Victoria Genealogical Society
GENEALOGY & VGS NEWS Archive - 2015

Archive of news bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.
Our most recent news articles are located on our VGS Home page.

(in reverse chronological order)

Merry Christmas!

We wish you a Merry Christmas, from our family tree to yours

VGS Seminar Feedback - We're Glad You Liked It!

posted 24 Nov 2015
submitted by Monica Sheridan, VGS VP and member of the Seminar Committee

Our annual seminar was nearly a month ago now, and the positive reviews keep rolling in. We wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who sent us feedback, and thought we'd share some of it with our membership. Enjoy!

It was an excellent seminar – everyone I spoke with also thought it was great. Informative and
the day broken down in varied speakers was a good idea from a concentration / variety point of view –
WELL DONE!!!  And incredible door prizes too. (S. Watts)

I was so happy with all the speakers yesterday. It has opened up a new world for me. Everything went well,
and was obviously very well planned and executed. Thank you everyone! (J.M. Foster)

I really enjoyed the Seminar and found it very comprehensive and informative! Thanks to the Presenters,
Barbara Johnson, Wedlidi Speck and Stuart Rennie, for sharing their knowledge and personal experiences.
Thanks also to the crews that provided the delicious luncheon and coffee break goodies, and the
wise seating arrangements for the venue. (S. Lyons)

5 stars for yesterday's DNA seminar, excellent organisation, speakers, food and prizes.
Well done. (P. Holt)

Congratulations to all those involved in the planning and presentation of the DNA seminar. It was excellent!
The speakers were all really good, informative and very entertaining. Everyone left with their heads
 full of information and the satisfaction that spending a day with like-minded, friendly people brings.
Great all around! (J. Reimche)


Workshop Schedule Change

posted 10 Nov 2015

This November we are offering some excellent new Saturday morning workshops, suitable for beginners and advanced researchers alike.

We want to make you aware of a schedule change that affects our November 21 and 28 workshops.  The order has now been switched so that "Geneaogy on the Cheap"  will now be held on Saturday, November 21, 2015, and  "Self Publishing a Memoir" will happen on November 28.

We still have room in both workshops, so be sure to sign up today. Don't miss out!  Visit our VGS workshops page for further details.


Join our School Library Challenge - VGS Veterans Cemetery Book

posted 1 Nov 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, VGS Project Manager

Book Cover for Veterans Cemetery God's Acre, Esquimalt BC The Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt has been an honoured final resting place for those that have served in Canada’s military since 1868 and was designated as a National Historical Site by the Government of Canada in 2006.

Volunteers from the Victoria Genealogical Society, led by Editor Harvey Buckmaster, have published the book Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt which contains the complete inscription for each of the 2,888 burial maker records and more.

“Magnificently transcribed” is how book reviewer Bobbi King describes the Victoria Genealogical Society’s latest publication, “a distinctive memorial to the interred”.

Several local community historical and heritage based organizations donated the funding required for the initial print run of the book and now the general public are invited to play a role in honouring our veterans and their families.

It’s easy! Just join our School Library Challenge!

The goal is to provide a copy of the publication, Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt to every school library in the Capital Regional District, so it will be available to students conducting history research or Remembrance projects. You can support the campaign to make this happen simply by purchasing a copy of the book and designating it towards the Library Challenge. The volunteers of the Victoria Genealogical Society are administering the program and will deliver YOUR book to a local school library and donate it there in YOUR name or your loved one’s name.

You can support our Library Challenge by purchasing the book online on our VGS Publications page. Be sure to select the "Library Challenge gift" option from the drop-down menu before adding this book to your cart.  Thank you for your support!

Chapters and VGS team up for FUNdraiser - Nov 19

posted 27 Oct 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, VGS Project Manager

Mark your calendars! You're invited to a Fundraiser for the Victoria Genealogical Society that will be held on November 19th, between 6:30pm and closing at 9pm at Chapters, 1212 Douglas Street, Victoria.

Come out and do your shopping while supporting the Victoria Genealogical Society.

With every purchase of regularly priced, in-store items at Chapters on this special evening, 10% of the purchase will be donated back to the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS). 

Logo of Chapters storeChoose from a wide selection of books, gifts, toys, magazines and much more. Whether you are shopping for birthday presents, Christmas gifts, or yourself, your purchase will provide important funding for our non profit's programs and services.

YOU MUST REGISTER: When you arrive at the Chapters store you MUST register at the Victoria Genealogical Society registration desk which will be located directly inside the main doors of Chapters. The VGS volunteer at the registration desk will provide you with a sticker and code that you are to give to the cashier when they ring in your purchases thereby ensuring your purchases go towards our Victoria Genealogical Society fundraiser. Although not required its suggested that you print off the invitation and show it at the registration desk. Click to print the invitation.  THERE ARE NO FEES TO REGISTER.

