VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY ~ WE COVER THE WORLD ~ The Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS), located in Victoria BC Canada, was established in 1978 as a non-profit, volunteer-run society. VGS's first aim is to further the study of genealogy - the exciting search for one's ancestors and family history. Our VGS Resource Centre contains a large Canadian collection, plus resources from other parts of the world to help you with your genealogy research. Are you interested in researching your heritage and family tree? Are you looking for others who share your enthusiasm for genealogy? Are you looking for resources and help with your genealogy research? We can help! - Please join us!

VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
~ WE COVER THE WORLD ~

The Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS) is located in Victoria BC Canada.

Victoria Genealogical Society Video - Blazing Ancestral Trails

VGS is BLAZING ANCESTRAL TRAILS - first aired March 2012 on Shaw TV

Special thanks to Lorraine Scollan, Video Journalist with SHAW TV
who produced this community access video.

 

THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT
Charitable tax receipt provided
VGS Charity  BN/Registration #141045880RR0001


JOIN VGS

It's membership renewal time


VOICES OF THE PAST
New!A Memory Project Preserving Spoken Family History Stories

A new website for recorded memories and stories.
VIEW & CONTRIBUTE



New!RESEARCHING IN VICTORIA BOOK

Where to look for records in Victoria BC  Canada

NOW FOR SALE

Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS)
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

News bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.

 

VGS Launches New Facebook Page "VicGS"

posted 25 Sep 2014 - https://www.facebook.com/vicgs

As part our new emerging VGS strategic plan for promoting our Society, VGS Vice President Lauren Pinkerton has announced the launch of our new VGS Facebook page.  Available to the growing number of Facebook members, Lauren has already started to post genealogy related information and photos.  Facebook also allows others to post information on our "wall", as well as add comments to existing posts. 

We hope to make the "VicGS" Facebook page a vibrant and "happening" place. Please visit us online and be sure to "like" us, and even share our link with friends.

VGS Facebook Page "VicGS" screenshot

 

Kickoff of VGS Fall 'Speaker Series' Draws Large Crowd

Posted 16 Sept 2014

Pat withspeaker Monica at VGS monthly meeting Sep 11 2014The VGS Executive Committee's experiment with the format of our monthly gatherings proved popular on the opening night, September 11, as the Gordon Head United Church Hall was full to the brim. Now dubbed the "Speaker Series", VGS President and MC for night, Pat Acton, kept business to a minimum so she could welcome not one, but two speakers for the evening. Each of the speakers gave excellent presentations to the large group of members and guests who attended.

Before the break, local family researcher Monica Sheridan gave an entertaining and sometimes poignant recounting of her journey to find her father's birth heritage and the circumstances that lead to his adoption. Monica's presentation included wonderful explanations of the research tools and techniques she used in uncovering her family's story. She is currently working on a book about her grandmother's story.

Pat withspeake rHelen Edwards at VGS monthly meeting Sep 11 2014After the break, Helen Edwards, who is very active in Victoria's heritage scene, showed a 6-minute video filmed by William Harbeck in 1907 showing the streets and buildings of downtown Victoria, and a boat ride in the Gorge Waterway. Her added slide presentation offered further details on the major landmarks, biographical information on William Harbeck, and her insider knowledge of the efforts taken to restore this film and bring it to the public domain. Her keen interest and knowledge of Victoria's buildings and history was very evident.

This version of the 1907 film of downtown Victoria has descriptive text and background music added by "BC History": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMUoX6N0-zQ

Bev with Tim, guest from England, at VGS monthly meeting Sep 11 2014For further information on both these speakers, visit our VGS past meetings page.

Also at this September gathering we welcomed Tim, a visitor all the way from Exeter, Devon, England. Tim had been corresponding with Bev Harvey, leader of our very capable VGS Queries team, to get help finding information on his ancestors.  They included some local dignitaries and pioneers, including familiar surnames such as Langley, Walkem and Rhodes. George Anrhony Walkem, his maternal great-grandfather, was third premier of BC from 1874 to 1876.  Tim was in town for only a couple of days and met with Bev to pick up additional records she had collected for him. Happily he managed to fit in our meeting as well. Enjoy your trip to the Rockies, Tim!

It is always a pleasure to welcome out-of-town researchers and visitors at our meetings, workshops and our VGS Resource Centre.

 

 

 

Explore the VGS Resource Centre - FREE on 6 Sep 2014

6 September 2014   ~   Special hours: 11:00 am to 3:00 pm   ~   PLEASE JOIN US!/p>

September 6, 2014 is our "Explore the Victoria Genealogy Society Resource Centre" day./p>

What do we have at the VGS Resource Centre?

