Our quarterly journal "Berkshire Family Historian" (free to all members) is packed with information.  Some of the most interesting contributions are Members’ articles about their genealogical journey and the things they unearthed during the research.

Here is our archive of those articles.  It’s a constant work in progress, with new articles being added each quarter, and older ones over time as we extend the archive back to the earliest days of the journal.

We’ve thrown in a few articles from organisations such as the Berkshire Record Office and – unashamedly – some plugs for products you can buy from the shop to help your research

Binfield Parish Council – The Early Days

Binfield Parish Council – The Early Days. John Harman takes a look at the early days of local government following the Reform Act of 1832 & 1894 Local Government Act

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A Remarkable Lady

A Remarkable Lady. Jackie Blow sheds a light on a little known pioneer – Louisa Rowe (neé Parsons) born in Sidbury Devon in 1856

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Polish Ancestral Tourism – Wolf Hunting in Womja (Lomza) part 2

Polish Ancestral Tourism – Wolf Hunting in Womja (Lomza) part 2. Leigh Dworkin continues with his trip in search of his ancestors

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The Stoter family name – history and meaning

The Stoter family name – history and meaning. Stuart Stoter delves into the origins of his surname

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Cheers from England to Australia

Cheers from England to Australia. Jennifer Bolton details her convict heritage

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Who was Henry Stacey?

Who was Henry Stacey? Richard Croker looks into a mysterious appearance and disappearance within a family

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Polish Ancestral Tourism – Wolf Hunting in Womja (Lomza) – Part 1

Polish Ancestral Tourism – Wolf Hunting in Womja (Lomza) – Part 1. Leigh Dworkin takes us on a trip in search of his ancestors

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Reginald Edward Hamblin

Barry Hamblin tells us of a serendipitous event

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Lieutenant Frederick F. Kislingbury, 1846-1884

Eric Saxton tells the story of a Soldier, Pioneer, and Arctic Explorer from East Ilsley

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John Septimus Roe (1797 – 1878)

Penny Stokes recounts the story of John Septimus Roe (1797 – 1878)

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A tale of two houses called Adelaide

Fred Waite continues the story of a much-travelled ancestor – William Watkins Waite and his travelling family

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Memories of Christmas at Sulham in the 1930s

Fred Waite continues the story of a much-travelled ancestor – William Watkins Waite and his travelling family

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William Watkins Waite and his travelling family – the Australia years

Fred Waite continues the story of a much-travelled ancestor – William Watkins Waite and his travelling family

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Purley’s Japanese Prisoners of War in World War Two

Catherine Sampson takes a look at some local men’s experiences in the Far East. VJ Day has always been something of a poor relation to VE Day, yet many Berkshire villages had men who were in the Far East, Purley included. Several villagers, including subsequent incomers, would laterbriefly recall their ordeal in the camps, including one of Purley’s rectors.

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Historical epidemics discovered during my research

Barry Jerome shows us that the current pandemic is nothing new

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A Problem Family

Terry Wickenden illustrates the problems that can be presented when researching a family

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Berkshire’s Mayflower connection

To celebrate the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrim Fathers’ voyage to the New World we take a look at Berkshire’s connection.

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William Watkins Waite and his travelling family – the New Zealand Years

Fred Waite continues the story of a much-travelled ancestor – William Watkins Waite and his travelling family

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Bandsman John Charles Harvey, 1914 – 1940

Eric Saxton tells the story of an East Ilsley man who was caught up in Dunkirk

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The Talbot family of barge builders

Elizabeth Lloyd delves into her heritage, “sparked by the stories my Grandma told me of the forest of masts she could see over the roofs when she grew up in Rotherhithe in the 1890s.”

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An Ancestry Review

Tim Powys-Lybbe asks can I verify some of the ancestry of Annie Powys, my great-great grandmother?

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From Reading to Adelaide

Dennis Grover follows his paternal great-grandather Fred Grover’s journey to Australia

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The workhouse’s impact on the life of inmates

Gillian Hazell tells us of her grandmothers’ life. Frances Ellen Marshall was born in 1894 to single mother, Elizabeth Marshall, an inmate of Wokingham workhouse, situated in Barkham Road.

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The Truth?

Richard Brown shares an example of why you should verify all the stories you’ve been told

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What price a wife?

Penny Stokes takes a look at a long gone substitute for divorce

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William Watkins Waite and his travelling family

Fred Waite tells the story of a much-travelled ancestor – William Watkins Waite and his travelling family

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Breaking a brick wall

Richard Croker explains why he joined Berkshire Family History Society

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George Thomas Barlow

Michael Barlow shows how much detail can be found from military records and how this enabled him to tell his grandfather’s story

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Do you have an interest in Jewish Genealogy?

Jewish genealogy is even more exciting than general genealogy, because it forces you to understand history, geography, new languages, new alphabets as well as social history. There were no Jews in this country between 1290 and 1657 so an ancestor of yours must have come to the UK from some other “old country” be it in Eastern Europe, Germany, Holland or elsewhere.

