes organises visits to county record offices and The National Archives.

Reading Branch (at Tilehurst)

Meetings are held at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 280 The Meadway, Tilehurst, Reading, RG30 4PE.

Free parking is available at the venue.

Vale of the White Horse Branch (at Abingdon)

Meetings are held at Long Furlong Community Centre, Boulter Drive, Abingdon, OX14 1XP.

Branch members sometimes give advice to people at local events held at Abingdon and Wantage.  

Projects undertaken by the branch include transcribing monumental inscriptions of St Peter's Church, Drayton, Abingdon, with these transcriptions published on CD and sold through the Society.

Windsor, Slough and Maidenhead Branch (at Windsor)

Meetings are held at Christ Church United Reformed Church, William Street, Windsor, SL4 1BA.  

Limited parking is accessible at the church, but a multi-storey car park is accessible on the corner of Victoria Street and Alexandra Road.

Many books may be borrowed from the branch's library by members of the society.  Members can also peruse reference books in the library.

Advice is given by branch members at Cippenham Library. For further information, please peruse the branch's events calendar.

Publications for Sale

Many publications are available for sale, which incorporate:

  • Baptism Indexes
  • Berkshire and the War
  • Berkshire Feet of Fines Part 1 (1307-1399), Part 2 (1400-1509) and Index
  • Berkshire Overseers Papers
  • Burial Indexes
  • Canal Boat Registrations 1879-1921
  • Census Indexes
  • Coroners' Inquests 1688-1926
  • Directories
  • Electoral Roll 1832
  • Emmbrook, Much More Unfinished History
  • Faringdon Union Miscellany
  • History Books
  • Local History Books

Publications available for sale also include:

  • Maps
  • Marriage Indexes
  • Military Indexes and Guides
  • Monumental Inscriptions
  • Newbury and Chilton Pond Turnpike Records 1766-1791
  • Nonconformist Register Transcriptions
  • Parish Maps
  • Parish Register Transcriptions
  • Poll Books Berkshire 1727, 1768, 1796, 1812, 1818
  • Probate Indexes 1480-1857
  • Reading Abbey Records
  • Reference Books
  • Secretary Hand: an ABC Book
  • War Memorials

Some publications also relate to the counties of Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, London, Surrey, Hampshire and Wiltshire.

Publications relating to other counties include:

  • Datchet Strict Baptist Church Members Book 1844-1910 (Buckinghamshire)
  • Eton Wick 1217-1977: The Story of a Village (Buckinghamshire)
  • Goring Heath Charity, Scolars, Apprentices and Almsmen 1737-1927 (Oxfordshire)
  • Kingsclere Union Workhouse Births and Deaths 1866-1913 (Hampshire)
  • Medical Services in early Berkshire (Oxfordshire)
  • Middlesex Protestant Oath Rolls 1641-1642 (London)
  • London Schools and their Records (Index) (London)
  • Pamber Heath History (Hampshire)
  • Surrey Poor Law, Index and Calendar (Surrey)
  • Swindon Wesleyan Methodist Circuits Historic Roll 1899-1904 (Wiltshire)

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