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.

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

Who were the Sopers?

c. 2009, the lane in Padworth on which the church and Padworth House stand was named Sopers Lane, chosen to commemorate one of the village’s oldest families. Shirley Dixon has researched the family for many years.

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The Russells of Swallowfield Park

Roy Starkey highlights one of Berkshire’s notable families, the Russells of Swallowfield Park – the home of Sir Arthur Russell

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The Future of British Genealogy in Berkshire According to ChatGPT

Leigh Dworkin, Windsor Branch Chairman, investigates a possible future for genealogy, and its impact on family historians

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The Little End of Caversham

David Cliffe reminds us about an early census survivor related to the Little End of Caversham and the fire of 1907

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Ownership or World Tree

Lynne Taylor looks at how a family tree can become a world tree

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RAF life in WW2

RAF life in WW2 – Victor Barton relives his WW2 RAF experiences

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The life of an agricultural labourer in early 19th century Berkshire

The life of an agricultural labourer in early 19th C Berkshire – Alan Winter looks at the socio-economic factors affecting ag lab ancestors

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Hora-Sicamma Coat of Arms

Hora – Sicamma Coat of Arms – Susan Hora tells us about her family’s coat of arms

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The Broad Silk Hand Loom Weavers of Spitalfields

The Broad Silk Hand Loom Weavers of Spitalfields – Alan Winter writes of their struggles against the decline of their trade 1828-1860

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Busting a Gut in Warsaw, Łódź and Łomża – Polish Ancestral Tourism – Part 3

Leigh Dworkin, Chairman Jewish Genealogical Society of Great Britain (JGSGB) and Berks FHS Windsor Branch Chairman, continues his adventures in Poland

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Sydney Joseph Rosier

Sydney Joseph Rosier –
Ruth Robinson shares the life of her great grandfather

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Can Anyone Have a Coat of Arms?

Can Anyone Have a Coat of Arms?
Hilary Waller answers the question –
in theory, yes they can but what are they and why might you want one?

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How I demolished my very old German brick wall!

How James Thornber’s “Researching German Ancestry” workshop in late 2020 led to Mavis Warner’s big break-through.

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Memories of going to Reading School 1945 to 1951

Memories of going to Reading School 1945 to 1951: Lindsay Knott shares her father, Peter Barrie Knott’s, memories of life in Reading

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Unexpected Berkshire Connections

Unexpected Berkshire Connections – Peter Clark shares his findings of Berkshire roots, from not knowing he even had any

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Councillor Jones – A tale of long service

Councillor Jones – A tale of long service: John Harman details a career in service to the village of Binfield

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Jeannie Marion Reid, a journey

Jeannie Marion Reid, a journey: Richard Croker delves into the Scottish census

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A Wartime Childhood

A Wartime Childhood: Lindsay Knott shares memories of her father, Peter Barrie Knott’s, life in Reading

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The White Hart at Fyfield – from chantry to hostelry – our ancestors’ local

The White Hart at Fyfield – from chantry to hostelry – our ancestors’ local: Sheila Wheatley tells the tale of a village pub:

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George Barnard Smith (1885-1962)

George Barnard Smith (1885-1962): Michael Hill recounts his grandad’s life – carter, war veteran, and pugilist

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The Binfield Family of Reading

The Binfield Family of Reading – Gordon Cox introduces us to a musical dynasty dominated by 3 generations of the remarkable Binfield family

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Robert Claude Utley (1896-1911)

Robert Claude Utley (1896-1911) – Eric Saxton tells a tale of a life cut short in a tragic incident – a drowning, while on a Scouting trip

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Sharing my Seares saga…

Sharing my Seares saga… Jackie Mitchell details a family who have given her a few problems and a brick wall

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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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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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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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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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