Berkshire Family History Society
Berkshire Gardens Trust
Berkshire Industrial Archaeological Society
Berkshire Local History Association
Berkshire Record Office
Berkshire Record Society
Buckinghamshire Family History Society
East Ilsley Local History Society
Maidenhead Archaeological and Historical Society
Oxfordshire Family History Society
Pangbourne Heritage Group
Purley Local History Society (Project Purley)
Radley History Club
Reading Abbey (Friends of)
Reading (Bell Tower Community Association)
Reading Cemetery (old) - Friends of
Reading Civic Society
Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee
Reading (History of) Society
Shaw House, Newbury
Stratfield Saye House
Trooper Potts Memorial
Wargrave Local History Society
West Berkshire Archaeological Service
West Berkshire Heritage
West Berkshire Museum
West Middlesex Family History Society
West Surrey Family History Society
Wiltshire Family History Society
Founded in 1975, we work to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas – as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire. A registered charity, Berkshire Family History Society exists to help you in your research … WHEREVER your ancestors came from… and you do not need to be a member to benefit.
Our volunteers will be providing several breakout rooms and our and BLHA’s webmasters will be running the technical side.
We hope you enjoy your visit!
We are a charity, dedicated to understanding and promoting the conservation of historic, designed parks and gardens throughout Berkshire. If you have an interest in gardening and history, this might be the group for you! Please join our Breakout Room if you’d like to find out more. We will be talking about what we do including our annual programme of garden visits and lectures. We also do research into the history of gardens, so if you are a garden owner and want to find out more about your property, or have a personal story about a gardening ancestor, please pop in and chat to us.
We specialise in the industrial heritage of Berkshire, encouraging its study, preservation and appreciation. Industrial archaeology covers many areas; transport, mills, machinery, waterways, factories, quarries, industrial buildings, power generation and much more. Mainly focussed on the 1700s onwards, recent topics we’ve covered are Miles Aircraft in Woodley, Hedges ironworks in Bucklebury and the tin makers Huntley, Boorne, Stevens of Reading. We would love to share our expertise on topics that interest you and also learn from you and your family’s history. We have access to colleagues and resources we can consult if we can’t answer your questions straight away.
We aim to encourage interest in local history in Berkshire, before and after the 1974 boundary changes. This includes education and training, research, and publication. It provides a meeting-ground for individual members, local history societies within the county, and professionals working in archives, museums, and education.
We maintain links with:
The Berkshire Record Office holds the archives of the Royal County of Berkshire. We look after nearly 900 years of the County’s history. Established in 1948, we are run as a joint service for the six councils of Berkshire. We store the records of public authorities, local societies, clubs, estates, Church of England Berkshire parishes and more. We are a participating archive of the Archives Card scheme. We hope to be able to answer your questions, point you in the right direction or suggest that you contact us with your query.
The Berkshire Record Society prepares and publishes editions of important manuscript documents relating to Berkshire’s rich history from the middle ages onwards. Twenty-eight volumes have been published since the Society was founded in 1993, and more are in preparation. Each volume contains the printed transcript of an original text, fully annotated, with a scholarly introduction and index.
Many of the volumes we publish hold considerable interest for local and family historians, including for example Berkshire Probate Accounts, 1583-1712, Berkshire Religious Census 1851 and Berkshire Schools in the Eighteenth Century. Please enter our ‘room’ to find out more about our volumes and our on the day sale prices!
We have been researching family history & local history in the Historic County of Bucks including parishes now in Windsor & Maidenhead and Slough Councils. If your family have been in Colnbrook, Datchet, Dorney, Eton, Eton Wick, Slough, Upton-cum-Chalvey, Horton, Langley & Wraysbury we may be able to help.
Berkshire & Buckinghamshire have a shared boundary between Henley on Thames & Staines on Thames, including Marlow, Bourne End & Taplow. Many of our ancestors crossed between the counties over the years. We hope that we can help with your research.
The East Ilsley Local History Society consists of a small group of local people who have accumulated a great deal of research material relevant to the history of the village and its people. We have many documents, images, transcribed wills, and articles by members, which we willingly share with researchers worldwide. We have also produced a series of booklets and CDs for sale. Recently we have been working to update our website, (see link on the main page) which is accessible free of charge, and we are regularly adding to the content.
Maidenhead Archaeological and Historical Society exists to bring together for talks, visits and other activities anyone in the Maidenhead area who has an interest in history, archaeology or both. We are a welcoming, friendly and growing group with more than 100 members. We meet every last Wednesday of each month at the United Reformed Church, West Street, Maidenhead for lectures; live-streamed via Zoom.
