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 Membership New & Renewals 2017

BCGS Membership renewals and new memberships are being accepted for 2017 (not 2018 as the original July 2017 Meeting Reminder said).

To pay new or renewal memberships on-line, please use the PayPal option on the BCGS Membership page. To add a donation, please see the Donation section on that page.

Mailed membership applications should be sent to the BCGS at the Richmond. BC mailing address:
P.O. Box 88054, Lansdowne Mall, Richmond, BC, CANADA, V6X 3T6

or see the Membership Committee members at their table at a BCGS General Meeting.

Please make out cheques to the British Columbia Genealogical Society.

Reach the Membership Committee by e-mail at membership@bcgs.ca or contact Marilyn Ponting, Membership Chair at 604 588 2784

BCGS General Meeting – July 12, 2017 – European & Scottish groups meet

Cemetery-Bagolino-Italy-2013

Old cemetery, Bagolino, Italy, 2013.
Photographer, Riccardo Palazzani, Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).

The next BC Genealogical Society’s general meeting will be Wednesday, July 12, 2017, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church in Burnaby, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC.

Two research groups meet after the business meeting:

European group – talks on research in Italy & France & other topics, depending on group suggestions. On Saturday, July 15th, there will also be a European Research Day at the BCGS Library in Surrey, Unit 211, 12837 – 76th Avenue from 10 am to 3 pm. Group meeting 1-3 pm. Library – 604 502 9119

Scottish group – talk on cemeteries and monumental inscriptions; then general discussion.

Click for Directions and Map (printable)

All interested are very welcome to attend.

BCGS Librarians Honoured by BC Historical Federation

Each year, the British Columbia Historical Federation (BCHF) awards Certificates of Recognition to individual members of BCHF Member Societies who have given exceptional service to their organization or community either for a specific project or for long service in the preservation of British Columbia’s history.

The Award of Recognition, presented to BCGS Library Administrator Betty Allen, at the BCHF Conference Banquet, Saturday, May 27th, 2017 at the Coast Hotel in Chilliwack, acknowledges the efforts of the librarians who have created and served the BC Genealogical Society’s library from 1971 to the present. Over a period of 46 years, the librarians have guided the society and grown one of the province’s premier genealogical libraries.

Shannon Bettles, the Federation’s Recognition Committee Chair said,

“Congratulations on your Award of the British Columbia Historical
Federation’s Certificate of Recognition. Your interest and activities in preserving and promoting British Columbia’s colourful history is very much appreciated.”

 The BC Genealogical Society’s Library Heads listed from 1971 are:

1971-72 Joanne Hughes – first official BCGS Librarian – Sept 1971
1972-73 Maureen Hyde
1973-75 Alice Marwood
1975-76 Merle Smith
1976-77 Mary Elizabeth Davidson and Mary Hardy Knox
1977-84 Alice Marwood
1984-87 Beryl Hoeppner
1987-1990 Valerie Melanson
1990-91 Ruth Blue
1991-97 Tom and Margaret Steele
1997-2003 Barbara Monasch
2004 –  Betty Allen

Maureen Hyde, one of BCGS’s very first librarians, was also at the Banquet. Four BCGS-BCHF members supported the nomination, Jacqueline Gresko, Cathy Magee, M. Diane Rogers, and Brenda M. Smith. Jacqueline, Diane and Brenda were present at the banquet, as were BCGS members Ron Hyde, Kenneth Livingstone, BCGS First Vice-President, and Erica Williams. Alice Marwood’s years of service to the BCHF were remembered at the Federation’s AGM “In Memoriam”.

Learn more about the history of the BC Genealogical Society Library, in 1996 named as the Walter Draycott Memorial Library – read Sylvia Pencer’s article on-line “The History of the B. C. G. S. Resource Library” (2005).

The BCGS Walter Draycott Memorial Library in Surrey, BC, is open year round, 3 days a week, to members and other researchers. See the Library’s main webpage for details, catalogues, etc.

Read about all the BC Historical Federation’s 2017 Awards and see conference photos at the Federation’s website www.bchistory.ca

BCGS Family History Book Awards – 2016 Winners

The BC Genealogical Society announced the winners of the 2016 Family History Book Awards tonight at the annual Book Award Presentation and Strawberry Tea evening held June 14, 2017 in Burnaby.

First Prize – Tom’s Gray Creek Part II: Years of Change, 1946 to 1980 by Tom Lymbery with Frances Roback (Gray Creek Publishing, 2016). Learn more about Tom and his book in this Nelson Star article

Second Prize – Isolated Burials in the Central Okanagan with Genealogies and Local History by Susan D. Campbell and Robert Michael Hayes (Kelowna and District Genealogical Society, 2016). Read about this project at the Kelowna Daily Courier

Third Prize – Ootsa Lake Odyssey: George and Else Seel – A Pioneer Life on the Headwaters of the Nechako Watershed by Jay Sherwood (Caitlin Press, 2016). See more about the book at BC BookLook – review by Sage Birchwater