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Help and advice for Berkshire

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Berkshire

Berkshire, one of the inland cos. of England, lying between Hants and the river Thames, bounded on the N. by Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, and Bucks, E. by Surrey, S. by Hants, and W. by Wilts; greatest length, E. and W., 53 miles; greatest breadth, N. and W., 30 miles; area 462,210 ac., pop. 218,363. It is intersected in a westerly direction by a line of chalk hills, a continuation of the Chilterns, the highest elevation being White Horse Hill, alt. 893 ft. N. of this is the White Horse Vale (so called from the figure of a horse cut out on the hill-side), and to the S. lies the Vale of Kennet, watered by the Kennet stream. These tracts are well cultivated, and produce good crops of grain, &c., especially in the Vale of the White Horse. Dairy farms and commons abound; much of the surface is under woods, chiefly of oak and beech. Windsor Forest, covering upwards of 50,000 ac., lies in the E. (For agricultural statistics, see Appendix.) The Thames flows along the entire N. boundary (100 miles in extent); its tributaries are the Kennet, Lambourn, Ock, and Loddon. The mfrs. are unimportant, being chiefly agricultural implements and malt. The Great Western Ry., the Thames, and 2 canals are the chief means of transit. The co. contains 20 hundreds, 193 pars. with parts of 4 others, the parl. and mun. bors. of Reading (1 member) and New Windsor (1 member), the mun. bors. of Maidenhead, Newbury, and Wallingford, and the greater part of the mun. bor. of Abingdon. It is almost entirely in the diocese of Oxford. For parliamentary purposes it is divided into 3 divisions, viz., Northern or Abingdon, Southern or Newbury, and Eastern or Wokingham, 1 member for each division.
John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles 1887

See also general descriptions about Berkshire from Berkshire FHSPigot's 1830 Directory,  The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)Cassell's Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland, 1899 .  Other descriptions can be found from other periods in various trade directories covering Berkshire from the early 19th century onwards and from A Vision of Britain Through Time.

What is Berkshire?  The geographic extent of the county has changed over the centuries (more about boundary changes... and also see Historical Geography below).  For the purposes of these pages, Berkshire is the pre-1974 county defined by the Towns and Parishes list and this map of the ecclesiastical parishes of 19th century Berkshire. If in any doubt, consult the GENUKI Gazetteer to determine on which county page your place of interest is located.  

See Berkshire Genealogy to understand how these Berkshire pages are structured and how do we fit into the rest of GENUKI. 

Archives and Libraries

Some BRO records have been indexed, transcribed and published by  Berkshire FHS (see below), the Berkshire Record Society and the Eureka Partnership

  • Collections Gateway locates information on research collections held by Berkshire and Reading institutions.  
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a wide range of genealogical resources at its Family History Centers around the world.  For contact details, click here and search for the centre nearest you.  Reading FHC is the only centre in Berkshire.  They are best known for the IGI, see Church Records, below.  

Bibliography

  • Reading Central Library has a particularly good selection of Berkshire-related books and, even if you cannot visit, their catalogue can still be used to identify titles that can then be sourced elsewhere (see below).  
  • Online books are available from various websites that provide free digitised copies of out-of-copyright books that can be downloaded or read online, some relating to Berkshire history. When searching, beware of hits relating to Berkshire in the USA. They are particularly useful to find local history written in the 17th, 18th and early 20th centuries, magazines, professional & army listings.  Because they are fully text searchable, they are useful for finding passing reference to events, people and places without having to know the title of the book.  Be aware that these files can be large.  See article about Google Book Search in Berkshire Family Historian, Jun 2009, Vol 32, page 10.   Examples of books about Berkshire include:

Business and Commerce Records

  • Many records are held by the BRO but some are un-catalogued.  For catalogued records, use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).   Some un-catalogued records appear on this list and others are listed below:
Berkshire Printing Company, Reading, 1900-2001 (D/EX1667);  Blatch’s Brewery, Theale, 1763-1972 (D/EX 1639);  S & E Collier Ltd of Reading, brick and tile makers, 1902-1964 (R/D 130);  Henry Bird & Sons, brewers of Reading, 1738-1867 (D/EX 1668);  S H Higgs Ltd, brewers of  Reading, 1937-1960s (D/EX 1668);  John Hooper of Reading, pill manufacturer 1787-1849 (D/EX 1830), see also Vol 26 2004 page 3 of the Berkshire Echo;  Strange & Sons, brewers of Aldermaston, 1818-1999 (D/EX 1668);   Thomas Wethered & Sons, brewers of Marlow, Buckinghamshire, 1580-1983 (D/EX 1668);  Heelas & Co of Wokingham, department store 1798-1919 (D/EHS);  Maidenhead Waterworks Company, 1874-1957, and Wokingham District Water Company, 1926-1934 (D/EX 1913).

Check also the links below.

  • Agricultural business records of farms and Berkshire firms in agricultural engineering, processing, and farm and garden seed production are held by MERL (part of University of Reading), including: Gascoignes, Reading; Goodenoughs, Reading; Nalder & Nalder Ltd, Wantage;  Suttons Seeds, Reading (see also below); Wantage Engineering Company; Thomas Baker of Newbury;  John Wilder of Reading.
  • Bus Companies - Paul Lacey has published several illustrated books about Berkshire (and other) bus companies.
  • Clifford's Dairy of Bracknell - archives are held by the BRO  (see the Berkshire Echo Vol 64, 2013, page 4).  
  • H Dolton & Sons, grain dealers in Newbury 1840s to 1910s, see article in Berkshire Family Historian, June 2016, Vol 39, page 22.
  • Cookham Bridge Company operated a private toll bridge over the Thames at Cookham until 1947, when it was nationalised.  Their archives are held by the BRO  (see the Berkshire Echo Vol 60, 2012, page 4).
  • Huntley & Palmer (biscuit manufacturers, Reading):
  • Plenty of Newbury (lifeboats, marine steam engines, and latterly, pumps), 1746-1997, records are held by the BRO (D/EX1739, 1771, 2097, 2240).  See article in Berkshire Family Historian, Dec 2012, Vol 36, page 12.
  • Railways:
    • The BRO hold the following records: 
      • Some 19th and 20th century photographs and papers relating to Reading and Twyford stations (D/EX 1680). 
      • East Berkshire railways, 1845-1884 (D/EX 1705), including material on the opposition in 1846 to a proposed line (never built) Windsor Slough and Staines Atmospheric Railway.   
      • Also use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).  
      • They hold some books about railways for reference, including some specific to Berkshire.
    • Reading Central Library hold many books about local railway companies and lines.
    • British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer, Ian Allan, has maps the routes served by the railway companies before they were amalgamated, available in Berkshire FHS library.
    • Brunel:  An Engineering Biography by Adrian Vaughan, 2006, ISBN (10) 0 7110 3078 2 and (13) 978 0 7110 3078 7. Provides some detail of the engineering of the Great Western Railway, with drawings and photographs.  Available from Reading Central Library
    • My Ancestor was a Railway Worker, Frank Hardy, Society of Genealogists Enterprises Ltd, 2009, A5, 110pp, ISBN 9781907199028, available from Berkshire FHS.  
    • Railway & Canal Historical Society
    • Disused Railway Stations has a number of Berkshire railway stations. 
    • Didcot Railway Centre and the Great Western Society
    • Museum of the Great Western Railway, including online photographs.  GWR staff records and accident reports are held by TNA, see above.  
    • Lambourn Valley Railway
    • Reading Gas Company and Reading Gas Works, 1899-1965
      • Records are held by the BRO (D/SG 8 & D/EX 1593). 
      • Reading Gas Company 1862 -1912, Douglas H Helps, 1912  available from Reading Central Library and Berkshire FHS library.
      • Gasworker Ancestors: How to Find Out More About Them, a guide to genealogical sources for the British gas industry, A4 booklet available in Berkshire FHS library.
    • Reading Iron Works - Barrett, Exall & Andrews' Reading Iron Works, an article in Berkshire Family Historian, Dec 2010, Vol 34, page 19 describes the life of this agricultural equipment manufacturer 1858 - 1872.
    • Suttons Seeds was formed in 1806 to sell corn, moved to Market Place, Reading in 1832.  The Market Place site was vacated in the early 1960s and the company moved to Torquay in 1976. At present, it is part of a large multi-national conglomerate.
      • Their website provides a brief history.  
      • Sutton's Seeds - The History 1806-2006, Earley Local History Group, 48 Harcourt Dr, Earley, Reading RG6 5TJ,   ISBN 0954004124 (available from Reading Central Library and Berkshire FHS).  
      • Records 1860s-1940s are held by the The Rural History Centre of University of Reading.
      • MERL hold company records and family trees of the Sutton families.  
    • Taylowe (printers) founded in Slough in the 1930s and moved to Maidenhead in the 1950s - records are held by the BRO (D/EX2012).
    • Some employers' and trade association archives are held by Warwick University's Modern Record Centre.

