Welcome to the British Columbia Genealogical Society

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Researching your own family tree is rewarding – and fun! No matter where in the world your family is from, we can help.

Our members have been researching, preserving and publishing their own family histories and that of British Columbia, Canada’s families since 1971. 2016 is our Society’s 45th anniversary (and the 20 year anniversary of our website).

Our collective experience and expertise can point you to the best and newest resources on-line and off (not everything is on the Internet) and help you to organize and preserve your family history research, to navigate through confusing documents or contradictory evidence found, and to share your family tree and family stories with others.

Desert Island graphic -http://xkcd.com/731/

Don’t find yourself marooned! Genealogy research is easier and more fun when shared. Desert Island comic, courtesy of Randall Patrick Munroe,
CC BY-NC 2.5, http://xkcd.com/731

 

The British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) has been on the World Wide Web since 1996.  There’ll always be something new for you here on this website. BCGS Members also have access to a Members’ Only Area.

We welcome new members and visitors and invite you to see what we offer free on-line and at our BCGS Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, BC and at our year round monthly meetings, the second Wednesday of every month at 7:30 pm in the Downstairs Hall at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC.

Visit our Research, Walter Draycott Library and Membership sections to see the free resources available to you here which include advice for beginners, free family tree charts, worldwide research links and guides for British Columbia and Canadian genealogy and family history research too.

Do visit the BCGS on Facebook and on Twitter @bcgs_ca And now we are on Pinterest too.

And here is the link to the BCGS mobile site, although if you have a smartphone or other mobile device, you likely can use this website as is ‘on the go’.

Brick Walls 3 Seminar! Oct. 29th, 2016 – Cloverdale

Brick Walls 3: Sharing Strategies on Tough Genealogy Problems
with M. Diane Rogers, Brenda L. Smith, and Peter Whitlock, and guest speaker Laurie Cooke.

Co-sponsored – Cloverdale Public Library and the BC Genealogical Society (BCGS)

Saturday, October 29, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
Charge: $20 (includes food)
Additional charge of $10 for 1-on-1 meeting with an Expert.
Great door prizes include a free 1 year World subscription to Find My Past! And a year’s membership in the BC Genealogical Society!

Another brick in the wall! One of the most successful programs we’ve offered is back. Our experts, Diane, Brenda, and Peter, return to share their thoughts on overcoming difficult Family History challenges.

The panel members will then individually meet attendees who have submitted questions in advance for 1-on-1 fifteen minute consultations. While this is happening our special guest speaker Laurie Cooke will address the main group.

Laurie’s talk: Did They Hang the Wrong Man? examines the truth behind a 1908 Fraser Valley murder. In 1908 there was a murder in the Fraser Valley at Hall’s Prairie. Many were arrested, but ultimately one man was hung. But did they get it right? Come join our special guest speaker Laurie Cooke and with the help of coroner records, court records, and news clippings all will be revealed.

There will be an end-of-the-day wrap-up plus lots of opportunities to ask questions and share experiences!

A light meal and refreshments will be provided.

Call Susan Snalam now at 604 273 8209 to reserve your tickets.

BCGS tickets available in person at meetings as of September 2016. Pay at a meeting in person or on-line below with PayPal. We will ask for your phone number and an e-mail address, if applicable. These will only be used in case we need to contact you about this Seminar.

1-on-1 questions need to be paid for and submitted in advance. You will be asked ahead of time for a brief description of your Brick Wall; a form will be provided to you for this purpose. Contact the BCGS or Cloverdale Library for details.

This programme requires pre-registration and will be held at the Cloverdale Library, 5642 – 176A Street Surrey, BC V3S 4G9.

You can pay by PayPal now. You do not need to have a PayPal account.


Brick Wall Seminar




Was a relative on the Hector to Nova Scotia in 1773?

“BBC Scotland is on the lookout for Scottish-Canadians and Scottish-Americans descended from those on the ship the Hector. On September 15th 1773, the vessel landed at Brown’s Point in Pictou in Nova Scotia. The tired three-masted cargo vessel had almost not made it, overcoming terrible sickness and epic sea storms. But when the 189 Highlanders disembarked, it would change Canada forever. The Hector was the first ship to directly transport passengers from Scotland to Nova Scotia. The historic voyage marked the beginning of a massive wave of immigration that would shape the future of North America.”

Contact the BBC’s programme’s researcher, Nadine Lee, directly by e-mail: nadine.lee02@bbc.co.uk or by phone +0044 1224 384 816.

This information via Scottish Studies at Simon Fraser University.

BCGS General Meeting, Wed., August 10, 2016 in Burnaby.

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 10 August 2016, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.

The Bylaws Committee will review their work and group discussion on some proposed changes will follow.

All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments available.

After the business portion, George Caldwell will host a Scottish Group session.

Update, August 8: If you had a relative on the Hector in 1773, see today’s note at bcgs.ca

Meeting location – printable map and directions

Fall 2016 Events include:

Sat., Sept. 10th – English Group Coffee Chat; 1-3 pm, BCGS Library.

Wed., Sept. 14th – BCGS Harvest Supper and General Meeting.

Fri./Sat., Sept. 16th and 17th – UEL Dedication and Open House, BCGS Library.

Sat. Oct. 15th – Finding Your Roots Seminar, all day.

Sat. Oct. 29th – BCGS-Cloverdale Library Brickwalls 3 Seminar and Consultations. Tickets available soon from BCGS.

Oct. – BCGS Salt Lake City research trips.

BC Day! Remember those long ago road trips?

Cover-Hope-Princeton-Highway-1949

One of the many hidden gems in the BCGS Library is this booklet celebrating the opening of the Hope-Princeton Highway in 1949. I think we often forget how hard transportation to and from BC’s interior was not so long ago and how much of a difference some of these early projects made to towns along the routes.

“British Columbia Presents the Hope-Princeton Highway, November 2nd, 1949” includes messages from the Premier, Byron Johnson, and Minister of Finance, Herbert Anscomb,and the Minister of Public Works, Ernest Carson, but also photos of BC’s Chief Engineer, the various project engineers, and the main construction and paving contractors, as well as these maps, a bit of history of the area, and statistics about the project which include the Princeton to Kaleden Highway. (asphalt – 2,720,000 gal.!)

Hope-Princeton-Highway-map-1949

Hope-Princeton Highway at opening, 1949

Lower-British-Columbia-Highways-1949

British Columbia Highways in lower BC, 1949

“British Columbia Presents the Hope-Princeton Highway, November 2nd, 1949” published by the British Columbia Government Travel Bureau, Department of Trade and Industry [1949]. BCGS Library Call # 971.14 B.C. Gov.

Have a look at this Royal BC Museum video for more history about the Highway, “This Week In History Season 3 Episode 9 – Hope Princeton Highway”.