About DRogers

M. Diane Rogers is a Director and Editor and Co-webmistress of the British Columbia Genealogical Society, teaches genealogy and family history year round, 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 further afield. She has a lifelong interest in Canadian and women's history and is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, the Genealogical Speakers Guild and the International Society of Family History Writers and Editors

BC Day! Remember those long ago road trips?


One of the many hidden gems in the BCGS Library is this booklet celebrating the opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway in 1949. I think we often forget how hard transportation to and from BC’s interior was not so long ago and how much of a difference some of these early projects made to towns along the routes.

“British Columbia Presents the Hope-Princeton Highway, November 2nd, 1949” includes messages from the Premier, Byron Johnson, and Minister of Finance, Herbert Anscomb,and the Minister of Public Works, Ernest Carson, but also photos of BC’s Chief Engineer, the various project engineers, and the main construction and paving contractors, as well as these maps, a bit of history of the area, and statistics about the project which include the Princeton to Kaleden Highway. (asphalt – 2,720,000 gal.!)


Hope-Princeton Highway at opening, 1949


British Columbia Highways in lower BC, 1949

“British Columbia Presents the Hope-Princeton Highway, November 2nd, 1949” published by the British Columbia Government Travel Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry [1949]. BCGS Library Call # 971.14 B.C. Gov.

Have a look at this Royal BC Museum video for more history about the Highway, “This Week In History Season 3 Episode 9 – Hope Princeton Highway”.

United States research – Library Week 2016


Early USA genealogy books, including “The Great Migration” series.

The United States combined handout by Judith Ueland is available here. (.pdf)

The United States book display today illustrated the variety of books and journals available at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library. Many visitors are surprised how much there is for the USA.

Some areas, like New England, are particularly well covered as are topics like immigration, land records, and certain populations, for instance, Palatines and Swedes.

One visitor just said she will “camp out” in the New England aisle on her next all day visit. Do check the BCGS Library catalogues to see what is here for your areas of interest.

Did you know? – if you are a BCGS member most of our books can be borrowed by mail. Contact the BCGS Library by e-mail via bcgs@bcgs.ca or call 604 502 9119 to arrange loans.

The Library subscribes to both Ancestry Library Edition and American Ancestors on-line databases which are strong for US records. And the Library also holds journals and newsletters for both the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the National Genealogical Society. These are both filled with great US research articles.


North Dakota books, BCGS Library

Ireland – Library Week 2016

In Tuesday’s Irish research session, we shared the names and places associated with our Irish families and discussed a number of possible strategies. Ireland is often a ‘problem area’. Collecting as much information, even faint clues, to Irish locations is vital. This sometimes means back tracking your research or re-analyzing the records you’ve found previously.

One person in the group had lots of information as a relative has done a book on her Irish family. We were envious! But in a good way, of course.

Another is searching for information on a relative who was said to have attended university in Ireland. So far no records have been found, but a new idea was to search newspapers, for instance, the Irish newspaper collection on-line at in Find My Past.

The BCGS Library has a very good Irish research collection. This includes publications from Irish societies and researchers. As well, as many publications as possible on Irish emigrants and emigration are part of the Library. And we have a dedicated Irish resource – the Irish Lending Library too. Search our Library’s catalogues to see what we have.

We had a good look at the BCGS website’s Research Links for Ireland. Don’t forget to check the links in the UK and Northern Ireland sections too. The National Archives of the UK has good research advice and records too.

Ireland Reaching Out is certainly a favourite site. You really need to know the Irish parish your family lived in, and once you post a specific post in the parish forum area, you will likely get some help.

And we will be expanding the Links for specific places in Ireland. Cork, Past and Present, for example, was highly recommended. One BCGS member found information there in the “Places” section that clinched a relationship – providing a definitive link between Ireland and Canada. Nice! Exploring this whole site is a must if your family lived in this area.

By the way, we did discover one website had moved. The new address, once found, will be added. If you find broken links on bcgs.ca please report them to webmaster@bcgs.ca We are happy to hear from readers!