    Cemeteries

    • Monumental Instriptions (MIs):
      • Berkshire FHS shop sells transcriptions of MIs for Berkshire (mainly on CD and a number of which also contain photographs).  
      • Some are also available for reference at Reading Central Library.  
      • The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (IHGS) publishes free online transcriptions of a limited number MIs, including some from Berkshire.
      • For Berkshire parishes now located in modern Oxfordshire, some MIs have been transcribed by OFHS
      • See also burials under Church Records and War Memorials below. 
        • For the location of cemeteries, see  Church Database under Church History
          • The Monumental Brasses of Berkshire, William Lack, H Martin Stuchfield & Philip Whittemore, (Monumental Brass Society, 1993. ISBN 0 9501298 8 7). 194 pages; over 200 illustrations, see online name index.

          Census

          • FreeCEN is a volunteer project to provide free online access to transcriptions of the censuses.  There is very little coverage of Berkshire.
          • Street indexes to the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 censuses are available from TNA's Your Archives because those online censuses do not allow address searches.
          • The BRO hold all the census enumerators' returns for Berkshire 1841-1901 on microfilm or fiche, with indexes for 1851 and 1881. 
          • Joseph Toomer's census of Newbury 1815 - a full transcript and index is available from Berkshire FHS shop.

          Church History

          • The Berkshire Religious Census 1851, editor Kate Tiller, Berkshire Record Society, 2010, ISBN 13 9780954871642,  lists places of worship, giving brief details of each (see sample page) and some photographs.  Copies held by the Berkshire FHS and Reading Central Library.  
            • The book is a transcription of the entries of Berkshire churches in the full Ecclesiastical Census Returns HO 129 which is available as a series of free downloads from TNA containing the returns for all of England and Wales, arranged by registration district.  The handwritten returns can be difficult to read (see sample page), so the transcription may be easier to use.  This was the first and only census of places of worship in England and Wales and was made alongside the population census of the same year with the same registration districts.  It was not compulsory and only about 80% of Berkshire churches seem to have responded, the C of E being particularly reluctant.  
            • All the Berkshire churches listed in the census are in the Genuki Church Database above and are identified as such.  
            • See article in Berkshire Family Historian, Mar 2008, Vol 31, page 8.
          • Berkshire Nonconformist Meeting House Registrations 1689-1852  in 2 parts, editor Lisa Spurrier, Berkshire Record Society, 2005, ISBN 0952494698,  copies available for reference in Reading Central Library and the BRO.  It is a transcription of the applications to register the places of worship in historic Berkshire of Protestant Dissenters (those who dissented from the Church of England) and also some Roman Catholic churches, as a result of the Toleration Act .  See sample record.  Most of the 366 entries are for a room in a private house, and therefore often do not show in other records of the time.  It also provides useful descriptions of the different denominations in Berkshire at the time: Methodists (Wesleyan, Primitive and Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion), Baptist (Particular, Strict, General), Presbyterians, Independents/Congregationalists, (Plymouth) Brethren).
          • Thumbnail descriptions of church buildings and their histories can often be found in trade directories through the years, see sample pages from a 1915 directory.
          • Church of England (C of E):  
            • This list of redundant churches within the diocese of Oxford (which includes Berkshire) also lists those sold for other uses (e.g. to other religions or as private houses).
            • The Clergy of the Church of England Database includes background information on particular dioceses, cathedrals & collegiate churches and non-diocesan locations (as well as historical information on the careers of some C of E clergymen).

            Church Records

            • Parish Registers:  Before English & Welsh Civil Registration started in July 1837, baptisms, marriages and burials were only recorded by the churches in the Parish Registers. Births and deaths were not usually recorded as such. 
              • BRO:
                • They hold the originals and microfilms of most Berkshire parish and non-parochial registers for baptisms/births, marriages, and burials/deaths. 
                • Their online guide to Parochial (i.e. Church of England) registers covers all parishes past and present in the Archdeaconry of Berkshire and parishes in the Archdeaconry of Buckinghamshire that are within the present Berkshire borders.  The English parish church was a key secular (as well as religious) institution until the Victorian period.  As part of local government, it was responsible for poor relief, running local charities, and even local roads and law enforcement.  As a result, the 'parish chest' contains a lot more than just the registers.  
              • Maidenhead Library: the Brooks Collection: transcripts of registers for all Maidenhead parishes except Waltham St. Lawrence, and transcripts of registers for a number of other parishes in historic Berkshire, but not including Windsor, for the period from 1500s to 1837.  It is hoped that a full list of which registers are available at Maidenhead Library, will be online late 2013. 
              • Windsor Library:  St. John the Baptist, New Windsor only: Baptisms 1559–1837; Marriages: 1559–1837; Burials: 1560–1837; Index: 1559–1837.
              • OFHS publish data about the Parishes of north Berkshire (i.e., those parishes that were in historic Berkshire and are now in Oxfordshire):
              • The Eureka Partnership publish printed transcriptions of a number of Berkshire Non-Conformist baptism, marriage and burial records and Marriage Notices.  
            • Index to the Parish Registers:
              • The International Genealogical Index (IGI)  contains many, but not all, indexes to the records of 131 Berkshire towns and villages, and is a useful finding aid.  
                • Berkshire FHS guide.   
                • IGI Batch Numbers: It is not always easy to locate your ancestors in the IGI using their search. Manually typing in the batch numbers can be tedious. Hugh Wallis has created a database of those numbers and the source records that they apply to. A very powerful feature includes a hotlink from each batch number to the IGI search, including the ability to enter the surname you are looking for. This makes it very easy to search all the batches for a particular geographic location using just the last name.  
                • Similar information is available from Steve Archer.  
              • Berkshire FHS's Berkshire Baptisms 2nd edition CD contains indexed transcriptions of over 250,000 baptisms and 777,000 names from 102 parish and non-parochial registers.  Also subscription access online from Findmypast.  
              • Berkshire FHS's Berkshire Marriages 3rd edition CD contains indexed transcriptions of the marriages (both Anglican (Church of England) and nonconformist) in all pre-1974 Berkshire parishes. Those  Berkshire FHS transcriptions of events more than 85 years old are also available online from Findmypast.  
              • Phillimore's marriages transcripts for Berkshire are sold on CD by Archive CD Books for most, but not all, parishes.
              • Some parishes that were in historic Berkshire and now in Oxfordshire are on the North Berkshire Marriage Index compiled by the OFHS.
              • Berkshire FHS's Berkshire Burials 11th edition CD contains over 830,000 entries (see their coverage).  Those transcriptions of events more than 50 years old are also available online from Findmypast.  NOTE: inscriptions on gravestones (memorial inscriptions, MIs) are not the same as burial records, see Cemeteries.
              • For deaths, see also Coroners Index below.
            • For post-July 1837 English & Welsh civil records of births, marriages and deaths, see Civil Registration.
            • Some other church records (e.g. records of meetings) are also held by the BRO and may be listed on the NRA.  
            • The Archdeaconry of Berkshire was part of the Diocese of Salisbury until 1836 when it was transferred to the Diocese of Oxford. As a result of this, Bishop's Transcripts and items, such as some wills, which came under the jurisdiction of the diocesan courts are found in the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre or the Oxfordshire Record Office. There are three Peculiar jurisdictions.
            • A comprehensive listing of Parish Registers, Monumental Inscriptions and transcripts can be found in the National Index of Parish Registers Volume 8 Part 1 - Berkshire, 2nd edition, compiled by Anthony Wilcox and published by the Society of Genealogists in 2003 and available from the Berkshire FHS shop. 

