You are invited to add your member’s voice to the re-imagining of the BCGS Mission and Vision. The board appointed a planning sub-committee to distill our organization’s previous goals and expressions of purpose, combined with recent brainstorming products.

Mission Statement—What The BCGS Does: 
(A statement describing the reason an organization or program exists and used to help guide decisions about priorities, actions, and responsibilities.)

The British Columbia Genealogical Society Mission is to serve and grow best practices and is dedicated to discovery, collection, preservation and access to family history research.

Vision Statement—Where the BCGS wants to go:
(A statement describing the clear and inspirational long-term desired change resulting from an organization’s or program’s work.)

The British Columbia Genealogical Society with collaborative leadership will provide a sustainable environment for meaningful learning opportunities for all.

See The British Columbia Genealogist (September 2015 issue) for more information.

Consultations will be held at the BCGS Library –

November 3, 2015 at 1:30 pm followed by a presentation by M. Diane Rogers on “Keeping Up In Genealogy – News You Can Really Use”.

The previous session was September 15, 2015 at 1:30 pm followed by “Casting the Net: Seeking Ancestors on the Internet” by Brenda Smith.

At the November Board meeting the statements will be presented for inclusion in the 2016 AGM notification package.

Please contact us to comment about the proposed Mission and Vision.


Postal Mail: BCGS Mission-Vision Sub-Committee, P.O. Box 88054, Lansdowne Mall, Richmond, BC, CANADA, V6X 3T6

Happy British Columbia Day!

Today it’s British Columbia Day! Most around the province will be relaxing or otherwise enjoying our great summer weather.

Some may feel sad that archives and libraries are closed today, as is our own BCGS Walter Draycott Library, but there’s plenty to do on-line here if you have your device at the beach or elsewhere and need to get some research done.

On our own BC Genealogical Society website, among many other things, for free you can

  1. Check to see if one of our members shares your surnames.
  2. Search our BC Pioneer registry for your British Columbia families here before 1900.
  3. Use our database of on-line BC newspapers to find an obituary.
  4. Locate an article in our journal index for The British Columbia Genealogist.
  5. Copy a postcard image from our international Postcard Galleries for your personal use

And if you’re a BCGS member, sign-in to the BCGS Members’ Area for more indexes and information.

Not already a BC Genealogical Society member? Join on-line today – learn about our BCGS Membership Benefits.

BCGS – Members’ Jargon

Any successful group has at least a bit of vocabulary that’s all its own, and, as with most pursuits, we have ‘everyday’ jargon and use local slang. These terms can be confusing sometimes though, so this ‘BCGS Glossary’ may explain a few strange words overheard at meetings or the Library.

This list was originally posted in our members’ only area, but a couple of us thought that BCGS friends and prospective members might find this handy too.

Post any other unknown words or terms that come up and someone will (try to) explain them! Then we can add those here too.  (For more widely known genealogy and family history terms, see our BCGS genealogy glossaries and abbreviation lists section.)


1886 book – This is the BCGS book, Vancouver Voters, 1886: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Peter Stephen Neil Claydon and Valerie Ann Melanson and others (Richmond: BCGS, 1994). A huge genealogical dictionary of those on the 1886 voters list for the City of Vancouver. This was a BCGS project to celebrate the City of Vancouver, BC’s Centennial. See ‘Vancouver Voters book’ below.

Anniversary book – this is the book published to commemorate BCGS’s 25th anniversary, British Columbia Genealogical Society 1971-1996: The First Quarter Century, edited by Barbara Rogers and compiled by Maureen Hyde (Richmond: BCGS, 1998).

BCARS – B.C. Archives and Records Service.

BC Gene – this is the BCGS Editor’s affectionate name for the BCGS quarterly journal, The British Columbia Genealogist.

BCPA – the British Columbia Provincial Archives, also known as just the BC Archives. Since 2003, part of the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Boutique – this is the BCGS Boutique, our Committee that looks after sales of genealogical books, tools and fun things at various events and at BCGS meetings and in the BCGS Library.

BC Pioneers – in BCGS, often meaning only people in BC before 1900 whose details have been submitted to the BCGS BC Pioneer Registry.

Card Files and Card Cabinets – Oh, my! meaning the many unique surname, cemetery inscription and other card files developed by BCGS members over the years – now at the BCGS Library.

