New! Featured BC Cemetery Project or Cemetery Website
Far From Home: The Epic Search For Lost Canadian Graves, war graves in the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland and Ireland. Article by Dan Black, November 3, 2014, published in Legion Magazine, November/December 2014, pages 46-51.
About the BCGS Cemetery Committee
Members of the British Columbia Genealogical Society have been actively researching the province’s cemeteries since 1971. Almost all our cemetery publications are name indexed and searchable in the BC Cemetery Finding Aid (BCCFA). For more recent publications not yet shown in the BCCFA, contact the BCGS Cemetery Committee or the Walter Draycott Library at 604 502 9119 (Surrey, BC). See below for the current BCGS Cemetery Publications List with the names of each cemetery publication available now.
Our newest publications are an illustrated and revised version of our Cemetery Recording Booklet with instructions and tips on recording cemetery marker inscriptions either using digital photographs or with notebooks, and our cemetery listings for Nelson Memorial Cemetery and for Fraser and St. Peter’s cemeteries in New Westminster on CDs. These cemeteries had previously been recorded but that work has been updated with new listings and photographs of all the grave markers.
Members are also working on Fraser Canyon cemeteries, and at Sechelt, and are updating the Boal Chapel, North Vancouver, listings previously published.
For 2014, the BCGS will also publish a revised edition of the BCGS British Columbia War Memorials book.
BCGS member Lorraine Irving gives tours at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver and members Maurice Guibord and M. Diane Rogers give tours of Burnaby cemeteries through the Burnaby Village Museum and tours at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery..
See some of our BCGS Cemetery Committee members’ photographs on Flickr.
The BCGS Cemetery Committee welcomes any information about BC cemeteries and about other recording projects, including details on GPS co-ordinates for BC cemeteries. We encourage everyone to add to our list which includes cemetery area, name, location, latitude, longitude, and whether/where records are available.
The BCGS Cemetery Committee usually meets the first or second Wednesday each month. To join us, or for more information, please contact us.
SELECTED LINKS FOR BC CEMETERY RESEARCH
‘Must’ Websites for BC Cemetery research
British Columbia Cemetery Finding Aid: http://www.islandnet.com/bccfa/homepage.html
BC Archives Vital Events Index, births, marriages, deaths, some early baptisms and marriages. Access some digitized registration documents. See also FamilySearch below for others: http://search-collections.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/Genealogy/basicSearch
BC Vital Events at FamilySearch.org. The indexing and dates available are different from the BC Archives index; also access to digitized registrations: https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/list#page=1&countryId=1929958
Find A Grave Tip – Use Ken Lange’s handy search tool to find Canadian graves and cemeteries on Find A Grave: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/37259330/findagrave_canada_search_fix.html
B.C. Newspapers and Obituaries On-Line: http://www.bcgs.ca/?page_id=541
BC Cemetery Special Interest Groups and Tours
Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria, Tours of Ross Bay Cemetery and other Victoria area cemeteries: http://www.oldcem.bc.ca
Nanaimo District Museum, Cemetery Strolls: http://www.nanaimomuseum.ca
New Westminster Cemetery Tours: http://www.nwheritage.org/heritagesite/history/content/cemetery/cemetery.htm
Vancouver‘s Mountain View Cemetery, All Soul’s Event (October), various tours throughout the year – see website: http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/nonmarketoperations/mountainview/index.htm
Jewish Genealogical Society: https://jgibc.shutterfly.com
Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project & Index: http://www.doukhobor.org/Cemetery-Project.htm
Selected BC Cemetery Websites
Abbotsford Genealogical Society Cemetery Index on-line for selected cemeteries in Abbotsford, Agassiz and Chilliwack: http://www.abbygs.ca/
Mount Lehman Cemetery, Abbotsford, Canadian Gravemarker Gallery: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/british/southwes/fraserva/index.htm
Agassiz. See Abbotsford Genealogical Society.
Barkerville Cemetery: http://webspace.webring.com/people/du/um_918/barkermi.html
Chilliwack. See Abbotsford Genealogical Society.
Fernie cemeteries, partially on-line, searchable with maps and other info. Fernie Heritage Cemetery Restoration Project: http://www.fernieheritagecemetery.com
Gulf Islands. See BCGS publications and also the Victoria Genealogical Society’s burial database, listed below under Vancouver Island.
Kaleden Cemetery, Canadian Gravemarker Gallery: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/british/okanagan/okansout/index.htm
Kaslo cemetery, FindAGrave: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2295920&CScn=kaslo&
City of Kamloops Cemetery information, search for post-1900 burials on-line and view maps: http://www.city.kamloops.bc.ca/cemeteries/index.shtml
Kamloops Pleasant Street Municipal Cemetery, with photos, Kamloops Family History Society, Canada GenWeb Cemetery Project: http://geneofun.on.ca/cems/bc/BCP0652
District of Kitimat, cemetery maps (with names, but not searchable). Note that the BCGS Library has the Kitimat Family History’s listing of burials to 2005: http://www.kitimat.ca/EN/main/residents/services/cemetery.html
Ladysmith Cemetery: http://web.mala.bc.ca/cemetery/#
Langley‘s Fort Langley and Murrayville cemeteries, virtual tours: http://museum.tol.ca/Places/Langleys-Cemeteries
Fraser Cemetery, New Westminster, virtual tour: http://www.nwheritage.org/heritagesite/history/content/fraser/Frasercap.htm
New Westminster Cemetery Monument Photographs: http://www.nwpl.new-westminster.bc.ca/nwheritage.org/phototour/citylife/churches&monuments_monuments.htm
New Westminster Bowell Funeral Home Records, 1932 to 1956, digitized, New Westminster Public Library. Contact the NWP Library for information about Bowell records in print, 1911 to 1960 (not including 1918, 1919 and 1920): http://www.nwheritage.org/bowell/bowell.php
New Westminster, British Columbia Penitentiary Cemetery: http://www.boothill.ca
Sook Sias, B.C. Penitentiary, New Westminster: http://www3.telus.net/public/candylea/index.htm
Convict Deaths in the B.C. Penitentiary, 1875-1916, New Westminster: http://www.rootsweb.com/~canbc/conlist.htm
Riverview Hospital Cemetery, Riverview Hospital, Coquitlam, blog. See map and cemetery section: http://sites.google.com/site/niftyniall2/home
Asylum, a long, last look at Woodlands, New Westminster, photographs, text, etc. exhibition artist Michael de Courcy: http://www.michaeldecourcy.com/asylum
DEAD AND BURIED: What became of the cemetery at Woodlands? New Westminster Michael de Courcy: http://www.michaeldecourcy.com/dead_and_buried/html/index.htm
Woodlands Cemetery Memorial Garden, New Westminster (pdf): http://www.elac.bc.ca/PDF/Woodlands/Woodlands%20I.pdf
Woodlands Cemetery listing and information, New Westminster. Contact Inclusion BC (formerly the BC Association for Community Living): http://www.bcacl.org
North Vancouver Cemetery (click Cemetery Map, then Tools for Burial Index): http://www.cnv.org/server.aspx?c=3&i=21
Penticton, Anglican Cemetery, and Lakeview Cemetery (not yet complete), South Okanagan Genealogical Society, Canadian Gravemarker Gallery: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~cangmg/british/okanagan/okansout/index.htm
City of Prince George Cemetery page. Includes index of Dick Corless’ Funeral Ledgers 1916-1931 and a web form to request/update historical information (scroll to bottom of the page): http://princegeorge.ca/cityservices/cemetery/Pages/Default.aspx
Prince George area cemeteries – Alexandria, Aleza Lake, Bear Lake, Binche Reserve, Braeside, Croydon, Fort George Park, Fort St. James Anglican – referred to locally as The Hudson’s Bay Cemetery, Fort St. James Catholic Cemetery, Fort St. James Public Cemetery, Hixon Cemeteries, Longworth, Loos, Lucerne, Mackenzie, Manson Creek, Mapes, McBride, Moyie, Penny, Prince George Municipal Cemetery, Quesnel Forks, Shelley Indian Reserve Cemetery, Sinclair Mills, Sinkut Falls, Stoney Creek Reserve Cemetery, Stuart-Trembleur Reserve Cemetery, Vanderhoof Municipal Cemetery and Willow River Cemetery.Also Corless and Assman Funeral Home record transcriptions. Prince George Genealogical Society: http://cangenealogy.com/pg/