            Civil Registration

            • Births, marriages and deaths (BMDs) in England and Wales post-July 1837 were recorded by local Register Offices (even those marriages conducted in church), with copies also held by the General Register Office (GRO).   See explanation of Civil Registration in England and Wales and how to order certificates.  Indexes are available:
              • FreeBMD offer free online access to the GRO indexes for the whole of England and Wales (not just Berkshire), presently covering 1837 to the 1960s (see current coverage), with more being added. 
              • The BRO (and other offices in the UK and overseas, see list) hold microfiches of the GRO indexes for the whole of England and Wales, although these are now less necessary (and less convenient) as the FreeBMD coverage expands.
              • BerkshireBMD offer free online access to some local indexes for Berkshire.  Currently only some records of the Reading and Bradfield Registration Districts have been transcribed for the period 1837 to mid 20th century.
              • See explanation of the difference between local indexes and GRO indexes.
              • Registration Districts in Berkshire.
              • Ancestry and Find My Past allow free searching of their records, but require a subscription to see the full records.  Findmypast offers a bit more detail on their free search results, including town and implied registration district.
              • For deaths, see also Coroners Index below.

            Correctional Institutions

            • House of Correction in Reading (the old lock-up) was in what is now Greyfriars church and housed petty criminals, ‘rogues and beggars’, see the Berkshire Echo Vol 67, 2014 from the BRO.  
            • The original county jail was built in 1786 in Reading and later replaced in 1844 by Reading Goal on the same site.  A description is given in the Reading Gaol by Reading Town mentioned below

            Court Records

            • General information about Court Records
            • Archived court petty sessions records are held by the BRO for the following : Abingdon County Division, Faringdon Division, Forest Division, Hungerford and Lambourn Division, Hungerford Division, Ilsley Division, Lambourn Division, Maidenhead Borough, Maidenhead County Division, Maidenhead Division, Moreton and Wallingford Division, Moreton Division, Newbury Borough, Newbury County Division, Reading Borough, Reading County Division, Slough Division, Wallingford Borough, Wantage Division, West Berkshire Division, Windsor Borough, Windsor County Division and may be listed on the NRA.  

              Description and Travel

                  Directories

                  • Jurors Lists (those qualified to serve on a jury) are held by the BRO, including the period 1897-1922 (ref. Q/RJ/1 to 19). They typically list just the names and qualification.
                  • Protestation Returns for Berkshire, 1641/1642 - copies are held by the BRO (T/A 40) and the originals are held at the House of Lords Record Office.  On the eve of the English Civil War, Parliament ordered that a protestation be made as an oath of allegiance to the King, to Parliament and to the established church. Signed initially by members of Parliament in 1641, the order to take the protestation was later extended to all males in England and Wales over the age of eighteen. The officials of the parish were required to make the oath in front of the Justices of the Peace of the hundred, and then in turn the parish officials administered the oath of loyalty for their parishioners. The returns usually take the form of a list of the names of all of the men in the parish over the age of eighteen who took the protestation.  Very occasionally, children and servants are listed, as in the case of Sutton Courtenay; or women took the protestation, as in the case of West Shefford. Those who refused to take the oath also had their names listed. The returns were later used to identify Roman Catholics by their refusal, who were then subject to increased taxation.  The returns that survive for Berkshire offer partial but substantial coverage, with most of central Berkshire extant.  See article in the Berkshire Family Historian, Vol 23, Sep 2009, page 15.

                  Dwellings

                  Genealogy

                    • Professional research:  For those thinking of using the services of a paid researcher, and only in response to a prior written application, Berkshire FHS can return a short list of names and contact details of researchers who undertake commissioned projects. This information is offered by the society purely as a public service. Inclusion of a researcher on a list neither constitutes nor implies recommendation, endorsement or warranty of any kind by the society. Client and researcher should always negotiate any commissioned work directly and in entirety.
                      • Mailing lists, message boards and forums for Berkshire: 
                        • Berkshire FHS runs for its members the most active forum to discuss issues concerning Berkshire genealogy and to solicit help and advice.  
                        • RootsChat
                        • RootsWeb
                        • Berkshire Local History Association
                        • British Genealogy
                        • Curious Fox is a village by village contact site for anybody researching family history, genealogy and local history in the UK and Ireland. Every UK county, town and village has a page for family history, local history, surname and genealogy enquiries.
                      • Researchers may be interested in the Berkshire Genweb pages.

                      Heraldry

                      • Nigel Batty-Smith has scanned the entire volumes I and II of the Visitations of Berkshire, 1532, 1566, 1623, 1665-66, Harleian Society, volumes 56 & 57 old series and they are now available to view free online on his website.  It is also available online (possibly more accessibly) from the Open Library (see under Bibliography). 

                      Historical Geography

                      • The local government reorganisation of 1974 brought major changes to the boundaries of Berkshire with parts being lost to Oxfordshire and others gained from Buckinghamshire. Further changes in 1998 finally abolished Berkshire as an administrative unit and replaced it with six Unitary Authorities - Bracknell Forest, Reading, Slough, West Berkshire, Windsor and Maidenhead, and Wokingham.  More about boundary changes...  And even more... N.B. Information on GENUKI pages is organised on the basis of the pre-1974 counties.
                      • The Genuki Gazetteer shows the location of places and lists neighbouring places with links to online maps and to Genuki pages that may contain information about that place and the genealogical resources which are available for it.
                      • Trade directories can provide some information of the changes to administrative areas through the years, see sample pages from a 1915 directory.
                      • A similar facility is provided by the LDS Family Search's England Jurisdictions 1851 where the boundaries of parishes, civil registration districts, C of E dioceses, rural deanerys, Poor Law Unions and Hundreds can be superimposed on maps.
                      • List of Berkshire hundreds, the historical sub-divisions of counties, introduced in the 10th century primarily as a unit of taxation but also having administrative, judicial and military functions.
                      • Enclosures:
                        • Enclosure in Berkshire, 1485-1885, ed. Ross Wordie, Berkshire Record Society, vol 5, 2000.  Between 1600 and 1900 the landscape and agriculture of Berkshire was transformed. In 1600, three quarters of the county was covered by large open fields, common land or waste.  By 1900 all but 4% was in the form of small enclosed, hedged fields, owned by individual landowners. 
                        • See also New Landscapes: Enclosure in Berkshire in Maps below.

                      History

                      • Victoria County History of Berkshire is available online.  It was completed in four volumes between 1906 and 1924, with a separate index produced in 1927. Although published more than 80 years ago and in need of some updating, the sections on borough government remain particularly useful.
                      • A more recent history is A History of Berkshire by Dr. Judith Hunter, published by Phillimore in 1995.
                      • David Nash Ford, history editor at Britannia.com, is the author of Royal Berkshire History, a website "featuring details of all aspects of the Royal County's fascinating & historic past."
                      • Francis Frith sells modern books about the history of Berkshire places.
                      • For the history of religious denominations and individual churches, see Church History.

                            Manors

                            • At the time of the Domesday Book in 1086, the manor was the basic unit of local government. The manor court evolved as the forum where all matters relating to the manor were dealt with, including property transactions, byelaws and local disputes. Records of these courts, surviving from the mid thirteenth century,  tell us much about how society was organised at a local level. They can reflect the impact of national events and movements like the Great Plague or Tudor enclosure. They are arguably at their most informative in the medieval period, when the power of the manor was at its height. It was later supplanted by the parish vestry and local magistrate. However, the manorial court system survived officially until 1922 when the Law of Property Act abolished both the courts and the manorial land tenure called copyhold. Manorial records can be a great way to find out information on individuals beyond their birth, marriage and death dates. Going back in time much before census, electoral register and civil registration, manorial records can fill in where other records are patchy or non-existent, with so many interesting notes of family relationships, abodes, occupations and life events.  Manorial Documents Register (MDR) is published by TNA and most of the records of the 350 Berkshire manors are at the BRO, with others at TNA and in public and private repositories.

                            Maps

                            • Digital Ordnance Survey (OS) maps of Berkshire (and elsewhere) from the mid 19th century to 1970s are available online at Old Maps.  Although intended for the sale of maps, the free on-screen images can still be useful.   An article in the Berkshire Family Historian, Vol 33, Sep 2009, page 18 describes how good use can be made of them.
                              • TIP 1:  It can also be accessed via the Genuki Gazetteer: Enter the place name and click Search; click the pin on the map (NOT the single item on the list top right); pick the third item "Other maps"; pick "OldMaps" (not "Old Maps On Line"); zoom in as necessary; pick a suitable date and scale from the maps along the right hand edge.  
                              • TIP 2: If looking for the location of a church on a map, use the Genuki Church Database and follow the links to OldMaps.
                            • BRO holds a number of historical maps, including:
                              • 6 inch and 25 inch to the mile OS maps from the first edition in the 1870s to the 1930s. 
                              • Speed’s 1611 map of Reading – the earliest known (D/EX2385).
                              • New Landscapes: Enclosure in Berkshire, a joint project with the Museum of English Rural Life, shows historic manuscript maps and land awards, and thus documents the process of enclosing the common fields of Berkshire between 1738 and 1883, particularly useful for finding older place names.
                              • Tithe maps (best source for finding who owned/farmed what land and how in the early Victorian period), and manuscript and printed maps, indexed by place.   See description from the TNA. Available by subscription from The Genealogist
                              • Deposited Plans (plans required to be submitted for major infrastructure projects (e.g. a new railway line)) which include, not only the map itself, but also details of the ownership of the land affected. E.g. the Deposited Plan of Great Western Railway at time of widening of the line from Maidenhead to Reading in 1890, ref. D/P 113/28/4.
                              • A small group of plans which have strayed from the Englefield Estate archive (D/EZ175).
                            • Reading Central Library:  
                              • A selection of maps from 1574 onwards for reference, including enormous 1:500 OS maps of Reading in the 1870s, see their Factsheet
                              • The Rocque maps of 1761, see article in Berkshire Family Historian, Dec 2008, Vol 32, page 12. 
                              • Free online estate maps for Hardwick, Rose Hill, London Street, Good Rest, Castle Hill, Earley, Burfield and Shinfield estates.  
                            • An Historical Atlas  of Berkshire, editor Joan Dils and Margaret Yates, Berkshire Record Society, 2012, ISBN 0 9548716 9 3, shows maps of: parishes, geology, administration divisions, agriculture, country houses, Poor Law areas, railways, roads, population, etc.  Copies are held by Berkshire FHS and Reading Central Library
                            • A collection of 14th-19th century maps of Berkshire is provided free by Genmaps "for the personal use of genealogists and historians for study." 
                            • Cambridge University Library have digitised John Speed's Theatre of the Empire of Great Britaine published in 1611/12 of the UK, including a map of Berkshire.

