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. 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’.

November 11, 2015 BCGS General Meeting – Military Memories

Continuing on our usual military theme for our November meeting, this year we would like to invite our members to share the stories and/or adventures of their family members. If you would like to participate and share one of your family’s military experiences, please let Eunice know at eunice@dccnet.com – each presentation to be between 8-10 minutes.

BCGS Editor’s Chat, Sept 30, 2015

News and views on genealogy, especially in British Columbia. The chat is coming up Wednesday, 30 September, at 7 pm, Pacific time, right here at www.bcgs.ca

Ooops! Somehow I gave the wrong date for the Genealogy Do-Over start – it is this Friday as I said, but Friday 2 Oct. 2015 (not Oct. 9 as I said). Here’s a weblink with all the info: http://ow.ly/SRo7j

BCGS Boutique Maps available as of September 2015

As of September 2015, the BCGS Boutique has the maps in the chart below available. These are all now $5.00 each. Contact the Boutique or ask at a BCGS meeting or event.

There are several different types and series included.

Caledonian Books map series show land masses, contours, landmarks, bodies of water, towns, etc.
David & Charles maps
Discovery Series contour maps show roads, rivers, coasts, etc. Legend in English and 3 other languages.
Godfrey maps show property lines and owners, streets, rails, elevation, buildings.
Landranger maps
Phoenix maps show coasts, rivers, lakes, land cover, roads, railways, canals, large buildings and clustered settlements, counties, baronies, and parishes.
Survey maps show property boundaries and owners, roads, railways, buildings, rivers, coasts, some land use, some shaded contours.

BCGS Boutique - Maps available as of Sept. 2015

wdt_IDSeriesCountryCountyCode #Title or CityEdition / Date
wdt_IDSeriesCountryCountyCode #Title or CityEdition / Date
1 0,00
2 Caledonian Books Scotland Dumfries & Galloway 3,00 Stranraer, including Cairn Ryan, Drummore, Kirkcolm, Kirkmaiden, Mull of Galloway, New Luce, Port Logan, Port Patrick, Sandhead, Stoneykirk 1st ed'n revised to 1896
3 Caledonian Books Scotland Dumfries & Galloway 4,00 Wigtown, including Creetown, Garliestown, Glunluce, Kirkcowan, Kirinner, Newton Stewart, Port William, Sorbie 1st ed'n revised to 1896
4 Caledonian Books Scotland South Ayrshire 8,00 Carrick, including Barr, Barrhill, Carsphiarn, Garroch, Glen Trool, Loch Doon, Loch Ochiltree, Penkill 1st ed'n revised to 1896
5 Caledonian Books Scotland Dumfries & Galloway 9,00 Maxwelltown & Thornhill including Balmaclellan, Carron Bridge, Closeburn, Dalry, Duncow, Glenlee, Loch Ken, Moniave, New Galloway, Springholm 1st ed'n revised to 1896
6 Caledonian Books Scotland Dumfries & Galloway 11,00 Langholm including Canonbie, Glencartholm, Kirstile, New Castleton 1st ed'n revised to 1896
7 Caledonian Books Scotland Argyll & Bute 12,00 Campbeltown including Kilkenzie, Mull of Kintyre, Sanda Island, Sgreadan Hill, Southend 1st ed'n revised to 1896
8 Caledonian Books Scotland North Ayrshire 13,00 Island of Arran including Brodick, Lamlash, Lochranza, Whiting Bay 1st ed'n revised to 1896
9 Caledonian Books Scotland South Lanarkshire 15,00 Leadhills including Abington, Afton Water, Crawfordjohn, Durisdeer, Kello Water, Kirkconnel, Muirkirk, New Cumnock, Sanquhar, Wanlockhead 1st ed'n revised to 1896
10 Caledonian Books Scotland Argyll & Bute 20,00 Killean including Ardtalla, Carradale, Clachan, Gigha Island, Glenbarr, Grgport, Saddell 1st ed'n revised to 1896

BCGS Journal Theme – December 2015 – “My Relative Was A ____________”

Our December 2015 theme offers writers a great deal of latitude. Want to write about someone who was a blacksmith or a milliner? Or a suffragette or an orator, a British Home Child, or even a forger or a bigamist?

Any length is acceptable. Journal deadline is November 9, 2015. Please contact the Editor if you have questions or ideas to discuss. editor @ bcgs.ca

The BCGS Research links on this website include Occupations. (If you have new links to suggest for this section, please e-mail webmaster @ bcgs.ca )

To start you off with some ideas, here is Marianne Soltau’s index to a series on ‘Old Occupations’ in the Family Tree Magazine (UK). These magazines are all available in our Library, as are many other related books and articles.

Old Occupations Article Index - Family Tree Magazine (UK)

1 Maltster 01/03/1989
2 Potter 01/04/1989
3 Toll-Gate Keeper 01/05/1989
4 Fisherman 01/06/1989
5 Customs Officer 01/08/1989
6 Strawplaiter 01/10/1989
7 Pugilist 01/12/1989
8 Weaver 01/01/1990
9 Frame Work Knitter (FWK) 01/02/1990
10 Frame Work Knitter (FWK) 01/03/1990

October Classes – Scottish & Canadian Prairies

The Scottish Group, with George Caldwell, will be meeting at the October 14, 2015 General Meeting, so bring your research questions or answers and share.

For our Canadian researchers, we will focus on the Prairies – Judith Ueland and Brenda Smith will facilitate this session.  Brenda will be sharing her summer research in Saskatchewan.

BCGS General Meetings are the second Wednesday of each month 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC.