Victoria Genealogical Society
PAST WORKSHOPS

These popular genealogy workshops were held on the following Saturdays
at the VGS Resource Centre in Victoria BC.

Archived since 22 Jan 2011

2016  |  2015  |  2014  |  2013  |  2012  |  2011

2017

 

8 APRIL 2017 - MAKING YOUR OWN FAMILY HISTORY BOOK

UPDATED TOPIC  ~ ("MAKING GENEALOGY EXCITING" MAY BE RESCHEDULED)

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.​


8 APRIL 2017 - MAKING GENEALOGY EXCITING

CANCELLED (MAY BE RESCHEDULED) and REPLACED

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster

Do your relatives’ eyes glaze over when you bring out the family tree? Or change the subject when you try to fill them in on your latest genealogical discovery? How do you get at least one or two excited enough to ask questions?

Remember that part of the reason we do this research is pass it on to the next generation. Let’s get at least one or two as obsessed as we are!

Course content:

  • Learn the history of your ancestors
  • Why did they move?
  • What conflicts (wars, religion) were they involved with?
  • When did they come to Canada?
  • Who did they travel with?
  • Check out ship’s passenger lists

Join us and learn how to get others as passionate as you are about your family history!

1 APRIL 2017 - ENGLISH POOR LAW & WORKHOUSES

PRESENTER:  Heather Shave

The Poor are always with us – and they did leave records!
Were your ancestors poor? Or did they work with the poor?

There is a good chance that some of your ancestors will appear in the records of the poor as about 30% of the English population was considered to be poor at any one time – and there are often more records of the poor than those who were better-off.

  • What are these records and what can they tell us?
  • What are the differences between the records of the poor of England, Scotland, and Ireland?
  • How can these records be accessed?

Learn about Removal Orders, overseers accounts, pauper apprentices, Parochial Boards, workhouses and many others.

 

25 MARCH 2017 - DROP IN WRITING GROUP - WORKSHOP CHANGE

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

VGS will be holding a drop-in writing group meeting. Everyone is welcome, whether you attended the first sessions 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.

Join us on Saturday, 25 March from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.

18 MARCH 2017 - INTERPRETING DNA TESTING RESULTS: A PRIMER

PRESENTER: Tim Duncan (speaker from 2016 DNA seminar)

WORKSHOP NOW FULL - WAIT LIST HAS BEEN STARTED

Join us for a special workshop presented by Tim Duncan, speaker from our October 2016 annual seminar. Tim will conduct the workshop, including from 10:30 (NOT 10:00) to noon when the Resource Centre opens. Tim will stay at the Resource Centre until 3:00pm to continue to chat with members about their DNA questions.

We will work on participants’ current DNA test results to interpret and understand this new language. Tim will take some real life cases from participants to glean insights into their DNA test results.

Two registrants to the workshop (one Y-DNA and one atDNA ) who sign up by March 1, 2017 will be chosen at random to have their results analyzed ahead of time by Tim, and the results reviewed at the workshop. However, participants are not required to have done a DNA test to attend the workshop – all are welcome!

Please indicate when registering whether you would like the chance to have your test results analyzed by Tim at the workshop, and which type of test you have results for.

Remember that your DNA test results are nothing but data…it doesn’t carry a name or a culture but is loaded with information that may help tie family lineages together. It’s a process!!

 

11 MARCH 2017 - NO WORKSHOP

SEE YOU AT THE FAMILY HISTORY CONFRERENCE AT THE LDS CENTRE

4 MARCH 2017 - DROP IN WRITING GROUP

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

VGS will be holding a drop in writing group meeting on Saturday, 4 March at 10 am at the Resource Centre. Everyone is welcome, whether you attended the first sessions 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.

Join us on Saturday, 4 March from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.

 

25 FEBRUARY 2017 – INTRODUCTION TO QUEBEC RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Melanie Arscott

Settlement in Quebec began in the early 1600s, and the ports of Quebec and Montreal were a major gateway to North America. The immigration came in waves, with families leaving the Old World looking for opportunity and prosperity in North America.

Were your ancestors a part of this immigration event? Join Melanie as she helps introduce you to a variety of English records available for researchers, and some of the key words that will help decipher the clues in the French records. The emphasis will be on the English population along the Saint Lawrence River.

 

18 FEBRUARY 2017 – WRITING BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUR ANCESTORS

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

You’ve been researching your ancestors for months or maybe years. You have reams of information including charts and graphs. It’s been a rewarding process, but all you have to show for your work is a dry list of names, dates and places. What you actually want is a story that tells others what the person’s life was about. Your genealogy program can even supply you with a ready­made outline. But how do you take all that raw data and turn it into a biography, even a short one?

This workshop will present ways of stringing together genealogy data into a story by creating transitions, adding context, and applying themes. Bring a genealogy report for one of your ancestors to use as an outline or use a sample provided. Worksheets will be provided for the exercise sessions.

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria­ based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25 ­year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print publications and on websites.

For more information about her work visit: www.kmlowe.com.

For more information about her ancestors visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.com.

 

11 FEBRUARY 2017 – IDENTIFYING MILITARY UNIFORMS IN OLD PHOTOGRAPHS

PRESENTER: Keith Holden

WORKSHOP CANCELLED

Do you have old photos in which the identification of a military uniform would lead to expanding a family story?

Major (Retired) Keith Holden, Canadian Forces Medical, long time VGS member (#499), and military history enthusiast will identify the uniforms in your old photos.

Military uniforms, which have have long served as national identifiers, were originally intended to make recognition of the enemy in the field relatively straightforward. To this day uniforms, standardised and distinctive, identify such things as country of service, regimental affiliation and rank. The number, placement and style of medals, ribbons, cap badges, stripes and other accoutrements forms a language easily understood by military personnel – but is a foreign language to others.

If you are in this second group, share your photos with Keith and have him translate the “language of the uniform”.

If you would like to be part of this workshop:

  • Register at workshop@victoriags.org and include scanned copies of photographs you would Keith to examine.
  • Limit of 2 photographs per person; it is possible only one photograph may be discussed in the workshop depending on time available and the total number of photographs submitted.
  • Photos should be limited to Canada and/or British uniforms, they can be Army, Navy or Air Force.
  • Scanned photographs should be received no later than Saturday, January 28, 2017 to give Keith time to review the photos. (Photos received earlier will enjoy more of Keith’s scrutiny time)

 

4 FEBRUARY 2017 - GETTING ORGANIZED TO START YOUR FAMILY HISTORY

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster

Being organized from the beginning of your research is key to staying on track with your research going forward. Come and hear tips and practical advice for preparation work that can be done to help you get organized, as you sort through what you already have, acquire photos and old shoe boxes of records at this summer’s family reunions?

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in the future.

You will learn how to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Suggestions on how to get started.
  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binder? (examples)
  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group sheet)
  • How should completed forms be organized?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

 

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

New to genealogy? Unsure of how to use Ancestry.com? Frustrated with searches in Ancestry that generate thousands of results? Want to become more sophisticated in your searching? Then this is the workshop for you!

We will explore how to more efficiently use Ancestry.com, including:

  • the use of wildcards
  • how to narrow down your search
  • use of the "advanced search" page and "exact match"
  •  saving or printing records
  • searching from a different angle
  • ... and much

21 JANUARY 2017 - MAKING YOUR OWN FAMILY HISTORY BOOK

PRESENTER: Allison Bond

WORKSHOP NOW FULL - WAIT LIST HAS BEEN STARTED

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.

14 JANUARY 2017 –
THIS ISN'T YOUR MOTHER'S GENEALOGY - PUT TWITTER TO WORK FOR YOU

PRESENTER: Merv Scott

This is a second offering of this very popular and extremely informative workshop, for those of you who missed it the first time, or those who want to take it again!

Do you sometimes think you are wasting good time surfing the internet for information, hoping to stumble across something of interest? Ever wonder if there was a better way? Maybe it's time to see how Twitter can be put to work for you.

This is an introductory workshop aimed at people not currently using Twitter or people who consider themselves to be Twitter newbies. This workshop is not aimed at Twitter experts, although the focus on genealogy may bring some benefits to even Twitter power users. At this workshop we will cover the following:

  • the basics of Twitter and Twitter terminology
  • tips on how to use Twitter for genealogy
  • getting started on Twitter and sending your first Tweet
  • finding your friends, following/joining them and sending person-to-person Tweets
  • finding genealogy sites important to you
  • having your favourite genealogy sites stream news live to you, without having to look them up
  • holding discussions with like-minded people on topics or geographical areas you are researching
  • viewing/joining free online discussion groups on topics of interest to you
  • and more!

You may bring your laptop or mobile device if you wish, but this isn’t required.

 

2016

MERRY CHRISTMAS & Happy NEW YEAR

From our VGS family to yours,
have a wonderful holiday!

More workshops will resume in 2017...

10 DECEMBER 2016 - BEGINNING ENGLISH RESEARCH - CANCELLED

This will be rescheduled for the spring.

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

New to English research? This session is the first of three on English records.

Learn about the basic records that cover the second half of the nineteenth century – Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) which started in 1837; the census from 1841 to 1811; and wills after 1858. The contents of the each type of record will be covered, how to search for the records, and how to make the best use of the information.

Most of the records (except for the actual Civil Registration records) for this time period are online. Different sources for the records, some free and some commercial will be discussed as well.

3 DECEMBER 2016 - PAPERLESS GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Joe Carr

Most of us have heard promises of going paperless before, and genealogy records are often available on paper only, so how do you move to a paperless process with your research?

The hard questions about going paperless will be examined. How do we motivate ourselves to go paperless and what is the payoff? Being able to do a better job using less time, and producing information about our origins which will captivate our family members would be some powerful rewards that just might motivate us to take the plunge!

The first half of the presentation will include looking at new online "cloud" technologies that work well across many personal devices (computers, tablets and smart phones) and will include a live demo of how to actually do paperless genealogy and show off some of the "magic" of storage in the cloud. We will also check-in with previous years' participants to find out where they have made progress, what problems they encountered, and discuss how best to move forward with going paperless.

26 NOVEMBER 2016 - BEGINNING SCOTTISH RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Heather Sahve

Scottish researchers have a great advantage with the ScotlandsPeople website. All Civil Registrations from 1855, Old Parish Registers, Catholic Registers, census records and others are all available on the one website.

Learn what is included in the birth, marriage and death civil registration records, in the parish records, and in the census.

While Scotlandspeople is a pay site, there are other sources for these records which will be discussed. An in-depth look at Scotlandspeople and tips for getting good results will conclude the workshop.

19 NOVEMBER 2016 - 10 STEPS TO SUCCESS: AN INTRODUCTION TO GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Merv Scott

Finding your ancestors has never been easier, but with all the research tools available it can get a little overwhelming. This workshop is designed for those new to genealogy but the not-so-new might enjoy a little refresher too.

Join Merv Scott as he provides the principles to guide your research and leads you through a step-by-step process towards genealogy success. This session is full of hints and tips about the common mistakes that beginners make with their genealogy research. Hear about the latest trends in technology, how to put the internet to work for you and more!

 

12 NOVEMBER 2016 – NO WORKSHOP

No workshop due to the Remembrance Day long weekend.

5 NOVEMBER 2016 – ACROSS THE POND

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

You've found your immigrant ancestor! And she or he came from England or Ireland or Scotland. What can be done to narrow the search down to a county, and preferably to a parish?

What do you need to know to proceed further?

Research strategies and techniques that can be used to find the place of origin will be discussed. While the examples used will be from the British Isles, the same techniques are applicable to other countries.

29 OCTOBER 2016 – NO WORKSHOP - VGS ANNUAL SEMINAR

Please visit our seminar page for further details - tickets selling fast!

22 OCTOBER 2016 - USING TECHNOLOGY IN GENEALOGY

SORRY - THIS WORKSHOP IS CANCELLED

PRESENTER: Keith Gibson

There are more technological advances to help with genealogy than ever before. But many of us struggle to understand or use them effectively. This workshop will delve into the uses of digital media storage. Cloud based storage, data collection methods, how to safely store data, recovery of deleted media, and organization of data files.

We will also look into getting your family tree online as well as genealogy investigation basics by “following the breadcrumbs” and leads as a genealogy detective.

Keith Gibson has been a member of the RCMP for 25 years and developed his expertise in the field of digital computer and mobile phone forensics.

15 OCTOBER 2016 – TBA

No workshop held.

8 OCTOBER 2016 – NO WORKSHOP

ENJOY YOUR THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

1 OCTOBER 2016 -
THIS ISN'T YOUR MOTHER'S GENEALOGY - PUT TWITTER TO WORK FOR YOU

PRESENTER: Merv Scott

Do you sometimes think you are wasting good time surfing the internet for information, hoping to stumble across something of interest? Ever wonder if there was a better way? Maybe it's time to see how Twitter can be put to work for you.

This is an introductory workshop aimed at people not currently using Twitter or people who consider themselves to be Twitter newbies. This workshop is not aimed at Twitter experts, although the focus on genealogy may bring some benefits to even Twitter power users. At this workshop we will cover the following:

  • the basics of Twitter and Twitter terminology
  • tips on how to use Twitter for genealogy
  • getting started on Twitter and sending your first Tweet
  • finding your friends, following/joining them and sending person-to-person Tweets
  • finding genealogy sites important to you
  • having your favourite genealogy sites stream news live to you, without having to look them up
  • holding discussions with like-minded people on topics or geographical areas you are researching
  • viewing/joining free online discussion groups on topics of interest to you
  • and more!

You may bring your laptop or mobile device if you wish, but this isn’t required..

24 SEPTEMBER 2016 – ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH and USING GENEALOGY FORMS

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster - OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hard copy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in the future.

This workshop will be a combination of two of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms, and the 2 hours will be divided into two parts as follows:

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementos including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binder? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems - should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citations be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group sheet)
  • What are transcription/extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

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

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.

Join us on Saturday, Aug 27 from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.

SUMMER BREAK

Regular Workshops will resume in September 2016 following the summer holidays.

Our VGS Resource Centre open during the summer
(REGULAR hours in effect in July and August) -
join us there and continue your research.

23 Jul 2016 - VGS Summer Writing Group #1

VGS conducted 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.

11 JUNE 2016 - IRELAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Barb Doell
RESCHEDULED FROM PREVIOUSLY CANCELLED SESSION

Continuing with the Irish theme in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, join Barb in learning how to use the internet to find your Irish ancestors. The internet is the main source of genealogy information today. Some information is true, some made up, some free and some on pay websites. There are a wide variety of websites for almost everything.

Barb will take us to Ireland via the net and show us numerous websites for genealogy. Some of the information and how to search using the site can be used for any country, i.e. the familysearch.org website.

Come and join us to research Ireland online – you never know what might be out there waiting for you!

4 JUNE 2016 – ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH and USING GENEALOGY FORMS

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster - OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hard copy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in the future.

This workshop will be a combination of two of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms, and the 2 hours will be divided into two parts as follows:

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementos including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binder? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems - should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citations be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group sheet)
  • What are transcription/extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

28 MAY 2016 – BEGINNING SCOTTISH RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Merv Scott

Scottish researchers have a great advantage with the ScotlandsPeople website. All Civil Registrations from 1855, Old Parish Registers, Catholic Registers, census records and others are all available on the one website.

Learn what is included in the birth, marriage and death civil registration records, in the parish records, and in the census. While ScotlandsPeople is a pay site, there are other sources for these records which will be discussed. An in-depth look at ScotlandsPeople and tips for getting good results will conclude the workshop.

21 MAY 2016 – NO WORKSHOP

PLEASE JOIN US AT THE VICTORIA HIGHLAND GAMES

http://victoriahighlandgames.com/games/

14 MAY 2016 – PHOTOGRAPHY & PHOTO IDENTIFICATION

PRESENTER: Gwen Spearman

REGISTRATION NOW CLOSED

Our extremely popular photo identification workshop will zero in on the clothing your kin folk are wearing and perhaps even why. Gwen can often even narrow down a time period of when the photo was taken!

Gwen Spearman is a Founding Member and Past President (1993) of the Victoria Genealogical Society and is self-taught in the history of clothing for men, women and children. Her interest in clothing began in 1958 with the British Columbia Centennial celebrations when she was dressed in a gown and bonnet for a living tableau in New Westminster. She began collecting books and articles on the subject and that expanded into items of clothing too. In 1970 a Chatelaine Magazine booklet gave her an insight into gathering information for typing up her own Family Group Sheets and now the internet gives her free rein to fill in the blanks. Over the years family members have shared some of their photographs and that has helped to flesh out the names and dates.

REQUIREMENTS – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

  • A limit of 15 people will be registered for this workshop – you are not registered unless you receive a confirmation email. First come, first served!
  • A limit of 2 (two) photographs per person may be submitted.
  • Photos must be submitted NO LATER THAN April 16th to give Gwen time for research.
  • Photos must be clear and show a person from the waist up at least in order to give enough detail for research. (Head shots only are not enough to make an identification).

7 MAY 2016 – ENGLISH RESEARCH BEFORE 1850 – PARISH REGISTERS & WILLS

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

Parish registers are the main resource for English research prior to the census (1841) and Civil Registration (1837). With the proliferation of digitized records on the internet, this research is becoming much easier to access. Questions covered in this workshop will include:

  • What information is included with baptism, marriage, and burial entries?
  • Does the information differ at different periods?
  • Why are Church of England registers so important for all English research?
  • Are there records of other denominations?
  • What other records can be used to find baptisms, marriages and burials?
  • What internet sites have parish registers?

Wills can also provide genealogical information, and it is surprising who made wills in the 1700s. Wills made before 1858 were proved in church courts, and there were over two hundred courts in existence. We will address:

  • How can the relevant court be determined?
  • Are there indexes online?
  • Where can wills be found online?

Using these resources (if they have survived!), English research can be taken back as far as the late 1500s.

30 APRIL 2016 – BREAKING BRICK WALLS

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

Do you have an ancestor that you can't find in a census? or find his or her birth/baptism? or marriage? or burial? or are there too many entries to choose from? This workshop will be of interest to people who have tried - they believe - all possible avenues of research, and have come up with a blank. This frustrating experience is what family historians refer to as 'hitting a brick wall'.

Experienced researcher and workshop presenter Heather Shave has many tips and ideas about dealing with brick walls. Heather has successfully found solutions to numerous problems in her own research that she will share in this workshop. Sometimes the problem is easily resolved, sometimes thinking “outside the box" is required, and sometimes research has to be disproved or eliminated before determining the correct entry.

23 APRIL 2016 – FAMILYSEARCH.ORG STRATEGIES

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

We will explore the FamilySearch website together, and look into the functions which are available, including:

  • uploading your tree, photos, stories, documents, etc.
  •  searching records and submitted genealogies
  • chatting through the blog, learning through Wiki
  • getting help: research assistance, videos and guides

Questions as we move through will be most welcome!

16 APRIL 2016 – ENGLAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

Is there a publican among your ancestors? or a “black sheep”? or a seaman or clergyman? How can more be found about your ancestors?

This workshop on English records will focus on the many sources beyond Civil Registration, the census, parish registers and wills. This material can add more depth to your family history rather than just a list of names and dates.

Sites for occupational sources, including military records and apprenticeships, records of the poor, newspapers and court records are of the available resources on the internet.

Composite sites which can include many different types of records, and searching archive catalogues will be discussed.

9 APRIL 2016 – UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA MCPHERSON LIBRARY:
ON SITE TOUR AND PRESENTATION ON AVAILABLE GENEALOGY RESOURCES

MAXIMUM 30 PARTICIPANTS; REGISTRATION CLOSES 2 APR 2016

PRESENTER: Lara Wilson, Director, Special Collections & University Archivist
LOCATION: UVic McPherson Library
(Time and location details to be announced)

The University of Victoria library is a valuable repository of genealogical information. But it can be an intimidating prospect to start your research here. Join Lara Wilson for a tour of the areas of the library that are specifically useful for genealogists. Lara will also share where to go in the library for technical and research assistance.

Wear your comfortable walking shoes and join Lara on this tour of the areas of the library specifically useful for genealogists. Participants will also be shown where to go for research and/or technical assistance.

Participants will have an opportunity part way through the tour to use the library computers to access the catalogue and some of the relevant genealogy databases, and to ask questions.

This “onsite” workshop will be approximately 2 hours long. While we are not scheduling a ten minute break we will never be too far from washrooms so if you do need to use the facilities we will make sure you do not get lost or separated from the group. You may bring liquids in containers with lids. When we are in the Archives and Special Collections reading room we will be asked to put liquids, purses, etc. in the cubby holes.

PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this workshop closes at noon on April 2.
Limit of 30 attendees.

Pay parking is in effect on Saturdays. The closet General Pay Parking is in Lot 1. Maximum cost on Saturday is $2.50, payable by coin or credit card. It is short walk on the ring road to McPherson Library. Reserved Parking lots B and C (on either side of the Library) do have a few Short Term metered parking spaces. The cost is $1.25 per hour with a 2 hour maximum. This maximum is in effect 24 hours a day Monday – Saturday. A map of the University buildings and parking lots is available online.

2 APRIL 2016 – GETTING STARTED CREATING YOUR OWN BLOG OR WEBSITE - NO EXPERIENCE REQUIRED!

PRESENTERS: Merv Scott & Claudia Boorman

Do you want to put your family stories online, or perhaps share your research adventures with others? These are only two of the many reasons why you might be considering creating your own blog or website online. Let us show you how easy it is to get started for free, with no technical experience required.

Goals:

  • to show how easy and inexpensive it can be to create a website or blog online, and encourage you to try it!
  • to ease your fear of web technology
  • to learn the advantages of using your own site as an effective networking tool in your genealogy research

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Examples of personal blogs websites created by the presenters; motivation and reasons behind their choices
  • Web format options such as blogs, forums, websites and social media: specific purposes, pros and cons
  • Deciding what web format is right for you based on your goals, content requirements and personal preferences
  • Planning before you start.  Think about your site name, content categories, colours, layout, images, menus etc.
  • Ethics, public vs. private sites, security issues
  • Watch and help presenters create a simple website + blog using weebly.com
  • Go home with tips on how you can start.  Question and answer period.

Claudia Boorman has been the VGS Webmaster since 2009, and designed the current VGS site. After taking a course in Web Design and Management from UVic in 2005, she has created several websites including a personal genealogy website and blog using Weebly.com.

Merv Scott, Project Director for the VGS, also wanted to share his family stories online and started by creating a travel blog using Google's free blogspot.com tool (now blogger.com). He then developed a family history website using Weebly.com.

26 MAR 2016
NO WORKSHOP DUE TO EASTER WEEKEND

 

19 MAR 2016 – IRELAND BY INTERNET - CANCELLED DUE TO ILLNESS

PRESENTER: Barb Doell

Continuing with the Irish theme in honour of St. Patrick’s Day, join Barb in learning how to use the internet to find your Irish ancestors. The internet is the main source of genealogy information today. Some information is true, some made up, some free and some on pay websites. There are a wide variety of websites for almost everything.

Barb will take us to Ireland via the net and show us numerous websites for genealogy. Some of the information and how to search using the site can be used for any country, i.e. the familysearch.org website.

Come and join us to research Ireland online – you never know what might be out there waiting for you!

12 MAR 2016 – BEGINNING IRISH GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day, join us for this useful workshop on getting started with Irish genealogy! Many more resources are available for Irish research today but an understanding of the records themselves is essential to conduct successful research.

The workshop will focus on the main records available in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s—Civil Registration, Census (1901 and 1911), and Church Records. Understanding the Irish Administrative Divisions is essential for productive Irish research, and these will be explained as well as Griffiths Valuations, used as a census substitute.

While many records were burnt, many were not! And your Irish ancestors may be in them!

5 MAR 2016 – WRITING BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUR ANCESTORS

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

You’ve been researching your ancestors for months or maybe years. You have reams of information including charts and graphs. It’s been a rewarding process, but all you have to show for your work is a dry list of names, dates and places. What you actually want is a story that tells others what the person’s life was about. Your genealogy program can even supply you with a ready¬made outline. But how do you take all that raw data and turn it into a biography, even a short one?

This workshop will present ways of stringing together genealogy data into a story by creating transitions, adding context, and applying themes. Bring a genealogy report for one of your ancestors to use as an outline or use a sample provided. Worksheets will be provided for the exercise sessions.

OUTLINE

TOPIC

DESCRIPTION

HANDOUT

Introduction

Overview

Outlines

Using your genealogy report as an outline

Example

Context & Colour

Adding historical facts, location details or other information

Examples

Exercise

Come up with ideas for adding context and colour

Worksheet

Themes

How to find themes and apply them

Examples

Exercise

Find a theme in your outline

Worksheet

Transitions

Why you need transitions and how to write them

List of transitional words & phrases

Openings

Options for beginning your story

Examples

Exercise

Write a short biography

Worksheet

Sharing & questions

Depending on time

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria-based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25¬year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print publications and on websites.

 For more information about her work, visit: www.kmlowe.com. For more information about her ancestors, visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.com.

27 FEB 2016
NO WORKSHOP DUE TO FAMILY HISTORY CENTRE CONFERENCE

 

20 FEB 2016 – INTRODUCTION TO QUEBEC RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Melanie Arscott

Settlement in Quebec began in the early 1600s, and the ports of Quebec and Montreal were a major gateway to North America. The immigration came in waves, with families leaving the Old World looking for opportunity and prosperity in North America.

Were your ancestors a part of this immigration event? Join Melanie as she helps introduce you to a variety of English records available for researchers, and some of the key words that will help decipher the clues in the French records. The emphasis will be on the English population along the Saint Lawrence River.

20 FEB 2016 – INTRODUCTION TO QUEBEC RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Melanie Arscott

Settlement in Quebec began in the early 1600s, and the ports of Quebec and Montreal were a major gateway to North America. The immigration came in waves, with families leaving the Old World looking for opportunity and prosperity in North America.

Were your ancestors a part of this immigration event? Join Melanie as she helps introduce you to a variety of English records available for researchers, and some of the key words that will help decipher the clues in the French records. The emphasis will be on the English population along the Saint Lawrence River.

13 FEB 2016 – WRITING YOUR MEMOIR: HOW TO GET STARTED

PRESENTER: Darin Steinkey

Darin is back due to popular demand after his workshop on
Self-Publishing Memoirs held last November.  Don't miss this one!

There's 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.

Darin Steinkey works in many different mediums with the common thread being "the story". Since graduating early in the millennium with a degree in Literature and History in Art, he has marched towards greater understanding in publishing, radio and film production. After teaching grammar and writing overseas, he took a post at Trafford Publishing, one of the early innovators in the independent publishing world. During that time he shepherded dozens of books from raw manuscript to the bookstore and online shelves. In 2007, he began freelance editing and production of family legacy memoirs (those that are not for sale, but will live on family shelves) with the help of Jordan Clarke, a communication designer who specializes in books. Darin opened Aldridge Street Publishing in 2008, followed by Aldridge Street Print & Media in 2013. He creates documentaries and commercials for video, has many credits producing public radio, and is the managing editor of School Ties, the alumni magazine for St. Michaels University School. You can learn more about his work at aldridgestreet.com.

6 FEB 2016 - GENEALOGY ON THE CHEAP: NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED

PRESENTER: Melanie Arscott & Sarah Hamster

This workshop is being offered again due to popular demand!

Genealogy doesn’t have to be expensive. In this workshop we will explore free and inexpensive resources that are available on the internet, how to get great deals when setting up your family history home office, family tree software options and a number of other tips and tricks that are easy on the wallet. Even experienced family researchers will find themselves learning new techniques that are inexpensive and open up possibilities for finding new information.

30 JANUARY 2016 – ENGLISH RESEARCH BEFORE 1850 – PARISH REGISTERS & WILLS

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

Parish registers are the main resource for English research prior to the census (1841) and Civil Registration (1837). With the proliferation of digitized records on the internet, this research is becoming much easier to access. Questions covered in this workshop will include:

  • What information is included with baptism, marriage, and burial entries?
  • Does the information differ at different periods?
  • Why are Church of England registers so important for all English research?
  • Are there records of other denominations?
  • What other records can be used to find baptisms, marriages and burials?
  • What internet sites have parish registers?

Wills can also provide genealogical information, and it is surprising who made wills in the 1700s. Wills made before 1858 were proved in church courts, and there were over two hundred courts in existence. We will address:

  • How can the relevant court be determined?
  • Are there indexes online?
  • Where can wills be found online?

Using these resources, (if they have survived!), English research can be taken back as far as the late 1500s.

23 JANUARY 2016 – SCOTLAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Walter Balfour

In anticipation of Robbie Burns Day, let Walter show you his tried and true web sites for Scotland - both free sites and pay sites. With Scottish roots in Shetland, Easter Ross and Angus, Walter brings considerable knowledge to showing you the best ways to get the most from these web sites for your time and your dollar. Sláinte!

16 JANUARY 2016 - PRESERVING YOUR KEEPSAKES (Rescheduled from December)

PRESENTER: Lara Wilson, MA, MAS
UVic Director, Special Collections & University Archivist

Do you have boxes full of keepsakes and family treasures but are unsure of the proper way to take care of them? If so then this workshop is for you! Come join Lara Wilson, Director of Special Collections and University Archivist at the University of Victoria as she shows you how to care for cherished mementos. Lara will provide an overview of the common materials found in family collections and will discuss the issues affecting preservation. Basic approaches to preservation will be explained and there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

As Director of Special Collections and Archivist at UVic, Lara is responsible for institutional records and the records management programs. She also manages the UVic Special Collections and University Archives which hold extensive collections in anarchism, arts & culture, environmental studies, literary and military history, and transgender studies.

9 JANUARY 2016 - SEARCHING LONDON

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

Trying to find your way around the maze that is London? I will try to give you some hints which will hopefully make your search easier and more productive.

Among the topics to be discussed are:

  •  London – what area is covered? Where should I really be looking? London boundaries have changed over the years, as well as some of the local names.

We will look at:

  •  General sources of information on London
  • Maps
  • Census records
  • Birth/marriage/death/burial records
  • Parish records
  • Electoral records
  • School entrance
  • Wills & probates
  • Other records such as guilds, trade associations, etc.

Visiting London? Where should I go?

  • London Metropolitan Archives (LMA)
  • Society of Genealogists (SOGS)
  • Museum of London
  • County Record Offices

Do you have brick walls? Bring along your questions and we will have a go at solving them.

2015

 

CHRISTMAS BREAK -
NO WORKSHOPS ON DECEMBER 12, 19, 26, JANUARY 2, 2016

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

12 DECEMBER 2015 - PRESERVING YOUR KEEPSAKES

SORRY - CANCELLED BY PRESENTER - RESCHEDULED FOR 16 Jan 2016

PRESENTER: Lara Wilson

No workshop on this date.

5 DECEMBER 2015 - ACROSS THE POND (EMIGRATION)

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

You've found your immigrant ancestor! And s/he came from England or Ireland or Scotland. What can be done to narrow the search down to a county, and preferable to a parish?

What do you need to know to proceed further?

Research strategies and techniques that can be used of find the place of origin will be discussed. While the examples used will be from the British Isles, the same techniques are applicable to other countries.

28 NOVEMBER 2015 - CHANGED SCHEDULE ...
SELF-PUBLISHING A MEMOIR

PRESENTER: Darin Steinkey

Darin will talk about some of the most common obstacles in independently publishing a family memoir. This will be an activity-based workshop for those who have the ideas or stories but are unsure where to begin. Conversation, questions and shared experience in the publishing journey will be on the agenda, as opposed to a lecture-style presentation.

Topics covered but are not limited to:

  • Where to begin: what stories should be included in my family memoir?
  • Establishing a budget: how much is this going to cost?
  • What type of software should I use to write my manuscript?
  • What kind of editor do I need? Is an editor even important?
  • Can I design my own book and cover?
  • What should I look for in a book designer?
  • Images: what are the implications in terms of cost and time?
  • Applying for an ISBN (International Standard Book Number)
  • Finding a printer
  • The Aldridge Street "People's History Project" -- a vision for the published stories of the common person in Canada.

If there are topics any attendee would like covered, please email Darin: darin@aldridgestreet.com and he can address them. Also, if you have a memoir manuscript that you would like a free assessment completed on, please send it to him in MS Word format by November 10.

BIOGRAPHY

Darin Steinkey works in many different mediums with the common thread being "the story". Since graduating early in the millennium with a degree in Literature and History in Art, he has marched towards greater understanding in publishing, radio and film production. After teaching grammar and writing overseas, he took a post at Trafford Publishing, one of the early innovators in the independent publishing world. During that time he shepherded dozens of books from raw manuscript to the bookstore and online shelves.

 In 2007, he began freelance editing and production of family legacy memoirs (those that are not for sale, but will live on family shelves) with the help of Jordan Clarke, a communication designer who specializes in books. Darin opened Aldridge Street Publishing in 2008, followed by Aldridge Street Print & Media in 2013. He creates documentaries and commercials for video, has many credits producing public radio, and is the managing editor of School Ties, the alumni magazine for St. Michaels University School. You can learn more about his work aldridgestreet.com.

21 NOVEMBER 2015 - CHANGED SCHEDULE ...
GENEALOGY ON THE CHEAP: NO CREDIT CARD REQUIRED

PRESENTERS: Melanie Arscott and Sarah Hamster

Genealogy doesn’t have to be expensive. In this workshop we will explore free and inexpensive resources that are available on the internet, how to get great deals when setting up your family history home office, family tree software options and a number of other tips and tricks that are easy on the wallet.

14 NOVEMBER 2015 - PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN GENEALOGY

SORRY - WORKSHOP CANCELLED

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

OVERVIEW
The primary challenge of any project is to achieve all the objectives. Although genealogy research can go on for years, it is still a project and should have goals and strategies for accomplishing them. Project management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific objectives. As such, project management methodologies can be applied to a genealogy research project.

But what if you don’t know what your goals are, never mind how to achieve them? This workshop will discuss the project management tools that can help you define S.M.A.R.T. goals, carry out a SWOT (strengths- weaknesses-opportunities-threats) analysis, and create a plan. If you are working with other researchers, knowing your goals and having a plan can help them help you. Worksheets provided.

OUTLINE

  • Introduction: Project management as it applies to genealogy
  • SWOT Analysis: How to determine your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
  • Exercise: Do a ‘reality check’ of the skills/resources you need for your genealogy project
  • Setting SMART Goals: How to set goals that are Specific, Meaningful, Actionable, Realistic and Tracked
  • Exercise: Using questions to find your goals.
  • Statement of Work: How vision and mission statements can define the scope of your research
  • Exercise: Write a vision statement and a mission statement
  • Strategies: How to define activities/tasks that serve a purpose or provide an advantage
  • Exercise: Prepare a list of strategies and complete your project plan

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria-based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25-year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print publications and on websites.

For more information about her work visit: www.kmlowe.com. For more information about her ancestors visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.com.

7 NOVEMBER 2015 – IDENTIFYING MILITARY UNIFORMS IN OLD PHOTOS

PRESENTER: Keith Holden

Do you have old photos in which the identification of a military uniform would lead to expanding a family story?

Major (Retired) Keith Holden, Canadian Forces Medical, long time VGS member (#499), and military history enthusiast will identify the uniforms in your old photos.

Military uniforms, which have have long served as national identifiers, were originally intended to make recognition of the enemy in the field relatively straightforward. To this day uniforms, standardised and distinctive, identify such things as country of service, regimental affiliation and rank. The number, placement and style of medals, ribbons, cap badges, stripes and other accoutrements forms a language easily understood by military personnel – but is a foreign language to others.

If you are in this 2nd group, share your photos with Keith and have Keith translate the ‘language of the uniform’.

If you would like to be part of this workshop:

  • Register at workshop@victoriags.org and include scanned copies of photographs you would Keith to examine.
  • Limit of 2 photographs per person; it is possible only one photograph may be discussed in the workshop depending on time available and the total number of photographs submitted.
  • Photos should be limited to Canada and/or British uniforms, they can be Army, Navy or Air Force
  • Scanned photographs should be received no later than Saturday, October 31st to give Keith time to review the photos. (Photos received earlier will enjoy more of Keith’s scrutiny time)
  • If you register at the Resource Centre – or do not have a scanner – contact workshop@victoriags.org and arrangements can be made to scan your photos.

OCTOBER 31, 2015 - INTRODUCTION TO ENGLISH RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

New to English research? This session is the first of three on English records.

Learn about the basic records that cover the second half of the nineteenth century – Civil Registration (births, marriages and deaths) which started in 1837; the census from 1841 to 1811; and wills after 1858. The contents of the each type of record will be covered, how to search for the records, and how to make the best use of the information. Most of the records (except for the actual Civil Registration records) for this time period are online. Different sources for the records, some free and some commercial will be discussed as well.

OCTOBER 24, 2015 - NO WORKSHOP - ATTEND OUR SEMINAR

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!

OCTOBER 17, 2015 - CHANGED SCHEDULE ...
ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH and USING GENEALOGY FORMS

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster  -  OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms.  Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current  generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in the future.

This 2 part workshop is a combination of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms.
NOTE: Part 1 and Part 2 will be held in sequence in the same workshop on the same day from 10:00 am until 12 noon.

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binder? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems - should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citations be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group sheet)
  • What are transcription/extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

OCTOBER 10, 2015 - NO WORKSHOP - THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

Enjoy your holiday weekend!

OCTOBER 3, 2015 - GETTING STARTED IN GENEALOGY

PRESENTERS: Melanie Arscott, Pat Acton     -     OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

Goal: An introduction to family history, genealogy and the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS).

Have you seen those commercials claiming that discovering your family’s history is as simple as ‘entering your grandfather's name’? Have you ever wondered ‘who do you think you are?’

This workshop designed for new members will cover topics such as:

  • What is genealogy and family history?  
  • How do I get started?
  • What do I do with that shoe box of family photos and documents?
  •  Can all the answers be found on the internet?
  •  What services does the VGS have that will help you with your family’s story?

Join Melanie and Pat as they share their enthusiasm for family history and describe some of the ins and outs of discovering whether there are any truths to your family stories.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2015 - Ancestry.com Search Strategies

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton     -     OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

New to genealogy? Unsure of how to use Ancestry.com? Frustrated with your searches in Ancestry? Want to become more sophisticated in your searching?

We will explore how to more efficiently use Ancestry.com, including:

  • the use of wildcards
  • how to narrow down your search
  • use of the "advanced search" page and "exact match"
  • saving or printing records
  • searching from a different angle
  • ... and much more.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 - MEET and GREET

With VGS Executive

The first Saturday Morning Workshop time slot for the Fall is dedicated to giving VGS members the opportunity to meet the Executive Committee. Join us for that morning coffee, from 10am till noon on Saturday the 19th at the VGS Resource Centre. We'd love to hear your fundraising suggestions, workshop and Speaker Series ideas, etc.

WORKSHOPS WILL RESUME IN SEPTEMBER, 2015

The summer is now upon us.  There will be no VGS workshops held during July and August (except the Craigflower Manor tour and picnic).

Plans are well underway for our Fall lineup of informative workshops.  Details will be posted here as soon as available.

Our VGS Resource Centre WILL be open during the summer - check out our summer hours.

Craigflower Manor sign, Victoria BCJULY 25, 2015 - Special Tour of CRAIGFLOWER MANOR With SCHOOLHOUSE Picnic

This is a special Tour of Craigflower Manor with Schoolhouse Picnic:

Date: July 25th, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm approx.
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 sign, 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 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.

June 13, 2015 –   FIRST STEPS IN STARTING YOUR FAMILY HISTORY

PRESENTER: Melanie Arscott      -     OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

As summer approaches, many of us plan to ‘get organized and started in the fall’. Meanwhile is there preparation work that can be done over the summer, as you sort through what you already have, acquire photos and old shoe boxes of records at this summer’s family reunions?

Come and hear Melanie give you tips and practical advice for things you can do over the summer months.

Have you seen those commercials claiming that discovering your family’s history is as simple as ‘entering your grandfather's name’? Have you ever wondered ‘who do you think you are?’ This workshop will cover topics such as:

  •  What is genealogy and family history?
  • How to get started?
  • What to do with the shoe box of family photos and documents?
  • Can all the answers be found on the internet?

Join Melanie as she shares her enthusiasm for family history and describes some of the ins and outs of discovering whether there are any truths to your family stories.

JUNE 6, 2015 - GETTING YOURSELF ORGANIZED TO START YOUR FAMILY HISTORY

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster      -     OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

As summer approaches, many of us plan to ‘get organized and started in the fall’. Meanwhile is there preparation work that can be done over the summer, as you sort through what you already have, acquire photos and old shoe boxes of records at this summer’s family reunions?

Come and hear Sarah give you tips and practical advice for things you can do over the summer months.

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in the future.

Goal of the workshop: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Suggestions on how to get started.
  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  •  Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binder? (examples)
  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group sheet)
  • How should completed forms be organized?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

MAY 23, 2015 - WORKING WITH THE MEMORIALS OF DEEDS OF IRELAND: PROSPECTING FOR IRISH GOLD

PRESENTER:    Heather Jones

Did your Irish ancestors belong to the middle class, have a trade or business and/or have sufficient financial resources to purchase a lease lasting at least 3 years?

If so, then they may be found in the Memorials of Deeds of Ireland. The registration of Memorials began in 1708 and the LDS films available cover up to 1929.

This workshop will cover:

  • the purpose of the documents
  •  which deeds could be registered
  • the process by which they were created and registered
  • the type of information contained in the Memorials
  •  how to access the information
  • problems with the indexes and the Memorials themselves
  • resources which can provide assistance when using the Memorials
  • future availability of the documents or extractions from the documents

MAY 16 & 17, 2015 - NO WORKSHOPS

VGS WILL BE AT THE HIGHLAND GAMES MAY 16-18
We need volunteers to help at the VGS information booth at the Highland Games. 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 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. 

MAY 9, 2015 - CAN YOU PROVE IT?  PRODUCING THE EVIDENCE

PRESENTER: Pat Acton

Your family has an oral tradition that great-aunt Susie once was a servant in Lord Tophat’s mansion. Your cousin never tells tall tales, so the story must be true. Mustn’t it?

This workshop will illustrate how to use critical thinking skills to evaluate information gathered for your family history including:

  • What is the difference between a fact, a deduction and an assumption? Why is this important to recognize?
  • What is the standard scientific procedure and how can it be used in family history?
  • What is the Genealogical Proof Standard? Can it help separate fact from fiction?
  •  What is the difference between primary, secondary, tertiary and circumstantial evidence?
  • How can problem solving become part of the research process?
  • What are some specific problems that could be encountered?

MAY 2, 2015 - SOLVING GENEALOGY PROBLEMS AKA BRICK WALLS

PRESENTERS: Barb Doell, Heather Shave

Do you have an ancestor that you can't find in a census? or find his or her birth/baptism? or marriage? or burial? or are there too many entries to choose from? This workshop will be of interest to people who have tried - they believe - all possible avenues of research, and have come up with a blank. This frustrating experience is what family historians refer to as 'hitting a brick wall'.

The workshop presenters Heather Shave and Barb Doell, have many tips and ideas about dealing with a brick wall. They have many years of experience and have successfully found solutions to numerous problems in their own research. Sometimes the problem is easily resolved, sometimes thinking “outside the box" is required, and sometimes research has to be disproved or eliminated before determining the correct entry.

APRIL 25, 2015 - VGS MEMBERS ONLY

Notice will be sent to VGS members.

APRIL 18, 2015 - NO WORKSHOP SCHEDULED

MARCH 21, 2015 - IRELAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Barb Doell

The internet is the main source of genealogy information today. Some information is true, some made up, some free and some on pay websites. There are a wide variety of websites for almost everything.
Barb will take us to Ireland via the net and show us numerous websites for genealogy. Some of the information and how to search using the site can be used for any country, i.e. the familysearch.org website.

You don’t know what is out there waiting for you!
Come and join us to research Ireland online!

7 MARCH 2015 - WORKING WITH THE MEMORIALS OF DEEDS OF IRELAND: Prospecting For Irish Gold

SORRY, THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED (date TBA)

PRESENTER: Heather Jones

Did your Irish ancestors belong to the middle class, have a trade or business and/or have sufficient financial resources to purchase a lease lasting at least 3 years?

If so, then they may be found in the Memorials of Deeds of Ireland. The registration of Memorials began in 1708 and the LDS films available cover up to 1929.

This workshop will cover:

  • the purpose of the documents
  • which deeds could be registered
  • the process by which they were created and registered
  • the type of information contained in the Memorials
  • how to access the information
  • problems with the indexes and the Memorials themselves
  • resources which can provide assistance when using the Memorials
  • future availability of the documents or extractions from the documents

Heather has been working with the Memorials for 8 years and will focus her presentation on those registered between 1785 and 1817. While she will be talking about a very small section of the documents available, she will be sharing a number of specific tips to increase the chance of reward for your time and effort.

Researching the Memorials is like looking for a needle in a haystack, but occasionally the needles found are made of gold!

28 FEBRUARY 2015 - BEGINNING IRISH GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

Many more resources are available for Irish research today but an understanding of the records themselves is essential to conduct successful research.

The workshop will focus on the main records available in the mid to late 1800s and early 1900s—Civil Registration, Census (1901 and 1911), and Church Records. Understanding the Irish Administrative Divisions is essential for productive Irish research, and these will be explained as well as Griffiths Valuations, used as a census substitute.

While many records were burnt, many were not! And your Irish ancestors may be in them!

21 FEBRUARY 2015 - INTRODUCTION TO MATERIALS PRESERVATION

PRESENTER: Lara Wilson, MA, MAS
UVic Director, Special Collections & University Archivist

Description: Lara will provide an overview of the common materials found in family archives and will discuss the issues affecting preservation. Basic preservation approaches will be explained and there will be an opportunity for questions and discussion.

Presenter: Lara is the Director of Special Collections and University Archivist at the University of Victoria. As well as having responsibility for institutional records and the records management programs, UVic Special Collections and University Archives holds extensive collections in anarchism, arts & culture, environmental studies, literary and military history, and transgender studies.​

14 FEBRUARY 2015 - FINDING YOUR PEOPLE IN THE CENSUS

PRESENTERS: Heather Shave and Diana Gaiger

Who -- was recorded in a census?

What -- information is given?

When -- was the census taken?

Where -- are they available?

WHY CAN'T I FIND MY PEOPLE???


Censuses are one of the most valuable records for genealogists. Learn the who, what, why, when and where of the census of Canada, the U.S.A., England, Scotland and Ireland.

Significant time will be spent on the challenges and problems encountered in using different censuses.

Why use the census? To narrow down death, emigration, moving within a country.

Standard information -- name, residence, age, relationship, occupation.

Differences in census for each country and date; availability.

Search tips:

  • "less is more"
  • no surname
  • wild cards
  • challenges/problems
  • transcriptions -- poor writing, omissions
  • records
  • spelling
  • ages
  • relationships -- terms, visitors and servants can be relatives
  • double entries

The censuses are a goldmine of information along with a lot of frustration. Let us help you lessen the problems!!

7 FEBRUARY 2015 - FAMILYSEARCH.ORG STRATEGIES

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

We will explore the FamilySearch website together, and look into the functions which are available, including:

  • uploading your tree, photos, stories, documents, etc.
  • searching records and submitted genealogies
  • chatting through the blog, learning through Wiki
  • getting help: research assistance, videos and guides

Questions as we move through will be most welcome!

31 JANUARY 2015 - WRITING BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUR ANCESTORS

PRESENTER:  Kathleen Lowe

You’ve been researching your ancestors for months or maybe years. You have reams of information including charts and graphs. It’s been a rewarding process, but all you have to show for your work is a dry list of names, dates and places. What you actually want is a story that tells others what the person’s life was about. Your genealogy program can supply you with a ready-made outline, but how do you take all that raw material and turn it into a biography, even a short one? This workshop will present ways of stringing together genealogy data into a story by adding context, applying themes and creating transitions. Worksheets are included. You can bring a genealogy report for one of your ancestors to use as an outline or use the sample provided.

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria-based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25-year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print and on websites. For more information about her work visit: kmlowe.com. For information about her ancestors visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.ca

 

24 JANUARY 2015 - SCOTLAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTERS: Walter Balfour and Diana Gaiger

Let Walter show you his tried and true web sites for Scotland - both free sites and pay for sites. Walter will show you ways of getting the most from these web sites for your time and your dollar.

Walter’s Scottish family roots are in Shetland, Easter Ross and Angus.

Diana will show you around Scotlandspeople to find registrations, wills, census etc.

For the cost of the information (birth, death, marriage or other documents), Diana will find the document and email you a copy. Each credit costs about 40 cents. Wills are 10 credits. Birth, marriage and death are 6 credits.

Come and join others searching in Scotland.

17 JANUARY 2015 - MAKE YOUR OWN WEBSITE or BLOG using "WEEBLY" - HANDS ON CLASS LIMITED TO 6 PEOPLE ONLY

PRESENTERS: Merv Scott, Claudia Boorman

Now that you're inspired to create your own website or blog (after learning a bit about the process during our introductory workshop), we invite you to attend our follow-up "hands on" workshop where you use your own laptop and Weebly account. You will receive help on your individual web projects and learn more about options and features of the Weebly.com web building tool. Or if you're not ready to start a "real" site but want to have some guided practice time while trying out this easy way to create a blog or website, this workshop is also for you.

Either way, you always control when you "go live", and which parts (if any) you want to "go public". We'll show you how to test ideas and delete or change what you no longer want. We can help you gain confidence and skills to make the most of your website ideas.

To get the most out of this workshop, please plan ahead. What do you want YOUR site to be about? Before coming to the workshop, please...

  • Think about the topic, and what types of pages and content you want
  • What domain name(s) would be appropriate for your site?
  • Set up a folder for your Weebly project on your laptop (on the desktop or favorite location); add images, draft content files etc. (to save you time during the workshop)
  • If possible, please sign up for your free weebly.com account, and register your domain name (a free Weebly sub-domain is good).

On the day of the workshop ...

  • Please bring your own laptop computer, any prepared content, and your Weebly log-in and password
  • Come early to get set up and logged into your Weebly account
  • Come even earlier if you need help signing up for a Weebly account

Attendance will be limited to 6 people for this 2-hour "hands on" workshop.
The cost for VGS members is $20, or $25 for non-members.
Please sign up early to reserve your seat by contacting us at vgsworkshop@gmail.com.

Merv Scott is our VGS Projects Director, and  has created his own family website using Weebly - Scott - Our Roots in Scotland.
Claudia Boorman, VGS Webmaster, created and maintains this VGS website and others.  Visit her Boorman Family website created using Weebly.

 

2014

 

NO WORKSHOPS WILL BE HELD IN THE MONTH OF DECEMBER.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!

WORKSHOPS WILL RESUME IN JANUARY.

29 NOV 2014 - Ancestry Search Strategy

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

New to genealogy?

Unsure of how to use Ancestry.com?

Frustrated with your searches in Ancestry?

Want to become more sophisticated in your searching?

We will explore how to more efficiently use Ancestry.com, including:

  • the use of wildcards
  •  how to narrow down your search
  • use of the "advanced search" page and "exact match"
  • saving or printing records
  • searching from a different angle
  • and much more.

22 NOV 2014 - Exploring the National Archives of Great Britain

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

The Website of the National Archives of Great Britain has over twelve million document descriptions in the National Archives catalogue, there must be something for everyone with British ancestry!

But finding the specific information wanted is not always straight forward. And the site changes frequently. Catalogues of other English Archives are also accessed through the National Archives website.

Learn what records are kept by the National Archives, which are online, which are on “partner websites” and how to access the records. These are the archives of Great Britain, and so include Irish, Scottish and Colonial Records.

Research strategies will be covered. Questions will be answered.

15 NOV 2014 - BOOKS FOR SALE OR TRADE!!! (No Workshop)

When: Nov 15, 2014

Where: 947 Alston Street

Time: 9 to noon

Find the perfect book for a wet winter night in front of the fire!

Pocket books:
· bring 4 and take home 6
· 2 for $1
· bring your own bag, $5

Hard cover books priced $1 to $10, includes genealogy books, geography books, cookbooks, etc.

See our odds and ends table.

8 NOV 2014 - In Honour of Remembrance Day - at the Victoria Genealogical Society Resource Centre

DROP IN SPECIAL EVENT - BY DONATION - SPECIAL TIME 9:00am to Noon

Date: Saturday, November 8th
Time: 9 am to noon - DROP IN.
Cost: Entrance by donation. Half of all proceeds will go to the Poppy fund.

We're trying something new in honour of Remembrance Day this year. Instead of a workshop, we're offering a drop-in session with multiple manned displays - interaction encouraged!

  • A number of our members will have family items on display and will be happy to answer your questions.
  • We will also have Ted Leaker, the Director of the Ashton Armoury Museum in Saanich with a display of items from the museum. We will be happy to answer questions about tracing your family members who were in the military.
    • Ashton Armoury Museum
      We represent 39 Signals Regiment, 39 Service Battalion, 11 Field Ambulance, and 12 Military Police Platoon. These are the communicators, drivers, cooks, warehouse staff, clerks, mechanics, medics and military police that provide support services to 39 Brigade, which is the Reserve Army formation in British Columbia. We are part of 3rd Canadian Division, the Regular and Reserve Army formation in Western Canada.
      The museum showcases the above units and their predecessors back to WW I, with historical information back to 1603.
  • As many of you know, we do have military information at the Resource Centre.  Please check our VGS online catalog for details, and browse our shelves while at the Resource Centre.

Please come into the Resource Centre to help us honour our military families, to meet some of our volunteers and see what we have to offer for research.

1 NOV 2014 - HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THESE RESOURCES?

PRESENTER: Diana Gaiger

  • City Directories: Where do I find them and what are they going to tell me? When were women placed in the directories? How old do you have to be to be in the directory?
  • Cemeteries: Do they help us or hinder us? Are tombstones always correct? How accurate are the transcriptions?
  • Funeral Homes: What information do they have and what can they share with the public?
  • Churches: A wealth of information can be found in old churches.
  • Newspapers: Gems to be found in the old newspapers. Read the Social columns to follow the village events. Personal columns often had interesting information: “Mr. & Mrs. Wm Brown have returned from a 2 week visit with their daughter, Mrs. Richard Smith in Ottawa.”
  • Voters Lists: How to use them. How valuable are they?
  • School Records: How open are they? School histories and school annuals can be insightful.

25 OCT 2014 – MAKE YOUR OWN WEBSITE or BLOG using "WEEBLY" - HANDS ON WORKSHOP

PRESENTERS: Merv Scott, Claudia Boorman

Now that you're inspired to create your own website or blog (after learning a bit about the process during our introductory workshop), we invite you to attend our follow-up "hands on" workshop where you use your own laptop and Weebly account. You will receive help on your individual web projects and learn more about options and features of the Weebly.com web building tool. Or if you're not ready to start a "real" site but want to have some guided practice time while trying out this easy way to create a blog or website, this workshop is also for you.

Either way, you always control when you "go live", and which parts (if any) you want to "go public". We'll show you how to test ideas and delete or change what you no longer want. We can help you gain confidence and skills to make the most of your website ideas.

To get the most out of this workshop, please plan ahead. What do you want YOUR site to be about? Before coming to the workshop, please...

  • Think about the topic, and what types of pages and content you want
  • What domain name(s) would be appropriate for your site?
  • Set up a folder for your Weebly project on your laptop (on the desktop or favorite location); add images, draft content files etc. (to save you time during the workshop)
  • If possible, please sign up for your free weebly.com account, and register your domain name (a free Weebly sub-domain is good).

On the day of the workshop ...

  • Please bring your own laptop computer, any prepared content, and your Weebly log-in and password
  • Come early to get set up and logged into your Weebly account
  • Come even earlier if you need help signing up for a Weebly account

Attendance will be limited to 6 people for this 2-hour "hands on" workshop.
The cost for VGS members is $20, or $25 for non-members.
Please sign up early to reserve your seat by contacting us at vgsworkshop@gmail.com.

Merv Scott is our VGS Projects Director, and  has created his own family website using Weebly - Scott - Our Roots in Scotland.
Claudia Boorman, VGS Webmaster, created and maintains this VGS website and others.  Visit her Boorman Family website created using Weebly.

18 OCT 2014 - PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

OVERVIEW

The primary challenge of any project is to achieve all the objectives. Although genealogy research can go on for years, it is still a project and should have goals and strategies for accomplishing them. Project management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific objectives. As such, project management methodologies can be applied to a genealogy research project.

But what if you don’t know what your goals are, never mind how to achieve them? This workshop will discuss the project management tools that can help you define S.M.A.R.T. goals, carry out a SWOT (strengths-weaknesses-opportunities-threats) analysis, and create a plan. If you are working with other researchers, knowing your goals and having a plan can help them help you. Worksheets provided.

OUTLINE

  • Introduction: Project management as it applies to genealogy
  • Introduction: Project management as it applies to genealogy
  • SWOT Analysis: How to determine your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats
  • Exercise: Do a ‘reality check’ of the skills/resources you need for your genealogy project
  • Setting SMART Goals: How to set goals that are Specific, Meaningful, Actionable, Realistic and Tracked
  • Exercise: Using questions to find your goals.
  • Statement of Work: How vision and mission statements can define the scope of your research
  • Exercise: Write a vision statement and a mission statement
  • Strategies: How to define activities/tasks that serve a purpose or provide an advantage
  • Exercise: Prepare a list of strategies and complete your project plan

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria-based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25-year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print publications and on websites. For more information about her work visit: www.kmlowe.com. For more information about her ancestors visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.com.

11 OCT 2014 - NO WORKSHOP - THANKSGIVING WEEKEND

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

4 OCT 2014 - ENGLAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

An overwhelming amount of English genealogical material is now on the internet, and is increasing at a rapid pace. What information is on which site? What is the best place to start? Find both common and less well known records as we explore different sites, both free and subscription.

Sites for birth, marriages, deaths, wills, occupations and maps are some of the records that will be shown. As well, there will be a brief look at Archives and Record Offices., and sites with information about different records.

27 SEPT 2014 - ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH & USING GENEALOGY FORMS

PRESENTER: Sarah Hamster

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms.  Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current  generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in the future.

This 2 part workshop is a combination of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms.
NOTE: Part 1 and Part 2 will be held in sequence in the same workshop on the same day from 10:00 am until 12 noon.

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binder? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems - should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citations be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group sheet)
  • What are transcription/extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

20 SEPT 2014 - GETTING STARTED CREATING YOUR OWN BLOG OR WEBSITE - No Experience Required!

PRESENTERS: Claudia Boorman and Merv Scott

Are you wanting to put your family stories online, or perhaps share your research adventures with others?  These are only 2 of the many reasons why you might be considering creating your own blog or website online.  Let us show you how easy it is to get started for free, with no technical experience required.

Goals:

  • to show how easy and inexpensive it can be to create a website or blog online, and encourage you to try it!
  • to ease your fear of web technology
  • to learn the advantages of using your own site as an effective networking tool in your genealogy research

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Examples of personal blogs websites created by the presenters; motivation and reasons behind their choices
  • Web format options such as blogs, forums, websites and social media: specific purposes, pros and cons
  • Deciding what web format is right for you based on your goals, content requirements and personal preferences
  • Planning before you start.  Think about your site name, content categories, colours, layout, images, menus etc.
  • Ethics, public vs. private sites, security issues
  • Watch and help presenters create a simple website + blog using weebly.com
  • Go home with tips on how you can start.  Question and answer period.

Claudia Boorman has been the VGS Webmaster since 2009, and designed the current VGS site.  After taking a course in Web Design and Management from UVic in 2005, she has created several websites including a personal genealogy website and blog using Weebly.com.

Merv Scott also wanted to share his family stories online and started by creating a travel blog using Google's free blogspot.com tool. He then developed a family history website using Weebly.com.

13 SEPT 2014 - GETTING STARTED IN GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Diana Gaiger

You have decided to branch out and begin tracing your family tree. Great!  Fantastic! But wait – where or how do you start? Join us to hear and learn about various ways to begin your research.

Starting your family research is an exciting adventure but it can also be overwhelming if you do not approach it with a plan. You need to be clear in your own mind what you expect from your research, how you want to record the
information you discover and who you want to share it with. There may be some stumbles along the way so we will also address how to avoid (or minimize) some of the common pitfalls. Who to turn to for help, where to focus your time and what materials you need will also covered.

Come and meet others who are starting out just like you are. Share questions and answers along with a cup of coffee or tea.

June 7, 2014 – GEDCOMs

PRESENTER: Jeannine Powell

One of the major purposes for doing Family History research is to share the results with others. Understanding how the different genealogy software programs communicate with each other using a GEDCOM (Genealogical Exchange Data COMmunication) file is important, especially when taken in the context of sharing private information. In this workshop we will explore how sharing information in GEDCOM format can be both efficient and safe.

Jeannine has been referred to as the “GenQueen”. She describes herself as a self-proclaimed “addict” when it comes to Family History, especially when it comes to the use of technology in the process of doing the searching. She has been a presenter for many years, including several workshops with the Qualicum Beach Genealogy Society, many different classes with the Vancouver Island Regional Library (Cowichan), training workshops with the Nanaimo Stake Family History Centre and the Duncan Family History Centre, and workshops at genealogy conferences held in Victoria. Jeannine is also the main facilitator of the Cowichan Legacy User Group and actively teaches about and promotes Legacy Family Tree software. Her special assignment through the Duncan Family History Centre is that of Technology Specialist. Other classes she has taught include Discovering the Dash, Cemetery Records in Family History Research, Electronic File Management, Managing Your Research with Software, Beginner – Intermediate – Advanced Research Strategies, and Virtual Researching.

 

May 31, 2014 – FAMILYSEARCH.ORG STRATEGIES

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

We will explore the FamilySearch website together, and look into the functions which are available, including:

  • uploading your tree, photos, stories, documents, etc.
  • searching records and submitted genealogies
  • chatting through the blog, learning through Wiki
  • getting help: research assistance, videos and guides

Questions as we move through will be most welcome!

MAY 24, 2014 ­ PROJECT MANAGEMENT IN GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

The primary challenge of any project is to achieve all the objectives. Although genealogy research can go on for years, it is still a project and should have goals and strategies for accomplishing them. Project management is defined as the process of planning, organizing, and controlling resources to achieve specific objectives. As such, project management methodologies can be applied to a genealogy research project.

But what if you don’t know what your goals are, never mind how to achieve them? This workshop will discuss the project management tools that can help you define S.M.A.R.T. goals, carry out a SWOT (strengths­weaknesses­opportunities­threats) analysis, and create a plan. If you are working with other researchers, knowing your goals and having a plan can help them help you. Worksheets provided for the exercise sessions.

