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. In 2011, our Society celebrated its 40th anniversary.

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’.

BCGS General Meeting – Feb. 10, 2016, Burnaby

Vintage-Valentine-Postcard

Vintage Valentine’s postcard, courtesy of Dave (riptheskul) on Flickr; CC 2. License.

The next BC Genealogical Society General Meeting is Wednesday, 10 February 2015, 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby.
All interested are welcome to attend. Refreshments.

After the general meeting, enjoy our ‘Genealogical Cocktail Party’, then meet with others in two group sessions:
– Irish
– Civil Registration and Census

BCGS General Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month 7:30 pm at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid St., Burnaby, BC. Directions and map (.pdf)

Happy New Year to all genealogists!

Vintage-New-Year-Countdown There are many opportunities for genealogists coming up in 2016 in British Columbia, including participating in the BC Genealogical Society regular General Meetings, the first for 2016 on January 13th, writing for and reading our quarterly journal, hearing BCGS speakers and sharing research in special interest group sessions, furthering personal research at the BCGS Walter Draycott Library, and attending the annual BCGS Seminar, April 30th with Chris Paton, and enjoying the annual Book Awards and Strawberry Tea, and the Harvest Supper in September. We look forward to hearing from BCGS members and friends and meeting them at activities and events throughout the year.

May your 2016 be filled with ancestors – and the sounds of those family history brick walls breaking down.

BC Genealogical Society receives LAC DHCP grant – The BCGS Pedigree Chart project

The British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) is pleased, indeed excited, to announce to members and friends of the Society that we were successful in our application for a Library and Archives Canada (LAC) Documentary Heritage Community Programme (DHCP) grant for 2015-2016 – Funded by the Government of Canada / Financé par le gouvernement du Canada.

This grant programme is a new on-going (5 year) initiative meant for organizations and institutions without government funding, and those eligible included “archives, privately funded libraries, historical societies, genealogical organizations/societies, professional associations and museums with an archival component”.

We were pleased to see genealogical societies listed among the eligible groups. Sixty-five DHCP projects received grants, including one from the Saskatchewan Genealogical Society.

The DHCP grants are intended to:

“Increase access to, and awareness of Canada’s local documentary heritage institutions and their holdings; and
– Increase the capacity of local documentary heritage institutions to better sustain and preserve Canada’s documentary heritage.”

Since our beginnings in 1971, British Columbia Genealogical Society members and others have contributed their family history research to the Society to ensure both its preservation and access to all interested researchers.

The oldest parts of this unique collection, known as the BCGS Pedigree Chart collection, consists of pedigree charts, trees and family information sheets which are held in the BCGS Library. Many of the documents were handwritten in pen or pencil; various sizes and types of paper were used; some are now fading or otherwise deteriorating. Interestingly, the worst are often those printed on early computer printers.

These charts have never been copied, although volunteers have indexed all the family names on the documents.

With this DHCP grant to the BC Genealogical Society these documents are being scanned professionally. The original documents then will be stored for preservation purposes, and the scans will be available to researchers at the BCGS Library and on the BCGS website.

At the first BC Genealogical Society meeting of 2016, Wednesday, January 13, there will be a presentation outlining the project and inviting members and others to add their family information to this overall collection for future researchers use, but now electronically.

The January 13, 2016 BCGS General Meeting will start at 7:30 pm, at the Danish Lutheran Church, Downstairs Hall, 6010 Kincaid Street in Burnaby, BC. See a printable map of the meeting location.

Watch for more news about this project.
BCGS printable blank Pedigree Chart (.pdf)