The Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS) was established in 1978.
We are located in Victoria BC Canada.

Celebrating 40 years

OUR MISSION: To support and promote family history research in Victoria,
across Canada and around the world.

VGS offering free genealogy lookups at Highland Games

VGS offering free genealogy lookups at Victoria's Highland Games, May 19-21, 2018

The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre, Victoria Genealogical Society

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Our VGS GENEALOGY LEARNING & RESEARCH CENTRE is a welcoming place where you can:

attend our genealogy workshops and seminars

network at our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) and Speaker Series meetings

research your family history, build your family tree


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New members always welcome.

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Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS)

News bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.

VGS at Highland Games a Great Success!

Posted 22 May 2018

Crowds at the VGS tent, Victoria Highland Games 2018VGS's unique support at the Victoria Highland Games was a rewarding success

The 155th Victoria Highland Games (May 19-21) was yet another successful and well attended event with an estimated 25,000 attendees over the weekend. Each year the Games organizers try to offer something new for attendees and this year, the Victoria Genealogical Society was asked to provide Games attendees with real time, genealogical internet searches. The Games provided the VGS with two tents prominently situated on the edge of the 'main square' which turned out to be a wonderfully central location. The Games also provided VGS with electricity, tables and chairs while the VGS provided computers, a printer, other resources and materials, and the experienced volunteers to perform the internet searches. The VGS approached a couple of the big genealogy companies to provide free searches and thankfully ScotlandsPeople came through with the critical support needed to make this effort a success. Thank you ScotlandsPeople.

The Highland Games attendees were excited to see this service provided and even more excited to learn it was FREE. With 2 online computers, for 3 days, mostly at 15 minute intervals our VGS volunteers introduced many people to the fascinating world of family history research. In ScotlandsPeople credit terms we used 1,150 credits which means over 190 images were retrieved and a lot more free searches were conducted. Of course ScotlandsPeople wasn't the only internet resource used so you get the idea - our volunteers had a steady stream of customers throughout the weekend. Many times we got so busy (as shown in this photo) that we had to resort to a reservation system which seemed to work quite well.

None of this could have happened without our VGS volunteers (13) who worked in shifts of 4 (2 doing lookups while the other 2 were helping passerbys with their questions about family history). But it was the enthusiasm of our volunteers that made this weekend such a resounding success. There was a constant stream fun and laughter as customers were surprised to be connected to their previously lost or unknown family history.

We had better start planning soon for next year's Games because we will likely be asked to provide this service again!

Photos courtesy of Merv Scott.  Scroll down to view a short video clip, courtesy of Paul Ross.

VGS offering free genealogy lookups at Highland Games

VGS offering free genealogy lookups at Victoria's Highland Games, May 19-21, 2018

VGS display board at Victoria's Highland Games, May 19-21, 2018

VGS signs offering free genealogy lookups at Victoria's Highland Games, May 19-21, 2018

Our new collapsible banner getting attention at Victoria's Highland Games, May 19-21, 2018

A short video clip of VGS at the Highland Games, courtesy of Paul Ross.


Every Family Has Stories ...

Every family has stores. Share yours with us.  Victoria Genealogical Society.

Scottish Research Help at the Highland Games

Posted 14 May 2018

Do you have Scottish Ancestry?  Not sure but would like to learn more?

Come to the 155th Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival on May 19th to 21st , and visit our Victoria Genealogical Society information and display tent and say Hi to our volunteers. FREE on-line searches will be conducted using Scotlandspeople to get you started researching your Scottish family history.

Take in one of three daily Scottish Genealogy Research presentations ‘Tracing your Scottish Ancestors’ in the Heritage Tent.

For more information check

During this Highland Games, our VGS Learning and Resource Centre, 209-4475 Viewmont Avenue, (Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre) WILL BE CLOSED on Saturday, May 19th to Monday, May 21st , and will re-open on Tuesday, May 22nd.

Come find out about the Victoria Genealogical Society at the Highland Games.

Victoria Genealogical Society offers family research help at the 2018 Victoria Highland Games


2 Spaces Only Left for Google Earth Workshop

Posted 16 Apr 2018

We have just had two spaces open up in next Saturday's Google Earth workshop - 21 Apr 2018 at 10am.

