Struggling with your family tree?

Berkshire Family History Society was founded to help all family historians, wherever their ancestors came from. Whilst the society’s research and publications centre on Berkshire, help is delivered through a wider range of services to around 2,000 members, almost all of whom have interests outside the county.

Membership of the society offers

  • unlimited free access to the society’s Research Centre in Reading, where you can have free access to Findmypast, Ancestry (worldwide), The Genealogist and the British Newspaper Archive, and get research advice and guidance from experienced volunteers;
  • access to the collective experience of fellow members all over the world via the members’ online discussion list (an email forum), where questions and answers on any family history topic (not just about Berkshire), are posted daily;
  • monthly (not July and August) branch meetings in Newbury, as well as in Abingdon, Bracknell, Reading, Windsor and Woodley. Newbury’s meetings are held at Shaw Church Hall on the second Wednesday of the month, featuring speakers on local and family history, refreshments, a members’ library and good company (see speaker and topic details in the Pennypost calendar);
  • the Berkshire Family Historian, the society’s quarterly magazine, which brings you 36 A4 pages of news, reviews and features. Back issues are archived on the society’s website for members.
  • access to the Members’ Area on, where you will find Berkshire data, interactive maps, surname lists by publication, the best gazetteer on Berkshire and more;
  • the opportunity to share your surname interests with other members researching their family tree and perhaps find common links;
  • CDs of Berkshire Baptisms, Berkshire Marriages, Berkshire Burials, Berkshire Overseers’ Papers, Berkshire Maps, Berkshire War Memorials, Berkshire and the War and the Berkshire Probate Index, plus dozens of CDs of parish register and monumental inscriptions, from the society’s online shop.

As well as at our monthly meetings, you may come across us at fairs and open days across the county, or in public libraries, where society volunteers run advice sessions from time to time. For further information see or contact


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