Cemetery Tours – Burnaby & Vancouver – Sept 2014


Join Lorraine Irving from the BC Genealogical Society for a walking tour of the cemetery’s highest sections, Horne 1 and 2. Enjoy a fantastic view of downtown Vancouver and the mountains. You’ll hear about a soldier who fought in the Riel Rebellion that’s buried near the WW1 cenotaph, a survivor of the Titanic, and more.

Sunday, September 14, 2014 2-3:30 pm. Free.



A walking tour with historian Maurice Guibord

Sat., September 27, 2014, 1-2 pm. Meet inside the cemetery entrance at corner of Imperial St. & Patterson Ave.  Call Maurice Guibord, Vancouver, 604-253-9311 Cell 604-771-3047

Free, followed by coffee on site, courtesy of the cemetery management.

Wear comfortable walking shoes, as this tour entails a fair bit of walking.

Around 1919, Burnaby’s Ocean View Cemetery created a burial section on its perimeter as far from its entrance as one could walk, in order to meet the needs of non-Europeans seeking internment of their deceased. This small segregated plot was named Mongolia, one of the racist epithets designating Asians during that period. You will see buried there, side by side, the well-known Vancouverite Won Alexander Cumyow, and Ross Hendrix, later made famous by his Vancouver-raised grandson, guitarist Jimi Hendrix.

This measure was but a symptom of the racism exercised well into the 1960s in cemeteries in the British Empire, a reflection of the racial climate experienced in the day-to-day life of non-whites.

At Ocean View, you will see the evolution of this approach to burial over a century, from segregated plots to accommodating sections in mausoleums, and to sections catering largely to the Chinese community, where feng-shui stipulations and family estates lay a new claim to identity for this community. You will witness the effects of trans-Pacific political decisions that dramatically reformed centuries-held traditions such as the removal of remains back to China, to the advent of reverse migration of remains from China to North America.

Black History in Canada – Links

Genealogical and family history and historical links for Black History in Canada

Black History Month, Canada: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/black/

Blacks, genealogy and historical resources, Library and Archives Canada: http://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/eng/discover/immigration/history-ethnic-cultural/Pages/blacks.aspx

Canada’s Black History, Historica Canada: http://blackhistorycanada.ca/

Black Canadians in Uniform, Veterans Affairs Canada: http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/those-who-served/black-canadians-in-uniform

BC Black History Awareness Society: http://www.islandnet.com/~bcbhas/

The Salt Spring Island Multicultural Project: http://saltspringarchives.com/index.html

Black settlers of Wellington, BC story from the Nanaimo Archives. This is based, in part, on Christine Meutzner’s presentation to the Nanaimo Community Archives Society AGM for 2015 and includes an audio interview with her. CBC website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/hidden-history-of-african-american-settlers-in-wellington-b-c-uncovered-1.3114170?cmp=rss

Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, Vancouver: http://www.hogansalleyproject.blogspot.ca/

Black Strathcona, Vancouver: http://blackstrathcona.com/

Ontario Black History Society: http://www.blackhistorysociety.ca/

Black History Ottawa: http://www.blackhistoryottawa.org/

Destination Freedom: The History of the Underground Railroad in Canada, history and historic sites: http://www.canada.worldweb.com/TravelArticles/Historical/8-146799.html

John Freeman Walls HIstoric Site, Puce, Ontario: http://www.undergroundrailroadmuseum.org/

Kelowna – Selected Genealogical Sources

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.: http://www.kdgs.ca

Video about the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society and the Kelowna Public Library, ShawTV Okanagan, 2011: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZ3E2EM63iE   Continue reading

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

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

Reminder – BCGS General Meeting, Aug. 14, 2013 in Burnaby

Brunette Bridge picnic, 1896

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 14 August, 2013, 7:30 pm, at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

Group Sessions after the general meeting will be:
English – Occupations with Susan Snalam
Canada/USA – Homesteading in Western Canada with Judith Ueland and M. Diane Rogers

See a printable map of the Danish Church area with directions here.

The photograph above shows a Brunette Creek, New Westminster area picnic, c. 1896, from the New Westminster Public Library’s collection, Accession #13. Those in the photo are identified as: Mrs. James Brymner, Mr. Fisher, Mr. Brymner, Mr. Lowry, and Mrs. Brymner.  Follow this link to search the New Westminster Public Library‘s Historical Photo Database.