This introductory workshop will cover the basic components of Google Earth that will enable you to begin mapping your ancestor’s trail. Learn to create a map of the various places they lived or use descriptive place marks to map burial sites in a cemetery. The options of what you can do are endless!

*** First two emails requesting spots will get them. Register at: ***

Visit our Workshops page for more details.


New "CSI" SIG an Added Benefit for Members

Posted 7 Apr 2018 - Updated 18 Apr 2018

We are very pleased to announce a BRAND NEW Special Interest Group (SIG) for VGS Members, led by Melanie Arscott.  It is  called CSI - Crowd Sourced Intelligence and is based on her recent and very successful workshop of the same name.  It is a welcome new learning and networking opportunity for VGS MEMBERS ONLY, as a benefit of membership.

This SIG will meet at the Learning Centre on the 3rd Tuesday at 7 pm each month. This evening schedule will hopefully be accessible to more members.  The focus will be on researching items that have been donated to the VGS, which have an identifiable family connection (i.e. a name on them). Learn to pull out clues by careful observation, think logically about them and then search for answers in the many databases we have available to us all the while collaborating with others. The skills you learn here can then be applied to your own research - giving you more accurate results and building a clearer picture of your family. The aim is to return found items to their families, when possible.

 A special thank you to Melanie for her willingness to share her years of experience as genealogy researcher and facilitator with our VGS members.

Come and be amazed at what you can learn!

Visit our SIG page for more details on all our Special Interest Groups.

NEW - For quick access, SIGS for the current month are now also summarized
on our home page in the "What's Going On" side bar. ---->


Celebrations at March VGS Speaker Meeting

Posted 12 Mar 2018
Submitted by Merv Scott

Good fun at the last VGS Speaker Series on March 9. Presenter was Colin Neilson who spoke about his experience Hiking the Trail of 98 - The Chilkoot Trail. Mayor Atwell was in attendance (seen here with Colin and VGS President Pat Acton).

 And some Thrifty Foods Smile Cards users celebrated our reaching our fundraising goal this year. Thanks to all who participated.

Join us next month with Yvonne Van Ruskenveld's presentation "They Also Served - Animals of the Great War". April 12th, 7:30pm St Aidan's Lower Church Hall.

VGS Members at 9 Mar 2018 genealogy meeting raise their Thrify Smile Card


VGS President Pat Acton with Mayer Atwell and speaker Colin Neilson, 9 Mar 2018


New Hands-On CSI Workshop Gets High Praise

Posted 22 Feb 2018

Saturday, February 17th the VGS presented a brand-new workshop to 14 eager participants. "CSI: Genealogy" was created by long time member Melanie Arscott, who decided to try using “crowd sourced intelligence” to solve the mystery of the beautiful illustrated Bible, which was donated to the VGS.

Beautiful illustrated heirloom bible, subject of VGS research workshop

Melanie led the group in using a variety of resources, both online and in the VGS collection to try to determine the story of this Bible and the family it belongs to. Enthusiasm and participation was high as everyone worked as a group to piece the information together.

As shown, the final result was a wall-sized draft of a 4-generation family tree, created by the workshop participants with the use of large moveable post-it notes connected by felt pen lines on a large roll of paper. Melanie ended with a recap of the findings, and discussed possible next steps. Some of the most recent family members in the tree were identified, with the hope that they might still be living. The goal would be to locate and contact them in order to return this gorgeous old bible to the rightful family.

Wall mounted family tree draft created at VGS workshop

Participants had lots of great things to say:

  • "What a fantastic workshop experience. It was great to work as a team and very well done."
  • "Everyone was keen to find something relevant and the time flew by. Plus I think everyone took something away from it – learning while doing is always a good approach."
  • "What a neat idea for a workshop, it really appealed to my inner-Sherlock."
  • "The enthusiasm was infectious and I think we all did have a great time. It was an inspired subject for a workshop as we needed to do some lateral thinking, and the invaluable CSI Quick Links guide was so useful. I learned a lot and I’m sure the guide will be referred to frequently."