Who can use our many resources?

Why become a VGS member?

Come and join us for coffee, tea and goodies while finding out all about us. See some of the things that we have done in the past year. Meet some of our volunteers who are there to help you in searching for your family.  It's a FREE day for all.

Genealogy is our passion. The Resource Centre is full of information, knowledge from our volunteers, support for your searching, and scheduled workshops to guide you on your quest.  Come join us!

 

"VOICES OF THE PAST" MEMORY PROJECT UPDATED

Posted 4 Aug 2014

Victoria Police Officer Albert Harwood and his motorcycleThree new audio stories have been added to the Voices of the Past memory project. Listen to Albert Harwood, WWII veteran and retired Victoria Police Officer, as he tells us about working in a radium refinery, his experiences with circus elephants and a war time memory about running his 'speed buggy' into the back of a Tiger tank.

InIn October, 2013, the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS) launched the "Voices of the Past" memory project to promote the importance of recording and preserving family history stories and personal memoirs. Since then, Merv Scott, VGS Project Director, recorded a number of varied and interesting stories at seniors homes and at recording sessions at the Greater Victoria Public Library. These digital audio files have been edited and posted on our "Voices of the Past" website, designed by Claudia Boorman, VGS Webmaster, along with a text summary of each story and an accompanying photo. Stories are grouped on separate "theme" pages such as "Military", "Business and Occupations", "Arts and Entertainment", "School Days" and more. Listen to these recordings and you will understand why we believe these short glimpses of the past are so worth preserving. Current and future generations will certainly learn from and enjoy these stories.

Since our launch of the Voices of the Past memory project, the VGS has received welcome attention from the media and support from other organizations. The VGS is also proud to report that, in May 2014, the Saanich Archives endorsed the VGS "Voices of the Past" program. "We will also be offering Saanich residents the opportunity to have their Voices of the Past recordings preserved at the Saanich Archives for posterity" says Merv Scott, Project Director, Victoria Genealogical Society.

If you or anyone you know is interested in contributing stories to this worthwhile project, please contact Merv Scott - href="mailto:projects@victoriags.org?subject=Voices of the Past"> projects@victoriags.org - to set up a recording appointment or for more information.

 

Celebrate Canada Day - VGS Resource Centre Revised Schedule

Posted 23 Jun 2014

The VGS Resource Centre will be CLOSED on Monday, 30 June 2014, and Tuesday, 1 July 2014 to give our volunteers and members time to enjoy the extended Canada Day weekend.

Our summer hours will take affect on Wednesday, 2 July 2014 - visit our VGS Resource Centre page for further details.

 

Victoria Genealogical Society supports 151st Victoria Highland Games

Posted 21 May 2014

Another successful Victoria Highland Games was held this past weekend at Topaz Park. Thousands of visitors attended the Games this year and enjoyed the wide variety of competitions, music and refreshments. And thanks to a handful of volunteers the Victoria Genealogical Society was well represented again this year.

Volunteers helped in a variety of capacities, by creating the displays, photocopying materials, stuffing inserts into the brochures, constructing and tearing down the tent, as well as playing host to the many visitors to our tent. This year our volunteers also played host at the Heritage Tent during not one but two presentations that we gave on tracing Scottish ancestry. Both presentations were well attended and the numbers through the tent were also high, so it was a good weekend from that respect too.

Thanks to all the volunteers who helped to make this happen!

 

Go Ancestor Hunting While At The Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival - May 17 & 18, 2014

Posted 9 May 2014

Victoria Highland Games LogoThe Victoria Genealogical Society is going to the Victoria Highland Games on May 17 & 18.  Your ticket to this year's Highland Games also provides free access to seminars on tracing Scottish ancestors and the opportunity to talk to the experts about breaking down any 'brick walls' in your Scotland family history research.

HHave you ever wondered if your family tree holds Scottish princes or Reivers? Would you like to learn if you are related to a certain Scottish tennis star or TV celebrity Chef? The good news is that Scottish genealogy is so easy to research that this seminar is appropriately titled "Tracing Your Scottish Ancestors From Your Sofa".

It's a chance to sit down and listen to presenters from the Victoria Genealogical Society as they discuss key Scottish records to look for and the most useful internet tools and databases. There will also be some free prizes and plenty of opportunity to ask your questions. The seminars will be held in the Heritage Tent located in the Middle Field on Saturday from 12-1:15 and repeated there again on Sunday from 1:45- 3:10.