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My Father’s War

In May 1939 the Military Training
Act was passed by the British Parliament. This required every man aged 20 or 21 to present themselves for 6 months military service. My father, Leonard Sidney Frank Walter was drafted into the Militia on 17th July 1939 – just after his
21st birthday. This is his story

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Lambourn Family and “Dear Ma” Postcards

When perusing about 160 postcards that had been in the possession of my paternal grandmother and her mother, from the beginnings of the 20th century, I realised that they held secrets and clues that other family history sources do not hold

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Women’s Suffrage: the cause in Reading

February 6th 2018 marked the 100th anniversary of the passing of The Representation of the People Act, which extended the vote to all men over the age of 21 and to those aged 19 and above in the armed forces. However, more significantly, it gave the franchise to women, specifically those who were aged over 30 and who met the £5 property qualification.

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Black and Asian merchant seamen in the First World War

In 1914 Britain had a maritime empire. Goods, people, materials and ideas moved by sea. Nearly 2/3 of the food and drink consumed in Britain came from abroad. This global maritime supply network – that fed and fuelled civilian and military populations – was key to the First World War.

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Brick walls in a lineage?

There are obscure documents which, if discovered through a name search in archival catalogues, can reveal remarkable details of a person’s character and life, and perhaps assist in breaking through a brick wall in the parish and probate records. This was my experience when seeking to ascertain the parentage of one of my 8x great grandfathers, Richard Pinnell of Upper Lambourn (Uplambourn in many early records).

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St Joseph’s Convent in Reading celebrates 125 years but some of its pupils are missing!

In October 1894 four nuns from The Congregation of Sisters, which had been founded by Mother Marie Madeleine Postel in Normandy, made a difficult journey to Berkshire. After landing at Southampton they took the train to Farnborough. The hard-working Sisters, facing some local discrimination, created their school in an old outfitters shop in about ten days; it was dedicated to St Joseph.

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The Great Road to Bath: did it lead to health or depravity?

In an age when gentlemen and ladies often neither dined together, or shared the same church pews, Bath’s communal facilities must have come as quite a shock for the first-time visitor. When Edward Ward visited the famous city he observed a startling and deeply unattractive picture of the middle classes taking to the waters.

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Unfinished Business

Early in 2014, I set about the task of identifying all the men on the Roll of Honour in St John the Baptist’s Church, Caversham, my church. I aimed to complete this by 11th November 2018 – but I have failed. There are 56 names on this Roll of Honour

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Sheep Farming In Patagonia

An article about the connection between two families from West Berkshire who came from very different backgrounds, but both resided in the Newbury area at the end of the nineteenth century, and their links with Patagonia.

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Burghfield War Memorial

The recently published survey of the Burghfield St Mary Memorial Inscriptions (BRK0287) contains lists of the 55 men who were killed in the two world wars. This article describes the techniques used to try and identify the people behind the names not listed, and also records the 31 other people, with connections to Burghfield, who died in these conflicts.

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Evening Classes at Shaw Farm, Windsor

An aunt showed me a bible belonging to her grandfather Alfred Purton. Inside was an inscription from Queen Victoria …

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Peasemore, St Barnabas Parish Regsters

Peasemore, St Barnabas Parish Registers CD includes full transcriptions of Baptisms 1538-2006, Banns 1727-1948, Marriages 1540-2003 and Burials 1538-2007

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Berkshire Baptisms (3rd Edition)

Over 400,000 baptisms from 156 parish and non-parochial registers of the “old” Royal County of Berkshire. Update available for first and second editions

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Wokingham Baptist, Methodist and Free Churches Burial Grounds Monumental Inscriptions CD

This CD lists the names of over 1600 people names and holds transcriptions of their monuments and memorials within both churches, the Baptist churchyard and joint Free Churches burial ground.

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Bearwood, St. Catherine Monumental Inscriptions 1815 – 2019 CD

Bearwood, St. Catherine Monumental Inscriptions 1815 – 2019 CD lists the names of over 1,600 people, and holds transcriptions of their monuments and memorials within the church and churchyard. There are photographs of every extant monument and interactive plans to show the locations of the memorials.

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Childrey, St Mary Parish Registers, 1558-1928 CD

Childrey, St Mary CD includes Baptisms 1558-1927, Banns 1755-1912, Marriages 1558-1928, Burials 1558-1883

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How to Write Up Your Family History

I began writing up my family history about twenty years ago. I wanted to turn my research into a story which included something of what life might have been like for my ancestors. One driver for this was an eager audience within my family who, I suspected, would be quickly bored by a list of dates and places.

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Dating a Photograph – an Unusual Approach!

Mick Henry becomes a detective to date this image. For some years I have had a photograph of a shop my parents worked in and the property they lived in which was attached to it, in Shurlock Row. We think, because of the angle of the shot, it was taken from an upstairs room over the road from the property, maybe Mortimore’s Stores.

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A Most Extraordinary Coincidence

David Moseley tells us what can happen when you search the internet. Family history can sometimes throw up some interesting stories and coincidences. One evening in 2017 I came across a notice in the London Gazette which surprised and intrigued me.

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Missing Pieces of the Jigsaw – Second Cousins Once Removed Unite!

Liz Butcher tells how a chance email brought a new relative and answers. Imagine my delight when an e-mail arrived one evening via Ancestry.com asking if I had any information to help with a family tree.charming person who had contacted me – Anne – proved to be my previously unknown second cousin once removed and there followed an exchange of information from which we both benefited.

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A Drake Dynasty or the Richard and Roger Saga

Paul Bryant unveils his confusing lineage: In the September 2018 edition of the Berkshire Family Historian there was an interesting article on the Civil War and its protagonists. Of course, there were many other side events taking place that are of more interest to the family historian.

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