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.

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 available to you here which include advice for beginners, free family tree charts, worldwide research links and guides for British Columbia genealogy and family history research too.

Do visit the BCGS on Facebook and on Twitter @bcgs_ca

BCGS Sept 2014 journal – World War I issue – deadline August 11, 2014

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French_class-Vernon_military_Camp-1916-BC_CanadaYMCA French class, Vernon military camp, 1916, British Columbia, Canada. Courtesy City of Vancouver Archives, AM54-S4-: Mil P192.2, Major Matthews collection.

The fall 2014 issue of The British Columbia Genealogist will feature articles about World War I.

Just a reminder that the deadline is 11 August 2014. If enough articles are received, the December journal will also be about World War I. Click this link for more about The British Columbia Genealogist, including queries and advertising.

Topics do not need to be about the military or about British Columbia or Canada either, but they must relate to World War I.

Please e-mail the BCGS Editor if any questions or suggestions: editor @bcgs.ca or call the BCGS Library and leave a message for the Editor: 604 502 9119.

World War I – BCGS-VPL session, July 7, 2014 – handouts

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Over the next few days, the handouts and some additional resources will be posted here from the BCGS – VPL session on researching the British Empire’s World War I military held at Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch, 7 July 2014.  Watch for more here soon.

WWI British Empire Military – Genealogy & Family History – BCGS-VPL- July 2014-handout by M. Diane Rogers (.pdf)

World War I – UK Genealogy Research by Susan Snalam (.pdf)

And you can see the VPL-Bibliocommons lists here- with direct links to the VPL books and some of the websites cited at the session. (Many of these books are at the BCGS Library too.)  Continue reading

BCGS July 9, 2014 – General Meeting Reminder

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July 9, 2014 BCGS General Meeting

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

Two Group Sessions -
Genealogy 101 – Cemeteries with Lorraine Irving
Scottish Group

Upcoming Events -

BCGS Library Week – Free access to the BCGS Library in Surrey, BC. Bring family, friends and neighbours. Telephone: 604 502 9119 Address: Unit 211, 12837 – 76th Avenue, Surrey, BC.

BCGS Walter Draycott Library Open House, Sunday, July 13th, 2 to 4 pm. Refreshments.

BCGS Walter Draycott Library Week – Monday, July 14 to Saturday, July 19, 10 am to 3 pm each day. More details on daily talks, etc.on this BCGS Annual Library Week page.

BCGS Research Tip – July 2014

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Happy Canada Day from the British Columbia Genealogical Society!

This month’s British Columbia Genealogical Society’s research tip is:

Learn how names were (and are) pronounced ‘correctly’; say them out loud (or find a native speaker to do that), then use the sound to help you locate indexed variations. (Works with place names too.)

This can be a helpful idea no matter where your family is from. To give you an idea, here’s a list of English surname pronunciations from a little book called Everybody’s Pocket Companion, Fifth Edition, compiled by A Mercer, M.R.S.T. (Page 50, no date, private collection).

Two of these surnames will be familiar to news hounds and mystery watchers,  but do you have one of these names in your tree?  Continue reading

Researching the British Empire’s WWI Military – BCGS – VPL talk – July 7, 2014, Vancouver

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Indian_Troops_for_France-1914

 Indian Troops for France. C.W. Faulkener and Sons Co., Ltd. World War I postcard, mailed 1914 to Cowichan Station, British Columbia, Canada.

Researching the British Empire’s WWI Military – at Vancouver Public Library (VPL), Central Branch. Free. A BC Genealogical Society presentation given in partnership with the Vancouver Public Library.

Monday, 7 July, 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM

Did someone in your family have ties to the British Empire’s military during WW I?

Join BC Genealogical Society members and find out how to research British Empire military records.

Alma VanDusen & Peter Kaye Rooms, Lower Level
Central Library, Vancouver Public Library, 350 West Georgia Street

For more information please contact: VPL Programming and Learning Services at info@vpl.ca at 604 331-3603 or see the event listing at the VPL website: www.vpl.ca

Scotties_clean_up-WWWI-postcardScotties Have A Clean Up After A Spell In the Trenches, World War i,                      Y.M.C.A. Hut Fund postcard.