Kelowna – Selected Genealogical Sources

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Collins_tobacco_field-Mission_Valley-Kelowna-1898Kelowna & District Genealogical Society. Currently the society has over 11575 obituaries indexed and available, as well as transcriptions, photographs and publications of Central Okanagan cemeteries. The Society publishes a newsletter, “Okanagan Researcher” quarterly and has partnered with the Kelowna Branch of the Okanagan Regional Library where the genealogical library collection is now located. See the Society’s website for indexes and details on these and other projects.:

Video about the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society and the Kelowna Public Library, ShawTV Okanagan, 2011:

Kelowna Branch, Okanagan Regional Library:

Kelowna and its Surroundings in the Province of British Columbia, Dominion of Canada (The Agricultural and Trades Association of Okanagan Mission Valley, 1898). A douwnloadable .pdf copy of Kelowna and its Surroundings, 1898 was digitized from a BCGS members’ private collections and is available free by clicking the link. This copy shows interesting effects of its age and includes the photo show above which was not apparently included in the original publication. Another copy is downloadable here from the Internet Archive in a variety of formats.

Names mentioned in this pamphet are

Lakeview Hotel, Arch. Macdonald – ad
Kelowna Shoppers Union – ad
Lequime Bros. & Co – ad
Growley & Downton – ad
D. W. Sutherland – ad

Mr. T. Woods
Wm. Postill
Mr. Swallwell
Mr. A. Postill (the late)
Mr. Whelan
Mr. J. Christian
Mr. Conroy
Mr. Price Ellison, Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP)
Mr. J. T. Davies
Mr. La Belle
Mr. Dell
Mr. Watson
Mr. R.E. Chrichton
Mr. W.D. Hobson, Justice
Mr. G.G. Mackay
Messrs. Collins and Hotman, tobacco
Mr. Eli Lequime
Mr. Bernard Lequime
Mr. J. Corsorso
Mr. Fitzgerald Healey
Mr. Tidmarsh
Lord Aberdeen
Gusichan Ranch
Mr. Alan Chrichton
Mr. Crozier
Mr. Ray
Mr. J. L. Pridham, Justice of the Peace (JP)
Mr. Dundas
Mr. T. W. Stirling
Mr. Knox
Mr. Weddell
Mr. Bailey, postmaster, librarian
Mr. C.S. Smith
Mr. C.A.S. Atwood
Mr. Bailey
George Rose
Mr. Raymer

Photographs included are Kelowna and Okanagan Lake, The Wharf – Kelowna, T. W. Stirling’s Orchard, G. Whalen’s Orchard & House, Duck Lake, Episcopal Church, and separated, Mr. Collin’s Tobacco Field.

A Pictorial History of Kelowna BC:

BC Orchard Industry Museum, BC Orchard Industry Museum, BC Wine Museum, Okanagan Military Museum, Central Okanagan Sports Hall of Fame Museum, The Laurel Packinghouse:

Kelowna Public Archives:  Search Kelowna Public Archives collections at MemoryBC. See that entry below.

Vince Bezeau Military Library and Archives, Okanagan Military Museum:

Memory BC, The British Columbia Archival Information Network. Search by individual topics, places, people, repositories (Kelowna Public Archives, British Columbia Archives, Anglican Provincial Synod of British Columbia Archives, etc.): or all “Kelowna” entries:;search?query=kelowna

Kelowna Photo History, Castanet Forum – Kelowna photos from family collections posted to the forum discussions:

The Kelowna Story: An Okanagan History by Sharron J. Simpson (Harbour Publishing, 2011). Available at the BCGS Library.

Kelowna 100 Years History: One Hundred Years of History, edited by Diana Knowles (Kelowna Museum Association, 2005). Available at the BCGS Library.

Ham and Rail Fanning, The History of Present-Day of Rail Activities in Kelowna:

Kelowna Street Names, Their Origins: A Brief History, Okanagan Historical Society, Kelowna Branch (1994, 2010). Available at the BCGS Library.

Kelowna Streets, Kelowna,com, Marshall Jones, Managing Editor:

Index to articles about Kelowna people, places and topics published in Okanagan Historical Society (OHS) Annual Reports, No 1-76 (1926-):     Most OHS Reports have been digitized and may be read and searched as part of the University of British Columbia Library’s Digital Collections:

Okanagan Historical Society:


Historical Municipal Boundaries, City of Kelowna (.pdf format):,d.cGE

Kettle Valley Railway & Connecting Railway Trails:

The photograph above shows “Mr. Collins; Tobacco Field – Okanagan Mission Valley, Near Kelowna, BC”. found with a 1898 booklet, Kelowna and its Surroundings in the Province of British Columbia, Dominion of Canada, published by the Agricultural and Trades Association of Okanagan, Mission Valley. Private collection. Some 1890s residents of Okanagan Mission Valley petitioned the provincial government “to proclaim a parcel of land a public commons and that a road should be built”. Their names were extracted from the Sessional Papers of the British Columbia Government, 1890, by Hugh Armstrong and are published on the British Columbia GenWeb site.

BCGS General Meeting – June 11, 2014 – BCGS Book Awards and Strawberry Tea!

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BCGS Strawberry Tea - June 2013


The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting will be Wednesday, June 11, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, in Burnaby, 6010 Kincaid Street.

See the Google map or download a printable map of the Danish Church’s location with directions.


This will be Announcement Night for the BCGS Family History Book Awards. Authors will be speaking about their books and books will be available to buy. Learn more about the BCGS annual Family History Book Awards hereContinue reading

BCGS Research Tip – June 2014

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This month’s British Columbia Genealogical Society’s research tip is:

Don’t always search ‘the same old way’ on every genealogical website.

Both speakers at the BCGS seminar last month had specific tips for searching some of the websites they discussed. For example, don’t always use that attractive ‘just enter your name’ search box. Check to see if there is an advanced search facility which will let you focus your search in certain collections, or on certain media, for instance, only in digitized documents or images.

And if you see search terms you’re not familar with, don’t hesitate to look for help. For example, the use of ‘Boolean’ search operators may be mentioned or recommended. Here’s a look at these – “What Does Boolean Search Mean” by Wendy Boswell,