Group research workshop by Victoria Genealogical Society

Group research workshop by Victoria Genealogical Society

Group research workshop by Victoria Genealogical Society

Looking forward to offering this one again next season!

Schedule and details of our upcoming VGS workshops can be found on our events page.  


VGS Reaches Fundraising Goal for Thrifty Food's Smile Cards

Posted 6 Feb 2018

Thrifty Smile CardWe are excited to report that our Thrifty Food's Smile Card 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 Smile Cards. With over 100 Smile Cards being used by our members and friends we reached our goal limit of $3,000 set by Thrifty Foods.

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

Don't throw away your Smile Cards as we plan to apply for funding under their new program year beginning in May. Watch for further news on this website.


If you have any other questions about the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program, please email Merv Scott at


 New Membership Incentive Announced - Tell Your Friends!

Posted 6 Feb 2018

Do you know any non VGS members who might be interested in a trial VGS membership? As of February 1st the VGS is offering a special membership incentive - NEW memberships for half price!

That's right. People who have NEVER held a membership with VGS can purchase a short term membership (ends June 30th, 2018) allowing them the opportunity to try us out. They would be entitled to all the benefits of a full membership including free access to The Genealogy Learning & Research Centre, free access to resources like FindMyPast and Ancestry, free access to SIG discussion groups, reduced fees for workshops, and more.

This incentive ends on April 30th.  We hope you pass the word around. Let your friends and colleagues know about this opportunity. Thank you!


VGS Learning Centre now Open 3rd Thursday Evening of the Month

Posted 14 Jan 2018

We have talked about what other services we could provide to the VGS members. Membership Director Rick Deegan has been the first to come up with a concrete solution to the suggestion of evening openings.

Rick Deegan and Centre Director Cathie MacKenzie have volunteered to be at The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM every 3rd Thursday of the month.

This will start this coming Thursday, January 18th.
The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre will be open from 7:00 to 9:00 PM.
Free for VGS members.  $5.00 for non-members.

Please drop in if you: would like time to do some research; have brick walls or ancestor search problems to discuss, have questions you would like to discuss with others.

The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre will be open on the evening of the 3rd Thursday of every month.  Our regular opening hours will also continue.

Our opening hours (Sept - June) at the VGS Centre are now:

  • Monday - Friday: 12 noon to 3:00 pm
  • Saturday: 12 noon to 4:00 pm.
  • Thursday evening (3rd Thursday ONLY): 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

Come visit us at

The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre
209 - 4475 Viewmont Avenue
(Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre)
Victoria, BC, Canada


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

Have a Wonderful Christmas Time from our friends at the Victoria Genealogical Society



Posted 12 Dec 2017


The Genealogy Learning & Research Centre will be CLOSED over the holiday season.
The Centre will be closed on Saturday, December 16th
and will re-open on Tuesday January 2nd, 2018.




Posted 12 Dec 2017

In keeping with tradition, we will have an extended social time at the December Speaker Series meeting. If you can, please bring finger food (appies or desserts) to share. Come and visit with your fellow genealogy enthusiasts and celebrate the season with us!

In addition, our speaker will be Jamie Graham, talking about Victoria's Historic Police Charge Books and Graham Family Stories.  More details can be found on our VGS meetings page.




Posted 4 Dec 2017

FindMyPast logo Your Executive has recently added FindMyPast World Library subscription to the list of benefits of membership in the VGS!  We have long offered Ancestry to our members, and that will continue to do so at our VGS Centre.  And now we are so excited to also offer FindMyPast to double your online database options.

We have taken on this online research service as a one-year trial and will decide based on feedback whether to continue after. Please come in and use the computers at the Centre or bring your laptop and use the Centre’s WIFI to access this amazing resource. (WIFI access to the FindMyPast website functions the same onsite as our ongoing Ancestry subscription.)

FindMyPast (FMP) has exclusive collections that cannot be found anywhere else online. Based in the UK, it's original focus was records of the British Isles.  It's ever growing collection now includes so much more.  It is the source for:

  • scans of original vital records
  • extensive passenger lists of ships leaving the UK and Ireland for Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand
  • key military collections
  • pre-WWII 1939 Register of 41 million people in England and Wales
  •  census records from England, Wales and Scotland 1841-1911.
  • the largest online collection of parish records from the 1500s. - the largest online collection of Irish parish records
  • the complete Griffith’s Valuation
  • exclusive land records
  • Court records and Petty Sessions Order Books from 1842-1913.
  • plus collections from Canada, USA, Australia and New Zealand. And much more!

For those who are familiar with FMP, we regret to advise that the Library subscription does not include the extensive historical newspaper collection. Newspapers are available with a personal subscription.

Come to the Centre to try out this new resource!  If at all possible, please bring your own laptop or tablet to ensure ready access.  We are anticipating lineups at our 2 computers!



Posted 1 Dec 2017

VGS Webinars are a new offering brought to you by your Executive and Family Tree University. The VGS has purchased a number of these webinars on topics in which our members have shown a strong interest, but for which we’ve historically had trouble finding workshop presenters.   Our first webinar was held on November 4, 2017 to great acclaim, so Monica has scheduled more in the coming months.

Because they are usually only 60 minutes in length, they cost less than a full workshop. However, we do invite members to stay after the presentation to discuss what they’ve learned and network with other members.

These webinars are now included in our VGS workshops schedule.  Keep an eye out for the green highlighting - it means there's a webinar happening!

For more information on upcoming webinars, please visit our events page which contains our recently updated Workshops & Webinars schedule.

 IMPORTANT: pre-registration is still required for webinars
Webinar cost: $5 for members, $10 for non-members



Victoria Genealogical Society celebrating 40 yearsPosted 4 Nov 2017

We are excited to invite you to our GRAND OPENING on Saturday, November 18th.  Come join the party!  Please note that there  will be NO WORKSHOP that day.

We will be hosting this Grand Opening in celebration of our new and re-named location, "The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre" in the Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre: 209 - 4475 Viewmont Avenue, Victoria BC.. We are also celebrating VGS's 40th anniversary year.

Please drop by 1:00-4:00pm on November 18, 2017 and say Hi. There will be door prizes, refreshments and surprises. Please bring your friends to see what we are all about.

Come see what all the fuss is about!



Happy Halloween!

Posted 31 Oct 2017

Happy Halloween from Victoria Genealogical Society



Posted 24 Oct 2017

Our schedule of Saturday events in November has now been adjusted to accommodate our first hosted Webinar in our new home, and our Grand Opening / Open House.  Dates are different from those previously published. These are the new details:

WEBINAR - November 4
The VGS is trying out a new way of sharing information!  Please join us for our first webinar, "Undiscovered Collections in Online Libraries"  from Family Tree University, for viewing at our VGS Genealogy Learning and Research Centre.  This webinar will be our Saturday workshop for November 4th, from 10 am to noon. The webinar will be held at our new Learning & Research Centre and is just over an hour. We invite you to stay after to discuss what you've seen with your fellow researchers!

Registration is required as usual. Cost is $5 for members, $10 for non-members. Limit of 15 people -
please email to register.


OPEN HOUSE - November 18
To celebrate our new location and our Grand Opening, we're reserving this date so you can come and see what all the fuss is about!  Details aren't yet finalized, but we'll post new information as it becomes available.  Mark your calendars!

WORKSHOP - 25 November - NOW FULL
Allison Bond's popular workshop "MAKING YOUR OWN FAMILY HISTORY BOOK " has once again sold out!  As our workshop capacity is now set at 15, we recommend you register early for future workshops to avoid disappointment.



Posted 17 Oct 2017

We're happy to be settling in at our new location in the Royal Oak Shopping Centre here in Victoria BC, and are now welcoming visitors and holding workshops and special interest group meetings at "The Genealogy Learning & Research Centre" (address also at the top of this page).  Here's what we look like now!

Inside The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre", Victoria Genealogical Society, Victoria BC Canada

Please visit us!



Posted 16 Oct 2017

We will be closing The Genealogy Learning & Research Centre on Saturday, 21 Oct 2017 to allow volunteers to attend the VGS Genealogy seminar scheduled for that same day.

Regular hours will resume on Monday, October 23.



Posted 16 Oct 2017

Our upcoming VGS Genealogy Seminar on 21 Oct 2017 is now SOLD OUT! If you want to be put on our wait list, please contact us at

Thanks to all who support this event.



Posted 9 Oct 2017

If you haven't already got your ticket for our VGS part-day genealogy seminar coming up on October 21st, you'll need to act fast.  As of this afternoon, 71 of the 80 tickets have been sold!  This has been an amazing response considering that tickets have only been on sale for less than a month.  Thanks for your support.

You can still register online, as well as learn all the details, on our Seminar page.  Or sign up by visiting us at our brand new location - The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre -  in the Royal Oak Shopping Centre.  We open tomorrow, Tuesday October 10, noon to 3pm.  Tickets are sold on a first come first served basis.

The lucky winner of a free ticket to the seminar from the early bird draw is Jacquie Vickers.  Congratulations Jacquie!


Posted 3 Oct 2017

We've moved and our old location on Alston Street IS NOW CLOSED. However, due to the delay in shelving delivery, we cannot open our new location in the Royal Oak Shopping centre until Tuesday, October 10 following Thanksgiving (not Oct 3 as previously advertized).

We are still very busy moving boxes and stocking shelves. But our new sign is now on our door.  Thank you Jim!

Thanks everyone for your patience.

Stocking shelves at the VGS Genealogy Learning and Research Centre, Victoria BC Canada  Door sign - The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre, Victoria Genealogical Society



Posted 17 Sep 2017

You may have noticed that this year's seminar is rather late in being announced. This is due to the need to make our impending move the priority this year. However, we are happy to present a partial-day seminar which will be October 21st from 9am to 1pm. (Registration from 8:30 am).

VGS Genealogy Seminar 2017 poster thumbnailAs you can see, this year's annual seminar is fast approaching, so get your tickets while you can! We are selling fewer seats this year to ensure a comfortable experience for everyone at the venue, so make sure to buy early to avoid disappointment. As an added incentive, those who register by September 30th will be put in a draw to receive free seminar admission!

Admission will include morning coffee/tea/water and a midday break including coffee/tea and wonderful snacks from Judy's Snack Shack catering (those of you who attended last year will remember her amazing goodies!). We will also have door prizes to win!

Our title this year is "Next Steps: Using New & Traditional Resources to Further Your Research". We have three sessions from two amazing speakers: Victoria's own Dave Obee, journalist, editor-in-chief of the Times Colonist, and highly accomplished genealogist and speaker, and Susanne Sulzberger, Reference Archivist with the Vancouver office of Library and Archives Canada.

** DON'T FORGET: All who register by September 30th will be
put in a draw to win FREE seminar admission!

Please check out our seminar page for further information on the seminar and instructions on how to register. We would love to see you there!



Posted 10 Sep 2017

Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre, Victoria BC VGS members should have recently received our monthly e-newsletter by email, including an important message from our VGS President Pat Acton.  Excitement has been growing over the summer in anticipation of our move to a new location at the end of September.  The new lease has been signed, and hard working volunteers have been busy packing over the summer.   But we are still open for business at our current Alston Street Resource Centre until the completion of the workshop on Saturday, September 30th.

The new location, opening October 3rd [revised to Oct 10], comes with a new name:
The Genealogy Learning & Research Centre
#209-4475 Viewmont Avenue
Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre
Victoria V8Z 6L8

Be sure to come and visit us!

New Logo for Victoria Genealogical SocietyAlong with our new location comes a new look for our branding as well.  Pat explains that: "as we continue to grow our online presence we needed to design a new logo using vector graphics for a sharper online image."

As the image for the new logo may not have been visible to all members via email, I'll give you a sneak peak here.  Pat's comment on the logo: "I love the twist on the conventional genealogy tree, by having a more human-like characteristic with arms open wide to embrace the entire family tree. I hope everyone likes it as much as I do."  We hope you like it too!

Don't be surprised if, over the next few weeks, you see this new logo appear on this website, on forms, in social media etc.

VGS members should refer to their e-newsletter for further details.



Posted 9 Sep 2017

Researching your Family History?  Want to learn about writing your family Story?  On September 16, 2017, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm, the Royal BC Museum is sponsoring this event at the Greater Victoria Regional Library, Central Branch.  "Meet genealogists and learn how they share their research with family members and the public through social media, self-published accounts and more."

Our very own VGS Journal Editor, Kathleen Lowe, will be one of the presenters.

Registration is required.  For more details, please visit



Posted 6 Sep 2017

Our 2017-2018 VGS year is now underway. This will be our 40th birthday year, as well as an exciting and positive year for our Society.  We are very thrilled with our plans for the coming year!

To start the year off, our VGS Resource Centre at Alston Street re-opened as of September 5th, at regular hours - visit our Resource Centre page for details and directions.

When you walk in you will notice that there have been changes and that the VGS is definitely an organization on the move to a new home.

However, many things are still the same:

  • Wifi and internet searches (and free access to Ancestry) are of course free to VGS paid up members (have you renewed YOUR membership?)
  • Wifi access is available for your laptops – as it was before. Two PCs are available for searches for members who do not have laptops.
  • VGS friendly volunteers are available to help you with your ancestral research and internet searches.
  • Saturday morning workshops will start again for the 2017-2018 season.   The first workshops are scheduled for Sept 23rd and Sept 30th at our Alston Street address.  Watch for the "Resourcefully Yours" email bulletins  for more details, or visit our workshop page.
Our anticipated move to our new home in the Royal Oak Shopping Centre will occur effective October 1, 2017. That's next month!  Details will be sent to members in the very near future.



Posted 13 Aug 2017

The Victoria Genealogy Society is extremely grateful for the efforts of this past year’s workshop presenters and speakers, who volunteer their time for the society and both entertain and educate us on so many aspects of genealogy and local history.

The workshop presenters for the 2016/17 season were as follows:

  • Allison Bond:
    • Making Your Own Family History Book
  • Elaine Fraser:
    • Google Earth: A Geography & History Tool for Genealogists
  • Gerry Poulton:
    • Search Strategies
    • Search Strategies
  • Heather Shave:
    • Across the Pond
    • Beginning Scottish Research
    • English Poor Law and Workhouses
    • Scotland Beyond ScotlandsPeople
    • Beginning English Research
  • Joe Carr:
    • Paperless Genealogy
  • Kathleen Lowe:
    • Writing Biographies of Your Ancestors
    • Drop in Writing Sessions
  • Keith Holden:
    • Identifying Military Uniforms in Old Photographs
  • Melanie Arscott:
    • Introduction to Quebec Research
  • Merv Scott:
    • This Isn’t Your Mother’s Genealogy: Put Twitter to Work for You
    • 10 Steps to Success: An Introduction to Genealogy
  • Sarah Hamster:
    • Organizing Your Research & Using Genealogy Forms
    • Getting Organized to Start Your Family History
    • Proving Your Genealogy
  • Tim Duncan:
    • Interpreting DNA Testing Results: A Primer
  • Wilf Bruch:
    • Stories in Stone: Clues to Family History in Cemeteries

Speakers for our monthly Speaker Series meetings for the 2016/17 season were as follows:

  • Kate Humble: A Man’s Home is His Castle
  • Yvonne von Ruskenveld: Connecting with Our Foremothers: Learning About the Lives of Women Over 100 Years Ago
  • Nick Russell: Glorious Victoria Homes
  • Karen Hoshal: Black Pioneers of the Area
  • Bonnie Campbell: The Jewish Pioneer Merchant and The Nlaka'pamux Basketmaker : My Research Journey to Discover Their Remarkable Story
  • Frances Backhouse: Panning for Golden Nuggets of Klondike History
  • Joanne Barnard; Melanie Arscott: Members’ Night Speakers
  • Mark Zuehlke: Scoundrels, Dreamers & Second Sons: British Remittance Men in the Canadian West




Posted 17 Jul 2017


Please be aware that the VGS Resource Centre is NOW CLOSED until the end of August 2017 so that we can properly prepare for the upcoming move. If members have any special requests for access, please contact our Librarian, Cathie MacKenzie ( or President, Pat Acton ( to discuss.

Thank you all for your patience and understanding with this closure, as this will make it possible for us to move to our new facility and get back up and running as quickly as possible. We look forward to welcoming you to the new space!



