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, 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 – May 10, 2017 – Burnaby

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 10 May 2017, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments available.

Tickets for our 2017 Seminar “Celebrating Our Canadian Ancestors”, June 9-11 in Burnaby and Coquitlam, are now available at meetings, by e-mail, phone, or on-line with PayPal. You do NOT need to be a PayPal customer to use a credit card to pay with PayPal.
See all the Seminar and registration details with payment options here.

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 and chats coming up in April-May – at the BCGS Library unless otherwise stated

April 29 – Ireland, 1-3 pm.
April 29 – “Ask Us” session, 10 am-noon.
May 6 – England – 10 am-noon.
May 10 – Mac/Reunion Group – at the Danish Church before the BCGS General Meeting.
May 13 – Quebec Questors – 10 am-noon & 1-3 pm.
May 17 – Welsh Group – 10:30 am-12:30 at the Cambrian Hall in Vancouver.
May 20 – Scandinavian Group – 1-3 pm at the Scandinavian Centre in Burnaby.
May 23 – Legacy Family Tree User’s Group – 1-3 pm – A look at Legacy 9!
May 27 – Beginners Computer Chat & Canada – 10-noon & 1-3 pm.

BCGS Annual Seminar, Friday June 9 to Sunday June 11 in Coquitlam and in Burnaby, Friday evening and New Westminster, Sunday (Fraser Cemetery tour).

See the BCGS at these other events – or volunteer to help. See our Events page and the BCGS Calendar page for more details and links.

Abbotsford Family History Day – April 29, 2017 in Abbotsford.
BC Historical Federation Conference – May 25-28 in Chilliwack. Inlcudes a genealogy workshop with BCGS members.
Highland Games and Scottish Festival, June 17, 2017 in Coquitlam.
Scandinavian Midsummer Festival, June 17 & 18 in Burnaby.

Tickets available for BCGS Seminar 2017! Celebrating Our Canadian Ancestors

Tickets are available for our 2017 Seminar, June 9-11 in Metro Vancouver, featuring these engaging and experienced genealogy speakers at British Columbia`s largest Seminar this season.

Dave Obee
Claire Smith-Burns
Mary Read
Zenia Stanford
Susanne Sulzberger

Whether you are just beginning your family tree, researching your Canadian families, thinking about adding DNA to your family history tools, or looking beyond Canadian sources for records from overseas, you will find family history answers at our Canada 150 Seminar – Celebrating Our Canadian Ancestors.

All the Seminar details are on our Canada 150 Seminar page, including speakers biographies, topics, locations, as well as Saturday`s schedule and registration and payment information.

Come for the full 3 days or for Saturday only. Invite a friend or family member to attend too.

For registration, contact Susan Snalam now at domers273@gmail.com or 604 273 8209.

Register with cash, cheque, or Visa by contacting Susan or click to pay with PayPal on the BCGS Canada 150 Seminar page. Tickets will also be available at BCGS meetings.

BCGS Walter Draycott Library closed Sat. April 22, 2017 – Irish chat rescheduled

The BCGS Library will be closed all day Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 due to local traffic restrictions for Surrey’s Vaisakhi Parade that day.

The Irish Chat scheduled on the 22nd with Irish Group facilitator Eunice Robinson has been moved to Saturday, April 29th instead, from 1-3 in the afternoon.

The “Ask Us” session will still be in the morning, 10-noon, Saturday, April 29th.

BCGS General Meeting – April 12th, 2017 – 7:30 pm in Burnaby

Europe-in-1648-UofTexasLibraries

“Europe in 1648.-Peace of Westphalia, published 1884. See below for a description. Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 12 April 2017, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

There will be a short business meeting, then groups will meet, including

European Group – discuss tips and tools for navigating research in unfamiliar areas and languages. Bring info on a favourite website for European research!
English group – Erica Williams will present England – Beyond BMDs and Censuses. She will look at a variety of records, including those from Wales, and discuss the use of maps to add context.

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments available.

Tickets for our 2017 Seminar “Celebrating Our Canadian Ancestors”, June 9-11 in Burnaby and Coquitlam, are now available at meetings, by e-mail, phone, or on-line with PayPal. See all the Seminar and registration details with payment options here.

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 and chats coming up in April at the BCGS Library unless otherwise stated

April 8, 2017, Saturday – Quebec, 10 am to noon.
April 9, 2017, Sunday – POSTPONED – DNA – looking at Mitochondrial DNA, 1 to 3 pm. Contact Diane Rogers diane_rogers@shaw.ca re dates.
April 11, 2017, Tuesday – Downtown Vancouver Genealogy Group, 1pm – 3pm at the Central Branch, Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia, Vancouver.
April 15, 2017, Saturday – European Research Day, 10 am to 3 pm. Meet from 1-3 pm in the Board Room.
April 15, 2017, Saturday – Scandinavian Group, 1pm – 3pm at the Scandinavian Community Centre, 6540 Thomas St., Burn­aby.
April 15, 2017, Saturday – Scotland, note* in the Board Room 10am-noon.
April 22, 2017, Saturday – BCGS Library closed due to all day street closures for parade.
April 29, 2017, Saturday – (POSTPONED from April 22) – Ireland, 1 to 3 pm.
April 29, 2017, Saturday – Ask Us” session, 10 am to noon.

The map above depicts “Europe in 1648.-Peace of Westphalia; showing especially

  • (a,) The Possessions of the two branches of the house of Habsburg at the end of the Thirty Years War (purple).
  • (b,) The possessions of the house of Hohenzollern, (union of Prussia with Brandeburg [blue.]).
  • (c,) The Swedish Empire on both shores of the Baltic and in Northern Germany.
  • (d,) The Danish Monarchy, Denmark, Norway, and Schonen.
  • (e,) The British isles, with the battle-fields of the civil wars.
  • (f,) France, with the battle-fields of the civil wars [red].
  • (g,) Germany with the battle-fields of the Thirty Years War.
  • (h,) The republic of Poland in its greatest extent.
  • (i,) The Western Boundary of Russia.

From “An Historical Atlas Containing a Chronological Series of One Hundred and Four Maps, at Successive Periods, from the Dawn of History to the Present Day.” by Robert H. Labberton. Sixth Edition. 1884.” Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection.