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!


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

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

Learn About Your Ancestors - We Can Help - Victoria Genealogical Society

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21 October 2017

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Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS)

News bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.


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:


Happy Holidays!

Wishing You All A Very Happy Holiday from your friends at the Victoria Genealogical Society


Remembering Our 2016 Genealogy Seminar

The following photo was showcased at the top of our home page
 from early November to December 15, 2016. 
Thanks to all who supported this important VGS event!

Speaker Tim Duncan at VGS Genealogy Seminar 29 Oct 2016

Speaker Tim Duncan at the VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar, 29 Oct 2016:



Posted 9 December 2016

Due to the predicted severe weather, the Resource Centre will be
CLOSED on  Fri (Dec 9th) & Sat. (Dec 10th).
There will be NO WORKSHOP on Saturday (Dec 10th). This will be rescheduled for the spring.

We will see how the roads are on Monday, and members should phone between 12-3 to the centre at 250 360-2808 to confirm whether we are open for as long as we have the snow on the roads. Volunteers live in different areas so have different weather conditions.

Stay safe and warm! Thank you.



Posted 8 December 2016

IMPORTANT: Due to the weather forecasts,  the VGS MEETING TONIGHT (December 8)
has been CANCELLED.

ALSO, if there is snow on the roads and you are planning on visiting our
VGS RESOURCE CENTRE, please phone 
250-360-2808 between 12-3 to see if it is open.

Volunteers live in different areas so have different weather conditions.
We all need to be safe.


Temporary Location for Dec 8 Meeting

Posted 6 December 2016

** PLEASE NOTE: The TEMPORARY LOCATION for the Speaker Series meeting on
Thursday, December 8th ONLY will be at:

4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC
(This is the same location where we held this year's annual seminar).

The meeting is NOT at the Holy Cross Catholic Church located shortly before St. Leopold’s. Our location is about three blocks past Holy Cross. Watch for the entrance gate on your right just after Lifton Place if heading northeast on Gordon Head Road.

In keeping with tradition, we will have an extended social time at the December 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!

Our speaker will be Peter Grant, presenting "The Fascinating McNeill Family". See our VGS meetings page for more details.

Meetings will resume at St Aidans Church Hall in January.


Consider Donating This Upcoming Tax Season

Posted 23 November 2016

Tax season is upon us and we want to remind everyone that VGS is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency (charity #141045880RR0001).

We rely in part on your kind donations so we can continue to provide genealogical services in our community. We gratefully accept donations of any amount and will be happy to issue a tax receipt to you.

  • Donations can be made by hand delivery of cash or cheques at the Resource Centre or at VGS events.
  • Donations can also be made online by credit card or PayPal account.  Visit our VGS  donations page, or  click on the "donate" button above (near the top, right corner of our home page).
  • Donations can be made by mailing cheques (not cash) to:
        Victoria Genealogical Society
        100-180 Wilson Street,
        PO Box 45015
        Westside PO
        Victoria, BC, Canada V9A 0C3

As always, we thank you for supporting our non-profit society.


VGS DNA Genealogy Research Seminar - a Huge Hit!

Posted 1 November 2016

Speakr Tim Duncan at VGS Genealogy Seminar, 29 Oct 2016Our Annual Seminar was on Saturday, October 29th and we had a full house! Opened by Wedlidi Speck, and featuring four sessions offered by three different speakers, it was a day full of DNA concepts and information. Questions were asked and answered, and a whopping 20 door prizes were given out to an excited crowd. Attendee and distillery owner, Graeme Macaloney, generously gave a last minute donation of three cases of beer from Macaloney Distillers, which were a big hit.

Many people mentioned how much they enjoyed the food served at the breaks and lunch and asked who provided them. The morning baked goods were donated by Mother Nature's Market & Deli in Cook Street Village and were absolutely delicious! Catering of lunch was provided by Judy's Snack Shack, and was just superb. Judy outdid herself with the desserts in particular which were stunning as well as scrumptious. Thank you again to these amazing chefs!