Posted 28 June 2017

Canadian Flag

On July 1, 2017  we hope you'll be out and about celebrating Canada's 150th birthday. 

Our VGS Resource Centre will be closed that day in honour of this special national holiday, 






Victoria Highland Games Association LogoPosted 18 May 2017

Our VGS Resource Centre will be closed this Victoria Day Long Weekend (May 20-22). But please come visit us at our VGS booth at Victoria’s 154th Annual Highland Games and Celtic Festival.  This three-day event is held at Topaz Park, Blanshard at Finlayson, kitty corner to the Mayfair Mall in Victoria BC. 

 If you think you have Scottish ancestry, this is the place to be this weekend.





Posted 1 May 2017

If you're a VGS member and are willing  to do a short presentation at our upcoming Speaker Series meeting on Thursday, 11 May 2017, Monica would really love to hear from you!

Members presentations don't have to be formal - they can be in any format and about any genealogical-related topic that you like.  Power point slide shows are NOT a requirement!  You can talk about your family stories, perhaps about those high achievers or travelers or black sheep in your family tree.  Or talk about your own travels for family research or about some of those brick walls you've been able to knock down.  We're all interested!

Members and guests are also encouraged to bring items for shorter "show and tell" segments.  What's your favorite family touchstone?

Time is running short, so if you are willing to participate, or have further questions about what is involved, please contact Monica at as soon as you can.



Posted 5 April 2017

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the "Making Genealogy Exciting" workshop for this Saturday. However, we have had the opportunity to offer the "Making Your Own Family History Book" workshop by Allison Bond again. This workshop was held back in January and was a sell out so we're pleased to be able to offer it again.

To register, please email as soon as possible.


PRESENTER: Allison Bond

Ever wonder how you can make those documents, photos and information available to family members? Learn the steps to completing a family history book - including how to prepare, organize, and assemble the book, as well as how to choose and use the best platform. You will learn some of the challenges and see a sample of a completed book, as well as one under development.

This is a practical workshop for those thinking about putting their documents together for their family members.​


Posted 9 February 2017

Tonight's February Speaker Series meeting has been cancelled due to weather and road conditions.  Please be safe.



Posted 4 February 2017

Our next Speaker Series meeting is schedule is for Thursday, February 9, 2017.  With the current snowy conditions, we ask that you please check your emails by Thursday (Feb 9th) noon to learn if the Speakers' Series meeting will continue that evening.

While we hope the snow and ice will stay away to allow us to have the meeting, everyone's safety is our main concern.


VGS Reaches Fundraising Goal for Smile Cards!

Posted 4 February 2017

Thrify Smile Card - fundraising for Victoria Genealogical Society We are excited to report that our Thrifty Food's Smile Card 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 Smile Cards. With over 100 Smile Cards being used by our members and friends we reached our goal limit of $3,000 set by Thrifty Foods.

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

Don't throw away your Smile Cards as we plan to apply for funding under their new program year beginning in May. Watch for further news on this website.


If you have any other questions about the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program, please email Merv Scott at


Identifying Military Uniforms in Old Photos - Learning Opportunity

Posted 30 January 2017

Do you have a picture of a family member in military uniform (Canadian and/or British), but have no idea what branch of service it's from?

Interested to learn more about the military stories of your relatives?

Then Saturday, February 11th is your chance to let Major (Retired) Keith Holden, Canadian Forces Medical help at his workshop, "Identifying Military Uniforms in Old Photographs", at the VGS Resource Centre!  Keith has an impressive amount of military knowledge and wowed those who attend his workshop last time it was held.  Don't miss this opportunity!

Don't have any pictures for identification but are interested in military history? You're more than welcome to register as well to see the results of Keith's photo analysis!

Photos need to be sent to Keith ahead of time to give him time to research each one.  A reminder that the deadline to send your photographs is this Saturday, though we may be able to consider taking photos a day or two later if people have trouble getting them submitted in time.

Cost and  detailed information can be found on our VGS Workshops page.
Register by emailing:

Previous Years of VGS news - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010



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 Learning and Research Centre contains a a unique collection,
plus access to
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!