                            Medical Records

                            • Many records are held by the BRO but some are un-catalogued.  For catalogued records, use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).   
                            • Early Medical Services : Berkshire and South Oxfordshire from 1740, by Railton, Margaret. Polmood Publications, 1994, available from Reading Central Library.   A history of medical treatment for the poor, from the Old Poor Law in 18C to health care under the New Poor Law from 1834, with the development of hospitals, dispensaries and medical societies on which the NHS was built.
                              • Hospitals
                                • The Index of English and Welsh Lunatic Asylums and Mental Hospitals, based on a comprehensive survey in 1844, and extended to other asylums.  
                                • Care and Compassion. Old Prints and Photographs of Hospitals and Nurses in Berkshire and South Oxfordshire 1839-1930. Published by the Heritage Centre.  Available from Berkshire FHS.  
                                • Early Medical Services. Berkshire and South Oxfordshire from 1740. Margaret Railton.
                                • Leonard and John Joyce: Surgeons of Reading and Newbury. Marshall Barr and Lionel Williams.  
                                • Battle Hospital, Reading (built as Reading Union Workhouse) closed and demolished in 2005.
                                • Binfield Park Hospital, Binfield was built in 1775 for the splendidly named Onesiphorus Elliot, became a military hospital in the Second World War and from 1949 to 2000 an NHS hospital.   The building has since been converted into housing.
                                • Broadmoor Hospital was Britain's first criminal lunatic asylum. It is planned to close by 2017. 
                                • Church Hill House Hospital, Bracknell, based in the former Easthampstead Workhouse, records are held by the BRO (ref. D/H8), including the admissions register, 1929-1933.
                                • Downs Hospital, Wantage - was built as Wantage Workhouse, now closed and the the site has reverted to agricultural use.  Records are held by the BRO.  
                                • Fair Mile Hospital, Moulsford - was opened in 1870 for 285 patients as the Moulsford Asylum, Cholsey, later became the County Mental Hospital, Fairmile.  Now closed and converted into housing.
                                  • Records are held by the BRO (ref. D/H10), including burials.  Lost casebooks for 1884-1924 have recently been found (ref. D/EZ181).   See their gallery
                                  • Nursing at the Fairmile Mental Hospital, Cholsey, 1935-1939 by Mary Fairbairn Macintyre, 2013, Berkshire Medical Heritage Centre.  A memoir of a student nurse in the 1930s.  Available from Berkshire FHS.  See review in Berkshire Family Historian, June 2015, Vol 38, page 31.  
                                  • Fair Mile Hospital: a Victorian Asylum, Ian Wheeler, the History Press, 2015. A comprehensive history of the facility from 1870 to 2010.  See review in Berkshire Family Historian, Sept. 2015, Vol 39, page 33.  
                                  • Fair Mile Hospital from Berkshire FHS.  
                                  • Whatever's Left have some information and pictures.   
                                • Henry Lucas Hospital, Wokingham
                                • Littlemore Hospital, Oxfordshire, provided care to Berkshire residents between 1847 and 1870. 
                                • Maidenhead hospitals
                                  • Maidenhead General Hospital registers of operations, 1966-1970, archives are held by the BRO (ref. D/H 1). 
                                  • St Mark's Hospital, 1946-1978 (previously Cookham (later Maidenhead) Workhouse), archives are held by the BRO (ref. D/H 3).
                                  • Maidenhead Isolation Hospital, 1940-1978, archives are held by the BRO (ref. D/H 3).   
                                • Moulsford Asylum - see Fair Mile Hospital, above.
                                • Newbury District Hospital 
                                  • Historic archives are held by the BRO (ref. D/H4)
                                  • Built in 1884 in Andover Road, Newbury, to meet the medical needs of the people of Newbury and Newbury Rural District following the closure of the Nurses Home and Navvy Hospital in Bartholomew Terrace.  The hospital originally housed 12 patients, but various additions were made from 1894 onwards, with a major building programme in 1936-7.   
                                • Old Windsor Unit of the King Edward VII Hospital - was built as Windsor Workhouse in 1840, closed in 1991 and converted to housing.  Records are held by the BRO.  
                                • Park Isolation Hospital, Prospect Park, Reading.  The original buildings are now demolished and replaced by Prospect Park Hospital.  1910-1931 records (subject to a hundred years’ closure) are held by the BRO (ref. D/H 11), including diphtheria and scarlet fever case books. 
                                • Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading:
                                  •  Museum and archive  and library.   
                                  • Royal Berkshire Hospital 1839 - 1989, Margaret Railton & Marshall Barr, ISBN 0951437305 is available from Reading Central Library.  
                                  • The Story of the Royal Berkshire Hospital 1837-1937, ed. Ernest W Dormer, 1937, available from Berkshire FHS library.  
                                  • An autograph album kept by Barbara Arnst, a nurse 1901-1908, including several photographs of the wards, is held by the BRO (D/EX2299).  
                                  • Wikipedia.  
                                  • Their most famous patient was perhaps Douglas Bader in 1931.  
                                • Sandleford Hospital was built as Newbury Union Workhouse in 1836, closed in 2004 and demolished.  Records are held by the BRO.  
                                • St Andrew’s Convalescent Hospital, Clewer, built in the 1860s, archives are held by the BRO, including photographs of several wards (ref. D/EX2183).  
                                • St Mary's Hospital, Wallingford - was built as Wallingford Workhouse, becoming the Berkshire County Council Institution in 1930. Closed and demolished in 1982.  Records are held by the BRO.  
                                • Wantage Cottage Hospital 1886-1927.   
                                • Waylands Hospital - was built in 1835 as the Bradfield Workhouse and became Waylands Hospital in the 1900s. In 1990, the hospital (and associated SS Simon and Jude chapel of ease) was demolished except for the front which is incorporated into a new housng development.  Records are held by the BRO.  
                                • Wokingham Hospital was originally built in 1848 as Wokingham Workhouse.  Records are held by the BRO.  

                              Monumental Inscriptions (MIs) - see Cemeteries

                              Military Records

                              • See general information on Military History and Military Records
                              • Berkshire FHS shop sells books and CDs of  Berkshire military records.
                              • Berkshire Militia:
                              • Berkshire Yeomanry  - First raised in 1794 to counter the threat of invasion from Revolutionary France, used to counter social unrest in Berkshire in early 1800s, members served in the Boer War, WW1, WW2, Iraq, former Yugoslavia, Afghanistan. 
                              • The Royal Berkshire Regiment (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) amalgamated in 1959 with the Wiltshire Regiment to form the Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment which in turn amalgamated in 1994 with the Gloucestershire Regiment to form the Gloucestershire, Berkshire and Wiltshire Regiment, which again amalgamated in 2007 with the Devonshire and Dorset Light Infantry, the Light Infantry and the Royal Greenjackets to form The Rifles.
                                • World War 2:  
                                  • Some WW2 records are held by the BRO.  Highlights include a scrapbook from Oakfield Hostel in Wokingham for children evacuated from London, 1940-1951 (D/EX1362/1), a service register for Remenham parish annotated with commentary on the war, 1939-1945 (ref. D/P99/1B/4), and local government efforts for the home front, such as Maidenhead Borough’s Holidays at Home and Entertainment Sub-Committees, 1943, 1945 (ref. M/AC2/3/2).  
                                  • Berkshire Airfields in the Second World War by Robin J Brooks describes the history of each airfield, highlights some of the major operations carried out from them, and their overall contribution to the war effort. 
                                  • Prisoner of War camps in Berkshire: Winter Quarter Camp, Ascot; Lodge Farm Camp, Baydon, Newbury;  Mortimer Camp, Stratfield Mortimer;  Stanbury House Camp, Stanbury Park, Spencers Wood, Reading;  Basildon House, Lower Basildon, Pangbourne; Durnell's Farm Camp (Magazine Camp), Central Ordnance Depot, Didcot; Crookham Common Camp, Thatcham, Newbury.  From  Churchill's Unexpected Guests: Prisoners of War in Britain in World War II by Sophie Jackson, 2010, ISBN: 9780752455655.  See also Wikipedia
                                  • Ascot Internment Camp No. 7 - in Swinley forest near Ascot West rail station to intern upto 700 enemy aliens and British fascist sympathisers classified medium risk.  Closed in 1943 when it became the Winter Quarter POW camp, above.  Remembering Wartime - Ascot and Sunningdale 1939-1945 by Christine Weightman, 2006, ISBN 0 9537945 2 0 contains a brief description of the camp.  See also Wikipedia.  
                                • Berkshire Victoria Cross holders: 
                                • War Memorials

