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.

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


REGISTRATION NOW OPEN for the Victoria Genealogical Society's
ANNUAL GENEALOGY SEMINAR, October 24th, Victoria, BC Canada

VGS Gealogy Seminar - Creating Connections Through DNA, Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age, Oct 24 2015, Victoria BC

Grateful thanks to our donors

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


JOIN VGS

It's membership renewal time


New!VGS SEMINAR

24 Oct 2015 - Creating Connections Through DNA

EARLYBIRD DISCOUNTS


VOICES OF THE PAST

A "memory project" for recorded family stories
VIEW & CONTRIBUTE



VETERANS CEMETERY BOOK

Burials in GODS ACRE, Esquimalt, BC, Canada
Revised Nov 2014

NOW FOR SALE

Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS)
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS

News bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.

The Power of Photographs in Genealogy Research

posted  21 Aug 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, Project Director

Ethel Jane Anderson in garden, before her murder
Monica's birth grandmother Ethel Jane Anderson

A touching story was published in the August 21 edition of "Victoria News" (page 3) that clearly showed the power of photographs when combined with genealogy research.

VGS member and tireless volunteer Monica Sheridan, was featured in the story by journalist Kendra Wong titled "Finding Roots: Genealogy Society Traces Family Tree".  It's a story about the power that an old photograph had over Monica, prompting her genealogical quest.

For VGS members the story was an abbreviation of that told by Monica at a Speaker Series event hosted by the VGS last year. The story was also published in full detail in the 2014 Winter edition of the VGS Journal. It was nice to see this touching story shared to an even wider audience and in a way that promoted genealogy research.

Here's the link to the Victoria News e-edition that was made available today. Please "click to read", then scroll to page A3 to read the full article.

Our thanks to Kendra who also included a notice to readers about our October 24th VGS Annual Seminar. Tickets are selling well for the event and volunteers have recruited a long list of exciting sponsors. Ancestry, AncestryDNA, FindMyPast, Mocavo, ScotalndsPeople and Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems) are just the sponsors from the genealogy community. From our local community the sponsors so far include The Belfry Theatre, Save On Foods, the Market on Yates, Old Cemeteries Society, Staples, and local author Merna Forster.

Read more about our VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar, a key fundraiser for the Society this year, and register now to take advantage of the Early Bird rates.

 

VGS Visited Craigflower Manor and School House

posted  10 Aug 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, Project Director

The old Craigflower Manor and Schoolhouse were once again filled with people on July 25th when a large contingent of Victoria Genealogical Society members and guests toured through the buildings. The day began with a tour of the Manor House that was led by guides Jim Maxwell and Randy Stewart of the Victoria Highland Games Association (VHGA). After the group toured the Manor House they were provided a presentation at the Craigflower Manor Forge by John Archer, Blacksmith.

From the Forge the group made their way over to the Craigflower Schoolhouse where Helen Edwards of the Hallmark Heritage Society provided a tour and presentation.

It was a jam packed morning with lots of smiles all around as Jim and Randy told us tales about gunfire and ghosts, John challenged us to balance 9 nails on the head of one nail, and Helen just challenged us to walk in her special room without experiencing vertigo. Topping off the morning was the picnic that followed on the banks of the Gorge waterway. All in all a great day. What a beautiful place we live in.

Craigflower Manor Sign, Victoria BC Canada    Craigflower Manor Parlour, Victoria BC Canada

Craigflower Manor Blacksmith, Victoria BC Canada    Craigflower School House Fireplace, Helen Edwards, Victoria BC Canada

Craigflower Manor sign and parlor; blacksmith shop; School House room with fireplace.

 

VGS October Seminar Speaker Review - BARBARA GORHAM JOHNSON

posted 31 July 2015
submitted by Monica Sheridan, VGS VP and member of the Seminar Committee

As many of you know by now, registration for our VGS annual seminar, “Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age”, is now open. In fact, I’m happy to say that many of you have already signed up! If you’re planning on joining us, be sure to take advantage of the early bird discount, available until September 26 and get your tickets while they last!  This exciting genealogy seminar is scheduled for 24 October 2015.  Don't miss it!

