Happy St. Patrick’s Week!

St-Patricks-Day-postcard-1912

If you are visiting us because you met or saw us at the CelticFest Vancouver Parade today, or because you are thinking about your Celtic relatives this week, welcome!

Perhaps they were from Ireland or Scotland? We do have resources here that can help you in researching these families, and we have many resources for family history research around the world. We have recommended family history web links, and meeting groups for both Irish and Scottish research, for example.

Looking for a full size version of our genealogy pedigree chart? Click here for a .pdf version of the BCGS pedigree chart that you can print out and use free of charge.

Don’t hesitate to contact us. bcgs@bcgs.ca or call our Library in Surrey, BC at 604 502 9119.

The 1912 postcard shown above is courtesy of Wikipedia which has a nice article all about shamrocks.
[Postcard: “St. Patrick’s Day Souvenir” postmarked 1912 in the United States. On postcard: “OLD WEIR BRIDGE” Description: “1912 POSTCARD ST. PATRICK’S DAY SOUVENIR; POSTALLY USED and CANCELLED MARCH 1912” Pictured: The painting depicted is of the “Old Weir Bridge” located Dinis Cottage, in Killarney National Park, Ireland. By Artist for original postcard not credited – Postcard described above via, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9778509 ]

20th Anniversary – BCGS website: www.bcgs.ca

Our BCGS website first began in 1996, so this year we are 20!

Our site, developed by our founding webmaster, Bob Daniel, began with our own basic information and some links. Many of the other websites and computers and programmes popular in 1996 are history but some continue on, a few in other guises. Remember these from 1996? AOL, Yahoo, Infoseek, Excite, Lycos, Netscape, Compuserve and Geocities? Here’s the Washington Post‘s look at popular websites from 1996 on.

Soon BCGS.ca became bigger providing information on genealogy events and issues, like the threatened loss of Ontario land records and Bill C-32 to amend the Canadian Copyright Act in July 1997. But there was really good genealogy news then too, for instance, the 1996 decision to release British Columbia Vital Records indexes on-line at the BC Archives website.

Our first member to have a personal genealogy website listed on our site was Michelle Burton, then using uniserve.com to host her site. Her genealogy website is still up, but at the Internet Archive.

Today BCGS.ca continues as a hub for members and others looking for information about the BCGS and help with their own genealogy.

We are in good company with others who went on-line in 1996, including Cyndi’s List which began with a page of 1,025 links and the Internet Archive. We have all thrived on-line.

To see our BCGS website as it was in earlier years, go to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine
https://archive.org and enter these URLs.

http://www.npsnet.com/bcgs (saved from July 1, 1997 – appropriate date, eh!)

http://www.bcgs.ca (saved from 2002)

Watch for new features on BCGS.ca in the coming months to celebrate our 20th. We’ll have a historical timeline, more BCGS photographs, and much more for research, including access to the Society’s Members’ Pedigree Chart collection.

BCGS AGM March 9, 2016 in Burnaby – Maple Ridge Family History Group Presentation

The BC Genealogical Society Annual General Meeting will be Wednesday, March 9, 2016, at 7:30 pm, at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC. See a location map with directions.

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments.

After the formal meeting, members of the Maple Ridge Family History Group will present their Edge Family Legacy Project.

Maple Ridge Family History Group

Photograph courtesy of Meaghan Durupt.

The Maple Ridge Family History Group received a 2016 Maple Ridge Heritage Commendation Award for excellence in enhancing understanding of community history for this project which used family history research techniques to discover an early BC settler family’s story. In the process of clarifying historical questions, they have been able to place the family and its community in regional and national context.

Maple Ridge - Edge Family History Display

Photograph courtesy of Annette Fulford

BC Genealogical Society receives LAC DHCP grant – The BCGS Pedigree Chart project

The British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) is pleased, indeed excited, to announce to members and friends of the Society that we were successful in our application for a Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Documentary Heritage Community Programme (DHCP) grant for 2015-2016 – Funded by the Government of Canada / Financé par le gouvernement du Canada.

This grant programme is a new on-going (5 year) initiative meant for organizations and institutions without government funding, and those eligible included “archives, privately funded libraries, historical societies, genealogical organizations/societies, professional associations and museums with an archival component”.

We were pleased to see genealogical societies listed among the eligible groups. Sixty-five DHCP projects received grants, including one from the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society.

The DHCP grants are intended to:

“Increase access to, and awareness of Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings; and
– Increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.”

Since our beginnings in 1971, British Columbia Genealogical Society members and others have contributed their family history research to the Society to ensure both its preservation and access to all interested researchers.

The oldest parts of this unique collection, known as the BCGS Pedigree Chart collection, consists of pedigree charts, trees and family information sheets which are held in the BCGS Library. Many of the documents were handwritten in pen or pencil; various sizes and types of paper were used; some are now fading or otherwise deteriorating. Interestingly, the worst are often those printed on early computer printers.

These charts have never been copied, although volunteers have indexed all the family names on the documents.

With this DHCP grant to the BC Genealogical Society these documents are being scanned professionally. The original documents then will be stored for preservation purposes, and the scans will be available to researchers at the BCGS Library and on the BCGS website.

At the first BC Genealogical Society meeting of 2016, Wednesday, January 13, there will be a presentation outlining the project and inviting members and others to add their family information to this overall collection for future researchers use, but now electronically.

The January 13, 2016 BCGS General Meeting will start at 7:30 pm, at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby, BC. See a printable map of the meeting location.

Watch for more news about this project.
BCGS printable blank Pedigree Chart (.pdf)