                                      Names, Geographical

                                      Names, Personal

                                      • The location of archived personal papers may be listed on the NRA.  
                                      • The BRO have portraits of the following: George Charles Cherry (1822-1887), Richard Benyon (1811-1897), Lord Wantage (1832-1901) (Robert James (Loyd) Lindsay), James Herbert Benyon (1849-1935), Robert Palmer (1793-1872), William George Mount (1824-1906).
                                      • Richard Barry (seventh earl of Barrymore) was a reckless Georgian rake - see article in Berkshire Family Historian, June 2011, Vol 34, page 19.
                                      • Amelia Dyer née Hobley (1837 – 1896) "Ogress of Reading" was the most prolific baby farm murderer of Victorian England. 
                                      • Sydney Langford Jones of Blewbury was an artist, a Quaker and pacifist, records are held by the BRO (ref. D/EX1795), including two small sculptures he created out of porridge whilst interned in Pentonville Prison as a conscientious objector during the First World War.
                                      • John Soane (1753-1837) is regarded as one of England’s finest architects. He grew up and went to school in Reading and designed, among other things,  the Simeon Monument in the Market Place, Reading.
                                            • The Toomers of Newbury - see articles in Berkshire Family Historian, Sep 2008, Vol 33 page 25 and Dec 2008, Vol 32 page 23. 
                                            • Vansittart (later Vansittart Neale) family of Bisham Abbey.  For involvement in Napoleonic War, see the Berkshire Echo Vol 72 of 2015.
                                            • Conrad Birdwood Willcocks 1887-1973, architect. His records, containing all the plans and papers for almost every project he worked on, are held by BRO  (ref. D/EWK).  See Vol 74 Jan 2016 of the Berkshire Echo.
                                            • Trade directories can provide some information through the years of people, both high and low, especially those in official positions.  See sample pages from a 1915 directory.

                                            Newspapers

                                            • Berkshire newspapers from Berkshire FHS
                                            • Reading Central Library holdings are described in their Factsheet, and includes:
                                                • Various unindexed historic Berkshire newspapers on microfilm for reference.
                                                • The Illustrated London News (1842-2003 incomplete).
                                                • Full text search online access to The Times 1785-2007.  This will also be available to members of other libraries that subscribe. 
                                                • The Early Newspaper Press in Berkshire 1723 - 1855, KG Burton, Reading, 1954 describes the history and development of newspapers in Berkshire (i.e. mainly Reading).
                                              • Bracknell Library has past copies of Bracknell News and Wokingham Times (not at Wokingham Library, as might be expected).
                                              • Newbury Library has past copies of the Newbury Weekly News from its founding in February 1867 on microfilm.  Although not the first in its field, it is the only Newbury newspaper to have been published continuously from its Victorian beginning through to the present day.  A copy of a memoir relating to the setting up of the newspaper written in 1917 by founder Thomas Wheildon Turner is held by BRO (D/EX 1755).
                                              • The Guardian and Observer archives offer online every page of the Guardian since 1821 and the Observer since 1791. It is free to search, but they charge to read the articles.
                                              • Google provides a searchable worldwide newspaper archive, although there are no Berkshire newspapers currently.
                                              • Windsor and Eton Express - Surname and Public House index as well as full text articles from this newspaper from the early nineteenth century. Gives a good idea of the type of things you can find in the old local papers in the library.

                                              See also Periodicals

                                              Occupations

                                              • TNA's Discovery facility allows you to search their records of a person by occupation (try "apothecary AND richardson") and may be listed on the NRA.  
                                              • Warwick University's Modern Record Centre provides definitions of  trades and occupations, many of which will be unfamiliar (scroll down the page).
                                              • Apprenticeships: The BRO have some registers of apprentices in their Poorhouse records.
                                              • Church ministers
                                                • Many early ministers of the Church of England were graduates of Cambridge or Oxford Universities - see under Schools.
                                                • Crockford's Clerical Directory: first published in 1858, contains biographies of over 26,000 clergy of the Church of England, the Church in Wales, the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Church of Ireland.  Copies are held by many libraries, including Reading Central Library. Also available free for different years from various online books sites  (e.g. this 1865 edition from Google Books).  Clergy since 1968 are also listed online
                                                • The Church Times is a weekly C of E newspaper which often contains obituaries; a full set is archived at the Church of England Record Centre.  
                                                • The Surman Index is an online biographical card index of Congregational ministers which "includes the names of about 32,000 ministers, and, where known, their dates, details of their education, ministries or other employment, together with the sources used. It covers the period from the mid-seventeenth century to 1972".
                                                • The Dictionary of Quaker Biography consists of approximately 20,000 biographical entries of prominent British and American Friends from the 17th to the 20th centuries.
                                                • Trade directories can provide some information about ministers through the years, see sample pages from a 1915 directory.
                                                • See also Church History
                                              • Dentists
                                              • Doctors
                                                • For hospital medical staff, try also the Hospital Records Database below.
                                                • Some hospital staff will be listed in the censuses.  
                                              • Horse racing and training is well established in Berkshire, see sketch map.
                                              • Licenced Victuallers (aka public house (pub) landlords, licencees):
                                                • See also Inns, Hotels and Pubs.
                                                • The records of their licences issued by the local authorities are held by the BRO.  Search their holdings using TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).
                                                • See this description from TNA.  
                                                • Directory of historic pubs in Berkshire uses information from censuses, trade directories, etc. to list licensees, bar staff, lodgers and visitors.
                                              • Millers:
                                                • Berkshire Windmills, Guy Blythman, 2007, available from Berkshire FHS shop and Reading Central Library, lists the 49 windmills known to have existed in Berkshire with brief details and locations.
                                                • Mills Archive Trust is a repository for historical and contemporary material on traditional mills and milling and is located in Reading. 
                                              • Nurses:
                                                • District Nurses - healthcare for the poor in the first half of the 20th century was often provided by District Nurses who were funded by District Nursing Associations. 
                                                • These District Nursing Associations' records are available from the BRO
                                                  • The Bagley Wood Nursing Association (for Kennington, Radley, Sunningwell and Wootton), 1923-1948, (D/QNA/BW).  
                                                  • The Wantage District Nursing Association (for Grove and Wantage, and from 1940 Letcombe Bassett and Letcombe Regis), 1928-1942, (D/QNA/WT). 
                                                  • Also available are the minutes of Sonning Deanery Moral Welfare Association, 1934-1938 (D/RDS) which helped unmarried mothers, fallen women and deserted wives by providing financial assistance, places in homes, referrals to the police, and assistance with prosecutions for maintenance, although the names of its clients are omitted.
                                              • Police - Berkshire is currently policed by the Thames Valley Police, formed by the amalgamation of various local forces:
                                                • Abingdon Borough Police 1836-1889 amalgamated with the Berkshire Constabulary.
                                                • Newbury Borough Police 1836-1875 amalgamated with the Berkshire Constabulary.
                                                • Reading Borough Police 1836-1968 amalgamated to form the Thames Valley Constabulary (now Thames Valley Police).
                                                • New Windsor Borough Police 1836-1947 amalgamated with the Berkshire Constabulary.
                                                • Wokingham - policed from Reading.
                                                • Berkshire Constabulary 1855-1968, amalgamated with the Buckinghamshire Constabulary,  Oxford City Police, Oxfordshire Constabulary and Reading Borough Police to form the Thames Valley Constabulary (now Thames Valley Police).

