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

The British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) has been on the World Wide Web since 1996.  There’ll always be something new for you here.

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’.

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 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. (Please note that we are no longer meeting at the Edmonds Community Centre.)

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

Do visit the BCGS on Facebook and Twitter [@bcgs_ca] too.

BCGS Downtown Vancouver Group meets April 8, 2014

Vancouver Genealogy Group Discussion, Tuesday, April 8, 2014 at  1:00 PM

Vancouver Exhibition and Happyland Entrance

Meet at the Vancouver Public Library,  350 West Georgia St, Vancouver, BC in the Board Breakout Room on the 7th Floor.




Genealogy Discussion – bring your ideas, questions and latest discoveries. It’s a friendly, helpful group. All interested in genealogy and family history are welcome. Check out our Vancouver Genealogy Meetup pages.

The photograph above shows the entrance gate to the Vancouver Exhibition and Happyland on Renfrew St. in 1929. Photographer: Leonard Frank. Courtesy, Vancouver Public Library, Special Collections, VPL 7925.

BCGS General Meeting – April 9, 2014, Burnaby, BC

Reminder: The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 9 April 2014, 7:30 pm, at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

Talk by M. Diane Rogers  - “Only £8 worth of things left” — the case of Henry Parker’s bankruptcy – how his financial woes helped my family history research.

M. Diane Rogers is a Director and Editor and Co-webmistress of the British Columbia Genealogical Society, teaches genealogy and family history, and blogs at CanadaGenealogy, or, Jane’s Your Aunt. She’s been doing her own family research since the 1980s in Canada, the UK and the United States, Sweden and even further afield.

Upcoming BCGS Event:  Early Bird priced tickets are still available for the May 31st BCGS seminar with Audrey Collins from The National Archives of the UK and Geoff Doherty from Australia. The April meeting will be the last chance to buy tickets in person before the price goes up! Tickets are also available by phone or on-line. See all the details on the BCGS 2014 Seminar page and download the brochure.

BCGS Boutique events – 2014

BCGS Boutique - Kelowna ConferenceBCGS Boutique at Kelowna

This year, the BCGS Boutique will be at these special events in British Columbia selling genealogy books, maps, and other aids, including charts and magnifiers, and fun things for genealogists and family historians too. If you are attending any one of these events, have a look at the Boutique’s on-line lists of offerings beforehand. For your convenience, you may contact Cathy Magee to pre-order. In addition, BCGS Boutique items are often featured at Greater Vancouver events, like the BC Highland Games in Coquitlam and the Scandinavian Midsummer Festival in Burnaby in June this year.

  • Qualicum Beach Family History Society’s conference Unlocking the Past in Parksville at Tigh Na Mara on May 24, 2014  - www.qbfhs.ca 
  •  BCGS Seminar with speakers Audrey Collins and Geoff Doherty in Richmond on May 31, 2014 - http://www.bcgs.ca/?page_id=2511
  •  BC Historical Federation’s annual conference and book fair – this year in Cloverdale (Surrey), with the Boutique being on site on Saturday, June 7th -www.bchistory.ca 
  • Harvest Your Family Tree conference in Kelowna in September put on every second year by the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society - http://www.kdgs.ca
  • Finding Your Roots annual conference in October in Surrey put on by the Surrey, Aldergrove and Vancouver Stakes of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. - http://www.findingyourroots.ca

BACKUP Your Data today! It’s World Backup Day

A bonus genealogy tip today – it’s World Backup Day, March 31st, so if you don’t already, arrange to backup your files automatically and regularly! No genealogist or family historian can afford to lose their hard won research or their pictures or other family files.

World Backup Day logo
If you are wondering how to do this, here’s an article one of my favourite techy people, Bob Rankin, just posted that gives advice and some free alternatives for backup - Free Online Backup and Software Options (at AskBobRankin.com – many more useful articles there.)

Note that Bob mentions making sure you have “redundant backups” – multiple copies of your backup(s) stored in different places. Nowadays that often means a backup copy on an external hard drive and a copy on-line ‘in the cloud’. This idea  I certainly subscribe to;  I’m a ‘belt and braces’ kind of girl. And yes, I like to keep 2-3 recent backups too, in case there is a technical or other problem with the most recent one.

Mitochondrial DNA test on sale – only to April 1, 2014

FamilyTree DNA will have its Full Sequence Mitochondrial (MtDNA) Test (or upgrades) on sale for a few days only, starting 28 March 2014.

Genetic genealogist CeCe Moore has an article today about this which includes some thoughts on benefits of MtDNA testing for genealogists.

Family Tree DNA Announces the March mtDNA Madness Sale – The Benefits of Full Mitochondrial DNA Sequencing

While MtDNA is not the first testing recommended for genealogy, you may (like me) ‘just want to know’, or you may have some special research reasons for testing.

To learn more, read FamilyTree DNA’s guide - Understanding Your mtDNA Full Sequence Results

Diahan Southard gave a talk at Rootstech 2014 - Magnifying your Maternal Line With Mitochondrial DNA. This was not filmed but her handout is on-line which has some hints. Look for “Session: RT1218 - RT1218_Southard.pdf” on this Rootstech 2014 Syllabus page or in the Syllabus .zip file if you’ve already downloaded it.


Scrapbooking Presentation, April 24, 2014, BCGS Library

Preserving Your Memories – Scrapbooking

Are you interested in learning how to preserve your heritage photos and stories by scrapbooking? If so, an Introductory Presentation will be held at the BCGS Library, in the Boardroom, on Thursday, April 24, 2014 from 1:00 pm to 2:30 pm.

The Presenter will be Donna Mary Schulte. She has over 20 years of experience in scrapbooking and has created her own Heritage Book – which is quite wonderful! During this Introductory Presentation, Donna Mary will discuss her product line, and the steps the participants will learn in the subsequent 4 actual ‘scrapbooking’ sessions, along with the cost of the 4 sessions.

The 4 scrapbooking sessions would be held in the Board Room of the BCGS Library, on Thursday, from 12:00 noon to 2:30 pm. Dates: May 8th, May 22nd, June 5th, and June 26th.
For the Introductory Presentation on April 24th, space is limited, so please email Eunice Robinson at eunice@dccnet.com or Lorraine Irving at lorraine.irving42@gmail.com to register.

Any questions, please email Eunice at eunice@dccnet.com or phone 604-596-2811.