Welcome to the British Columbia Genealogical Society

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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’s families since 1971. In 2011, our Society celebrated its 40th anniversary.

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’.

Nelson BC Memorial Cemetery CD – brand new

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Nelson_BC_Memorial_Cemetery-viewNelson Memorial Cemetery view, British Columbia, Canada

The BCGS has just published the Nelson BC Memorial Cemetery CD. This CD contains transcriptions done by Audrey and Henry E. Stevenson along with some photographs and other images from the cemetery and headstones.

The cemetery CD index has over 6500 names listed.

Now for sale – BCGS Cemetery Publication #C120. $20.00

Contact the BCGS Cemetery Committee at cemeteries@bcgs.ca or 604 502 9119 (Surrey BC) to order your copy.

Nelson BC Cemetery CD poster

See the BCGS Cemetery Committee page or the BCGS Publications page for more information.

DNA Group News – 2014 Intl. Genetic Genealogy Conference videos available

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BCGS DNA Group Update, 22 September 2014

The next BCGS DNA-Genetic Genealogy Group meeting will be 25 November 2014, 1 pm at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library. Contact the Facilitator for more information, e-mail: bcgs @ bcgs.ca

The Institute for Genetic Genealogy has now available for purchase videos of 27 presentations from the 2014 International Genetic Genealogy Conference held in August in Maryland, USA.
Access to all 27 videos is $50, or access to individual videos is $4 each. Presentations are noted as beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
See Your Genetic Genealogist by CeCe Moore for details: http://www.yourgeneticgenealogist.com/2014/09/videos-from-i4gg-conference-are-now.html

Genome British Columbia‘s recent newsletter, Signals, focuses on personal genomics, including family history. A very positive look at the experiences of several researchers exploring their personal DNA. http://www.genomebc.ca/flip/Summer2014.html
Genome British Columbia is described as “a catalyst for the life sciences cluster on Canada’s West Coast, and manages a cumulative portfolio of over $660M in 211 research projects and science and technology platforms.”  For more about Genome BC, its activities and partners, and its education materials on-line, see www.genomebc.ca

“DNA 101: The Secret’s in the Science”, September 16, 2014, was written by CeCe Moore about her role on the new second series of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr.‘s Finding Your Roots PBS television show. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots/blog/dna-101-dispatches-finding-roots-lab/#.VBp1FDvxiTE.twitter

Richard Hill has updated his very useful “Guide to DNA Testing”. It’s available free to download from his website, DNA Testing Advisor, in the DNA Testing Update section, 2 August 2014. http://www.dna-testing-adviser.com/dna-testing-blog.html

Brick Walls 2 Seminar! Saturday, November 1, 2014 – Surrey BC

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**Tickets for the Seminar are still available, but One-On-One Brick Wall Consultations are going quickly.  Call Susan Snalam now at 604 273 8209 to reserve your tickets.**

Brick Walls Seminar 2 – Sharing Strategies on Tough Genealogy Problems

with M. Diane Rogers, Brenda L. Smith, and Peter Whitlock, plus guest speaker Eunice Robinson.

Co-sponsors: British Columbia Genealogical Society and the Cloverdale Library (Surrey Libraries).

BCGS-Brick_Wall_2
Saturday, November 1, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Charge: $20 (includes food)
Additional charge of $10 for 1-on-1 meeting with an Expert

 

Another brick in the wall! One of our most successful programs ever is back. Our experts, Diane, Brenda, and Peter, return to share their thoughts on overcoming difficult Family History challenges.

The panel members will then individually meet attendees who have submitted questions in advance for 1-on-1 fifteen minute consultations. While this is happening special guest speaker Eunice Robinson will give a talk on planning a trip to Salt Lake City.

There will be an end-of-the-day wrap-up plus lots of opportunities to ask questions and share experiences!

A delicious light meal and refreshments will be provided. And there are great door prizes for lucky participants, including a year’s subscription to FindMyPast.com and a year’s membership in the BC Genealogical Society!

Contact the BCGS for details and tickets: bcgs@bcgs.ca or call Susan Snalam at 604 273 8209. BCGS tickets available in person at meetings as of August, 2014. Pay at a meeting in person or on-line below with PayPal. We will ask for your phone number and an e-mail address, if applicable. These will only be used in case we need to contact you about this Seminar.

1-on-1 questions need to be paid for and submitted in advance. You will be asked ahead of time for a brief description of your Brick Wall; a form will be provided to you for this purpose.  Contact the BCGS as above for details.


Brick Wall Seminar



On the Brick Walls Seminar day there will be an extended free orientation of the Cloverdale Library Family History Collection, Saturday, November 1 from 10:30 – noon. Please register separately with Cloverdale Library if you are interested in attending the orientation. Cloverdale Library has an extensive collection of Canadian genealogical materials and offers free access to several on-line databases.

BCGS BC Brick Wall #2 above – do you recognize this wall? Hint: you can get a good cup of coffee there.

Cemetery Tours – Burnaby & Vancouver – Sept 2014

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MOUNTAIN VIEW CEMETERY, VANCOUVER – HORNE 1 AND 2,  WALKING TOUR

Join Lorraine Irving from the BC Genealogical Society for a walking tour of the cemetery’s highest sections, Horne 1 and 2. Enjoy a fantastic view of downtown Vancouver and the mountains. You’ll hear about a soldier who fought in the Riel Rebellion that’s buried near the WW1 cenotaph, a survivor of the Titanic, and more.

Sunday, September 14, 2014 2-3:30 pm. Free.

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THE EVOLUTION OF CHINESE GRAVES AT BURNABY’S OCEAN VIEW CEMETERY

A walking tour with historian Maurice Guibord

Sat., September 27, 2014, 1-2 pm. Meet inside the cemetery entrance at corner of Imperial St. & Patterson Ave.  Call Maurice Guibord, Vancouver, 604-253-9311 Cell 604-771-3047

Free, followed by coffee on site, courtesy of the cemetery management.

Wear comfortable walking shoes, as this tour entails a fair bit of walking.

Around 1919, Burnaby’s Ocean View Cemetery created a burial section on its perimeter as far from its entrance as one could walk, in order to meet the needs of non-Europeans seeking internment of their deceased. This small segregated plot was named Mongolia, one of the racist epithets designating Asians during that period. You will see buried there, side by side, the well-known Vancouverite Won Alexander Cumyow, and Ross Hendrix, later made famous by his Vancouver-raised grandson, guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

This measure was but a symptom of the racism exercised well into the 1960s in cemeteries in the British Empire, a reflection of the racial climate experienced in the day-to-day life of non-whites.

At Ocean View, you will see the evolution of this approach to burial over a century, from segregated plots to accommodating sections in mausoleums, and to sections catering largely to the Chinese community, where feng-shui stipulations and family estates lay a new claim to identity for this community. You will witness the effects of trans-Pacific political decisions that dramatically reformed centuries-held traditions such as the removal of remains back to China, to the advent of reverse migration of remains from China to North America.

World War I Walking Tours – Vancouver BC

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The Heritage Vancouver Society is offering World War I walking tours this month and in October.

Tickets are on sale now. Click the links below or go to the Society’s website:http://www.heritagevancouver.org/index.htm

Remembering WW1: The Vancouver Homefront

September 14: WW1: Walking Tour: A Soldier’s Journey, Home Front to Front Line

October 5: WW1: The Homefront – Our Town, WW1 Activities in South Hill

October 8: WW1: Behind the Scenes at Beatty Street Drill Hall