                                              Sources of historical information about the police:

                                              • General information about the Police. 
                                              • The Thames Valley Police Museum is located within Sulhamstead House, known locally as the 'White House', at Sulhamstead, Berkshire, open by appointment.  
                                              • Surviving personnel records are patchy:
                                                • Buckinghamshire police records are held by the Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, Aylesbury. 
                                                • Oxford City Police records are held by the Oxfordshire History Centre.  
                                                • Berkshire Constabulary records are held by the BRO,  including examination records for many police officers 1856-1929 (Q/APE series), including details of age, address, previous jobs, reading ability, etc. Search by name at TNA.
                                                • Oxfordshire Constabulary and Reading Borough police records are held at the Thames Valley Police Museum, Sulhamstead.  
                                                • Windsor Borough Police records were destroyed by flood.  
                                              • Reading Borough Police Registers for the periods 1865-1880 and 1881-1905 have been published.
                                              • Was Your Ancestor a Berkshire Policeman?,  article in Berkshire Family Historian, Vol 14, page 112 gives a brief history of the Berkshire police forces.
                                              • Queens Peace, a History of Reading Borough Police 1836-1968, Alan Wykes, 1968, available from Reading Central Library.   
                                              • Short History of the Berkshire Constabulary, 1856-1956, 1956, ISBN: 9999043185, available from Reading Central Library.  
                                              • Genuki.  
                                              • Wikipedia.  
                                                • Trade Union records 
                                                  • BRO hold records of the Reading Typographical Society, 1898-1970 (ref. D/EX1941); and the Reading branch of the GMB union and its predecessors (originally the National Union of Gasworkers and General Labourers), 1911-1988 (ref. D/EX2017).
                                                  • The location of archived papers may be listed on the NRA.  

                                                *Organisations, Other

                                                See below for records of organisations other than Business and Commerce RecordsSchoolsCourtsMilitaryNewspapers.  Check the links below, and use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).    

                                                • Charities:  Robert Palmer’s Almshouse Charity in Sonning, 1815-1958 is held by the BRO (ref. D/QX 24).
                                                • Reading Co-operative Society - records are held by the BRO (ref. D/EX1497). 
                                                • Sports clubs - The BRO hold records of a number of Berkshire sports clubs, see the Berkshire Echo Vol 60 of 2012, Vol 64 of 2013.

                                                Parish Records - see Church Records.

                                                Periodicals

                                                • Berkshire Family Historian is published quarterly by Berkshire FHS for its members.  All issues from its first publication in 1975 are available in their Research Centre and (for members only) online.
                                                  • Berkshire Echo is published quarterly free online by the BRO with articles about their holdings, in particular new additions.  The best way to search the articles seems to be using Google (or similar) and include "Berkshire Echo" (with quotes) in addition to your search terms in the search field.

                                                  Poor Houses, Poor Law etc.

                                                  • Many records are held by the BRO and, where they exist, may contain: lists of inmates, register of Apprentices, register of births, register of deaths, rate books, admission and discharge registers, Board of Guardians' records. A useful source of information on those at the bottom of the social heap.
                                                  • If you are looking for someone who was in a workhouse, it is worth checking if they also appear in the Quarter Sessions records, also held by the BRO
                                                  • For photographs of workhouses, see The Story of Workhouses above and Historical Photographs under History

                                                  Probate Records

                                                  • Explanations about probate and wills are provided by TNA - Pre 1858 and post 1858
                                                  • Post-1858 wills: Indexes to 1858 to 1943 wills and admons for England and Wales (also known as the National Probate Calender) can be viewed on microfiche at the BRO. (A less complete version of the calendar can be viewed on Ancestry.)
                                                  • Pre-1858 Wills: administrations and other probate records will be found in the Record Office holding the documents of the ecclesiastical (church) court where the will was proved:  
                                                    • Berkshire wills and probate documents from the archdiaconal court are held at the BRO.  Those Berkshire documents of the Consistory Court of Salisbury (the diocesan court) can be found at the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre where the catalogue is online searchable.  It contains 105,000 wills and inventories dating from 1540 to 1858 for Wiltshire, Berkshire, parts of Dorset and Uffculme in Devon.
                                                    • Berkshire FHS, in partnership with the BROBerkshire Record Society and OFHS, has published the index all probate documents of the Berkshire Archdeaconry on CD.  Note that this is an index; it does not contain the actual documents but gives all the details necessary to order the records from the BRO.
                                                    • Those Berkshire wills proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury and their associated documents are at TNA.   
                                                    • The National Wills Index - subscription access from Origins.Net.  
                                                    • Also use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).  
                                                    • Probate documents from 'peculiars' (parishes in one archdeaconry or diocese but subject to the religious or lay authority of another archdeacon, bishop or other body or person) may be found elsewhere. 
                                                    • The following Berkshire parishes were 'peculiars' of the Salisbury Diocese: Arborfield, Blewbury, Hurst, Ruscombe, Sandhurst, Sonning & Wokingham, with the Chapels of Upton and Aston Upthorpe. 
                                                    • Probate documents for Hungerford, Langford, Shalbourne, Wantage (early) and West Ilsley can be found at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. 
                                                    • Wills of the few inhabitants of Windsor Castle are kept at The Aerary
                                                    • Berkshire was an archdeaconry in the diocese of Salisbury in the archdiocese of Canterbury until, in 1836, it was moved to the diocese of Oxford. 
                                                  • Transcriptions of some Berkshire wills are available online:
                                                    • OFHS publish transcriptions of mainly Oxfordshire wills, but also some for testators who were born or lived in historic Berkshire.
                                                    • Surrey Plus Wills Index provides an index to the location of some wills from Berkshire, in some cases with online transcripts.
                                                    • Nick Hidden has provided a collection of about 1000 abstracts of probate documents from c1500 to 1858 (when civil probate registries came into being in England & Wales) relating to testators from the neighbourhood of Hungerford and Wantage in Berkshire. There is some spread into Wiltshire and to a lesser degree Hampshire and Oxfordshire. 

                                                  Schools

                                                  • BRO holdings:
                                                    • Research guides listing some of their historical school records.  They are generally subject to a 50-year closure period.  
                                                    • For catalogued records, use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).   
                                                    • Some are un-catalogued, of which some are listed below:  