CCAP – the BCGS Canadian Census Acquisition Programme. For many years, BCGS members contributed funds for the organized purchasing of Canadian census films for the Library. By 1995, the Library had 321 films. This programme started before local libraries had film collections, and there was then no thought of seeing censuses on-line, but these films are in the BCGS Library and still useful.

Cloverdale -Cloverdale Branch of the Surrey Public Library where the Surrey Public Library’s Canadian genealogy collections are housed.

Downtown – in the Lower Mainland this often means downtown Vancouver, as in ‘Downtown Genealogy Group’, but many places in BC do have downtowns.

Edmonds – Edmonds Community Centre on Kingsway in Burnaby where BCGS met for many years – till 2013.

FamilySearch –, the free website owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Federation or FFHS – this is the Federation of Family History Societies, based in England, but an international organization. BCGS is a member. Of course, Federation could also mean the British Columbia Historical Federation, of which BCGS is also a member :-)

FHL – the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Genealogical Cocktail Party – Periodically at BCGS meetings we ‘mingle’ – moving from table to table to talk to people who don’t always get to sit with and talk genealogy!

Genealogical Triangle – No, not the place in which your LIG (see below) is hiding. This is in Surrey, BC where there are three important genealogical centres: the BCGS Library, the Cloverdale Branch of the Surrey Public Library, and the Surrey Family History Center.

GSU – the Genealogical Society of Utah which originally was responsible for filming genealogical records around the world, including BC vital statistics records. See FamilySearch.

Irish Lending Library – a filing cabinet full of amazing information for Irish research collected by Irish group members. Now upstairs at the Library.

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a new library at UBC, really an addition adapted in 2005 from the old ‘Main Library’ (1925) at the University of British Columbia.

Kelowna Conference – the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society‘s genealogy conference, held every 2nd year – the next is in September 2014.

Koerner Library – now the ‘old’ (1997) library at UBC, the University of British Columbia.

LIG – a lying Irish grandmother (or grandfather).

monkey sheet – the BCGS pedigree charts we give away.

Mountain View – if someone is talking about cemeteries in BC, rather than a scenic day, this likely means Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, however, it could also mean Mountain View Cemetery in Trail, BC.

N.I.P. – the BCGS Newspaper Indexing Programme, the transcribing of early vital statistics in BC newspapers, resulting in the BCGS book, British Columbia Vital Statistics From Newspapers: An Index to Births, Marriages and Deaths Published from 1858 to 1872 in British Columbia Newspapers, edited by Brian John Porter (Richmond: BCGS, 1994).

non-gens – the grandchildren who’d rather play soccer than look at census film or a hearth tax database on a computer.

Pedigrees – in BCGS (and many other genealogical societies) meaning the completed ‘Pedigree’ charts collected from members which are indexed and made available to Library patrons.

RC – the BCGS Walter Draycott (Memorial) Library. It was called the ‘Resource Centre’ (thus the RC) until it was renamed in 1996.

Salt Lake City Trippers, or now Trekkers – members of BCGS research trips to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

SFU or ‘ssssfu’ – Simon Fraser University

SLC or Salt Lake– ‘Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Stray – a person described in a record (like an obituary or a will) as being from, or connected with, a place outside the area in which the event took place. Especially useful now for more recent Canadian records. Genealogical societies often share strays’ details with other societies.

The Library – as in “We have that journal/book/CD/film at The Library. You should check it out.” – meaning the BCGS Walter Draycott LIbrary in Surrey, BC, owned and operated by the Society for its members and visitors.

Tri-Stake – the annual fall seminar put on by the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Family History Centers (Burnaby, Surrey and Abbotsford), now called the Finding Your Roots seminar.

UBC – University of British Columbia

UVic – University of Victoria

Vancouver Voters book – this is the Vancouver Voters, 1886 book, published by the BCGS. A huge genealogical dictionary of those on the 1886 voters list for the City of Vancouver. See John D. Reid’s review and a list of all the surnames here. The research files for the project are in the BCGS Library. See ‘1886 book’.

VPL – Vancouver Public Library

BCGS General Meeting – June 10, 2015 – BCGS Book Awards & Strawberry Tea

BCGS Strawberry TeaThe next BCGS general meeting will be Wednesday, June 10, 2015, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC. Directions and map.

Annual BCGS Family History Award presentations and authors’ talks.

Strawberry Tea!

All interested are very welcome to attend.