BCGS General Meeting, Jan 2013 – notes

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These are the events and links mentioned during the BCGS general meeting 9 January 2013.

BCGS Membership benefit – contact Johnson Insurance Inc. re insurance including MEDOC travel insurance. 1 866 606 3362. This is a benefit of the BCGS’s membership in the BC Historical Federation.

Stories from Things workship with author Sultan Somjee –starting 10 January, Burnaby  BC at the Community Centred College for the Retired (CCCR):  See Sultan Somjee’s website for more about his book, Stories from Things: write your memoir in 10 steps, available through Amazon and Smashwords.

Robert Burns Marathon, January 25, 2013, Vancouver – Simon Fraser University’s Scottish Studies Burns Marathon readings from Burns’ works will be from 9 am to 4 pm at the Harbour Centre Campus in downtown Vancouver.



What’s New at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library?

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Since the BCGS Walter Draycott Library reopened last week after the holidays, visitors will have noticed a few big changes right away, along with new books, CDs and journals for 2013,

The Genealogical Research Library (GRL), a worldwide subscription website, is now available onsite in the Walter Draycott Library to BCGS members and visitors. Ours is the only library in BC with access to this great site.  GRL has its own databases, and provides links to its own and thousands of genealogy and family history resources from around the world, including e-books and antique maps, organized by geography or by topic.

The BCGS Library also has access to Ancestry Library Edition and to with the New England Historic Genealogy Society’s databases – all free to BCGS members and visitors.

The Irish Lending Library cabinet is now more easily accessible upstairs. Here you will find hundreds of files with articles, inventories, etc. all relating to Irish genealogy research and all collected by the BCGS Irish Group. Before you visit, search the Irish Lending Library catalogue here on the BCGS website.

Many of the BCGS Boutique’s Heritage Books are now on display downstairs and can be purchased at the Library. See which books the BCGS Boutique offers and descriptions of each on the BCGS Boutique webpage.

Please have your BCGS member # handy when you visit, as members have free access to the Library and may take out books, journals and magazines. If you need to renew for 2013, or if you’d like to join us, you can do so right at the Library.  For information about Library hours, and directions, see the Walter Draycott Library main page.  For membership information, please see the BCGS Membership page.

Tracing Your Servant Ancestors – A FFHS Review

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The British Columbia Genealogical Society is a member of the Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) which now publishes reviews of new genealogy books and CDs on the FFHS website:

Tracing Your Servant Ancestors by Michelle Higgs - cover imageI was asked to review Michelle Higgs’s new book, Tracing Your Servant Ancestors: A Guide for Family Historians, and found this very readable, well organized and nicely illustrated. Higgs chose to define her topic broadly as including domestic, farm and institutional servants, and I appreciated this as among my own family there are parlour maids and general domestics, gamekeepers and gardeners.

The full review is in the December 2012 issue of The British Columbia Genealogist, Vol. 41, No 4, page 143 or follow this link to the Federation of Family History Societies review pages to see this review and others. A copy of this book is in the BCGS Walter Draycott Library, call # 942 HIG

M. Diane Rogers, reviewer.



Genealogy, Family History and the Younger Set

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The August-September 2012 issue of Canada’s History magazine has an article by Paul Jones entitled “Genealogy Can Be Child’s Play” with some good ideas for interesting children in their own genealogy and family history. You can read this at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library or on-line as Canada’s History has posted the entire article complete with links here.

It’s a shame that the excellent youth resources at the Victoria Genealogical Society (BC) website aren’t mentioned though. For that link, and links to other resources on-line for children and teens, see the BCGS own page of suggestions for interesting and encouraging the younger genealogists and family historians. If you know of other resources, please let our webmistresses know. We’ll soon be listing some books there too, including the Victoria Genealogical Society’s Who’s In Your Family Tree: A Step-By-Step Guide For The Detective In Your Family and Jennifer Holik-Urban’s Generations Branching Out book series.

Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census

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Counting Canada by Dave Obee - book cover

Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census by Dave Obee (Victoria: 2012) gives genealogy and family history researchers ‘all the facts’ about Canada’s census from 1604 to 1931 and even beyond. The author is one of Canada’s most experienced researchers and the author of several other books on related topics, including Canadian directories, voters’ lists and immigration records.

In this book, along with a census timeline, he’s included chapters on each Canadian census, including representative questions asked, and information about census legislation and administration – even  how confused instructions and then the weather affected the 1861 enumeration in Lower and Upper Canada, for instance.

Throughout are the best tips and strategies for searching for ancestors in the Canadian census – whether on film, paper, or on-line – all nicely illustrated with photographs, maps, even cartoons, and census entry examples for famous Canadians like Chief Dan George, and others far less well known, like Walt Disney’s paternal ancestors.

The chapters entitled “De jure or de facto” and “Why aren’t they there?” explain the more frustrating errors and omissions census researchers may come across including the use of the [dreaded] ‘ditto’, and some misunderstandings and practices that happily resulted in additional details being listed for some individuals. The “Supplementary Sources” chapter will assist researchers in following up on census details or ‘missing’ individuals in other records, like voters’ lists and directories.

An attractive book of 220 pages with a bibliography, index and a list of useful Internet sites, Dave Obee’s Counting Canada will be a handy addition to all Canadian researchers’ bookshelves. Available now from the BCGS Boutique. ($30.00) at meetings and events, or by contacting the BCGS Boutique Chairperson, Cathy Magee.

Reviewed for the BCGS website by BCGS Editor, M. Diane Rogers, July 2012.