Yummy desserts served at VGS Genealogy Seminar, 29 Oct 2016Special thanks to our wonderful speakers Wedlidi Speck, Merna Forster, Barbara Johnson and Tim Duncan (and Tim's wife Ruby who was also a great help!).

Thanks also go out to our amazing volunteers - in addition to the tireless executive members, big thanks to Sarah Hamster, Darcee Strawson, Gerry Poulton and Shelagh Scholtens. As most of you know, this is our biggest fundraising event of the year and we simply couldn't have done it without these people!

A huge thank you also goes out to all our amazing sponsors!  Your donations and support are truly appreciated.

Thank you to all who attended - we hope you learned a lot and found the seminar enlightening and enjoyable!

Lunch served at VGS Genealogy Seminar, 29 Oct 2016



Posted 24 September 2016

Effective immediately, and therefore affecting our upcoming Speaker Series meeting on 13 Oct 2016, our Victoria Genealogical Society monthly meetings will now be held at:

3703 St Aidan's Street, Victoria, BC
View Map

As usual, doors open at 7:00 pm and the meeting starts at 7:30 pm
on the 2nd Thursday of the month (except Jul and Aug)

Admission is free for VGS members, and by donation for visitors and the general public.



Seminar Tickets Sold Out - Waiting List Only

Posted 15 September 2016

Even though we're still six weeks away from the scheduled date (October 29) of our VGS Genealogy Seminar - "MAKING SENSE OF THE SCIENCE: DECIPHERING YOUR DNA RESULTS" - tickets are now sold out.  Monica Sheridan, VGS VP and lead organizer of this highly anticipated event, has just informed us that we have reached capacity and must close registration immediately.  She is, however, accepting names to put on a wait list.  If interested, please contact Monica at


Tickets Going Fast for VGS Genealogy Seminar

Posted 2 September 2016

Our annual seminar, "Making Sense of the Science: Deciphering Your DNA Results" is now less than two months away and registration is selling out quickly! We are over three quarters full now and the remaining tickets are going fast, so if you'd like to join us for a great day of DNA and learning, you'll want to buy your ticket soon! Registration information can be found at:

Remember also that two lucky attendees who purchase their seminar ticket and have their DNA results by September 30th will be eligible to win a chance to have their DNA results analyzed at the seminar by speaker Barbara Johnson!

We have a variety of other great prizes and bonuses for those who attend this year - check them out in last month's seminar news update (below), or on our seminar page.

We look forward to seeing you on 29 October 2016 at our VGS Genealogy Seminar!


Update on VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar

Posted 5 August 2016

We already have 50 participants registered for our upcoming VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar on October 29th.  This is exciting considering we are still almost 3 months away from the seminar. The theme for this year is "Making Sense of the Science: Deciphering Your DNA Results" and we are thrilled to have three dynamic and knowledgeable speakers to help you understand how to uncover the exciting clues that could be hiding in your DNA test results: Barbara Johnson, Merna Forster and Tim Duncan.

Again this year we have a long list of wonderful sponsors, door prizes and early bird draw prizes. Here are just some of the exciting offers:

  • Early Bird Draws: one free seminar ticket each for one new VGS member and one renewing member who join or renew VGS by August 31st
  • Two seminar attendees who already have their DNA results AND register for the seminar by September 30th can choose to be placed in a draw to have their results analyzed during the seminar by speaker Barbara Johnson
  • A 1-on-1 analysis of your DNA results with Barbara will be a given to one lucky door prize winner at the Seminar
  • A closed Q&A by donation (proceeds to VGS) will be held at the Resource Centre the day after the seminar, with seminar presenter Tim Duncan. Tim, of the Clan Donnachaidh DNA Project, will answer your questions and help you with your DNA results. The event is closed to 20 Seminar attendees (selected by draw).
  • Sponsors and door prizes: we have a long list of door prizes to give away again this year that value almost $3000. Prizes include:
    • 3 1year World Memberships from FindMyPast
    • 4 Sunday Walking Tour passes from the Old Cemeteries Society
    • 3 MyHeritage subscriptions
    • 2 World Memberships from Ancestry
    • 1 DNA kit from FamilyTreeDNA
    • admissions tickets to Craigdarroch Castle
    • a 1 year Genealogy Gems Premium Membership
    • Other sponsors include the dna store, ScotlandsPeople, Market on Yates and more

