BCGS General Meeting CANCELLED Feb. 8 & Walter Draycott Library – Holiday and Snow Closures


NOTE** The BCGS Library will NOT be open Thursday, February 9th. Please check here before visiting this month or call the Library at 604 502 9119 to confirm.

Due to weather conditions, the BCGS GENERAL MEETING, scheduled for the evening of February 8, 2017 was CANCELLED.

And the BCGS Library was NOT open Tuesday, February 7th. Please check here before visiting this month or call the Library at 604 502 9119 to confirm.

The Library was not open Saturday, February 4th, Thursday, January 5th and Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017. The BCGS Walter Draycott Library was closed for the holidays from 3 pm, Saturday December 17th, 2016 and reopened January 7th.

BCGS members may take home circulating books and journals to read so come in this week with your holiday genealogy and family history reading list or browse the shelves for new items.


And please remember, if it snows at any time, the Library is closed. Call to confirm if in doubt – 604 502 9119.

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 -

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,


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’.

Dave Obee – Keynote Speaker Announced – BCGS Seminar – June 9-11, 2017

 Dave Obee, Keynote Speaker, 2017 BCGS Seminar.

Dave Obee will be the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar’s Keynote Speaker, Friday, June 9th, 2017.

Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997.

He is Editor-in-Chief of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972.

He is a member of the Board of Canada’s History Society, which publishes Canada’s History, the magazine formerly known as The Beaver, and Kayak, which is a history magazine for children, as well as related websites.

Dave is a columnist for Internet Genealogy magazine and Your Genealogy Today magazine, formerly Family Chronicle. Dave has also written about family history for Canada’s History as well as Your Family Tree in the United Kingdom.

In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Laws by the University of Victoria for his work as a historian, genealogist and journalist. In 2014 he was presented with the Governor General’s Caring Canadian award for his work as a community volunteer.

In 2012, the British Columbia Historical Federation named Dave’s 2011 book, The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia, as one of the top three examples of historical writing in the province. It is a comprehensive look at library service and development over the past two centuries. In 2009, the Federation awarded Dave a Certificate of Appreciation “for his many contributions to British Columbia History”. The certificate says that Dave “has researched, spoken, written, campaigned, lobbied and published the province’s heritage.

Dave has also received a Certificate of Recognition from Heritage BC for his work on the British Colonist website which features 60 years of the leading newspaper in Victoria. The website was based on an idea hatched by Dave and university professors John Lutz and Patrick Dunae. This site makes a top resource available to researchers around the world.

Dave was the recipient of the B.C. Library Association’s Keith Sacre Library Champion Award for 2010/2011; this is the association’s top award for non-librarians. This honoured his research into the history of libraries in British Columbia. In 2016 Dave received a Heritage Advocate award from North Vancouver District in recognition of his work on the history of the District’s library system, published in 2014 as Fifty! With a Fabulous Future.

More about the 2017 BCGS Seminar

CANCELLED – BCGS General Meeting – Feb. 8, 2017, 7:30 pm Burnaby

CANCELLED – DUE to the weather, this General Meeting for Feb. 8, 2017 has been CANCELLED.

McGavin's Bakery dance, 1946, Vancouver

McGavin’s Bakery employees dance, 1946, Vancouver. See below for more information

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 8 February 2017, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

Two sessions:

Topic: England – Beyond BMDs and Censuses

The speaker will be Erica Williams, BCGS Member and President of the Maple Ridge Historical Society.

Erica will look at a variety of other records such as the differences between county records from Wales and BMD records, electoral rolls, actual church records, cemeteries, some school admission records and the 1939 Register. And she will discuss how to use maps for context.

Topic: “Just Ask Us” Local Historians & Family Historians

The presenter will be Eunice Robinson, BCGS Education Chair and President of the Sea Island Heritage Society.

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments available.

If you have not already renewed, or would like to join the BCGS, please see the Membership Committee at the meeting, or you may renew or join and pay on-line at the BCGS Membership page.

Meeting location – printable map and directions

Group meetings coming up this month at the BCGS Library, 211-12837 76th Avenue Surrey, BC

Saturday, 11 February, 10:00 – 12:00 Quebec Group meets.

Saturday, 18 February, 10:00 – 12:00 Scottish Group meets.

Tuesday, 21 February, 13:00 – 15:00 DNA Group – topic DNALand. (updated 6 Feb)

Saturday, 25 February, 13:00 – 15:00 First Nations Group meets.

And elsewhere

Tuesday, 14 February, 13:00 – 15:00 the Downtown Vancouver Genealogy Discussion Group meets at the Central Branch, Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia.

Saturday, 18 February, 13:00 – 15:00 the Scandinavian Group meets at the Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas St., Burn­aby.

The photo above is one of a few from a McGavin’s Bakery employees dance in Vancouver, 1946. On the walls are historical Company photos. Recognize anyone? Do let us know. Courtesy of the City of Vancouver Archives, AM1545-S3-: CVA 586-4834. Photographer Don Coltman, of Steffens-Colmer Studios Ltd.

BCGS General Meeting – January 11th, 2017 – 7:30 pm Burnaby


Vintage New Year’s postcard, courtesy of Dave, riptheskull, at Flickr. (CC BY-ND 2.0).

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 11 January 2017, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

The speaker will be Peter Claydon.

Peter’s topic will be the newly released GRO (United Kingdom – England and Wales) database searches that include mother’s surnames prior to 1911 and ages of death prior to 1878. He will include how to search as well as problems in searching and database errors. Peter will make use of internet access for this talk and he will take us through the actual online database.

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments available.

If you have not already renewed, or would like to join the BCGS, please see the Membership Committee at the meeting, or you may renew or join and pay on-line at the BCGS Membership page.

Meeting location – printable map and directions

Coming up this month at the BCGS Library

Tuesday, 24 Jan. 2017, the Legacy Family Tree software group meets from 1-3 pm.

Saturday, 28 Jan 2017, The First Nations group meets from 1-3 pm. Please let Alice Marwood know if you plan to attend – 604 582-1548.

BCGS Library – 211-12837 76th Avenue Surrey, BC

BCGS Mailed Renewals – please check the postal code

Some may have received BCGS Application or Renewal forms with an incorrect BCGS postal code.

The mailing address of the Society is:

P.O. Box 88054,
Lansdowne Mall,
Richmond, BC, CANADA
V6X 3T6

If you’d like to pay on-line instead of mailing your renewal or application, please go to our Membership page to pay with PayPal. You do not need to have a PayPal account.

If you have any questions, please e-mail the BCGS at