BCGS – Members’ Jargon

Any successful group has at least a bit of vocabulary that’s all its own, and, as with most pursuits, we have ‘everyday’ jargon and use local slang. These terms can be confusing sometimes though, so this ‘BCGS Glossary’ may explain a few strange words overheard at meetings or the Library.

This list was originally posted in our members’ only area, but a couple of us thought that BCGS friends and prospective members might find this handy too.

Post any other unknown words or terms that come up and someone will (try to) explain them! Then we can add those here too.  (For more widely known genealogy and family history terms, see our BCGS genealogy glossaries and abbreviation lists section.)


1886 book – This is the BCGS book, Vancouver Voters, 1886: A Biographical Dictionary, edited by Peter Stephen Neil Claydon and Valerie Ann Melanson and others (Richmond: BCGS, 1994). A huge genealogical dictionary of those on the 1886 voters list for the City of Vancouver. This was a BCGS project to celebrate the City of Vancouver, BC’s Centennial. See ‘Vancouver Voters book’ below.

Anniversary book – this is the book published to commemorate BCGS’s 25th anniversary, British Columbia Genealogical Society 1971-1996: The First Quarter Century, edited by Barbara Rogers and compiled by Maureen Hyde (Richmond: BCGS, 1998).

BCARS – B.C. Archives and Records Service.

BC Gene – this is the BCGS Editor’s affectionate name for the BCGS quarterly journal, The British Columbia Genealogist.

BCPA – the British Columbia Provincial Archives, also known as just the BC Archives. Since 2003, part of the Royal British Columbia Museum.

Boutique – this is the BCGS Boutique, our Committee that looks after sales of genealogical books, tools and fun things at various events and at BCGS meetings and in the BCGS Library.

BC Pioneers – in BCGS, often meaning only people in BC before 1900 whose details have been submitted to the BCGS BC Pioneer Registry.

Card Files and Card Cabinets – Oh, my! meaning the many unique surname, cemetery inscription and other card files developed by BCGS members over the years – now at the BCGS Library.

CCAP – the BCGS Canadian Census Acquisition Programme. For many years, BCGS members contributed funds for the organized purchasing of Canadian census films for the Library. By 1995, the Library had 321 films. This programme started before local libraries had film collections, and there was then no thought of seeing censuses on-line, but these films are in the BCGS Library and still useful.

Cloverdale -Cloverdale Branch of the Surrey Public Library where the Surrey Public Library’s Canadian genealogy collections are housed.

Downtown – in the Lower Mainland this often means downtown Vancouver, as in ‘Downtown Genealogy Group’, but many places in BC do have downtowns.

Edmonds – Edmonds Community Centre on Kingsway in Burnaby where BCGS met for many years – till 2013.

FamilySearch –, the free website owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Federation or FFHS – this is the Federation of Family History Societies, based in England, but an international organization. BCGS is a member. Of course, Federation could also mean the British Columbia Historical Federation, of which BCGS is also a member :-)

FHL – the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Genealogical Cocktail Party – Periodically at BCGS meetings we ‘mingle’ – moving from table to table to talk to people who don’t always get to sit with and talk genealogy!

Genealogical Triangle – No, not the place in which your LIG (see below) is hiding. This is in Surrey, BC where there are three important genealogical centres: the BCGS Library, the Cloverdale Branch of the Surrey Public Library, and the Surrey Family History Center.

GSU – the Genealogical Society of Utah which originally was responsible for filming genealogical records around the world, including BC vital statistics records. See FamilySearch.

Irish Lending Library – a filing cabinet full of amazing information for Irish research collected by Irish group members. Now upstairs at the Library.

Irving K. Barber Learning Centre – a new library at UBC, really an addition adapted in 2005 from the old ‘Main Library’ (1925) at the University of British Columbia.

Kelowna Conference – the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society‘s genealogy conference, held every 2nd year – the next is in September 2014.