                                                  Beech Hill Church of England School, 1951-1967 (D/EX 1864); Mrs Bland’s School, Burghfield Common, 1904-1991 (D/EX2082); Bradfield CE Primary School, 1921-2000s (SCH24); Wildmoor Heath (formerly Broadmoor) Primary School, Crowthorne, 1873-2000 (SCH29); Princess Margaret Rose School (formerly St Stephen’s Senior Girls’ School), Clewer, 1889-1983 (SCH8); St Mary’s School, Datchet, 1844-1980s (SCH30); St Nicolas’ Primary School, East Challow (2003/SCH/1 & 21?); Maidenhead Infant School, Brock Lane, 1870-1884 managers’ minutes (D/P 194); Reading schools:  the British Infants School (later a Board School) in Southampton Street, 1870-1907, and George Palmer Infants School, 1907-1996 (2001/SCH/3) (see also The Centenary of the George Palmer School, Daphne Barnes-Phillips); Battle Mixed/Senior/Secondary Modern School, 1891-1968, Wilson Mixed, Central and Senior Schools, 1905-1972, and Meadway Comprehensive, 1972-2001 (2001/SCH/4); and Christchurch C of E Primary School (now New Christ Church CE (VA) School), 1983-2000 (2001/SCH/5); Katesgrove Primary School, Reading 1872-1987 (SCH6); Reading and Earley Board School (later New Town Board School and New Town Secondary Modern School) and Alfred Sutton Secondary Girls’ School, Reading, log books, 1877-1895 and 1949-1973 (D/EX2015); plans for several Reading schools, 1851-1872 (D/EX2009); Reading Teachers’ Centre, 1970-c.1983 (D/EX2081); Battle Primary School, Reading, 1893-2000 (SCH20); Wilson Primary School, Reading, 1904-c.1990s (SCH14); and Churchend School, Tilehurst, 1962-2008 (SCH15); Letcombe Bassett National school, 1864-1926 log books (D/EX 1904); Newbury County Grammar School for Girls, 1950-1961 (D/EX2308); Newbury County Girls’ Grammar School, 1904-2003 (SCH12 and D/EX2060); St Bartholomew’s Grammar School, Newbury, 1945-1975 (SCH11); St Bartholomew’s School, Newbury admission registers, 1975-1998 (2004/SCH/1); St Bartholomew’s [Comprehensive] School, Newbury, 1975- 2001 (SCH13); Winchcombe Junior School, Newbury records, 1950-2005 (SCH2); Winchcombe Infants’ School, Newbury, 1964-1981 (SCH10); Streatley C of E School 1873-2003 (D/EX2127); photographs of Courtenay Lodge School, Sutton Courtenay and Maiden Erlegh School, Earley, 1930s-1950s (D/EX1914); Lambs Lane Council School, Swallowfield 1908-1916 (SCH19); Sir Charles Russell's school, Swallowfield 1873-1908 admissions register (SCH17); St Mary’s Church of England Junior School, Thatcham, formerly Thatcham National School, 1883-2005 (SCH4); Parsons Down Junior School, Thatcham, 1997-2004 (SCH27); West Hendred School admission register, 1904-1966, (SCH1/11/1); St John’s Primary School, Wallingford, 1863-2010 (SCH22); Robert Piggott Church of England Junior School, Wargrave, 1993-2000 log books (2001/SCH/2); Lambrook School, a private preparatory boarding school for boys in Winkfield, 1870-1997 (D/EX1832); Winkfield St Mary’s Church of England School 1943-2003 (SCH18); Ranelagh School, founded as an elementary charity school in Cranbourne by the Earl of Ranelagh in 1709, refounded as a grammar school in new premises in Bracknell in 1908, and since 1981 a comprehensive school (SCH5) and Cranbourne Ranelagh School, Winkfield, 1904-1942 (D/EX1979).

                                                    • School Records at the BRO,  article in Berkshire Family Historian, Dec 2006, Vol 30, page 21.  
                                                    • BRO's album of early 20th century photographs of Berkshire schools (D/EX1964/1), see the Berkshire Echo Vol 62 of 2013 and the links below.
                                                    • The location of archived papers may be listed on the NRA.  
                                                    • Blewbury Charity School: see The Story of Blewbury Charity School, Peter Northeast (Blewbury Local History Group, 1964, 3rd ed with amendments by BLHG, 2007) A4, 30pp. ISBN 978-0-9504794-7-7 
                                                    • Radley College (aka St Peter's College), Radley near Abingdon: 
                                                    • Reading Mechanics Institute: now closed, records are held by the BRO (D/EX1431).
                                                      •  Ryeish Green School, Spencers Wood, see booklet Ryeish Green School by Spencers Wood Local History Group, 2010, A4, 60pp.  See review by Berkshire FHS.
                                                        • University College, Reading (now the University of Reading) was established in 1892.
                                                          • Wikipedia
                                                          • The University of Reading: the first fifty years, Holt, J.C. (Reading, Reading University Press, 1977), is available from Reading Central Library
                                                          • The names of senior staff can often be found in trade directories, see sample pages from a 1915 directory.  
                                                          • The holdings of their archives are described in the relevant sections of this page.  

                                                        Societies

                                                        • Oxfordshire FHS (also covers the northern part of the historical area of Berkshire).
                                                            • For societies covering specialist subjects, see under the related subject sections on this page.

                                                            Statistics

                                                            Taxation

                                                            • Death Duty records kept by TNA have useful genealogical information, often including: the name of the deceased, with address and last occupation, the date of the will, the place and date of probate, and the names, addresses and occupations of the executors, the date of death, and information about the beneficiaries.  See article in Berkshire Family Historian, Dec 2009, Vol 33, page 19.
                                                            • The E179 database by TNA is a searchable index to the "King's Remembrancer, particulars of account and other records relating to lay and clerical taxation", containing detailed information about over 26,000 documents relating to the taxation of lay people in England and Wales between c.1200 and c.1700, which are likely to contain many names. Click here for Berkshire documents.
                                                            • The Hearth Tax was levied between 1662 and 1689 on each householder according to the number of hearths in their dwelling.  
                                                            • Protestations Returns 1641-42:  On the eve of the English Civil War, Parliament ordered that a protestation be made as an oath of allegiance to the King, to Parliament and to the established church. Signed initially by members of Parliament in 1641, the order to take the protestation was later extended to all males in England and Wales over the age of eighteen. The officials of the parish were required to make the oath in front of the Justices of the Peace of the hundred, and then in turn the parish officials administered the oath of loyalty for their parishioners. The returns usually take the form of a list of the names of all of the men in the parish over the age of eighteen who took the protestation. Very occasionally, children and servants are listed, as in the case of Sutton Courtenay; or women took the protestation, as in the case of West Shefford. Those who refused to take the oath also had their names listed. The returns were later used to identify Roman Catholics by their refusal, who were then subject to increased taxation. 
                                                              • BRO has a copy of the Protestation Returns for Berkshire (reference T/A 40) for consultation; the originals are held at the Parliamentary Archives. The returns that survive for Berkshire offer partial but substantial coverage, with most of central Berkshire extant.  
                                                              • See article in Berkshire Family Historian, Sep 2009, Vol 33, page 15.  
                                                              • See article in Vol 31, 2005 of the Berkshire Echo.  
                                                            • Rates (local property tax):  An article in Vol 63, 2013 of the Berkshire Echo explains their history.  The BRO publish this Guide to Rate Books and Valuation Lists (excluding church rates) held by them.  Entries typically include owner’s name, address and type of property, rateable value and amount levied and sometimes the occupier.  Used with other sources, rate books can be useful for: studying all kinds of property, residential, commercial and industrial; filling gaps between the publication of trade directories and censuses; tracing owners and occupiers before 1918 who do not appear in electoral registers;  finding the rough age of a property, its relative value and size, changes to street names and numbering, and the number of occupied houses and tenements in a locality. 

                                                            Town Records

                                                            • Archived town and borough records: 
                                                              • BRO hold the following: Bracknell Development Corporation, Maidenhead Borough, Newbury Borough, Reading Borough 1850-1962 (R/FR1-5), Slough Borough, Windsor Borough, Wokingham Borough.
                                                              • Search also use TNA's Discovery advanced search and include "Berkshire Record Office" in the "Exact word or phrase" field, in addition to your own search term(s).    
                                                              • The location of archived records may be listed on the NRA.  

                                                            Vital Records - see Civil Registration

                                                            Voting Registers

                                                            Workhouses - see Poorhouses