In preparation for this event, each week for the next three weeks we’ll be featuring a more detailed biography of each of the three seminar speakers.

Barbara Gorham Johnson, speaker at VGS genealogy seminar 24 Oct 2015Barbara Gorham Johnson comes to us from Washington State. Barbara brings a broad experience of science and teaching, and an enthusiasm for genealogy and how DNA can benefit research. She has been conducting her own family research for the last 20 years, as well as teaching many programs to local genealogical societies on a wide variety of subjects. Barbara has a degree in Microbiology, and has conducted research at the University of Washington.

In addition to being a member of her local Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Barbara has also been a Park Ranger and has taught science for the Pacific Science Center, traveling throughout Washington State to bring science to elementary and secondary schools. All of these experiences mean that she is highly skilled at presenting a complex topic such as DNA in a way that is engaging and easy to understand.

Barbara will be presenting the following three of the five sessions on October 24, 2015:

  • What is DNA?: The (Simple) Science
  • What You Need to Know Before You Take a DNA Test
  • Test Results: What They Tell You

We will also have Question & Answer periods after each session, to allow you to ask Barbara questions that you may have still have after her presentations.

Barbara recently retired as a Park Ranger with the North Cascades National Park. In her retirement, she enjoys bird watching, hiking and, of course, working on her family tree. She and her husband live in Sedro Woolley, Washington not far from the Canadian border, where they serve as “staff” to their two beagles. We very much look forward to welcoming Barbara to our seminar on October 24, 2015!

Interested in hearing Barbara speak in person about DNA and genealogy? Please click this link for more information on registering for our VGS seminar.

 

Special Tour of CRAIGFLOWER MANOR With SCHOOLHOUSE Picnic

posted 1 July 2015

TOUR NOW FULL - TAKING NAMES FOR WAITLIST ONLY

Craigflower Manor sign, Victoria BC

Register today for this special Tour of Craigflower Manor with Schoolhouse Picnic:

Date: July 25th, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm approximately
Cost: $10 VGS Members $15 Non members
(all revenues to be split 50/50 between VGS and VHGA)

TOUR:  Jim Maxwell, President of the Victoria Highland Games Association (VHGA), is offering VGS members this opportunity for a guided tour of the historic Craigflower Manor and lands including a blacksmith demonstration.

As the new managers of the manor and property the VHGA shared their exciting new plans at our June AGM. If you missed the AGM you will want to ask Jim about their planned Scottish/Gaelic cultural centre.

The Manor itself is designated a National Historic site of Canada. It is a two storied Georgian-style house that was built from 1853-56 and situated on a busy 900 acre working farm. Originally built for the Scottish immigrant family of Kenneth McKenzie it seems quite fitting that the property is now in the hands of the VHGA.

Craigflower Schoolhouse, Victoria BCPICNIC: Tour attendees are invited to bring along their own picnic lunch because after the tour of the Craigflower Manor our tour group have been invited to picnic at the nearby Craigflower Schoolhouse (shown on the left) which the new residents, the Heritage Hallmark Society, is kindly opening for us see as well.

There are BC Transit bus stops nearby for routes #14 and #25. There is also parking onsite at the Craigflower Manor and on the new Craigflower bridge in front of the Schoolhouse.

This guided tour is limited to 15 people so register early to avoid disappointment.

Register by email to workshop@victoriags.org.

Tour fees will be collected at the beginning of the tour by Merv Scott.


VGS MEMBERSHIP DRIVE *** CONTEST *** ENDS JUNE 30, 205

posted 26 June 2015

Your membership funding is critical. July 1st is the start of a new VGS Membership Year and we hope you choose to join or re-join as your membership is more important than ever. 