OUTLINE

TOPIC DESCRIPTION HANDOUT
Introduction Project management as it applies to genealogy research  
Setting SMART goals How to set goals that are: specific, meaningful, actionable, realistic and tracked Definition; Examples; Resources
Exercise Write goals for your genealogy project Worksheet
SWOT Analysis Determine your: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats Definition; Examples; Resources
Exercise Carry out your own SWOT analysis Worksheet
Project Plan or Statement of Work How to build a plan that starts with what you know and works through strategies and resources Definition; Examples; Resources
Exercise Write a statement of work Worksheet
Sharing and questions Depending on time

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria­based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25­year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print publications and on websites.

For more information about her work visit: www.kmlowe.com.

For more information about her ancestors visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.com.

May 10, 2014 – IRELAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Barb Doell
REPEAT WORKSHOP - This workshop was first presented on March 15, 2014.
A number of people were unable to attend that day so Barb has agreed to repeat it.

The internet is the main source of genealogy information today. Some information is true, some made up, some free and some on pay websites. There are a wide variety of websites for almost everything.

Barb will take us to Ireland via the net and show us numerous websites for genealogy. Some of the information and how to search using the site can be used for any country, i.e. the familysearch.org website.

You don’t know what is out there waiting for you!

Come and join us to research Ireland online!

May 3, 2014 – UNIVERSITY OF VICTORIA McPHERSON LIBRARY:
On SITE TOUR AND PRESENTATION ON AVAILABLE GENEALOGY RESOURCES

PRESENTER: Lara Wilson, Director, Special Collections & University Archivist
LOCATION: UVic McPHerson Library, by the "New Books" shelf (see floor plan)
SPECIAL TIME:  10:30 to 12:30, Saturday, May 3, 2014

UVic McPherson library entry floorplanFriends and other helpful people have suggested a visit to the McPherson Library at UVic may help your research. But exactly where should you go and who should you speak with to maximize positive results in a timely and efficient manner?

Join us at 10:30 A.M. on May 3 for answers to these and other questions you may have. Wear your comfortable walking shoes as Lara will be our tour guide of the areas of the library that are specifically useful for genealogists and she will show us where to go for research and/or technical assistance.

At one point in the morning we will have an opportunity to use the library computers to access the catalogue and maybe some of the relevant genealogy databases.

This “on­site” workshop will be approximately 2 hours long. While we are not scheduling a ten minute break we will never be too far from washrooms so if you do need to use the facilities we will make sure you do not get lost or separated from the group. You may bring liquids in containers with lids. When we are in the Archives and Special Collections reading room we will be asked to put liquids, purses, etc. in the cubby holes.

Register by email.
PLEASE NOTE: Registration for this workshop closes at noon on April 26

We will meet at the NEW BOOKS bookshelf, straight ahead and slightly to the left from the Main entrance (across from the Loans Desk) - see floor plan above.

Pay parking is in effect on Saturdays. The closet General Pay Parking is in Lot 1. Maximum cost on Saturday is $2.50, payable by coin or credit card. It is short walk on the ring road to McPherson Library. Reserved Parking lots B and C (on either side of the Library) do have a few Short Term metered parking spaces. The cost is $1.25 per hour with a 2 hour maximum. This maximum is in effect 24 hours a day Monday – Saturday. Click here for a map of the University buildings and parking lots

Since people attending this workshop need to pay for parking,
the cost for the workshop is reduced to $10 for members and $15 for non­members.

April 26, 2014 –WRITING BIOGRAPHIES OF YOUR ANCESTORS

PRESENTER: Kathleen Lowe

You’ve been researching your ancestors for months or maybe years. You have reams of information including charts and graphs. It’s been a rewarding process, but all you have to show for your work is a dry list of names, dates and places. What you actually want is a story that tells others what the person’s life was about. Your genealogy program can even supply you with a ready­made outline. But how do you take all that raw data and turn it into a biography, even a short one?

This workshop will present ways of stringing together genealogy data into a story by creating transitions, adding context, and applying themes. Bring a genealogy report for one of your ancestors to use as an outline or use a sample provided. Worksheets will be provided for the exercise sessions.

OUTLINE

TOPIC DESCRIPTION HANDOUT
Introduction Overview  
Outlines Using your genealogy report as an outline Example
Context & Colour Adding historical facts, location details or other information Examples
Exercise Come up with ideas for adding context and colour Worksheet
Themes How to find themes and apply them Examples
Exercise Find a theme in your outline Worksheet
Transitions Why you need transitions and how to write them List of transitional words & phrases
Openings Options for beginning your story Examples
Exercise Write a short biography Worksheet
Sharing & questions Depending on time  

Kathleen Lowe is a Victoria­based writer and corporate communicator. In her 25­year career she’s worked as a staff writer for a business publication, a contract writer for a tourist magazine, the managing editor for a career publication, and a radio journalist. Her background also includes reorganizing a West African development agency’s publishing department, and helping establish a pilot Community Learning Centre in Ghana. Kathleen has more than 100 articles published in print publications and on websites.

For more information about her work visit: www.kmlowe.com.

For more information about her ancestors visit: lowebaderancestry.blogspot.com.

April 12, 2014 – MAKE YOUR OWN WEBSITE or BLOG using "WEEBLY" - HANDS ON WORKSHOP

PRESENTERS: Merv Scott, Claudia Boorman

Now that you're inspired to create your own website or blog (after learning a bit about the process during our introductory workshop), we invite you to attend our follow-up "hands on" workshop where you use your own laptop and Weebly account. You will receive help on your individual web projects and learn more about options and features of the Weebly.com web building tool. Or if you're not ready to start a "real" site but want to have some guided practice time while trying out this easy way to create a blog or website, this workshop is also for you.

Either way, you always control when you "go live", and which parts (if any) you want to "go public". We'll show you how to test ideas and delete or change what you no longer want. We can help you gain confidence and skills to make the most of your website ideas.

To get the most out of this workshop, please plan ahead. What do you want YOUR site to be about? Before coming to the workshop, please...

  • Think about the topic, and what types of pages and content you want
  • What domain name(s) would be appropriate for your site?
  • Set up a folder for your Weebly project on your laptop (on the desktop or favorite location); add images, draft content files etc. (to save you time during the workshop)
  • If possible, please sign up for your free weebly.com account, and register your domain name (a free Weebly sub-domain is good).

On the day of the workshop ...

  • Please bring your own laptop computer, any prepared content, and your Weebly log-in and password
  • Come early to get set up and logged into your Weebly account
  • Come even earlier if you need help signing up for a Weebly account

Attendance will be limited to 6 people for this 2-hour "hands on" workshop.
The cost for VGS members is $20, or $25 for non-members.
Please sign up early to reserve your seat by contacting us at vgsworkshop@gmail.com.

Merv Scott is our VGS Projects Director, and  has created his own family website using Weebly - Scott - Our Roots in Scotland.
Claudia Boorman, VGS Webmaster, created and maintains this VGS website and others.  Visit her Boorman Family website created using Weebly.

April 5, 2014 – LEGACY SESSION 3: Multiple Marriages & Combined Families -
A Hands On Workshop
- For PC Users only

SORRY, THIS WORKSHOP IS CANCELLED

PRESENTER: Pat Rosson

In a series of five workshops between Feb and May 2014, Pat will be sharing
her knowledge and experience of the popular LEGACY software program.
Some of the workshops will be hands-on sessions
where you will be working on your family tree, and
Pat will be there to assist you with whatever questions or concerns you may have.

OUTLINE

Bring your laptops and work on you own families. You must have scanned photos on your computer to add them to your LEGACY tree(s).

This workshop will cover:

  • using notes to help direct your research
  • LEGACY’s geographic features
  • adding photos to your tree(s)

March 29, 2014 – ACROSS THE POND

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

You've found your immigrant ancestor! And s/he came from England or Ireland or Scotland. What can be done to narrow the search down to a county, and preferably to a parish?

What do you need to know to proceed further?

Research strategies and techniques that can be used to find the place of origin will be discussed.

While the examples used will be from the British Isles, the same techniques are applicable to other countries.

March 22, 2014 – WORKING WITH THE MEMORIALS OF DEEDS OF IRELAND: Prospecting for Irish Gold

PRESENTER: Heather Jones

Did your Irish ancestors belong to the middle class, have a trade or business and/or have sufficient financial resources to purchase a lease lasting at least 3 years?

If so, then they may be found in the Memorials of Deeds of Ireland. The registration of Memorials began 1708 and the LDS films available cover up to 1929.

This workshop will cover:

  • the purpose of the documents
  • which deeds could be registered
  • the process by which they were created and registered
  • the type of information contained in the Memorials
  • how to access the information
  • problems with the indexes and the Memorials themselves
  • available resources which provide assistance when using the Memorials
  • future availability of the documents or extractions from the documents

Heather has been working with the Memorials for 6 years and will focus her presentation on those registered between 1785 and 1825. While she will be talking about a very small section of the documents available, she will be sharing a number of specific tips to increase the rewards of your time and effort.

March 15, 2014 – IRELAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Barb Doell

The internet is the main source of genealogy information today. Some information is true, some made up, some free and some on pay websites. There are a wide variety of websites for almost everything.

Barb will take us to Ireland via the net and show us numerous websites for genealogy. Some of the information and how to search using the site can be used for any country, i.e. the familysearch.org website.

You don’t know what is out there waiting for you!

Come and join us to research Ireland online!

March 8, 2014 – LEGACY: Entering Data and Sources – A Hands­On Workshop - For PC Users only

SORRY - WORKSHOP CANCELLED

PRESENTER: Pat Rosson

If you have any questions on how to optimize and customize LEGACY to best meet your needs, Pat will review the areas of concern and get you some answers. She will then cover the data and source entry process. After this short session, you will begin (or continue) working on your own tree.

So, bring your laptop (with LEGACY already installed), family data sheets and source information for the people you want to enter and start creating your family database or continue working on a database you have already entered into LEGACY. Pat will be available to assist with what you are working on so ask your questions and get the answers that will help you to avoid those initial pitfalls and hiccups.

Attendance at a previous LEGACY is not required. Anyone can attend this workshop as long as you have LEGACY installed on your computer and have a beginning familiarity with the program.

March 1, 2014 – WHERE TO START: BASIC IRISH RESEARCH

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

How do you begin researching your Irish ancestry? Where do you begin the search?

What records are available for which time period and what information is in the records? How can these records be accessed? What can be searched from right here in Victoria?

Understanding the Irish Administrative Divisions is essential for productive Irish research. The Divisions will be explained as well as Griffiths Valuations, which are used as a census substitute.

Civil registration, census information, church records, and wills will be discussed briefly.

While many records were burnt, many were not! Your Irish ancestors may be in the ones that survived.

February 22, 2014 – LAST WORDS: WRITING GREAT OBITUARIES

PRESENTER: JENNI AITKEN

You know how to mine for genealogical gold in obituaries, but what ancestral offering will you leave for future generations?

Bring your ancestors to life by writing their obituaries.

Learn how to write a great obituary that shares the essential details, but also tells a memorable life story to stand the test of time.

In this workshop, you will:

  • Collaboratively develop a list of critical genealogical details necessary for obituaries
  • Learn the essential elements of great obituary writing
  • Practice these new skills by writing an obit

Join Jenni Aitken on February 22, 2014 to learn how to write a great obituary – for you or someone you care about – that will mark a life well lived and leave genealogical crumbs for future generations.

February 15, 2014 – TBA

Further details TBA.

February 8, 2014 - HOLDIAY WEEKEND

February 1 – May 31, 2014 
LEGACY PROGRAM WORKSHOP SERIES - For PC Users only

PRESENTER: Pat Rosson

In a series of five workshops over the next few months, Pat will be sharing
her knowledge and experience of the popular LEGACY software program.
Some of the workshops will be hands-on sessions where you will be working on your family tree
and Pat will be there to assist you  with whatever questions or concerns you may have.
 
More detailed workshop descriptions for workshops 2 thru 5 will be posted as the date draws closer.

 

February 1, 2014 - LEGACY SESSION 1: Overview and the Basics - For PC Users only

What the LEGACY program offers and how it can meet your needs.

How to download and install one of the two versions of the program – free or purchase version.

Come and take a look at how your family tree information can be organized and displayed.

During her discussion and demonstration, Pat will explore the great features LEGACY has to offer and will cover the basics required to get started with data entry.

At the conclusion of the workshop we can help you download and install the free or the purchased version of LEGACY. Just bring your laptop to the workshop. If you plan on attending the next LEGACY workshop, the program must be installed on your computer prior to March 8.

JAN 25 & 26, 2014 - SCOTLAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTERS: Walter Balfour & Diana Gaiger

IMPORTANT: Due to popular demand, this workshop
is filled for Saturday January 25th. It will be repeated on
Sunday January 26th at 10 am if there is enough interest.
If you have booked for Saturday but Sunday would
work better for you, please let us know & and we will
move you if the Sunday workshop goes ahead.

Let Walter show you his tried and true web sites for Scotland - both free sites and pay for sites. Walter will show you ways of getting the most from these web sites for your time and your dollar.

Walter’s Scottish family roots are in Shetland, Easter Ross and Angus.

Diana will show you around Scotlandspeople to find registrations, wills, census etc. For the cost of the information (birth, death, marriage or other documents), Diana will find the document and email you a copy. Each credit costs about 40 cents. Wills are 10 credits. Birth, marriage and death are 6 credits.

Come and join others searching in Scotland.

 

JAN 18, 2014 - GETTING STARTED CREATING YOUR OWN BLOG OR WEBSITE - No Experience Required!

PRESENTERS: Claudia Boorman, Pat Acton, Merv Scott

Are you wanting to put your family stories online, or perhaps share your research adventures with others?  These are only 2 of the many reasons why you might be considering creating your own blog or website online.  Let us show you how easy it is to get started for free, with no technical experience required.

Goals:

  • to show how easy and inexpensive it can be to create a website or blog online, and encourage you to try it!
  • to ease your fear of web technology
  • to learn the advantages of using your own site as an effective networking tool in your genealogy research

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Examples of personal blogs websites created by the presenters; motivation and reasons behind their choices
  • Web format options such as blogs, forums, websites and social media: specific purposes, pros and cons
  • Deciding what web format is right for you based on your goals, content requirements and personal preferences
  • Planning before you start.  Think about your site name, content categories, colours, layout, images, menus etc.
  • Ethics, public vs. private sites, security issues
  • Watch and help presenters create a simple website + blog using weebly.com
  • Go home with tips on how you can start.  Question and answer period.

Claudia Boorman has been the VGS Webmaster since 2009, and designed the current VGS site.  After taking a course in Web Design and Management from UVic in 2005, she has created several websites including a personal genealogy website and blog using Weebly.com.

Pat Acton has authored her own family history book, and has now braved the web and created a blog for her family stories using Wordpress.com. 

Merv Scott also wanted to share his family stories online and started by creating a travel blog using Google's free blogspot.com tool. He then developed a family history website using Weebly.com.

Icon says new

PRESENTER: Inba Kehoe, Copyright Officer and Scholarly Communications Librarian,
McPherson Library, University of Victoria

Icon says updated  NEW: This workshop now includes the latest revisions to the Copyright Act

Family historians frequently use their research materials to write a book, produce a family history leaflet, prepare an article for a magazine or journal, post material on a website and so on. These research products often involve reproduction of complete or partial documents, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, etc.

Whatever the end product, or the materials used, family historians have certain responsibilities regarding copyright.

Goal: How to determine what responsibilities a family historian has regarding copyright including:

  • What are copyright and intellectual property and why do family historians need to know?
  • What are the criteria for copyright protection and what categories are protected?
  • Who is the copyright owner and how can this be identified?
  • What are the rules for the ownership and duration of copyright?
  • Do Canadian copyright rules apply to material obtained from another jurisdiction or country?
  • What are the rights of the copyright owner?
  • How can the copyright situation be analyzed and identified?

In her work as Copyright Officer and Scholarly Communications Librarian at the McPherson Library, University of Victoria, Inba is responsible for overseeing and advising the university community on copyright issues. She is also responsible for advancing the university newly established online publishing program.

 

2013 WORKSHOPS

Dec 7, 2013 - CHRISTMAS SHOPPING AND IDEAS FOR THE GENEALOGIST!!!

