Local and family history

Reminiscences groups

Reminiscences groups meet at most of our libraries. Please look at our what's on guide to check what's happening at your local library.

Family history research

You can use the links below to help you research your family history. Alternatively, for more useful links, you can go to the Literati Family History Resources guide.

Title of website Description
Berkshire Family History Society Your local family history society - wherever your ancestors came from
Cyndi's List Website with a large number of links to family history sites worldwide
Family search For locating parish records
Free BMD For locating most birth, marriage and death index references
General Register Office For ordering birth, marriage and death certificates using the index reference
Genuki Reference guide to family history research in the UK
Literati First World War Guide to all about the First World War
Scotland's People Principal website for researching Scottish ancestors (fees may be payable)
The National Archives
Shows details of their holdings and useful research guides/podcasts

Resources only available in the library

These are two family history sites with over 750 million historical records including birth, marriage and death records, military records and 1841 to 1911 census collections. You can use Ancestry and Find my past in all our libraries:

Ancestry Library Edition is a genealogy research tool that provides library patrons with instant access to a wide range of resources for genealogical and historical research. It includes records from the US census; military records; court, land and probate records; vital and church records; directories; petitions for naturalisation; passenger lists and more.

Please note that the ability to save records has also been removed from Find my past because the terminals in the library are shared.

Neither website allows access to the Living Relatives database and the Family Tree maker. You can get an idea of what Ancestry has to offer by going to the Ancestry taster website.

Local archives

The nearest local archives can be found at The Berkshire Record Office in Reading. They look after nearly nine hundred years of Berkshire's history. See The Berkshire Record Office website for more information.

Bracknell High Street - A Snapshot in Time

A snapshot in time is a Bracknell Forest Council exhibition produced in association with the University of the Third Age (U3A) and South Hill Park. The U3A Bracknell Forest Local History and Digital Photography group spent spring 2013 photographing and montaging our current day High Street. The result is a startling contrast as to how the High Street has developed over the course of half a century.

Visit Bracknell Library to see this permanent exhibition of panoramas, accompanied by facts and tales from a High Street gone by.

Local history photographs

Bracknell Forest Library's local studies archive collection of photographs and ephemera is being digitised and the first of the collection are now available to view online on Flickr. To order prints or see the complete collection, please visit Bracknell Central Library.

Bracknell Library also holds a special collection of items on the history of the area. Other libraries have smaller collections of historical information.

What's on guide

Take a look at our what's on directory to find out more about events and activities at your local library.

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