If you can't make either of those times don't fret. The Victoria Genealogical Society will also be hosting an information and presentation booth throughout the weekend, located once again amongst the Clan Tents. Look for their tent, ask your research questions of their volunteers, and enter a raffle for a free membership so you can have unlimited access and borrowing privileges of thousands of family history research books, maps and databases at their Library and Resource Centre located at 947 Alston Street in Victoria.

If you can't attend the Highland Games, you can still learn more about genealogy by visiting the Victoria Genealogical Society's website at www.victoriags.org where you can now order their youth activity book "Who's in Your Family Tree?" and have it mailed anywhere in the world for just $5 plus postage.

 

VGS Publications Can Now Be Purchased Online

Posted 2 May 2014

Buy VGS publications iconEffective immediately, VGS publications can now be purchased online using your credit card OR PayPal account.  Simply visit our VGS publications page on this website, select your book and shipping destination, and click on the "Add to Cart" button.

Two books are currently available for sale:  "RESEARCHING IN VICTORIA - A Catalogue of Genealogical Resources" (updated and release in Oct 2013), and "WHO'S IN YOUR FAMILY TREE?  step-by-step guide for the Detective in Your Family" (a genealogy workbook for children of all ages, released Sep 2011).  Both books are available in soft-cover printed format.

VGS books can also be purchased in person (cash or cheque only) by visiting our VGS Resource Centre, or by attending our VGS general meetings.

 

New Online VGS Membership System Launched

Posted 30 April  2014

VGS membership page iconAs of May 1, 2014, the Victoria Genealogical Society is implementing a new online membership registration system that allows you to join or renew your VGS membership from the VGS website.  You can also pay your membership fees online, using either your credit card OR PayPal account.  Both types of payments  are processed by the secure PayPal services.

This important launch comes just in time for our new VGS membership year, which runs from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015. But there is no need to wait until then, because starting May 1, any new memberships and renewals will be attributed to the new 2014-15 membership year.  New members joining now will receive membership benefits for the months of May and June for free.  So it pays to join now!

We also encourage existing VGS members to renew now before the summer break and their membership expires.  We are counting on your continuing membership to support the many wonderful VGS services and benefits that you have come to enjoy as current VGS members.

It's never been easier to join VGS, now that you can do it online from the comfort and convenience of your own home.  Please visit our new VGS membership page for more details.

As always, we thank you for supporting VGS.

 

Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program - Starting Again

Posted 27 April  2014

Thrifty Smile Card Fundraising Program
Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program now approved

Here is an easy way to support our Library.

Thrifty Foods has approved our participation in their Smile Card Fundraising Program for another year. Members and non-members are invited to support our Library by reactivating the Smile Card you previously received from the VGS, or pick up a new Card from us. Smile Cards are available at the Resource Center and are free for members and non-members. Please do not ask for a Smile Card at a Thrifty Foods store as other Smile Cards will not be linked to VGS.

Thrifty Foods Smile Cards work like most other gift cards you may have seen, but when you ‘load’ money into your Smile Card, Thrifty’s makes a donation to our VGS Fund Raising drive for new books and subscriptions for our Library. Thrifty’s donation is equivalent to 5% of what you’ve ‘loaded’ or paid into your Smile Card….which clears up the misconception that your card is only loaded with 95% of what you paid and the other 5% was sent to VGS. False. Thrifty’s pays the 5% from their revenues which is a real win for you.

Even if you only shop at Thrifty’s occasionally you will be helping our Library.

Our Smile Card holders can pay by cash or credit card when they ‘load’ their Smile Card at the Customer Service counter or a cashier in any Thrifty’s store they shop. Remember to load your Smile Card before your groceries are rung in.

Members in the Thrifty’s loyalty program still collect points when they use the Smile Card to make a grocery purchase and the balance remaining on your Smile Card shows on the receipt. Smile Cards can be re-loaded so don’t throw them away!

If you have any questions about the Smile Card program, please contact Merv Scott at Projects@VictoriaGS.org - NOT Thrifty’s. Merv has a contact at Thrifty’s to sort out our questions.

 

VGS Silent Auction was a Great Success

Posted 6 April  2014

VGS Silent Auction 2014Our March general meeting was the scene of our annual VGS silent auction fundraiser, and was far from silent. The fun filled evening included games, a raffle and live auction for themed baskets of goodies, and lots of laughter.

Betty Thacker, who was the force behind the Silent Auction team this year, reports:

A big THANK YOU for a successful Silent Auction 2014, to everyone who participated:

  • Our planning team: Heather-Ann for her colorful description and bid sheets, and Barb for assembling the creative baskets and for her magic in setting up the Auction items;
  • Linda Schaumleffel, our dynamic MC and Auctioneer, for the entertaining way she managed to pry loose all those toonies and loonies - even the most serious member was up smiling and laughing at her antics;
  • VGS Silent Auction 2014, auctioneer and bidderHelpers and cashiers: Barb, Colleen, Rick, Shelagh, and Walter;
  • Our excellent refreshment team;
  • Dave for helping with set up;
  • Claudia for website updates and acting as official photographer;
  • Individual members who donated auction items: Carman’s delicious carrot cake, Denis’ Epicure products, Susan’s daughter’s jewelry, Cindy’s donations of wines, silver and sarongs, Diana’s beautiful afghans;
  • Oak Bay United Church’s Thrift Shop for supply of borrowed items;
  • The many businesses whose generous donations are listed on our donors page;
  • All who attended, placed bids, and left with a lighter wallet!
    A reminder to successful bidders: please remember to thank the businesses on behalf of VGS when you use their vouchers or obtain their services.

Well done everyone!

 

Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program Limit Reached

Posted 29 Jan 2014

We are excited to report that our Library Acquisitions Fundraising Program has been a resounding success again this year and our Goal has again been reached! Congratulations to all our members and friends who participated by taking and using one of our Thrifty Foods Smile Cards. With over 100 Smile Cards being used by our members and friends we reached our goal limit of $2000 set by Thrifty Foods. That funding is sorely needed to continue providing Library resources like the popular library edition of Ancestry.

If you have balances remaining on your Thrifty Smile Cards they still work so use up them up.

More good news - Thrifty Foods has invited us to reapply for funding from their next fiscal year’s Smile Card Program, which begins May, 2014 - so don’t throw away your Smile Cards as we may be able to access this fund again. Watch for further news on this website.

If you are afraid you may lose your Smile Card in the meantime you can always return them to our friendly volunteers at the VGS Resource Center.

PLEASE DON'T RETURN YOUR SMILE CARDS TO THRIFTY FOODS.

If you have any other questions about the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program, please email Merv Scott at Projects@victoriags.org

 

The Victoria Genealogical Society Silent Auction, March 13, 2014

Posted 21 Jan 2014

The 2014 VGS Silent Auction has started! While the Silent Auction evening will be held at our regular members’ gathering on March 13th at the Gordon Head United Church, items are now available and bids are being accepted. Be sure to check our donors' page daily for new items being received for auction.

The bidding process is already in place at the Resource Centre. Drop in to the RC, have a coffee and a chat and look at the Silent Auction Binder which displays available items. See something you like (e.g. gift certificate for the a certain restaurant)? Place your bid now. The friendly RC volunteers will be more than happy to assist you.

See an item you’d like and don’t want to go through the auction process and see your prize going to a higher bidder? A final price has been established; meet that price and the prize is yours right now.

Prior to the actual Silent Auction on March 13th, the Silent Auction Binder will be at the February 13th evening meeting. Bids will be encouraged and accepted that evening.

And mark your calendars for the actual Silent Auction evening which will be held on March 13, 2014 at Gordon Head United Church. The evening will consist of both a ‘silent’ and a fun and decidedly ‘un-silent’ auction with a guest auctioneer. Cash or cheques will be accepted for payment for the items. Betty and her team advise bringing an extra supply of loonies and toonies for the surprising elements of the un-silent auction.

Even though the bidding process has started we are still looking for more items to auction. Do you have a skill you can contribute? (e.g. help someone start a family history scrapbook)? Or perhaps you know a local business that you think would support the VGS in return for advertising in our Members’ Update (distribution approximately 300 people), and Resourcefully Yours (distribution about 900 people)? Check our VGS events page for details.

Contact Betty at bthacker@islandnet.com for more information.

... last year's news


 

VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
~ WE COVER THE WORLD ~

The Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS), located in Victoria BC Canada,
was established in 1978 as a non-profit, volunteer-run society.
 
VGS's first aim is to further the study of genealogy -
the exciting search for one's ancestors and family history.

Our VGS Resource Centre contains a large Canadian collection,
plus resources from other parts of the world
to help you with your genealogy research.

Are you interested in researching your heritage and family tree?
Are you looking for others who share your enthusiasm for genealogy?
Are you looking for resources and help with your genealogy research?

We can help!  Learn more about us.  We hope you'll join us!




Previous VGS news - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010