Mary Jane Moffatt and James Irwin, both born County Cavan, Ireland

BCGS European Group – Library Week 2016

BCGS Library Week – the Library is open all week, July 18-23, 2016 free. For more information, see http://www.bcgs.ca/?p=6574 Today, we celebrated Scotland and Europe and did more successful research in Newfoundland, BC and Nova Scotia. Tomorrow we will be looking at Ireland.

The BCGS European Group Library Week Session, 18 July 2016

*Breaking News* A free webinar “Researching European Archives from Your Easy Chair” with Lisa A. Alzo is being sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association, Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PDT. Limited space: register here now.

Our Group will be meeting in September at a general meeting and at the Library later. Watch for an update about this soon.

Brenda Smith presented “Eastern Europe in Time and Space” – an illustrated atlas and timeline of events and influences that affected our ancestors’ lives. This sparked discussion!

Among the websites shared were:

The Lost Shoebox, online Polish records with a map showing which areas they cover: http://www.lostshoebox.com/poland/online-records

The European Library, access to 48 European national and research libraries: http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org

Polish Origins, great forum!: http://polishorigins.com

BCGS Library resources:

Many books – a selection displayed, including atlases and gazetteers for Europe, and also exchange journals including those from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria and more. Available was the latest issue of Your Genealogy Today, May-June 2016, at the BCGS Library (929 FC/YGT V2#2 2016} which features an article by Leland Meitzler on German surname mapping websites.

Genealogical dictionaries are often essential. Two recommended are the Swedish Genealogical Dictionary by Phyllis J. Pladsen (BCGS Library 948.5 PLA DIC} and the German-English Genealogical Dictionary by Ernest Thode (BCGS Library 943 THO). And FamilySearch has free Word Lists for many geographic areas, most expanded now and available as .pdf files to keep handy on personal devices.

Click to check both the main BCGS Library catalogue here and the BCGS catalogue for journals, newsletters and magazines.

Recommended books:

The series of Map Guides to German Parish Registers by Kevan Hansen, published by Family Roots Publishing, for example, a recent one for Silesia Province, Regierungsbezirk Oppeln, Kingdom of Prussia (Volume 55 2016). The most recent is the Map Guide to Luxembourg Parish Registers. A BCGS Library acquisition request may be submitted for these.


The free FamilySearch Learning Center has well over 100 European research classes – 3 on German script and on on using the Hansen Map Guides. https://familysearch.org/learningcenter/results.html?fq=place%3A%22Germany%22

And many European genealogical societies were demonstrated and discussed, mainly:

The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe: https://www.sggee.org/

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia: http://www.ahsgr.org

Germans from Russia Heritage Society: http://www.grhs.org

East European Genealogical Society: http://www.eegsociety.org

One handout available:

Download “First Steps in European Research – or for a European Do-Over” by M. Diane Rogers (.docx file. For other formats, contact the BCGS webmaster.)

Welcome to BCGS Library Week – 2016



Anyone interested is invited to come to the library this week, bring your family history information and questions – the volunteers will attempt to assist you.

SUNDAY, July 17th – OPEN HOUSE – 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM. Refreshments.

MONDAY TO SATURDAY, July 18th to 23rd – Open 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM each day.

1:00 pm – EUROPEAN RESEARCH -Brenda Smith; M. Diane Rogers & other members





1:00 PM – DNA AND GENEALOGY – M. Diane Rogers

Special databases available free, MyHeritage and Quebec Genealogy and PRDH, in addition to Ancestry Library Edition and American Ancestors.

For more information about Library Week, see the BCGS Library Week page.

Address: BCGS Walter Draycott Library – 211-12837 76th Avenue Surrey, BC
Telephone: 604 502 9119

For more information about the BCGS Walter Draycott Library, and a map, see the main Library page.

We will be posting information daily about Library resources during the week.

The fun Wordsift above which reflects some of the BCGS Library’s holdings is courtesy of Wordsift 2.