For more information on this seminar please visit our VGS Seminar page at

WHEN: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:00 to 5:00 pm

WHERE: St Leopold Mandic Church, 4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC

SPEAKERS: Barbara Johnson, Merna Forster, Tim Duncan


Register now for the Early Bird fee of $80 ($90 for non members). Lunch and 2 refreshment breaks are included; gluten free and vegetarian options available. Free parking.

Last year's DNA seminar was sold out so get your registration in early.

To register for the seminar, please visit our VGS Seminar page at

VGS Genealogy Seminar 2016 Sponsor Logos


27 Aug 2016 - VGS Drop-in Summer Writing Group #2 Scheduled

Posted 2 August 2016

Our first VGS writers’ group meeting, held on July 23, was a success with 10 attendees. Everyone came away with tips, ideas and inspiration — and a request to do it again.

So VGS will be holding a second writing group meeting on Saturday August 27 at 10 am at the Resource Centre. Everyone is welcome, whether you attended the first session or not. Get feedback on your latest project or ask specific questions on genealogy writing or writing in general. The drop-in fee is $5 per person.

Mark your calendars and join us on Saturday, Aug 27 from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.


Seeking Workshop Presenters and Ideas!

Posted 1 August 2016

We Need You for A Victoria Genealogical Society Workshop Do you have specialized knowledge in a genealogical or historical topic?
Do you enjoy sharing that knowledge with others?
And do you have enough material to lead a workshop for up to 2 hours?

If so, we need you! Many of our workshop presenters are away this fall and we need to fill some spaces so that we can keep presenting interesting and informative workshops to our members.

If you are interested in presenting a workshop for the Victoria Genealogical Society, please contact Monica Sheridan at


Family Trees come in many shapes and sizes - let us help your grow your family tree


Women in the Royal Canadian Navy (1910-1946) - Can you help?

Posted 16 July 2016

Our friend Dave at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum here in Victoria is hard at work on a significant research project that focuses on Women in the Royal Canadian Navy (1910-1946). We would like to support this important initiative. He is looking for the following information. Can you help?

Do you have a female ancestor or relative who served in the Canadian Navy between 1910 and 1946?

Group of WWII Wrens (Womens Royal Canadian Navy Services) - National Archives PA-142460 The CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum in Victoria – not the Maritime Museum of BC - has a project to identify and record the names of all the women who once served in our Navy: nursing sisters, doctors, technicians, dieticians, Physios and members of the WRCNS (Wrens). This also includes those Canadian women who may have joined the WRNS during the First World War. On completion, it is their intention to publish the information in book form.

Currently, they have some 8,000 names in their data files but a lot of the info is incomplete: e.g. they hold the married names of 200 Wrens but have no relevant maiden names; for others, they lack many married names, service numbers, ranks and trades.  [Photo: WWII Wrens (Womens Royal Canadian Navy Services) - National Archives PA-142460]

They wish to record the following information for each person:
1. Service number
2. Maiden name
3. Married name(s) where applicable
4. First name (s)
5. Nickname where applicable
6. Rank attained
7. For the Wren's, their Navy trade or occupation.

They are also looking for high definition images [300 dpi or better] of the women in naval uniform, plus copies of diaries, note books, letters, obituaries, and any naval documents like a station card, leave chit, draft order, etc.

If you can assist, please contact Dave directly at the address below or via Clare Sharpe at .

Dave Freeman, LCdr RCN Ret’d.
Naval & Military Museum,
CFB Esquimalt,
PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Victoria, BC V9A 7N2

Registration Now Open - VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar - 29 Oct 2016

Posted 14 July 2016

VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar - Making Sense of the Science: Deciphering Your DNA Results - 29 Oct 2016

Last year’s DNA seminar inspired many of you to have your own and other family members’ DNA tested. But we have heard overwhelmingly that understanding the results is another matter altogether. Many of you find yourself scratching your heads in bewilderment at the dizzying array of numbers, names and lists that you received. Or you’ve been sent a long list of “cousin matches”, DNA Circles, or Chromosome Display Tools, but have no idea what they mean or how to use them to find actual family connections.

If your DNA results haven’t proven to be the treasure trove of information you were hoping for, then please join the Victoria Genealogical Society for a day of DNA discovery! Three dynamic and knowledgeable speakers will help you understand how to uncover the exciting clues that could be hiding in your test results.

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for this exciting genealogy seminar.


WHEN: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:00 to 5:00 pm

(time is different from last year)

WHERE: St Leopold Mandic Church, 4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC
(place is different from last year)

SPEAKERS: Barbara Johnson, Merna Forster, Tim Duncan

Lunch and 2 refreshment breaks included.  Gluten free and vegetarian options available.

Free parking.

For more information on this seminar, or to register, please visit our VGS Seminar page


VGS Summer Writing Group - 23 Jul 2016

VGS is conducting a pilot project this summer for genealogy writers. We are hosting a drop-in writing group with a $5 per person fee. Hone your writing skills, solicit feedback from your peers or break through that writer’s block.

Bring your latest project or a list of writing questions and join us on Saturday, July 23 from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.


Wishing You the Luck of the Irish in Your Family Research

Posted 9 June 2016

The following graphic meme was displayed near the top of our home page
from  March through June  2016 in celebration of St Patricks Day ...

Wishing you the Luck of the Irish with your family research.  From your friends at the Victoria Genealogical Society.


VGS in the News  - Promoting Family History Research

Posted 29 March 2016

Recently two of our VGS volunteers were interviewed for a news segment about family history research on our local CTV station.  Our thanks to Astrid, CTV journalist and our VGS volunteers Allison and Monica - great job!  Your enthusiasm shines through.

The video clip of this segment can be viewed online at the CTV Vancouver Island News site.


VGS Supported 55+ Lifestyle Show on March 22

Posted 23 March 2016

The newly renamed 55+ Lifestyle Show (formerly called the Senior's Expo) was held a Pearkes Arena here in Victoria BC this past Tuesday on March 22nd, and the Victoria Genealogical Society was there.

The show was hosted by the magazine "Inspired Senior Living" and boasted over 125 exhibitors. One of the many exhibitors was the VGS and our volunteers hosted an information booth that was kept busy at this well attended event.

Poster for 55-plus lifestyles show, Victoria BC, 22 Mar 2016     Victoria Genealogical Society booth at the 55-plus Lifestyles Show, 22 Mar 2016, Victoria BC

Thanks to our VGS volunteers who manned our booth, and  to all the members and public who dropped by to say hello.

This is the 5th event that the VGS has hosted an Information Booth at this season. Next up is the Victoria Highland Games in May. See you there.


It's always Family Day!

Posted 17 March 2016

This past month we featured the following graphic at the top of our home page in honour of Family Day.  Our goal was to encourage everyone to spend time with their families and to share their stories and love of family history and genealogy.  This applies all year long!

Happy family taking a group selfie
[Image courtesy of photostock at]

Identifying Old Photos - Don't Miss Upcoming Workshop

Posted March 2016

Do you have any old photos that you need help identifying?  Here's your opportunity!

