Welcome to the British Columbia Genealogical Society


Researching your own family tree is rewarding – and fun! No matter where in the world your family is from, we can help.

Our members have been researching, preserving and publishing their own family histories and that of British Columbia, Canada’s families since 1971. Our Society’s is 46 years old, and our website is among the first genealogy sites – for 21 years.

Our collective experience and expertise can point you to the best and newest resources on-line and off (not everything is on the Internet) and help you to organize and preserve your family history research, to navigate through confusing documents or contradictory evidence found, and to share your family tree and family stories with others.

Desert Island graphic -http://xkcd.com/731/

Don’t find yourself marooned! Genealogy research is easier and more fun when shared. Desert Island comic, courtesy of Randall Patrick Munroe,
CC BY-NC 2.5, http://xkcd.com/731


The British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) has been on the World Wide Web since 1996.  There’ll always be something new for you here on this website. BCGS Members also have access to a Members’ Only Area.

We welcome new members and visitors and invite you to see what we offer free on-line and at our BCGS Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, BC and at our year round monthly meetings, the second Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm in the Downstairs Hall at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC.

Visit our Research, Walter Draycott Library and Membership sections to see the free resources available to you here which include advice for beginners, free family tree charts, worldwide research links and guides for British Columbia and Canadian genealogy and family history research too.

Do visit the BCGS on Facebook and on Twitter @bcgs_ca And now we are on Pinterest too.

And here is the link to the BCGS mobile site, although if you have a smartphone or other mobile device, you likely can use this website as is ‘on the go’.

BCGS General Meeting – Oct 10th in Burnaby

Old Hastings Mill Store Museum

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 10 October 2018, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church (Lower Hall), 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

Speaker – Lisa Anne Smith – Vancouver author, local historian, curator at the Old Hastings Mill Store Museum.

Her new book is Emily Patterson: The Heroic Life of a Milltown Nurse, published by Ronsdale Press, 2018.

Lisa’s previous books are:
Our Friend Joe: The Joe Fortes Story – co-authored with Barbara Rogers
Vancouver Is Ashes
Travels with St. Roch: A Book for Kids

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments.

Download Directions to the meeting and a map here. (.pdf)

Above: Old Hastings Mill Store postcard, photo Campbell Studio. Image MSC130-5904-01 courtesy of the British Columbia Postcards Collection, a digital initiative of Simon Fraser University Library.

BCGS General Meeting – Sept. 12th – Burnaby


The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 12 September 2018, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church (Lower Hall), 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

Come early for the Annual Harvest Supper which begins at 6 pm. $10. Register at: lynnefletcher @ telus.net

Speaker – Jeannie Vance, Director of the Surrey, BC Family History Centre.

Her topic: New or New to You on FamilySearch.org

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments.

Download Directions to the meeting and a map here. (.pdf)

Learn more about the upcoming Finding Your Roots Conference,all day in Surrey, October 13, 2018. Registration is now open on-line. Free.

BCGS General Meeting – August 8, 2018, Burnaby

Happy BC Day, August 6th!

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 8 August 2018, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church (Lower Hall), 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

Speaker – Sarah Reay, author of The Half-Shilling Curate.

Her book reveals The Rev. Herbert Butler Cowl’s story about his experiences as an Army Chaplain during the Great War, using his letters and other writing. Sara Reay, the author, his granddaughter, researched his World War I experiences in England, France and in Belgium.

For more about the book, see her website: http://www.halfshillingcurate.com

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments.

Download Directions to the meeting and a map here. (.pdf)

BCGS Special Resolution – for the July 11, 2018 General Meeting



A General Meeting of the members of the BC Genealogical Society will take place as described below. Included in the meeting will be consideration of a special resolution to adopt new bylaws for the Society:

Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Location: Danish Lutheran Church at 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby, BC
Time: 7:30 p.m.

The special resolution to come before the membership will be to replace the existing bylaws of the BC Genealogical Society.

The following special resolution will be submitted to the membership for adoption:

“BE IT RESOLVED THAT the BC Genealogical Society’s bylaws be wholly revised, by replacing them in their entirety with the proposed bylaws recommended by the Board of Directors and posted at the meeting.”

The full text of the proposed bylaws is attached, along with a description of changes to the BCGS constitution as mandated by the Province of BC. The existing bylaws and the proposed bylaws will be posted on the BC Genealogical Society website, at bcgs.ca, along with supporting documents.

Dated as of June 1, 2018


Eunice Robinson
President, BC Genealogical Society

From Rob Whitlock, Past President and Chair of the Bylaw Review Committee:

“I know that many BCGS members are not able to attend the monthly meetings in Burnaby when many of the upcoming changes to the constitution and bylaws have been described. The notes following describe the changes to the constitution followed by a complete copy of the proposed bylaws.

The Board of Directors wanted to advise as many members as possible about changes to the BCGS Constitution, which are required by the Province as part of the transition to the new Societies Act.

The constitution of all societies is to include only two sections. In the current BCGS constitution, these are those sections:

“The Constitution of the
hereinafter called “the Society.”

2. The objects of the Society are:
(a) to promote, encourage, and foster the study of genealogy and the performance of original genealogical research, mainly in the Province of British Columbia;
(b) to collect and preserve information, books, manuscripts, typescripts, charts, maps, photographs, microfilms, and related material relevant to such genealogical study and performance;
(c) to encourage and instruct members in the ethical principles, scientific methods and effective techniques of genealogical research;
(d) to publish and distribute books, bulletins, and other printed material as may from time to time be desirable to further the foregoing objects of the Society; and
(e) to raise funds and, in so doing, to accept grants, donations, gifts, legacies, and bequests for any of the foregoing objects and, in accordance with the condition that the Society shall be operated without the purpose of gain for its members, any profits of, or other accretions to the Society shall be used in promoting these objects.”

The following clauses are to become part of the society’s bylaws as directed by the Province:

3. The operations of the Society are to be chiefly carried on in the Province of British Columbia.

4. If upon winding up or dissolution of the Society, there remains after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property whatsoever, that property shall not be paid to or distributed among the Members, but shall be given or transferred to some other Canadian charitable organisation or organisations having cognate or similar objects, provided that such organisation is a charitable organisation within the meaning of the Canada Income Tax Act for the time being in force. Such organisation or organisations shall be determined by a majority of Members attending the first meeting called by the liquidator on the winding up or dissolution of the Society. This provision is unalterable.
No action is required by the membership in terms of the changes to the Constitution, and addition of clauses (3) and (4) will be included in the proposed bylaws to be considered as part of the special resolution at the July 11, 2018 meeting. It should be noted that Clause 4 will then be described as “previously unalterable” and once adopted as part of the bylaws can then be altered.

If anybody has further questions about these changes, please email me at robw.whitlock@gmail.com

Rob Whitlock

The following pages represent the proposed BCGS Bylaws as received and referred to the July 11th meeting by the Board of Directors on May 23, 2018.


1. The proposed Bylaws (Draft 3 .pdf)

2. Notice of special resolution for July 11 meeting 2018 (.docx)

3. Note on Constitutional changes May 24 2018 (.docx)

4. Current BCGS Constitution & By-laws (.pdf)

5. May 9th, 2018 Powerpoint presentation to the general meeting (.pdf)

This article replaces the previous notice posted on June 1, 2018.