Koerner Library – now the ‘old’ (1997) library at UBC, the University of British Columbia.

LIG – a lying Irish grandmother (or grandfather).

monkey sheet – the BCGS pedigree charts we give away.

Mountain View – if someone is talking about cemeteries in BC, rather than a scenic day, this likely means Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, however, it could also mean Mountain View Cemetery in Trail, BC.

N.I.P. – the BCGS Newspaper Indexing Programme, the transcribing of early vital statistics in BC newspapers, resulting in the BCGS book, British Columbia Vital Statistics From Newspapers: An Index to Births, Marriages and Deaths Published from 1858 to 1872 in British Columbia Newspapers, edited by Brian John Porter (Richmond: BCGS, 1994).

non-gens – the grandchildren who’d rather play soccer than look at census film or a hearth tax database on a computer.

Pedigrees – in BCGS (and many other genealogical societies) meaning the completed ‘Pedigree’ charts collected from members which are indexed and made available to Library patrons.

RC – the BCGS Walter Draycott (Memorial) Library. It was called the ‘Resource Centre’ (thus the RC) until it was renamed in 1996.

Salt Lake City Trippers, or now Trekkers – members of BCGS research trips to Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

SFU or ‘ssssfu’ – Simon Fraser University

SLC or Salt Lake– ‘Salt Lake City, Utah, USA.

Stray – a person described in a record (like an obituary or a will) as being from, or connected with, a place outside the area in which the event took place. Especially useful now for more recent Canadian records. Genealogical societies often share strays’ details with other societies.

The Library – as in “We have that journal/book/CD/film at The Library. You should check it out.” – meaning the BCGS Walter Draycott LIbrary in Surrey, BC, owned and operated by the Society for its members and visitors.

Tri-Stake – the annual fall seminar put on by the local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Family History Centers (Burnaby, Surrey and Abbotsford), now called the Finding Your Roots seminar.

UBC – University of British Columbia

UVic – University of Victoria

Vancouver Voters book – this is the Vancouver Voters, 1886 book, published by the BCGS. A huge genealogical dictionary of those on the 1886 voters list for the City of Vancouver. See John D. Reid’s review and a list of all the surnames here. The research files for the project are in the BCGS Library. See ‘1886 book’.

VPL – Vancouver Public Library

Why register for your website?

Whether you are a British Columbia Genealogical Society member or not, you may register on our website for free. (Click the Register button on the lower left hand side of the main page).

This will let you easily add comments on the site and you will be able to update your public profile on this website – add a short bio, and/or your genealogical website info, for instance.

Registering on the BCGS website does not give you access to the Members’ Only Area. If you are a current BCGS member, and would like that access, please contact the Webmasters.

Having a problem? Contact the BCGS webmasters:


How Do I Access the BCGS Members’ Only Area?

Current British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) members may have access to the BCGS Members’ Only Area. This is a benefit of BCGS membership. This area includes discussion and news areas, indexes and committee pages.

Contact the BCGS webmasters and instructions and a personal password will be set and sent to your e-mail address.

If you later change your e-mail address, or are using a new one (or two), please let the webmasters know.

Having a problem? Contact the BCGS webmasters:

Looking for Help with Genealogy in the Classroom?

Are you a teacher? Thinking about September already? And about adding some genealogy and family history to your classes?

The March 2012 issue of the NGS Magazine (National Genealogical Society- USA) has a nice article about the Victoria (BC, Canada) Genealogical Society’s “Genealogy in the Classroom” feature on the VGS website: 

Read this at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library. (Call # 929 NGSN V38#1 Jan/Mar. 2012)

Activities for students, forms and Teachers’ Notes and lesson guides are all included -along with games and videos. These resources will be good for home schoolers and for those genealogists and family historians wanting to encourage younger genealogists in the family too.

For the VGS webpages and for other activities, family tree charts, etc. meant for the young, check out the links in the BCGS ‘Genealogy for Children and Teens’ section.