Meet our Speakers – Mary Read – BCGS Seminar, June 9-11, 2017

Mary Read will be speaking at the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar, June 9-11, 2017 in Coquitlam.

When Mary Read inherited her mom’s family research files in 1996, she happily took on the challenge and began finding her ancestors on the internet as technology rolled out a whole new world of possibilities. She joined the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society that same year. Since then she has taken an active role in the society as a director, a committee member and a presenter on various subjects at meetings, forums and workshops. She is currently the editor of the KDGS quarterly newsletter, The Okanagan Researcher.

Mary grew up on the farm in Saskatchewan where her great grandparents homesteaded and even though she now lives in Kelowna, her roots are deeply planted in the prairies. With a large collection of Saskatchewan local histories posted on-line, she spends a lot of time doing look-ups and helping researchers around the world search for their prairie families. Recently retired after 25 years with Okanagan College, she is now very happy to have more time for traveling, camping, sewing, reading, writing, grandchildren and of course research!

Read about our Canada150 Seminar here.

Meet our Speakers – Xenia Stanford – BCGS Seminar, June 9-11, 2017

Xenia Stanford to speak at the BC Genealogical Society’s 2017 Seminar, June 9-11, 2017 in Coquitlam.

Xenia Stanford, a professional genealogist with 40+ years’ experience, has written many articles for genealogy magazines and was editor when Chinook, the newsletter of the Alberta Family Histories Society, twice won best local society newsletter from the National Genealogical Society. Formerly a teacher, educational researcher, corporate librarian, archivist, systems analyst and project leader, she now devotes her time to genealogical research, writing books and editing memoirs.

With Austrian and Ukrainian ancestry, she has spent hours researching her own family history in those countries and also for others with ancestors from Eastern Europe, including Germans from Russia. She has spoken on Eastern European and other areas of expertise to many genealogy groups. She communicates with others of Eastern European backgrounds across North America and even some in Eastern Europe.

For you to make connections and share knowledge, she organizes the Eastern European Special Interest Group of the Kelowna & District Genealogy Society. She has a closed group (ask to join) at the Facebook page for Eastern European Roots at

Read about our Canada150 Seminar here.

Childhood Memories Project – Gary Pennington

BC Genealogical Society member Gary Pennington’s Childhood Memories Project

Submitted by Gary.

For over twenty years I have been collecting stories from adults, particularly seniors, about their childhood play.  I have collected several thousand such stories from a number of countries around the world.  Most stories have been in written form collected on a questionnaire form that I developed over time.  I have used these stories in a number of conference presentations and some writings.  Currently I am developing a website to share findings and plan on writing a book, or books, for publication.

I am writing at this time to ask if you would consider contributing your childhood stories to our collection and possibly others in your family as well.

To this end, I have a copy of the Childhood Memories Questionnaire for your consideration. 

I would be delighted if a number of BCGS members would participate in this ambitious undertaking.

Editor’s note: For our readers’ convenience, a copy of the Childhood Memories Project questionnaire (.pdf) is here for you to download and print. If you would like a .docx copy, please contact

Read Gary’s article in “The British Columbia Genealogist”, March 2017, and this on-line article – “Childhood Memories Project launches at library.” Submitted by Sherryl Latimer, November 24, 2016, Coast Reporter, Sechelt, BC: