BC Pioneers

BCGS BC Pioneer Register

The BC Pioneer Register is an ongoing project of the BCGS British Columbia Research Committee.

The purpose is to collect family and individual details on people who were resident in British Columbia before 1900.  These files are available at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library and are indexed. The BC Research Committee can provide copies of relevant files for a nominal fee for those who cannot come to the Library.


The latest published index to the BC Pioneers is Pioneer Register: Pioneers of British Columbia Pre 1900, 3rd edition, 2004, edited by Iline Gronlund, 73 pp. This index gives the name of the pioneer, the date they were first in BC, the area they lived in and a reference # for their file at the BCGS Library. This index is for sale. See the BCGS Publication page for the BCGS Publication Price List.

A BC Pioneer Update 2005 – 2011 index with names mentioned in Pioneer Register submissions published from 2005 to 2011 is available on this website.

For example, these are the entries for the Timms family of Vancouver.

1887Timms, Amelia Agnes (d/o Geoge) [Telford]Vancouver4868
1900Timms, Annie (w/o Edward) [Smith]Vancouver, Langley Prairie4868
1896Timms, Arthur Hubert (bro Edward, George, Esther)Vancouver4868
1887Timms, Carl Frederick (s/o George) [Clark]Vancouver4868
1898Timms, Dorothy Mildred (d/o Arthur)Vancouver4868
1898Timms, Edward James (bro Arthur, George, Esther) [Smith]Vancouver, Langley Prairie4868
1898Timms, Edward James (s/o George Y.)Vancouver4868
1887Timms, Elsie Victoria (d/o George) [Doubt]Vancouver4868
1887Timms, Ethel Florence (d/o George) [McDougall]Vancouver4868
1884Timms, Florence Agnes (w/o George) (née Partridge)Vancouver4868
1887Timms, George Edward (s/o George)Vancouver4868
1884Timms, George Frederick (b/o Edward, Arthur, Esther) [Partridge]Vancouver4868
1898Timms, George Young [Harris]Vancouver, Langley Prairie4868
1900Timms, Harold Philip (s/o Philip)Vancouver4868
1898Timms, Harriett Hodiah (née Harris) (w/o George Y.)Vancouver, Langley Prairie4868
1898Timms, Lizzie Maud Elena (née Slater) (w/o Philip)Vancouver4868
1887Timms, Max Arthur (s/o George) [Eben, Sloggett]Vancouver4868
1898Timms, Miriam Marie "Minnie" (née Washer) (w/o Arthur)Vancouver4868
1898Timms, Philip Thomas (s/o George Y.)Vancouver4868
1898Timms, Vivian Richard (s/o George Y.) [Timms]Vancouver4868


Philip Timms in uniform with helicon, c.1908, Mount Pleasant (Vancouver) band member.
Philip Timms in band uniform with helicon, c.1908, Mount Pleasant (Vancouver) band member. Courtesy City of Vancouver Archives CVA 677-654.

Philip Thomas Timms, the son of George Young Timms and Harriett Hodiah Harris,  was one of the City of Vancouver’s best known photographers for the years from around the turn of the century till WW I. Vancouver’s first Archivist, Major J. S. Matthews’s, description of Timm’s is often quoted: “Mr. Timms is a real Vancouver pioneer; handpicked, extra special, double refined and forty over proof.”  To see some of his Vancouver photos, see the Vancouver Public Library exhibition, Vancouver’s Golden Years, 1900 to 1910: Photographs by Philip Timms.

Over the years, many BC Pioneer submissions have been published in The British Columbia Genealogist. These articles are indexed, usually by the main pioneers’ names (not necessarily including ancestors and descendents) although the article may include them.

Submitting BC Pioneers to the Register

BCGS – BC Pioneer Register Submission Form (.pdf file)

See the BC Pioneer Register submission form for an outline. We ask for a short history of the person and a family tree (ancestors and descendants) as known. If  others have done or are doing research on the family, please give us that information.  The form is only 2 pages but you are not limited to that. Send as much information as you like by mail or electronically; this will be welcomed.

Members may submit details on anyone who qualifies; submitters don’t need to be related.

Submissions can include GEDCOM files, copies or scans of photographs and other documents. Please do not mail original documents. If the BC Pioneer or their family has already been written about, please provide references to the relevant articles or books.

Please contact the BCGS Editor.with any questions. Submissions may be sent by e-mail, if all electronic, to editor@bcg.ca or can be mailed c/o the BCGS Editor to the Society’s postal address. Please mark the mail ‘Pioneer Register’.

Pioneer Register abbreviations, etc.:

f/o; m/o – father of; mother of
s/o, d/o – son of; daughter of
bro/o; sis/o – brother of; sister of
w/o; h/o – wife of; husband of
nf/o; ne/o – nephew of; niece of
cmlw/o; cmlh/o – common-law wife of; common-law husband of

(née) – maiden name
[spouse] or [two / spouses]
“nickname or aka”