This year we are offering an incentive to join or renew your VGS membership: all memberships paid BEFORE JULY 1, 2015 will be entered into a draw for one of two free registrations to our October Annual Seminar (one for existing members and the other for new members).

Our volunteers work to provide you with several channels to pay your membership fees:
- Drop off a cheque/cash/money order to our Resource Centre at 947 Alston Street (phone 250-360-2808 or visit www.victoriags.org/library.php for open hours);
- Pay online at http://www.victoriags.org/membership.php

Thank you for your support.

 

VGS 2015 SEMINAR REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - Early Bird Discounts!

posted 18 June 2015

VGS Genealogy Seminar 2015 - DNA title graphicThe Victoria Genealogical Society is proud to report that our 2015 Seminar Program is now finalized!

We have an impressive lineup of speakers to address this year's theme, "Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age". The program includes sessions on DNA basics and what it brings to genealogy, the pros and cons of the major companies currently offering testing, what your DNA results actually mean, and the legal implications of DNA testing and results in genealogical research. We also have a session led by a hereditary chief of the Namgis First Nation who will be explaining how his traditional heritage systems met DNA testing and changed his world.

Whether you're already using DNA testing in your research, or still wondering what all the fuss is about, this seminar is for you. This is a great opportunity to hear the experts, ask your questions and decide which test is best for you. And best of all, this is a great way to have fun meeting other genealogy researchers, enjoying a lovely catered lunch, and immersing yourself in your favorite hobby: genealogy!

Register today! Our VGS Seminar will be held on October 24, 2015.  Register soon for an early bird discount. Further details as well as the seminar registration form can be found on our VGS Seminar page.

Please help us spread the news about this exciting seminar.  We are a non profit society that relies on funds raised by services like this seminar. There are lots of ways you can help us to promote this event:

  • Tell your friends.
  • Email a link to our VGS Seminar page to anyone or any organization you think may be interested.
  • Download and print our VGS Seminar poster and display on bulletin boards at your workplace, library, recreation center, coffee shop, etc.

 We thank you for helping us spread the word any way you can!

 

VGS SILENT AUCTION Ongoing to 11 June 2015

posted 13 May 2015

Visit our 2015 VGS Silent Auction page to learn about the goodies we currently have up for bid - think wine and chocolate and more!  You can now place your bids at our VGS Members Night on 14 May 2015, or at the VGS Resource Centre when attending a workshop or doing research. 

Bidding will be finalized at our AGM on 11 June 2015.  Thank you for your support.

 

VGS SEMINAR ANNOUNCED - Mark Your Calendar for 24 Oct 2015

posted 11 May 2015

"CREATING CONNECTIONS THROUGH DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age", a daylong seminar will be held on Saturday, October 24th, 2015.

The location (St. Aidan’s Church Hall) has been booked, three guest speakers have been confirmed, and the caterer has been reserved. Watch this website for additional details.

 

Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program - Starting Again

posted 11 May 2015

Thrify Smile Card - fundraising for Victoria Genealogical SocietyGood news!  Thrifty Foods has accepted our fundraising application for their Smile Card Program again this year.  With your help we are hoping to raise the full amount of $2500 in support of our VGS library. 

Members and non-members are invited reactive their existing Thrifty Smile Card (previously obtained from 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 those 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, and you spend 100% of what you've loaded on your groceries..

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.

Ready, set, go!  Reload those Thrifty Smile cards before you ring in your groceries, and support your VGS library with every fill up.  Thank you!

 

HIGHLAND GAMES May 16 to 18: Call For Volunteers

posted 7 May 2015

The Victoria Genealogical Society will be at the Victoria Highland Games on  May 16-18, 2015, and we need volunteers to help at the VGS information booth there. If you can help or have questions about what is required please contact Pat Rosson rravens@shaw.ca

If you aren't a member, or are unable to help, do drop in to the VGS booth at the Highland Games and say hi to our volunteers and thank them for the work they do in promoting the Society.

Enjoy your Victoria Day long weekend. 