Prince Rupert, Fairview Cemetery, photos, 7,106 interments shown so far, lookups available. Prince Rupert Genealogy Club: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2222061
City of Prince Rupert, Fairview Cemetery database: http://www.princerupert.ca/page.php?id_page=33&id_section=1
Salmo Doukhobor / Boulder Creek Cemetery, index, photos, CanadianHeadstones.com: http://canadianheadstones.com/bc/cemetery.php?cemID=86 See also the Doukhobor Cemetery Transcription Project above.
South Okanagan Genealogical Society cemetery indexes for Bridesville, Cawston, Coalmont, Greenwood, Hedley, Kaleden, Keremeos, Midway, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Olalla, Oliver, Osoyoos, Penticton – see above ( Old Anglican Cemetery; Lakeview Cemetery; St. Saviour’s Church Columbarium), Phoenix, Rock Creek, Sidley, Summerland, Tulameen: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~okcemeteries/
Vancouver‘s Mountain View Cemetery: http://vancouver.ca/commsvcs/nonmarketoperations/mountainview/index.htm
Vancouver‘s Mountain View Cemetery genealogy indexes – search burial lists, access maps, etc. Note* this is the Cemetery’s old site, so some information will not be current, however the genealogy information is not yet on the new site above: http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/NONMARKETOPERATIONS/MOUNTAINVIEW/burials/index.htm
Masonic Interments, Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/mountain_view/cemetery.html
Newfoundlander’s Reported to be Buried in Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC. Newfoundland’s Grand Banks webisite: http://ngb.chebucto.org/Cemetery/cem-mountain-view-vancouver-bc.shtml
Cemeteries of the North Peace – Buick Creek, Cecil Lake, City of Fort St. John Cemetery (Roman Catholic and Protestant sections), Clayhurst, Doig River (Doig River First Nations-unindexed), Flatrock, Goodlow, Graham River, Pioneer Cemetery at Hudson’s Hope, Garden of Peace Cemetery at Hudson’s Hope, MacCabee Farms Cemetery at Upper Halfway River, Montney, Moose Creek Cemetery, North Pine, Peterson Crossing Cemetery at Doig River, Hudson’s Bay Company Cemetery at Old Fort St. John, Osborne, Pink Mountain, Prespatou, Rose Prairie,St. Martin’s Cemetery at Fort St. John, Peace Valley Cemetery at Taylor, Woodlawn Cemetery at Fort St. John, and Rural North Peace (records for these burials but no exact location): http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hockley/northpeacecemeteries.htm
Peace River Country, Peace Country Roots Group (Dawson Creek, Doe River, Pouce Coupe, Rolla, etc.): http://www.calverley.ca/RootsGroup.html
St Hilda’s By the Sea, Pioneer Cemetery, Sechelt (also a memorial garden): http://www.sthilda.ca/historic%20cemetery.html
Vancouver‘s Mountain View Cemetery, Photographs: http://www.pbase.com/camtrav/cemetery
Southern Vancouver Island – For Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island, see BCGS publications and the Victoria Genealogical Society’s (VGS) Burial Database and the Old Cemeteries Society below. The VGS database includes names and cemetery location. Further details are available from VGS: http://www.victoriags.org/indexes/burial/burial.php
Victoria Old Burying Ground, Pioneer Square, Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria, photographs, burial database: http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/cem_pn.htm
Victoria‘s Ross Bay Cemetery: http://www.oldcem.bc.ca/cem_rb.htm
Ross Bay Cemetery Search, and Death Notice index, 1901 – 1931, City of Victoria: http://web.victoria.ca/archives
Victoria and Southern Vancouver Island – see Vancouver Island above.