VGS has scheduled a workshop on Photography and Photo Identification, to be presented by Gwen Spearman on May 14, 2016.  Prior to the workshop, each person attending is asked tp submit one or two photographs for Gwen to analyze and interpret using her history detective magic. Using clues from the clothing styles, Gwen will estimate a time frame, and indicate what the style of clothing your ancestors wore can tell you about them. It's amazing what secrets can be unlocked from a single photograph!

The deadline to sign up and submit your photos is April 15th in order to give Gwen time to do her research.  So it's not too early to register for this workshop.  Enrollment has a limit of only 15. So please register early to avoid disappointment!  Please contact our workshop coordinator at

Further information on our VGS workshops and registration can be found on our workshops page.

VGS Supports Heritage Day and Black History Month Events

BC Black History poster thumbnail - Feb 2016 Heritage Day event posted 10 Feb 2016

On 13 Feb 2016 (this coming Saturday), the BC Black History Awareness Society will be hosting Professor Handel Wright, an author, Professor and Director of UBC Centre for Culture, Identity and Education.  He will be speaking at their 2016 Heritage Day Event here in Victoria BC. 

Topic:  Did You Say “Black” British Columbia?

Location (new venue)
: Wingate Studio, Baumann Centre Building, 925 Balmoral Road (Quadra & Balmoral)
Time:  Saturday, 13 Feb 2016.  Doors open @ 1:30 PM.  Admission by donation.

The Victoria Genealogical Society will have a booth at this event.  Be sure to drop by and say hi!

Further details are available on their Heritage Day Poster.



VGS Workshop Lineup Includes "Writing Your Memoir: How to Get Started"

posted 30 Jan 2016; updated 2 Feb 2016

Our VGS Vice President and Workshop Coordinator Monica Sheridan has been doing an awesome job of putting together a mix of amazing new and previously offered genealogy-related workshops this year.  Many are presented by knowledgeable VGS Members, while some presenters are recruited from the community.  These workshops are always fun as well as informative.

Details of upcoming workshops can always be found on our VGS events page, and are also summarized on our home page in the right hand column under "VGS Genealogy Workshops".  There's something for everyone, whether you're a VGS member or not.

Have you always wanted to write your memoirs or family story, but didn't know how to get started? Last November we held a workshop called "Self Publishing a Memoir" by Darin Steinkey.  As there is still much to learn on this interesting topic, Darin has agreed to come back on 13 February 2016 to talk more about the planning and writing stages.  As he describes it:

"There is no easy way to write a family memoir.  Which stories should be included? 
Which shouldn't?  How do I even decide what to write? 
Whose voice should I use?  Have I done enough "research"?

"In this workshop Darin will present strategies that help get the ideas flowing.
Using examples from creative types present and past, you'll leave with tools that should
get fingers to keyboard, pencil to paper, quill to papyrus, chisel to stone tablet.
Spoiler Alert: there's no easy way. It takes hard work!
Come share your writing and offer tips that work for you."

All writing abilities and levels welcome.
Whether you have something you'd like critiqued, or haven't written a word yet
 and just want to learn the ropes, this workshop is for you.

Join us on Saturday 13 Feb 2016, 10am, VGS Resource Centre, Victoria BC

Darin works in the self-publishing industry and operates Aldridge Street Print & Media here in Victoria, BC.  Read more about Darin on our workshop page and on his Aldridge Street business website.

Those wanting to attend this workshop should contact Monica at


VGS England SIG Meetings Moved to Thursday Morning

posted 20 Jan 2016
submitted by Heather Shave, VGS England SIG Facilitator

Special Interests Groups (SIG) are one of the free benefits offered to our members.  If you have ancestors in England and want to network and trade research ideas and tips with others who are doing the same, why not join the monthly VGS England SIG at its NEW TIME?

VGS ENGLAND SIG  ~  4th Thursday of the month  ~  10 am - 12 noon
VGS Resource Centre, 947 Alston St, Victoria BC

Please join us at our next meeting on January 28, 2016.

Information on all our SIGs is provided on our VGS SIGs page.



Previous Years of VGS news - 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 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!