When: Dec. 7, 2013 10 am to 12 noon

Where: 947 Alston Street

Cost: $5.00

This year the Victoria Genealogical Society is replacing their Christmas Open House with a Genealogical Christmas gift morning.

Come and see what the VGS can offer you in the way of gifts for the family or for yourself from your family:

  • memberships
  • gift certificates
  • CD’s with your family tree on it
  • cards
  • books
  • ideas for gifts from other places
  • scanners
  • speech program for data entry
  • Roots Magic
  • page protectors

Talk with experienced researchers for gift ideas.

Come one … Come all!

No registration necessary. Drop in fee of $5 please.
Tea and coffee by donation. Lots of free parking in front of the building.

Dec 7, 2013 - 10am to 12 noon

947 Alston St, Victoria BC - view map


Bring a friend or two!!

Nov 30, 2013 - HAVE YOU LOOKED AT THESE RESOURCES?

PRESENTERS: Jim Lamb and Diana Gaiger

Come and explore how the following resources can help you find out more about your family. Hear tips on how to approach the people who have these records. Become more informed on how trustworthy these resources are:

Land Records: Jim will show samples of homestead records from BC and Saskatchewan and then explain how to find and order them.

City Directories: Where do I find them and what are they going to tell me? When were women placed in the directories? How old do you have to be to be in the directory?

Cemeteries: Do they help us or hinder us? Are tombstones always correct? How accurate are the transcriptions?

Funeral Homes: What information do they have and what can they share with the public?

Churches: A wealth of information can be found in old churches.

Newspapers: Gems to be found in the old newspapers. Read the Social columns to follow the village events. Personal columns often had interesting information: “Mr. & Mrs. Wm Brown have returned from a 2 week visit with their daughter, Mrs. Richard Smith in Ottawa.”

Voters Lists: How to use them. How valuable are they?

School Records: How open are they? School histories and school annuals can be insightful.

Nov 23, 2013 - RECORDS OF THE POOR (UK)

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

The Poor are Always with us – And They did Leave Records!

Were your ancestors poor? Or did they work with the poor?

There is a good chance that some of your ancestors will appear in the records of the poor as about 30% of the English population was considered to be poor at any one time – and there are often more records of the poor than those who were better-off.

  • What are these records and what can they tell us?
  • What are the differences between the records of the poor of England, Scotland, and Ireland?
  • How can these records be accessed?

Learn about Removal orders, Overseers accounts, Pauper apprentices, Parochial Boards, workhouses and many others.

Nov 16, 2013 - paperless genealogy

PRESENTER: Joe Carr

Most of us have heard promises of going paperless before, and genealogy records are often available on paper only, so how do you move to a paperless process with your research? The hard questions about going paperless will be examined. How do we motivate ourselves to go paperless and what is the payoff? Being able to do a better job using less hours, and producing information about our origins which will captivate our family members would be some powerful rewards that just might motivate us to take the plunge! We will check-in with last year's participants to find out where they have made progress, what problems they encountered, and discuss moving forward. The presentation will incorporate some of the enhancements and new material from Family Search and will finish with a live demo of how to actually do paperless genealogy.

Workshop Cancelled - Nov 9, 2013 - YOUR OWN BACK YARD

PRESENTER: Diana Gaiger

The Greater Victoria area is home to many mysteries and stories about interesting and infamous people from the past. Join us to find some of the gold mines that you can use locally to unearth information about your family's ancestors. Learn from others about seldom thought of resources and share your nuggets. Find out how to get the most from your local resources.

Nov 2, 2013 -  ROOTSMAGIC REPORTS

PRESENTER: Colleen Miscovitch

This is a HANDS ON workshop (prerequisites apply)
Max. 8 people limit ("hands on" rates apply) - For PC's only

This workshop builds on the material Colleen has previously covered
in the introductory Hocus Pocus workshop.

The Reports section in RootsMagic provides an extensive array of reports, lists and charts and allows for individual customization of the reports you can produce.

You've spent countless hours typing information into your RootsMagic family tree. Why? So that you can create fabulous, professional-looking reports, of course!

The basic genealogy forms are all here - Pedigree Charts, Family Group Sheets, Descendant Lists and Ahnentafels. But did you know you can also customize, save and print:

  • Individual Summaries
  • Scrapbooks
  • Source Lists
  • Research Logs and Notes
  • Birthday Lists
  • Address Labels
  • and more!

Reports to tell your family's stories, reports to organize your work, reports to share with family and friends. If you have some family entered into your RootsMagic database, bring your laptop to this workshop, and you'll see that those countless hours were not in vain.

Oct 26, 2013 - Please ATTEND OUR VGS SEMINAR

A full day of genealogy learning - see details below.

Oct 19, 2013 - ANCESTRY SEARCH STRATEGIES

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton

New to genealogy? Unsure of how to use Ancestry.com?

Frustrated with your searches in Ancestry?

Want to become more sophisticated in your searching?

We will explore how to more efficiently use Ancestry.com, including:

  • the use of wildcards
  • how to narrow down your search
  • use of the "advanced search" page and "exact match"
  • saving or printing records
  • searching from a different angle
  • and much more.

Oct 12, 2013 - No Workshop

Enjoy your Thanksgiving weekend!

OCT 5, 2013 - OPENING DOORS RATHER THAN WEBSITES

PRESENTERS: Heather Shave, Mel Hunter and Merv Scott

Our traveling group have teamed up to provide insights into their personal research experiences in Salt Lake City, Ireland and Scotland. If you ever wondered if there was more to learn than what you can find on-line then this workshop is for you. Hear from these experienced travelers and they provide hints and tips about their travels that you will be able to use regardless of your destination.

Is a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake really worth your time and money? Where can you find actual records repositories in Ireland? What records are available in Scotland that you can't already get on-line using ScotlandsPeople? These questions and more will be answered as Heather, Mel and Merv have already opened these doors and used these facilities.

Why you should apply online for a membership card to the Scotland National Library in Edinburgh before you leave on your trip? Why you should take extra passport photos when visiting the Scotland National Archives? What happens if you didn't reserve a seat in the ScotlandsPeople Centre when you visit there? Where can you read microfilms of Scottish newspapers that aren't yet digitized and available on-line? These are just a sampling of the types of hints and tips you will hear about for Scotland and the same experiences will be offered for Ireland and Salt Lake too.

It doesn't matter where your destination is this workshop will give you lots of planning suggestions.

SEPT 28, 2013 - Hocus Pocus: Bring Your Family Into Focus Using RootsMagic

PRESENTER: Colleen Miscovitch
NOTE: This class is for PC’s not Mac’s

No, it's not magic, but your friends will think it is. RootsMagic is an excellent way to organize the information you've gathered about your family. It is simple and user friendly, but can also be as powerful as you need for organizing and sharing all of your genealogical information. Come and learn the wonders of RootsMagic as Colleen helps us to work through the basic (and some not-so-basic) tasks of gathering family history. We'll add new family branches, remove unwanted twigs, and colour the leaves on our family trees.

The workshop will cover:

  • common genealogy tasks
  • entering information from scratch and importing from other programs
  • adding depth to your information, with sources, photos, and a gazetteer of places
  • getting the information back out, with family trees, photo albums, and narratives
  • sharing information with Roots-to-Go
  • other tips and tricks, such as colour coding your family members and deciphering relationships

After entering over 1000 "cousins", with accompanying pictures, sound clips, and source citations, Colleen has explored beyond the basic tricks, and she is happy to share them with you.

SEPT 21, 2013 - ORGANIZING YOUR GENEALOGY

PRESENTERS: Diane Clarke and Diana Gaiger

[Due to illness Sarah Hamster  will not be able to present her version of this workshop on organizing.]

If you are asking yourself the following questions then you need to join us on Sept 21 for our workshop on organizing your genealogy.

  • Where did I put that death registration?
  • How will I ever sort out Aunt Tillie’s box of family treasures?
  • Where did I put his second wife?
  • Why do I want to keep the original copies of the census?
  • How do I protect my work?
  • Hard copies or computer programs - which one is right?
  • What forms should I use? Where do I get them?
  • And many more questions and answers.

SEPT 14, 2013 - GETTING STARTED IN GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Diana Gaiger

You have decided to branch out and begin tracing your family tree. Great! Fantastic! But wait – where or how do you start? Join us to hear and learn about various ways to begin your research.

Starting your family research is an exciting adventure but it can also be overwhelming if you do not approach it with a plan. You need to be clear in your own mind what you expect from your research, how you want to record the information you discover and who you want to share it with. There may be some stumbles along the way so we will also address how to avoid (or minimize) some of the common pit falls. Who to turn to for help, where to focus your time and what materials you need will also covered.

Come and meet others who are starting out just like you are. Share questions and answers along with a cup of coffee or tea.

 

No workshops were held in June, July and August, 2013, for the summer break.

MAY 25, 2013 - RESEARCHING IN THE UNITED STATES

PRESENTER: VGS USA SIG

The USA Special Interest Group will again offer its workshop on finding your way around USA. The following will be the areas covered by the workshop:

  • Introduction to USA Research. It will cover some basic information and many websites that are useful •Introduction to USA Research. It will cover some basic information and many websites that are useful
  • Census Records, which ones are available and where and what is on different Census, state and federal
  • Immigration, Ellis Island what it is about and its importance, using the Ellis Island website and what other immigration websites are available
  • Military, how to research Military Records, what can be found and where. Which wars are available on line for research
  • Free and for pay web sites

MAY 18, 2013 - NO WORKSHOP

NO WORKSHOP - Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Visit us at the Victoria Highland Games.

May 11, 2013 - Hands on Legacy 101

PRESENTER: Pat Rosson

LIMITED SIZE CLASS - $15 members / $20 non-members

What program do I use?
Why do I want to consider Legacy?
Who do I ask?

Pat Rosson is the lady to ask about Legacy. Pat will be presenting a 10 to 12 person hands on workshop about starting Legacy - both the free edition and  the deluxe edition. Bring your lap top & some family skeletons to enter into whichever version you have or want to download with Pat's guidance.

Pat will do on the big screen teaching and help you one on one with your individual questions on your lap top. Then you can fix the problems and take the answer home with you. Pat will discuss the how-to's of entering sources and  why you need them.

This workshop will be from 10 am to noon. Cost will be $15 for members and $20 for non-member due to the small size of the group and  the hands on
teaching.

Sign up early!!!

MAY 4, 2013 - Getting Started Creating Your Own Blog or Website - No Experience Required!

PRESENTERS: Claudia Boorman, Pat Acton, Merv Scott

Are you wanting to put your family stories online, or perhaps share your research adventures with others?  These are only 2 of the many reasons why you might be considering creating your own blog or website online.  Let us show you how easy it is to get started for free, with no technical experience required.

Goals:

  • to show how easy and inexpensive it can be to create a website or blog online, and encourage you to try it!
  • to ease your fear of web technology
  • to learn the advantages of using your own site as an effective networking tool in your genealogy research

This workshop will cover the following topics:

  • Examples of personal blogs websites created by the presenters; motivation and reasons behind their choices
  • Web format options such as blogs, forums, websites and social media: specific purposes, pros and cons
  • Deciding what web format is right for you based on your goals, content requirements and personal preferences
  • Planning before you start.  Think about your site name, content categories, colours, layout, images, menus etc.
  • Ethics, public vs. private sites, security issues
  • Watch and help presenters create a simple website + blog using weebly.com
  • Go home with tips on how you can start.  Question and answer period.

Claudia Boorman has been the VGS Webmaster since 2009, and designed the VGS current site.  After taking a course in Web Design and Management from UVic in 2005, she has created several websites including a personal genealogy website and blog using Weebly.com.

Pat Acton has authored her own family history book, and has now braved the web and created a blog for her family stories using Wordpress.com. 

Merv Scott also wanted to share his family stories online and started by creating a travel blog using Google's free blogspot.com tool. He then developed a family history website using Weebly.com.

April 27, 2013 - Searching the website of the National Archives of Great Britain

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

Was your ancestor in the British Army? (and a large percentage of the Army was Irish), the Royal Navy? the Royal Air Force? the Merchant Marine? Did they go to prison? Get divorced? Were they involved in litigation?

All these records and more are in the National Archives. Learn how to access the records whether from the website, or on “partner websites”.

Recently the website has undergone a major revamping making it much more user friendly. With eleven million documents, there is probably something for everyone.

SORRY - WORKSHOP CANCELLED

APRIL 20, 2013 - WORKSHOP FOR THE WESTERN PROVINCES AND TERRITORIES

PRESENTERS: Members of the BC & The WEST SIG

Come and join the BC & the West SIG for a tour of Canada's western Provinces and Territories!

Vital Records: where to find them and how to get them. Access to these records varies for each province so you need to know:

  • how far back to these records go
  • when these records are released (e.g after 75 years, etc.)
  • where the records are held in each jurisdiction
  • how much will it cost to obtain a copy
  • are they searchable on-line

Our handout includes many sites for western records beyond the basic vital statistics. Members of the Special Interest Group will be glad to answer questions about different resources for your research.

APRIL 13, 2013 - OPENING DOORS RATHER THAN WEBSITES


PRESENTERS: Heather Shave, Mel Hunter and Merv Scott

Our traveling group have teamed up to provide insights into their personal research experiences in Salt Lake City, Ireland and Scotland. If you ever wondered if there was more to learn than what you can find on-line then this workshop is for you. Hear from these experienced travelers and they provide hints and tips about their travels that you will be able to use regardless of your destination.

  • Is a trip to the Family History Library in Salt Lake really worth your time and money?
  • Where can you find actual records repositories in Ireland?
  • What records are available in Scotland that you can’t already get on-line using ScotlandsPeople?

These questions and more will be answered as Heather, Mel and Merv have already opened these doors and used these facilities.

  • Why you should apply online for a membership card to the Scotland National Library in Edinburgh before you leave on your trip?
  • Why you should take extra passport photos when visiting the Scotland National Archives?
  • What happens if you didn’t reserve a seat in the ScotlandsPeople Centre when you visit there?
  • Where can you read microfilms of Scottish newspapers that aren’t yet digitized and available on-line?

These are just a sampling of the types of hints and tips you will hear about for Scotland and the same experiences will be offered for Ireland and Salt Lake too. It doesn’t matter where your destination is this workshop will give you lots of planning suggestions.

Join us April 13th, 10 – 12 at the Victoria Genealogical Library and
Resource Centre, 947 Alston Street, Victoria.
Register at vgsworkshop@gmail.com

April 6, 2013 - What Were They Wearing?

PRESENTER: Gwen Spearman

DEADLINE TO SUBMIT PHOTOS: 9 March 2013

A photo identification workshop that will zero in on the clothing that your kin folk are wearing and perhaps even why. The folk in the photos may or may not be who you expect. Gwen can often narrow down a time period of when the photo was taken.

Gwen Spearman is a Founding Member and Past President (1993) of VGS and is self-taught in the history of clothing for men, women and children. Her interest in clothing began in 1958 with the British Columbia Centennial celebrations when she was dressed in a gown and bonnet for a living tableau in New Westminster. She began collecting books and articles on the subject and that expanded into items of clothing too. In 1970 a Chatelaine Magazine booklet gave her an insight into gathering information for typing up her own Family Group Sheets and now the internet gives her free rein to fill in the blanks. Over the years family members have shared some of their photographs and that has helped to flesh out the names and dates.

Email your photo that you want Gwen to look at to spearman2@shaw.ca
NO LATER THAN MARCH 9. Pictures sent after March 9th will not
be accepted. Photos of people standing or even seated are easier to date
than just a head shot.

MARCH 30,  2013 - AN AUSTRALIAN VISITOR

PRESENTER: Geoff Doherty

Celebrate Easter Saturday with this very special guest speaker!

