BCGS European Group Day – Oct 1, Surrey, BC

European Group Day at the BCGS Library, October 1st, 2016


Date: Sat, 1 October, 10:00 – 15:00
Location: BCGS Walter Draycott Library – 211-12837 76th Avenue Surrey, BC

– come for research and/or a tour in the morning, explore the book, journal, CD and map collections; attend the group session in the afternoon in the Board Room, starting at 1 pm – topics – immigration/website reviews.

Here are the notes and links from the last European group session at the Library during BCGS Library Week in July.

For more about the Library, see the Walter Draycott Library pages

For more info, contact Diane Rogers:

BCGS General Meeting and Harvest Supper – Sept 14, 2016, Burnaby

Cornucopia of autumn harvest vegetables and fruits

Be sure to attend the BC Genealogical Society’s annual Harvest Supper, 6-7 pm, Wednesday, 14 September, 2016 before the General Meeting at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.
Directions and mapDirections and map (.pdf)

The dinner cost is $10. RSVP to Lynne at 604-942-3663, please.

The BCGS Harvest supper has always been well attended and all enjoyed their chicken dinner and the conversations, so reserve your places early. [If you need to e-mail about the supper, send a note to ]

The general meeting will begin at 7:30 pm.

Group sessions after the meeting will include the European and the Ask Me! groups.

The European Group will also be hosting European Research Day at the BCGS Library, October 1.

Image courtesy George GrimmHowell at

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

BCGS European Group – Library Week 2016

BCGS Library Week – the Library is open all week, July 18-23, 2016 free. For more information, see Today, we celebrated Scotland and Europe and did more successful research in Newfoundland, BC and Nova Scotia. Tomorrow we will be looking at Ireland.

The BCGS European Group Library Week Session, 18 July 2016

*Breaking News* A free webinar “Researching European Archives from Your Easy Chair” with Lisa A. Alzo is being sponsored by the Utah Genealogical Association, Thursday, July 21, 2016 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM PDT. Limited space: register here now.

Our Group will be meeting in September at a general meeting and at the Library later. Watch for an update about this soon.

Brenda Smith presented “Eastern Europe in Time and Space” – an illustrated atlas and timeline of events and influences that affected our ancestors’ lives. This sparked discussion!

Among the websites shared were:

The Lost Shoebox, online Polish records with a map showing which areas they cover:

The European Library, access to 48 European national and research libraries:

Polish Origins, great forum!:

BCGS Library resources:

Many books – a selection displayed, including atlases and gazetteers for Europe, and also exchange journals including those from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Austria and more. Available was the latest issue of Your Genealogy Today, May-June 2016, at the BCGS Library (929 FC/YGT V2#2 2016} which features an article by Leland Meitzler on German surname mapping websites.

Genealogical dictionaries are often essential. Two recommended are the Swedish Genealogical Dictionary by Phyllis J. Pladsen (BCGS Library 948.5 PLA DIC} and the German-English Genealogical Dictionary by Ernest Thode (BCGS Library 943 THO). And FamilySearch has free Word Lists for many geographic areas, most expanded now and available as .pdf files to keep handy on personal devices.

Click to check both the main BCGS Library catalogue here and the BCGS catalogue for journals, newsletters and magazines.

Recommended books:

The series of Map Guides to German Parish Registers by Kevan Hansen, published by Family Roots Publishing, for example, a recent one for Silesia Province, Regierungsbezirk Oppeln, Kingdom of Prussia (Volume 55 2016). The most recent is the Map Guide to Luxembourg Parish Registers. A BCGS Library acquisition request may be submitted for these.

The free FamilySearch Learning Center has well over 100 European research classes – 3 on German script and on on using the Hansen Map Guides.

And many European genealogical societies were demonstrated and discussed, mainly:

The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe:

American Historical Society of Germans from Russia:

Germans from Russia Heritage Society:

East European Genealogical Society:

One handout available:

Download “First Steps in European Research – or for a European Do-Over” by M. Diane Rogers (.docx file. For other formats, contact the BCGS webmaster.)