PRIZES: There are prizes for the people that bring the most friends! The first prize is a gift basket donated by Chapters! You don't have to arrive with your friends to qualify - just have them tell the VGS volunteer at the registration desk that you invited them so we can track who brought the most friends. Optionally you can ensure your invitees are recorded under your name by emailing us your list of invitees...send your email to Merv at no later than November 18th (note that names, email addresses, etc. will not be given to Chapters).


Please mark November 19th on your calendar. Invite lots of friends, colleagues and neighbours. Print off the Chapters FUNdraising invitation and give copies to your friends. Email news of our FUNdraiser broadly, simply by sending them the link to our VGS website:

Invitation to VGS-Chapters FUNdraising event, 19 Nov 2015

Click the above notice, then print the full version of your invitation.  Chapters is an Indigo brand.
Please read carefully for details.

An R.S.V.P. is not required but would be appreciated so we can share the number of likely attendees with the store. The store can then decide if they need to have more staff working that night. You can R.S.V.P. your name(s) to Merv at Your name, email address, etc. will not be given to Chapters, just the numbers attending.

YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL: Thanks for supporting our non profit Society and our volunteers who provide our many programs and services. Your support provides critically needed funding.

If you have any questions, please email Merv at


VGS Seminar a Success

A sell-out crowd attended our VGS Genealogy Seminar on 24 Oct 2015 in Victoria BC titled "Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age".  Judging by the comments we've received, the seminar proved to be informative, enjoyable, engaging and just plain fun.  It was a resounding success!

Crowd at VGS Genealogy Seminar, 24 Oct 2015

Grateful thanks to our donors and to all who participated and volunteered.
The seminar couldn't have happened without you!


More Donations Announced For VGS Annual Seminar

posted 8 Oct 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, VGS Project Manager

More door prizes and seminar give-a-ways have been received during this lead up to our October 24th Annual Genealogy Seminar. The Royal BC Museum has donated 2 adult museum passes as well as a book titled Feeding the Family: 100 Years of Food & Drink in Victoria by Nancy Oke, and an Emily Carr Studio Billie's Calendar. Hillside Centre has donated a gift card, and ScotlandsPeople have donated search credit vouchers.

Our thanks to these and our other sponsors. For a complete list of our donors and door prizes visit our donors page.

VGS 2015 Genealogy Seminar, Sponsor Logos



posted 4 Oct 2015
submitted by Pat Acton, VGS President and member of the Seminar Committee

Due to the popularity of our upcoming VGS Genealogy Seminar, we are now filled to capacity.  Effective immediately, the Seminar registration is NOW CLOSED.

If you missed out and still want to attend, please send in your names via email to (with no registration fee) and we will add your name to our WAITING LIST.

If there is enough interest we will plan to hold this seminar again.  Thanks to everyone for their support.

VGS October Seminar Speaker Review #3 ~ STUART RENNIE

posted 21 Sep 2015
submitted by Monica Sheridan, VGS VP and member of the Seminar Committee

Stuart Rennie, lawyer, speaker at VGS Genealogy Seminar 24 Oct 2015To help us understand the legal aspects surrounding DNA use in research, the final speaker featured at our upcoming VGS Genealogy Seminar is Stuart Rennie, a lawyer in private practice and a records management consultant. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Stuart was called to the British Columbia Bar, and also serves as the Legislation and Law Reform Officer for the Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia Branch).

In addition to his law degree from the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, Stuart has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from UBC. He will be using all of this expert knowledge to speak to us about legal implications.

Stuart is co-author, with Sandie Bradley, CRM, FAI, of the Records Management Manual for the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia. Stuart is also a member of ARMA International. In 2015, he was awarded the ARMA Canada Region Member of the Year Award and the Distinguished Member Award.

Stuart is an adjunct professor at UBC where he teaches Competitive Intelligence and Archives, Records and the Law. In his personal life, he holds a Yon Dan (4th degree) black belt in traditional Okinawan Meibukan Goju-Ryu Karate Do and has traveled to Japan several times to train. He is also a frequently invited speaker at workshops and conferences across Canada.


Ask Granny Visits Parkwood Place

posted 18 Sep 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, Project Director

Ask Granny seminar at Parkwood Place Victoria BC, Sep 2015Volunteers from the Victoria Genealogical Society were at Parkwood Place on Shelbourne Street in Victoria BC on September 17th where they presented the first 'Ask Granny' Seminar of the fall season.