 

VGS Reaches Fundraising Goal for Smile Cards!

posted 1 April 2015

Thrifty Foods Smile CardWe 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 $2500 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, 2015 - 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

 

VGS Supports BC Black History & Heritage Day Event

posted 18 Feb 2015

Display booth by Victoria Genealogical Society at Black History eventThe BC Black History Awareness Society enjoyed a large crowd to their February 15th BC Black History & Heritage Day at the James Bay New Horizons Center. There were some 70 people on hand to take in the event, mingle through the various display booths (including the VGS booth) and hear a wonderfully informative presentation by John Lutz, Associate Professor of History at UVic.

Black History Event, Victoria BC, February 2015Mr. Lutz's presentation was about artist Grafton Tyler Brown, the first documented professional graphic artist on the west coast in the early 1880's.

The BC Black History Awareness Society has more events yet to come this month. Check them out on their BCBHAS website.

 

 

Half Price Memberships for New VGS Members

posted 1 Feb 2015

If you've been thinking of joining VGS to gain all the benefits of membership in our wonderful genealogy society, now is the time to act!  For a limited time (Feb 1 to Apr 30), regular and family memberships are being offered at half price.  Regular (adult and senior) members will only pay $25 instead of the usual $50.  Family memberships will only cost $37.50 instead of the usual $75.  Memberships run until June 30, giving you plenty of time to try us out and reap the benefits.

Check out our VGS membership page to learn all about the benefits of joining, and how easy it is to sign up, Benefits include  free access to our Resource Centre and our monthly Speaker Series events.  And the networking opportunities with other talented researchers are phenomenal!  We also offer online options for joining and paying your membership fees from the comfort of your home.

Spread the word about this wonderful opportunity.  We hope you, your friends and family will  give us a try.

 

Book Review of VGS Publication on Eastman Blog

posted 31 Jan 2015

Veterans Cemetery Gods Acre, Esquimalt BC Canada book cover 2014Last November the VGS released its new book "The Veterans Cemetery.  Esquimalt, British Columbia.  God's Acre", compiled by Harvey A Buckmaster.  A book review by Bobbi King was posted on Dick Eastman's blog on 26 Jan 2015.

The review is complimentary, as quoted in part:

"The Veteran’s Cemetery, known as God’s Acre, has been magnificently transcribed and re-published by the Victoria Genealogical Society, following a previously published volume in 2000."

"The index includes over 2600 names.  Such meticulous and painstaking indexing is demanding work, but yields an enlightening and immensely useful cemetery book. The work of the organization is to be commended for such a carefully constructed cemetery book, a distinctive memorial to the interred."

For more information on this Veterans Cemetery book, or to purchase a copy online, please visit our VGS Publications page.

 

 

Happy New Year!  Join in the fun!

posted 8 Jan 2015

We hope that you took time over the holidays to spend with family and friends, and to relax and regroup. Perhaps you even had time to make some new discoveries in your genealogy.  If so, we want to hear about them.  You can do this in any number of ways.  You can write a short article for our VGS Journal and send it to our Journal Editor, or you can add a post or comment to our VGS Facebook Group or  VGS Facebook Page (free Facebook membership required). You can announce it at our monthly VGS Speaker Series gatherings, or talk to other researchers about it when you visit our VGS Resource Centre.  And if you have your own blog or website, you can share your new and old discoveries there as well.

We too have regrouped and have now scheduled more meetings and workshops for you to enjoy.  We hope you'll join us tomorrow night at our monthly "Speaker Series" meeting where a whole panel of presenters from VicPD, UVic and VGS will discuss the Victoria Police Department's early charge books and our ongoing project to index their recently scanned images. 

We also have 3 workshops scheduled for January.  If you want to learn more about creating a blog, researching Scotland on the Internet, or writing your ancestors' biographies, then you'll want to sign up for one or more of these workshops.

We wish you all a very happy and productive 2015!

 


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


 

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!