Geoff Doherty is the past treasurer of the Professional Historians Association of Queensland, Australia. He has a BA with Honours. He is retired, but is working on a PhD at the University of Queensland, dealing with the history of the Boer War in South Africa. He is also active in the Genealogical Society of Queensland. His wife Marg is the Society’s president, and gives courses on
genealogical research.

His presentation will concern a file of about 100 pages that he found by accident in the Queensland State Archives while doing research on Queensland’s “Bushman” contingents sent to the Boer War. The file concerns an abandoned wife in Brisbane in 1899, and her quixotic
attempts to gain some financial support and justice from her absconding husband.

The Dunn family (husband, wife and four children) arrived in Brisbane in 1899. Joseph Dunn was a civil engineer, had several patents to his name regarding distillation of liquids, which was of interest to the sugar industry and he had been engaged by a mill in Bundaberg (about 225 miles north) to build a new plant for them. He left his wife and children in Brisbane as Bundaberg was pretty rough at that time. However, he met a barmaid in Bundaberg, and ran off with her to Mexico! Alexandrina, his wife, reported him missing the same day he and his girlfriend were walking off the ship in San Francisco!

Joseph and Alexandrina had met and married in 1891 in Costa Rica. They left Costa Rica for the US, then Ireland/England, then possibly South Africa, then on to Australia, all in eight years. From Brisbane Joseph went on to travel through the US, Mexico, Cuba, the US again and ended up back in Australia by 1914 – with Alexandrina after him for part of the way at least.

The file concerns Alexandrina and her stay in Brisbane after Joseph abandoned her. It concerns the government institutions she had contact with in trying to make a life for herself without a husband, and the difficulties she experienced. The file gives many insights into how government processes worked in that era, including poor relief and police investigations – even Scotland Yard has a report in the file!

While investigating the links opened up by this file, Geoff’s talk will also highlight a couple of Australian record collections that are accessible via the internet so may be of interest to Canadian family historians with relatives and connections here in Australia, that they may not have been aware of.

He will also deal with the basics of genealogical research in Australia, and answer questions.

MARCH 23, 2013 - PRESERVATION OF PAPER

PRESENTER: Richard Hunt

Do you have an old letter, newspaper clipping or other paper artifact that you want to save into the foreseeable future?

In this workshop you will be exposed to practical techniques that anyone can use to manage the following:

1) old letters and documents,
2) old newspapers,
3) paper art, and
4) old books.

Examples will be presented. You are encouraged to bring one of the above items and share its story. Then the group will recommend a course, or several courses, of action you may wish to take to preserve your paper treasure. If time permits we will “preserve” one of these. This workshop is presented by Rich Hunt who has no formal training in this topic.  However, he has worked with conservators and managed a herbarium, plus he has a copious collection of such artifacts that he is processing.

Come & share Richard’s passion for saving the past about your family!

MARCH 16, 2013 - Irish Land Records & Newspapers

PRESENTERS: Wanda Crawford and Kay Porter

Researching your Irish family in newspapers--adding flesh to your ancestor’s bones:

  • What you could discover about your ancestor’s life and
    times
  • How and where to find the newspapers that will enrich
    your family’s story

Looking for your ancestor in the Registry of Deeds—the no-loss,
no-damage, long- running Irish resource:

  • What documents you might find for Protestants (from
    1708) and Catholics (from 1793)
  • How to locate the finding aids that will guide you to
    accessing ancestral documents
  • Steps you might take to view those documents
  • Griffiths Valuation 1848 - 1864
  • Tithe Applotments: Around 1823 to 1825.IRISH LAND RECORDS AND NEWSPAPERS

MARCH 9, 2013 - PAPERLESS GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Joe Carr

As some of you know, Joe is a beginner at genealogy, so do you think perhaps he is joking around when he proposes that genealogy can be done without using paper? Is he just jerking our chains? After all, most of us have heard these promises of genealogical nirvana before…

During the first half of the presentation, the hard questions about going paperless will be examined. The ‘paperless office’ was proposed as an ideal way to do business way back in the 1970s. What has happened since then to make things work for us (or not)? How do we motivate ourselves to change from the tried-and-true paper-based binders and filing systems? How do we let go of our fears of change? What tangible rewards await us?

The second half of the presentation will be a live demo of how Joe is actually doing paperless genealogy. He will review the computer software, hardware, online systems, and portable devices that make researching and storing information easier. Perhaps most importantly, he will illustrate how you can custom design your own ‘system’ to start going paperless, rather than being forced to conform to how someone else works. Being able to do a better job using less hours, and producing information about our origins which will captivate our family members would be some powerful rewards that just might motivate us to take the plunge into a new era of genealogy!

MARCH 2, 2013

Topic not advertised - by private invitation.

FEBRUARY 23, 2013 - iPhones, Twitter, Android Devices etc.

PRESENTERS: Linda Boon & Kate Jones

Are you confused about iPhones, Twitter, Android devices, Facebook and other mysteries in today’s new technology?

Why do you need a smart phone? Or do you?

How will Twitter help me with my genealogy?

Get the most out of your smart phone for everyday life and for your genealogy.

A tablet is much easier to transport than a lap top but does it work as hard? Why is an iPhone better than an Android-or is it?

Come and join others with the same questions. Linda and Kate will guide you into this new world and answer our questions.

SORRY - WORKSHOP CANCELLED

 FEBRUARY 16, 2013 - What Does It Say?

PRESENTERS - VGS Members

 PLEASE NOTE: When signing up for this workshop,
please tell us what you want help with. This way we hope to find someone to fit your needs.

Do you have a will or death registration that you cannot read due to the writing or language? Do those military papers make you pull your hair out because of all the abbreviations? Do you speak and read a second (or third) language? Do you have a talent for reading old documents?

We are looking for people to donate 2 hours on Feb 16th with any of the talents to help others with unreadable documents.

For those wanting to come to the workshop there will be the regular $10.00 for
members and $15.00 for non-members workshop charge for the first document that you want help with. A donation to VGS for each one after that will be greatly appreciated. Some documents will be able to be translated right away but others will have to be copied and reported on after the workshop.

So far we have French, Latin, German & the old German writing "Suetterlin",
military records, old English hand writing, English wills, military medals, French from France & uniforms (mainly British).

What else can you add to this list or what else do you need?  Please contact us at the following email if you are able to add to the knowledge pool. diana_g@shaw.ca. Sign up to attend the workshop in the regular way.

FEBRUARYS 9, 2013 - Hocus Pocus: Bring Your Family Into Focus using RootsMagic

PRESENTER: Colleen Miscovitch

NOTICE: Due to popularity, this workshop will be repeated on Sunday, February 10, 2013 at 10am.  Register by email.  If you have registered for Saturday but would rather come on Sunday, or if you are able to attend on Sunday, please let us know.  Thank you!

No, it's not magic, but your friends will think it is. RootsMagic is an excellent way to organize the information you've gathered about your family. It is simple and user friendly, but can also be as powerful as you need for organizing and sharing all of your genealogical information.

Come and learn the wonders of RootsMagic as Colleen helps us to work through the basic (and some not-so-basic) tasks of gathering family history. We'll add new family branches, remove unwanted twigs, and colour the leaves on our family trees.

The workshop will cover:

  • common genealogy tasks
  • entering information from scratch and importing from other programs
  • adding depth to your information, with sources, photos, and a gazetteer of places
  • getting the information back out, with family trees, photo albums, and narratives
  • sharing information with Roots-to-Go
  • other tips and tricks, such as colour coding your family members and deciphering relationships

After entering over 1000 "cousins", with accompanying pictures, sound clips, and source citations, Colleen has explored beyond the basic tricks, and she is happy to share them with you.

February 2, 2013 - Tracking Older Records in Ireland

PRESENTED BY: Barb Doell and Heather Shave

We will be told what they are, what information they may offer and where we can find them. Heather will show us Irish wills. Then follow the trail of church records over time. Barb will help us with the census records before 1901-they are scattered and fragmented. Barb will also talk to us about flax growers, Protestant household returns, muster rolls, plantation rolls, Hearth money rolls and other records from the 1600’s and 1700’s. Barb will share some of her favorite web sites with us.

You never know if a record shared at this workshop might be the hammer to your brick wall!!! Come to learn and share!!!!!

January 26, 2013 - DNA and Genealogy

Y-DNA TESTING PRESENTER: Coral Brinck, amateur DNA enthusiast since 2008

MtDNA TESTING PRESENTER: Richard Hunt, phytopathogist

Do you wonder why DNA should interest you?
Do you know where to look for answers?
Which tests, or upgrades, are best for me?
Which company should I use and why?

This workshop will answer those questions as well as the following:

  • Advice on furthering your search
  • Costs of available tests
  • Handouts covering the above.

Join others who are looking for answers or are willing to share the answers that they have found.

January 26, 2013 - DNA and Genealogy

Y-DNA TESTING PRESENTER: Coral Brinck, amateur DNA enthusiast since 2008

MtDNA TESTING PRESENTER: Richard Hunt, phytopathogist

Due to popular demand, a second session
was held on Sunday Jan 27, 2013

Do you wonder why DNA should interest you?
Do you know where to look for answers?
Which tests, or upgrades, are best for me?
Which company should I use and why?

This workshop will answer those questions as well as the following:

  • Advice on furthering your search
  • Costs of available tests
  • Handouts covering the above.

Join others who are looking for answers or are willing to share the answers that they have found.

January 19, 2013 - Where There's a Will -- There's Family History

PRESENTED BY: Heather Shave

Did your British ancestor leave a will? Do you know where to look? Are there
differences between the English, Irish and Scottish systems?

It is surprising how many “ordinary folk” did write wills and wills are potentially
one of the best sources of family history information particularly before census and civil registration were instituted.

The workshop will discuss wills, testaments, Death Duty Registers and inventories, and how to locate indexes and wills in England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

January 12, 2013 - Expanding Your Research With Webinars

PRESENTED BY: Barb Doell & Pat Rosson

Start the New Year with a workshop on how you can educate yourself in genealogy. With a little more knowledge, your research can be easier and more rewarding.

Are you an organized researcher or do you just plunge into a database head first?

Do you know how to evaluate the data you find and how to record it in your program?

Barb and Pat will explore the world of on-line genealogy classes, webinars and tutorials - both the free ones and the fee-based ones. There are many classes available for all levels of experience from beginner to professional and most are self-paced.

Join us for a learning experience on how you can improve your expertise!

 

2012 WORKSHOPS

December 8 2012 - NO WORKSHOP - VGS OPEN HOUSE

See you at our Open House!

No workshops until January 5, 2013 -
HAVE A HAPPY HOLIDAY!

December 1, 2012 - Ancestry Search Strategy

PRESENTED BY: Gerry Poulton

 Goal: How to maximize your search results using Ancestry

In this popular repeat workshop, Gerry will share his experience with Ancestry and how it has helped him research his ancestors. In particular, Gerry will discuss strategies to increase your success rate with Ancestry searches, such as:

  • Why use a research log to track search variations and results?
  • What is the ‘advanced search’ option? How can it best be used?
  • What do the terms ‘wildcard’, ‘Soundex, ‘filters’ mean?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to using the above search strategies?

We will also discuss the types of records which are available, including:

  • census records
  • birth, marriage and death records
  • immigration & emigration records (including passenger and border crossing records)
  • military records
  • parish records
  • voters lists (electoral roles), school lists, land grants, wills, etc.

Note: The Social Media workshop with Kate Jones previous scheduled
in this time slot will be rescheduled sometime next Spring.

SORRY - WORKSHOP CANCELLED

November 24 2012 - Organization and analysis of family history research using the table feature of WORD

PRESENTED BY: Pat Acton

Goal: How to use this feature to organize and analyze research and present your family’s story, including:

  • An introduction to the table function in WORD
  • How can this function be used to organize and analyze genealogical research
    and records?
  • How can this function be used to enhance writing your family story?
  • Using scanned photographs with the table function
  • Possibilities and methods (with examples and samples)
  • Suggestions on how to get started

November 17 2012 - Irish Research Workshop (First of Three)

PRESENTED BY: VGS Members

This is the first of three Irish based workshops to be presented by VGS members from their own experiences and research knowledge.

This first workshop will have a presentation on Tips and Tricks from personal research. Then we will go on to web sites, civil registration, census etc. We will finish with firsthand information on what you should and should not be taking with you when travelling, what the different archives etc. allow you to do, costs etc. We will be sharing personal book collections.

Details of the Feb 3rd and March 16, 2013 Irish workshops will be posted in the
New Year.

November 10, 2010 - Granddad’s War - Researching Your Military Ancestors

PRESENTED BY: Sidney Allinson

Sidney Allinson is a Canadian military historian and novelist, who lives in Colwood. He is author of seven books, and numerous magazine feature articles on military/historical subjects. Born in England, he served overseas with the Royal Air Force. Sidney is a past-Director of the Royal Canadian Military Institute, Chairman of the Western Front Association Pacific Coast Branch, and President of the Sir Winston Churchill Society of Vancouver Island. His public speaking topics include, “Granddad’s War: Researching your military ancestors.”

Sidney will be showing us where to look for information, the importance of this information and how to use the information. Sidney has offered to try to identify your ancestor’s military picture when you bring it to the workshop. He might be able to tell you details of the uniform etc. which would help you locate records for this person.


Note: The British Army workshop with Robert Brett previously in this time slot has been cancelled - rescheduling information will be published as soon as available.

November 3, 2012 - Scotland by Internet and Scotlandspeople - NEW

PRESENTED BY: Walter Balfour, Diana Gaiger

FILLING FAST - Second session now on Sunday November 4, 2012

Let Walter show you his tried and true web sites for Scotland-both free sites and pay for sites. Walter will show you ways of getting the most from these web sites for your time and your dollar.

Walter’s Scottish family roots are in Shetland, Easter Ross and Angus.

Diana will show you around Scotlandspeople to find registrations, wills, census etc. For the cost of the information (birth, death, marriage or other documents), Diana will find the document and email you a copy. Each credit costs about 40 cents. Wills are 10 credits. Birth, marriage and death are 6 credits.

Come and join others searching in Scotland.

SORRY - WORKSHOP CANCELLED
(NO WORKSHOP THIS WEEKEND)

OCTOBER 27, 2012 - LAST WORDS: WRITING GREAT OBITUARIES THAT MARK A LIFE AND MAKE HISTORY

October 20, 2012 - NO WORKSHOP - VGS SEMINAR

See you at our VGS Seminar

October 13, 2012 - ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH AND USING GENEALOGY FORMS

PRESENTED BY: Sarah Hamster

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in future.

This 2 part workshop is a combination of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms. NOTE: Part 1 and Part 2 will be held in sequence, the same day from 10:00am until 12 noon.

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binders? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems – should they be used? When? Which System
  • How should source citations be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group form)
  • What are transcription/extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

October 6, 2012 - Thanksgiving Weekend - NO WORKSHOP

Have a happy holiday!

September 29, 2012 - START YOUR GENEALOGICAL RESEARCH

PRESENTED BY: Barbara Doell and Diana Gaiger

Are you just getting started researching your family? If so, join us to learn how to begin. Learn how to avoid some of the pit falls of genealogy. Understanding the census-both good and bad. Revisit some of the starting places in research to help break down the brick walls. Check out useful websites, both pay for and free. Meet others with the same interests, questions and success as yourself. Bring a friend to share your adventure!

Areas to be covered:

  • Where do you start?
  • What do you need to get started?
  • Where to find answers
  • Computer programs
  • Census
  • Forms
  • Family fact and fiction
  • Handy web sites

September 22, 2012 - YOUR OWN BACK YARD! - NEW

PRESENTED BY: Heather Shave and Diana Gaiger

Join us to explore what Victoria has to offer for those of us going down the genealogy path. We will provide information on where things are hidden away in Victoria.

Heather Shave will take you into the corners of the VGS Resource Centre to look for books, microfilm, maps, family histories and much more.

Make the most out of what Victoria has to offer you for doing your research. Victoria is not just a pretty town - it is a wealth of information.