Vernon area, Emily’s Mountain Cemetery, Vernon & District Family History Society, BC. transcription and article: http://www.vdfhs.com/cemeteries/north_okanagan/vernon/emilys_mountain/index_emilys_mountain.html
“A Dark Past Unearthed”, recognition and restoration of WW II internment graves at Pleasant Valley Cemetery by the Vernon and District Family History Society: http://www.castanet.net/news/Vernon/120862/A-dark-past-unearthed Article by Carmen Weld, published at Castanet.net, August 13, 2014.
Victoria Cemeteries, Masonic Interments: http://freemasonry.bcy.ca/history/victoria_cemeteries/index.html
Zeballos Municipal Cemetery, FindAGrave. Photographs will be added; most are crosses: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=cr&CRid=2498362&CScn=Zeballos
Selected Veterans Cemeteries and Memorial Websites
The Canadian Virtual War Memorial: http://www.virtualmemorial.gc.ca
Commonwealth War Graves Commission: http://www.cwgc.org
Maple Leaf Project: http://www.mapleleaflegacy.org
British Columbia’s War Memorials: http://www.cdli.ca/monuments/bc.htm
Esquimalt, The Veterans Cemetery, God’s Acre (.pdf):http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/pdf/history/other/gods_acre/gods_acre.pdf
Books about BC cemeteries
All are available at the BCGS Walter Drayclott Library.
Tales the Tombstones Tell: A Walking Guide to Cemeteries in the Cowichan Valley by T. W. Paterson, Duncan, BC Firgrove Publishing, 2012.
Historic Guide to Ross Bay Cemetery Victoria B.C. by John Adams, Victoria, BC: Heritage Architectural Guidesm, 1983.
Royal Oak Burial Park: A History and Guide [Victoria, BC] by Dave Obee, Victoria, BC, 2008.
The Not so Gentle Art of Burying The Dead. The Real Story of How Cemeteries Began [New Westminster] by Hellen C. Pullem, New Westminster, BC, 1985.
Frail Memorials: The Cemeteries of Langley by Wayne Sommer, Langley, BC: Corporation of the Township of Langley, 2005.
Private Grief, Public Mourning: The Rise of the Roadside Shrine in B.C. by John Belshaw and Diane Purvey, Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2009.
Old Canadian Cemeteries: Places of Memory by author Jane Irwin and photographer John Visser, Richmond Hill, Ontario: Firefly Books, 2007.
For the history of funeral service, cemetery and related companies in British Columbia, see Funeral Service in British Columbia: A Century of Caring by Harald Gunderson, British Columbia Funeral Association, Victoria, BC, 1992.
British Columbia Cemetery legislation, consumer advice, etc.
Consumer Protection BC: Cemetery and Funeral Services, information, also see below for cemetery/funeral home search: http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumers-cemetery-and-funeral-homepage
Search for BC licensed/inactive cemetery, cremation or funeral services providers and for license actions in previous year here: http://www.consumerprotectionbc.ca/consumers-alias/consumers-find-a-licensed-business?&task=active_bus
British Columbia, Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act, current 2012. assented to 2004: http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/00_04035_01
Cemetery and Crematorium Association of British Columbia: http://www.ccabc.org
Funeral Service Association of British Columbia: http://www.bcfunerals.com
CONTACT THE BCGS CEMETERY COMMITTEE
Mention of any outside service, website or business, etc. does not imply any endorsement by the BCGS.