'Ask Granny' is a hands-on workshop where participants are shown how to use ancestor charts and family group records. During the seminar participants are provided a folder/booklet of information into which they also add their newly made charts. The folder is labeled “A Genealogical Gift To My Children” and participants are encouraged to store it with their important records.

Thanks to generous donors from within the Victoria Genealogical Society all the materials are provided free to seniors. Organizations wanting the Victoria Genealogical Society to present “Ask Granny!” to their seniors can email or call 250-360-2808.


Door Prizes and Sponsors for the VGS Annual Seminar Announced!

posted 14 Sep 2015
submitted by Merv Scott, Project Director

sponsor logos for 2015 VGS Genealogy SeminarPreparations for the October 24th Annual Genealogy Seminar hosted by the Victoria Genealogical Society continue to progress nicely. Moving the seminar to a larger facility this year has already proven to be a good decision as registrations have already surpassed attendance numbers of previous Annual Seminars.

"It is looking very likely that we will have a sell-out" reported Monica Sheridan, VGS Vice President and Lead of this year's Seminar Committee. "I hope that people register quickly so they wont' be disappointed".

The list of this year's sponsors and door prizes was announced at the September 10th Speaker Series event hosted by the Victoria Genealogical Society. The list is a wonderful mixture of local businesses and international genealogical companies.

Seminar registrants will be entered into draws for the following FREE door prizes:

  • a 12 month World Deluxe Membership to Ancestry
  • 1 Ancestry DNA kit
  • 2 one-year World Subscriptions to Find My Past
  • 2 one-year Gold Subscriptions to Mocavo
  • 1 year Genealgy Gems Premium Membership donated by Lisa Louise Cooke
  • 2 Belfry Theatre's passes to the production of "The Valley", Feb 2016
  • 4 Old Cemeteries Society Sunday Walking Tour tickets
  • a copy of the book 100 More Canadian Heroines signed and donated by the author Merna Forster
  • a copy of the book Tilly signed by the author Monique Gray Smith and donated by Merna Forster
  • 2 packets of limited edition art cards by the artist Barbara Paterson titled "Our Emily" donated by Merna Forster
  • 4 entrance passes to Craigdarroch Castle

We are also grateful to the support provided by these local sponsors:

  • Save On Foods
  • Staples
  • Market on Yates

For a complete list of seminar donors and contributions, please visit our donors page.

Registration is still open for our VGS Genealogy Seminar, 24 Oct 2015
titled “Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age”.
The Early Bird rates end September 26th so don't delay. REGISTER NOW!


VGS October Seminar Speaker Review #2 ~ WEDLIDI SPECK

posted 5 Sep 2015
submitted by Monica Sheridan, VGS VP and member of the Seminar Committee

Wedlidi Speck, speaker at VGS Seminar Oct 2015As the date of our annual VGS Genealogy Seminar draws closer - 24 October 2015 - we'd like to highlight another of our excellent speakers for you.  The title of our seminar is "Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age".  Wedlidi Speck will add a most interesting cultural spin to this topic through his gift of story telling.

We are very honoured to have Wedlidi Speck speaking at our annual seminar. Wedlidi is a member of the Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay. The Namgis are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw cultural group located on the northern end of Vancouver Island. Culturally, Wedlidi traces his roots to the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Nuuchanulth, the Island Comox, and to the British Isles. He is proud of his history and possesses a keen interest in genealogy, indigenous mythology, and a growing interest in DNA genealogy. Wedlidi is a hereditary head chief of his family clan, and a gifted spiritual leader and storyteller.

Wedlidi will use these storytelling gifts to speak to us about the journey that he has embarked on with his own DNA testing. As an individual who has grown up in a culture that values knowing your roots, Wedlidi grew up knowing his ancestry. However, the DNA results told a somewhat different story and he will speak about the divergence that can occur between what we think we know about our heritage and what DNA may bring to the table.

Wedlidi is currently the Director of Aboriginal Organizational Development with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. As part of the Learning & Development Team, Wedlidi strategically informs work on indigenous cultural competency and cultural safety.

The Comox Valley is home, where he has lived for 27 years. He is married with three adult children and one teen, three grandchildren and a cat named, ‘Rosy.’

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the Victoria Genealogical Society's
 ANNUAL GENEALOGY SEMINAR, October 24th, Victoria, BC Canada. 
Early bird special ends on 26 Sep 2015.


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.



posted 1 July 2015


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

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


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 for open hours);
- Pay online at

Thank you for your support.



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 - 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

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.


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


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!

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