MAHS is active in promoting archaeological research, having originated the project to bring stakeholders together to form the Middle Thames Archaeological Partnership. We have projects underway to create a Local History Study Group; also a Young Archaeologists Club branch.
Oxfordshire Family History Society has a range of records that our advisors will be able to access. These cover BMD’s of the majority of the parishes in Oxfordshire, including those that were originally in the County of Berkshire.
Access will also be available to the 53 transcription sets of burials at various churchyards which in many cases will include pictures of the gravestones. If you have an elusive Oxfordshire ancestor or want general advice, please pay us a visit.
Pangbourne Heritage Group was formed in 2004 and researches and documents the history of the village. Since inception, members have researched and mounted a number of exhibitions and also produced several publications, the most recent being “The Shops, Trades and Businesses of Pangbourne: Living memories from 1949 to the present day”.
We welcome your enquiries and stories of your own research, and you can reach us at the Fair in the Berkshire Record Office virtual room.
We have over 40 years research experience on Purley and its people and an extensive archive including articles, press cuttings, memorabilia, documents and images. Our archive is largely indexed. Purley’s main employers were Menpes Fruit Farm, Trentham’s Engineering, its local farms and large houses, and various smaller businesses. We have also transcribed and photographed Purley St Mary’s memorials. We are happy to give free lookups, answer questions – if possible, give advice, take queries away and come back to you later, and generally talk about all things Purley, Sulham and Tidmarsh.
The village of Radley between Abingdon and Oxford was in Berkshire until 1974. Its history dates back to Neolithic times. For many centuries farming was the main occupation; the railway arrived in 1844. Radley History Club has published histories of Radley as a whole, the church, the primary school, the farms, the railway, and the manor of Radley. We have a sizable collection of archive material (photographs, maps, documents, books, audiovisual, will transcripts). We’re happy to answer questions, look things up in our publications and archive catalogue, take queries for later response, and generally talk about Radley’s history.
Founded in 1984, we promote awareness of the Abbey’s importance, encourage interest in and understanding of its history and architecture, and support the preservation of the ruins. We sponsor two public lectures a year, publish regular newsletters and updates, and organise member events and a summer outing.
The Friends supported the successful ‘Reading Abbey Revealed’ project, which allowed public access from 2018, and were active partners in celebrating the 900th anniversary of the Abbey’s foundation, in June 2021. In 2013, the Friends helped to purchase a rare fourteenth-century Abbey Manuscript, now held in the Berkshire Record Office.
For a small charge we give talks about Reading Abbey precinct to interested local groups, and run guided tours.
The Bell Tower Community Association has been generating community spirit around Caversham Road, Reading, since 2005. It is named after the distinctive tower on the local school, EP Collier Primary. Our members have been researching the area’s history, including its connections to the McIlroy family, of department store fame, John Warrick, instigator of the army’s only bicycle regiment, and Henry Dowson, for years the main malt supplier to Simonds Brewery. We have compiled our research into several articles and a local history walk for Heritage Open Days, which we have also made into a short video documentary.
The Friends of Reading Old Cemetery (members of Econet) are about to celebrate our tenth anniversary. We are a group of local volunteers who help to manage the site to enhance its ecological value and also to celebrate its history as an early example of a Victorian Garden Cemetery.
We undertake research about the thousands of people buried and commemorated within the cemetery and also help people to find graves. As well as our monthly conservation work parties we also host a range of family events and guided walks that focus on both the social and natural history of this beautiful site.
Come and talk to Chairman Richard Bennett about the journey of making the memorials; from the initial idea, through to finding a sculptor to reviewing the maquette, casting of the memorial and the unveiling, the challenges and the schools outreach which started in 2012 and continues today.
The Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee (CAAC) is a voluntary group independent of but endorsed by Reading Borough Council (RBC). The aims of the committee are to promote the preservation and enhancement of Reading’s heritage particularly but not limited to the protection and good management of Conservation Areas. It works with RBC and other heritage groups to achieve its objectives.
We are currently reviewing the Christchurch and Eldon Square conservation areas.
The History of Reading Society encourages the study of our town, which has an abbey over 900 years old. Both hosts share a passion for and extensive knowledge of the development of Reading since pre Saxon times. John has a particular expertise in churches, literary associations, politics, breweries and pubs. Caroline has a special interest in rural affairs and likes a research challenge. We also have access to colleagues and many publications, if you would like to learn more about our wonderful town and its former inhabitants. Alternatively, we would love to hear from you about your interest in Reading.
