Brick Walls 3 Seminar! Oct. 29th, 2016 – Cloverdale


Brick Walls 3: Sharing Strategies on Tough Genealogy Problems
with M. Diane Rogers, Brenda L. Smith, and Peter Whitlock, and guest speaker Laurie Cooke.

Co-sponsored – Cloverdale Public Library and the BC Genealogical Society (BCGS)

Saturday, October 29, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Charge: $20 (includes food)
Additional charge of $10 for 1-on-1 meeting with an Expert.
Great door prizes include a free 1 year World subscription to Find My Past! And a year’s membership in the BC Genealogical Society!

Another brick in the wall! One of the most successful programs we’ve offered is back. Our experts, Diane, Brenda, and Peter, return to share their thoughts on overcoming difficult Family History challenges.

The panel members will then individually meet attendees who have submitted questions in advance for 1-on-1 fifteen minute consultations. While this is happening our special guest speaker Laurie Cooke will address the main group.

Laurie’s talk: Did They Hang the Wrong Man? examines the truth behind a 1908 Fraser Valley murder. In 1908 there was a murder in the Fraser Valley at Hall’s Prairie. Many were arrested, but ultimately one man was hung. But did they get it right? Come join our special guest speaker Laurie Cooke and with the help of coroner records, court records, and news clippings all will be revealed.

There will be an end-of-the-day wrap-up plus lots of opportunities to ask questions and share experiences!

A light meal and refreshments will be provided.

Call Susan Snalam now at 604 273 8209 to reserve your tickets.

BCGS tickets available in person at meetings as of September 2016. Pay at a meeting in person or on-line below with PayPal. We will ask for your phone number and an e-mail address, if applicable. These will only be used in case we need to contact you about this Seminar.

1-on-1 questions need to be paid for and submitted in advance. You will be asked ahead of time for a brief description of your Brick Wall; a form will be provided to you for this purpose. Contact the BCGS or Cloverdale Library for details.

This programme requires pre-registration and will be held at the Cloverdale Library, 5642 – 176A Street Surrey, BC V3S 4G9.

You can pay by PayPal now. You do not need to have a PayPal account.

Brick Wall Seminar

Was a relative on the Hector to Nova Scotia in 1773?

“BBC Scotland is on the lookout for Scottish-Canadians and Scottish-Americans descended from those on the ship the Hector. On September 15th 1773, the vessel landed at Brown’s Point in Pictou in Nova Scotia. The tired three-masted cargo vessel had almost not made it, overcoming terrible sickness and epic sea storms. But when the 189 Highlanders disembarked, it would change Canada forever. The Hector was the first ship to directly transport passengers from Scotland to Nova Scotia. The historic voyage marked the beginning of a massive wave of immigration that would shape the future of North America.”

Contact the BBC’s programme’s researcher, Nadine Lee, directly by e-mail: or by phone +0044 1224 384 816.

This information via Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University.

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 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 please report them to We are happy to hear from readers!


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