West Berkshire Heritage – covering Shaw House, West Berkshire Museum and West Berkshire Council’s Archaeology team.
Shaw House is an Elizabethan mansion built in 1581 with many fascinating stories to tell of royalty, wars and even 20th century school life. West Berkshire Museum has a collection of around 40,000 objects, and hosts a range of exhibitions and activities inspired by the District’s people and places. The Council’s Archaeology team supports sustainable development within the District and maintains its Historic Environment Record database, much of which is publically accessible. We are happy to answer questions, and to recommend resources for researching Shaw House and the District’s history and archaeology. Visits to the House and Museum are welcome.
Find us in the West Berkshire Heritage Room on the 6th.
Stratfield Saye House in north Hampshire has been home to the Dukes of Wellington since 1817. It is open to the public for part of each year and you can talk to one of its guides, Richard Bennett, in the Reading Civic Society room. Richard will answer questions about the house and how you can visit it. He also delivers talks to groups about the house and also about the life of the first Duke of Wellington.
Wargrave Local History Society specialises in the history of the parish of Wargrave. This includes the settlements of Crazies Hill, Hare Hatch and Kiln Green. Over the past 40 years it has created an archive of photographs, documents, maps and other items relating to this area. We can share this information with enquirers, either directly, or by delving into the records we hold, or by suggesting where else to look. Our material includes items not available elsewhere, such as the Piggott School photographic collection from 1939 – 1994, a complete run of the Wargrave News (from 1978 to the present).
We are a smallish family history society with about 250 members, most of whom do not live in Middlesex. Our area runs north to Uxbridge, south to Teddington, and east to Kensington. We hold monthly meetings in Isleworth which include a talk, and may be attended by Zoom. No charge for any of this, visitors are welcome. We maintain an active website designed to help family history research on West Middlesex parishes. We issue a quarterly journal in full colour, available printed or as a PDF. Membership costs £15, but we have discounts, including 15% off any Find My Past subscription.
Founded in 1974 to “collect, index, co-ordinate, publish and make accessible in the interests of genealogy any records, particularly for the Ancient County of Surrey; to promote the preservation of such records; encourage the study of genealogy and assist educationally in record research”.
We have produced 300+ publications including indexes and transcripts to Parish Registers, Monumental Inscriptions, Wills, Poor Law Records, Feet of Fines, Deeds and many Research Aids. All available online as CDs, small books or downloads through: www.genfair.co.uk.
Membership benefits include Quarterly magazine, monthly meetings (some Zoom) and much more.
Looking for Wiltshire ancestors? Visit the Wiltshire FHS breakout room and talk to us about them. We have access to the results of over forty years of transcribing from a multitude of original documents, contributing a wealth of information shared worldwide in print publications, CDs, downloads and via FindMyPast. Our Society is the focus for family historians living in Wiltshire and for anyone anywhere with Wiltshire ancestors. We are linked through our quarterly Journal, our six branches and our website, www.wiltshirefhs.co.uk . New members are always welcome, wherever they live; they can join online via our website or by post.
We are a civic society with concern for the heritage and considerate development of Wokingham town. We have developed extensive knowledge about the older buildings in the town centre and, by association, their former inhabitants. We have put up blue plaques on the most prominent of these buildings. Although we are neither a local history group nor a family history society, we have between us developed considerable knowledge of Wokingham’s past and have skills in researching local families. If we cannot answer a question, we will seek the information and get back to the enquirer.
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Berkshire Family History Society works to meet the needs of those researching their ancestry across the UK and overseas – as well as those looking for former relatives in historic Berkshire. You do not need to be a member to benefit.
The society offers:
Research Zone in central Reading that is free to use and open to all
Free access at The Centre for Heritage and Family History to online resources like FindMyPast, the 1939 Register, The Genealogist, the British Newspaper Archive and Ancestry (the worldwide edition)
Regular free help and advice sessions
Meetings in Abingdon, Bracknell, Newbury, Reading, Windsor and Woodley — open to everyone
Online discussion list for members – informed answers to research queries and advice from experienced researchers
Members’ Area with data and other information not readily accessible elsewhere
Indexes and transcriptions of Berkshire’s historic records on CD — parish registers, probate documents, monumental inscriptions, maps, First World War history and more
Quarterly magazine, the Berkshire Family Historian, for members
a chance to join in project work, recording, transcribing and helping to preserve records
Links to the research experience, advice and support of members worldwide