  • Discover new records for family research
  • Find un-thought of resources
  • Understand the value of taking the extra steps in research
  • Find out where to look YOUR OWN BACK YARD!

June 30, 2012 - NO WORKSHOP (July 1st Stat holiday weekend)

Happy Canada Day!

June 23, 2012 - Organizing Your Research and Using Genealogy Forms

Presenter: Sarah Hamster
(previously scheduled for June 9, 2012)

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in future.

This 2 part workshop is a combination of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms. NOTE: Part 1 and Part 2 will be held in sequence, the same day from 10:00 am until 12 noon.

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binders? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems – should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citation be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group form)
  • What are transcription / extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

June 16, 2012 - Proof and the Family Historian: Separating Family Fiction from Fact

Presenter – Linda BOON
(Rescheduled from Jan 21, 2012)

Goal: Learn how use critical thinking skills to evaluate information gathered for your family history including:

  • Why is the first step starting with yourself?
  • Why is it important to distinguish the difference between a fact, a deduction and an assumption?
  • What is the standard scientific procedure and how can it be used in family history?
  • What is the Genealogical Proof Standard?
  • What is the difference between primary, secondary, tertiary and circumstantial evidence?
  • How can problem solving become part of the research process?
  • What are some specific problems that could be encountered?

During Linda’s search for her family roots she has experienced several situations in which she has learned that what you see or hear is not always true.

June 9, 2012 - How related are we? What our nuclear, Y-chromosomal and mitochondrial DNA tell us - NEW

Presenter: Richard Hunt

Goal: To develop a general understanding of what DNA is and how it works, including:

  • Understand how DNA can vary.
  • What forms of life are we related to and do all forms have a common ancestor?
  • Understand how related we are to the ice man, the Irish war lords, etc. including our great great grandparents.
  • Understand what you get when you pay to have your DNA analysed.

Richard has been involved in learning about his own DNA and will share his findings with suggestions on using this methodology

June 2, 2012 - GEDCOM - NEW

Presenter: Jeannine Powell

A major purpose of genealogical research is to share with others and have others share with us.

Goal: To understand the role of GEDComs in this process to ensure that we are able to “play nice in the sandbox” with fellow researchers and those who would publish our work.

Topics will include:

  • what GEDCom means
  • when to use it
  • how to use it to our best advantage in exchanging information with other

Basic, intermediate and advanced techniques that are guaranteed to impress even your “geeky computer guy” will also be covered.

Jeannine has been doing genealogy for the past 17 years: two of those years in full-time intensive research. She has been accused of being somewhat obsessive/compulsive about Family History – and never takes a vacation without research in mind. She has volunteered at both the Victoria and Duncan FHC and is the webmistress for the Genealogy Helplist Canada and The County of Red Deer GenWeb on the internet. She has been a presenter for a variety of subjects for major genealogy conferences held in Victoria (2006 and 2008), as well as for the Cowichan Community Centre Adult Education and Elder College programs in Duncan, the Qualicum Beach Genealogical Society and the Duncan FHC. Her special interest/talent is related to the technical aspects of genealogy – in particular software training, electronic file management, data transfer, and using computers and the internet to full advantage.

May 26, 2012 - Stories in Stone: Clues to Family History in Cemeteries

Presenter Wilf Bruch, Old Cemeteries Society

Goal: How one can use a cemetery and cemetery records in genealogical research including:

  • Beyond the Death Certificate
  • Society records and research
  • Newspaper Obits
  • Local Archive records
  • A Cemetery visit
  • How, when and why
  • Surprises you may find

Wilf’s passion is the preservation and appreciation of old cemeteries. He has been volunteering with the Old cemeteries Society for some fifteen years and knows the cemetery very well. He has led or been involved in most of the restoration and recording projects at Ross Bay Cemetery and The Old Burying Ground over that time period. He delights in helping people discover their ancestor’s final resting place and has a few stories to tell.

May 19, 2012 - No Workshop (Stat Holiday Weekend)

Happy Victoria Day!

May 12, 2012 - Accessing the West: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia family history records

Presenter: Pat Rosson (Presented by the BC and the West SIG)

Goal: to learn how separate legislation in the four western provinces means different levels of access to records including:

  • How to navigate each provinces' access legislation to find your ancestors?
  • Which records are available on-line now?
  • What are the contributions that some genealogical societies are making through indexing projects?

May 5, 2012 - Using coroner’s records in genealogical research - NEW

Presenter: Evert Moes

Has a coroner ever been involved in your family’s history?

Accidents, murders, drownings and other untimely deaths are what a coroner investigates. Coroner’s reports can be of great help in breaking through some of the brick walls in your research.

Learn more about:

  • The history of the coroner’s office.
  • Coroner’s services in other lands.
  • The history of the B.C. coroner services and its present job.
  • The coroner’s records in B.C.
  • The VGS project to index the reports of the B.C. coroners, its  history, progress, and present status.
  • Where to go and what to do when you are looking for an untimely death in your family, where a coroner could be involved.
  • How to research the records now and when the project is finished.
  • Questions?

Evert became aware of the B.C. coroners indexing project during his stint as VGS president in the late 1990’s. In 2004 when asking questions about the progress of the project, it became clear to him that the project appeared to have been stalled, and as he was involved with the “Friends of the B.C. Archives”, it was only a small step to help revive it. With a few bumps on the way, the project has progressed to the point where the end is (hopefully) in sight for this involved, sometimes seemingly endless but always fascinating project.

April 28, 2012 - Rootsmagic - NEW

Presenter: Colleen Miscovitch

Come and learn the wonders of RootsMagic as Colleen helps us to add family, remove unwanted twigs, color family lines, add pictures and
documents, and much more. RootsMagic is a user friendly program. Colleen discovered RootsMagic last year and has used version 4 to organize her genealogical information. After entering over 1000 family names, with accompanying pictures, maps, and source citations, Colleen has explored beyond the basics.

The workshop will cover:

  • Common genealogy tasks
  • Entering information from scratch and importing from other programs
  • Adding depth to your information, with sources, photos, and a gazetteer of places
  • Getting the information back out with reports, photo albums, and narratives
  • Sharing information with Roots-to-Go
  • Other tips and tricks, such as colour coding your family members

April 21, 2012 - Genealogical Research in the United States - NEW

Presented by the USA Special Interest Group (SIG), Contact: Diane Clarke

Goal: To provide an introduction to genealogical research in the United States, including:

  •  How does the political make-up of the US impact genealogical research? Which records are the responsibility of individual states and the federal government?
  • Are parish and church records required until civil registration became mandatory? Where are they available?
  • What census records are available in the US? Why are some census records available for, for example, the 1920’s when in Canada and the UK the latest is 1911?
  • What is US Social Security all about and how can the records be used for research?
  • What / where / why is Ellis Island all about? Why is this important?
  • What US military records are available?
  •  Given US pre-revolution history will UK sources provide information on American ancestors?

Examples and case studies will be provided.

April 14, 2012 - Is there Loyalist Ancestry in your Attic? -  NEW

Presenters: Joan Clement UE, Catherine Fryer UE, Wilma Saville UE

Goal: To provide an introduction to United Empire Loyalist research including:

  • Short Historical Background to the American Revolution
  • Who were the Loyalists?
  • Are there Loyalists in your family?
    • Who Qualifies?
  • United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada
    • Membership
  • Certificate of Proof of Ancestry
    • What is this?
    • How do I go about this?
    • Is my research different?
    • Do I use different records?

Your presenters are all members of the Victoria Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada, intent on preserving that aspect of Canadian history.

March 31, 2012 - Copyright and the Family Historian

Presenter: Inba Kehoe, Copyright Officer and Scholarly Communications Librarian
McPherson Library, University of Victoria

Family historians frequently use their research materials to write a book, produce a family history leaflet, prepare an article for a magazine or journal, post material on a website and so on. These research products often involve reproduction of complete or partial documents, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, etc.

Whatever the end product, or the materials used, family historians have certain responsibilities regarding copyright.

Goal: How to determine what responsibilities a family historian has regarding copyright including:

  • What are copyright and intellectual property and why do family historians need to know?
  • What are the criteria for copyright protection and what categories are protected?
  • Who is the copyright owner and how can this be identified?
  • What are the rules for the ownership and duration of copyright?
  • Do Canadian copyright rules apply to material obtained from another jurisdiction or country?
  • What are the rights of the copyright owner?
  • How can the copyright situation be analyzed and identified?

In her work as Copyright Officer and Scholarly Communications Librarian at the McPherson Library, University of Victoria Inba is responsible for overseeing and advising the university community on copyright issues. She is also responsible for advancing the university newly established online publishing program.

Member Endorsement:
"I found this workshop exciting, informative and very well presented.
I, and several other attendees, wondered if it would be a ‘dry’ presentation due to the subject.
We were all sorry when the workshop ended." - Don't miss it!

March 24, 2012 - Researching Your British Army Ancestors

Presenter: Robert Brett
(Rescheduled from March 3, 2012)

Researching records of ancestors who served in the British Army in all its campaigns and wars is a huge subject. In the limited time available, the workshop will focus on only those who served in World Wars One and Two. The basic background knowledge and reference sources required to properly understand and explore their careers and medal entitlements will also be discussed. Similar reference sources for those who served in the Canadian army will be noted.

Goals:

  1. To respond to some frequently asked questions about the Army, such as formations and structures, and ranks and terminology used in service records; and then
  2. Explain how go about researching your ancestor’s service records and medals they received. A Case Study for a WWI soldier will be presented.

Topics will include:

  • What should I know about my army ancestor to start my search?
  • Where can original documents be found? What online resources are available?
  • Where are casualties recorded?
  • My ancestor was killed in action, where is this commemorated?
  • What medals were issued for WWI and WWII? How can entitlements be checked?

Robert’s former hobby before embarking on genealogy studies some ten years ago was researching the medals of the British Army for about thirty years. He is a member of OMRS The Orders and Medals Research Society of the United Kingdom.

March 17, 2012 - Finding Your Irish Ancestors -  NEW

DUE TO THE POPULARITY OF THIS WORKSHOP, IT WILL BE REPEATED ON
SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 AT 10 AM TO NOON
Presenters: Several VGS members

This workshop will be presented by several Victoria Genealogical Society members. These members have different perspectives and knowledge
about researching Irish families. Some have visited Ireland to do research, others are planning a trip and some are dreaming of going to Ireland. These esearchers have dealt with both Catholic and Protestant records in 22 different counties in Ireland, covering 1766 to 1911.

The presentation will be followed by a Q & A period so bring your questions/ brick walls and we will do our best to help you.

Material covered will be:

  • VGS holdings-171 Ireland related titles
  • Web sites-both free and pay
  • Personal experiences
  • Research hints & techniques
  • Personal research collections
  • Irish timeline
  • What you can do from here

Come to the workshop and meet other researchers seeking many of the same answers that you are.

March 17, 2012 - Finding Your Irish Ancestors -  NEW

DUE TO THE POPULARITY OF THIS WORKSHOP, IT WILL BE REPEATED ON
SUNDAY, MARCH 18, 2012 AT 10 AM TO NOON
Presenters: Several VGS members

This workshop will be presented by several Victoria Genealogical Society members. These members have different perspectives and knowledge
about researching Irish families. Some have visited Ireland to do research, others are planning a trip and some are dreaming of going to Ireland. These esearchers have dealt with both Catholic and Protestant records in 22 different counties in Ireland, covering 1766 to 1911.

The presentation will be followed by a Q & A period so bring your questions/ brick walls and we will do our best to help you.

Material covered will be:

  • VGS holdings-171 Ireland related titles
  • Web sites-both free and pay
  • Personal experiences
  • Research hints & techniques
  • Personal research collections
  • Irish timeline
  • What you can do from here

Come to the workshop and meet other researchers seeking many of the same answers that you are.

March 10, 2012 – Using Scotlandspeople to research your ancestors

Presenter - Karen LEESON

This popular workshop for beginners is a repeat of Karen’s introduction to the scotlandspeople website.

Goal: How to research your Scottish ancestors using the website Scotlands people including:

  • What is Scotlandspeople and what records are included?
  • What type of information can be found using these records?
  • Search strategies, hints and tips.
  • How to get started using Scotlandspeople records for your Scottish ancestors?
  • Have the recent changes to the website any significant implications for research strategy?

Using Scotlandspeople Karen has uncovered several family secrets. Her uncle said "don't look into the family tree - you won't like what you find!" Needless to say, Karen has risen to that challenge. She has also been able to trace several living relatives using this site and is going to Scotland to meet some of these new cousins in the late spring of 2012.

March 3, 2012 - Ancestry Search Strategy

Presenter – Gerry Poulton

Goal: How to maximize your search results using Ancestry.

In this popular workshop, Gerry will share his experience with Ancestry and how it has helped him research his Canadian ancestors. In particular, Gerry will discuss strategies to increase your success rate with Ancestry searches, such as:

  • Why use a research log to track search variations and results
  • What is the ‘advanced search’ option? How can it best be used?
  • What do the terms ‘wildcard’, ‘Soundex, ‘filters’ mean?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to using the above search strategies?

If time is available, Gerry will also discuss Canadian records (emphasizing Ontario) including:

  • census records
  • birth, marriage and death records
  • immigration & emigration records (including passenger and border crossing records)
  • military records

see March 24, 2012 for "Researching Your British Army Ancestors" (previously in this time slot).

February 25, 2012 - Parish Registers of Great Britain and Ireland - NEW

DUE TO THE POPULARITY OF THIS WORKSHOP, IT WILL BE REPEATED ON
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 26, 2012 AT 10 AM TO NOON, AND AGAIN AT 1:30 PM TO 3:30 PM

Presenter – Heather SHAVE

Goal: Learn what information can be gleaned from UK parish registers. Records of baptisms, marriages, and burials provide essential information for
genealogists. What other records used in genealogical research exist from the 1500's (if you're lucky!) up to the present day? Come to this workshop and
learn:

  • What was recorded at different dates in different denominations?
  • How to find what survives and how to access the records by a variety of methods, e.g. the internet, microfilm, printed books.
  • Strategies for dealing with some of the challenges in using the records.

Records of the churches of England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland will be discussed,

February 18, 2012 - Last Words: Writing great obituaries that mark a life and make history - NEW

Presenter – Jenni Aitken

Many family historians have found valuable clues to an ancestor's life through an obituary. An obituary can provide basic biographical details such as names, dates, and places of birth, marriage, and death. Perhaps even more importantly, an obituary often gives names of relatives of the deceased including siblings, aunts, uncles and grandparents, leading to other avenues of research.

This workshop can help family historians evaluate obituaries by encouraging participants to write an obituary. In Jenni’s words:
"Obituaries are about life! They tell our story and provide an opportunity to share life lessons. A well written obituary can combine essential genealogical elements, and honour someone, in about 200 words."

Goals: In this workshop we will:

  • Learn the key features needed to tell a person’s story…succinctly
  • Develop a list of vital genealogical details to include in obits
  • Merge these elements by working together to write an obituary
  • Leave with a worksheet for future reference

Join Jenni Aitken on February 18, 2012 to learn about what makes a great obituary, and how you can write a worthy tribute that will stand the test of time.

February 11, 2012 - From Cyberspace to Artifacts: Building Better Source Recording Skills! - NEW

Presenter: Linda Boon

This title appropriately describes the emphasis given to sources on the internet which have now become so popular and much used.

By the end of Linda’s workshop, the participant will:

  1. Understand the purpose of source citations
  2. Identify the types of Genealogy sources
  3. Identify the “Rules for Great Source Citations”
  4. Examine citation models and guides for most sources including original material, photographs, newspaper articles, emails and the web
  5. Review some examples of sources and write the citations for quality research evidence.

Bring some samples of your sources that give you headaches and keep you up at night wondering “did I do that right?”

Note: Linda will be using Mills “bible” of History Source Citations as a basis for her workshop.

February 4, 2012 - Starting Your Research & Understanding the Resource Centre 

Presenters –  Heather SHAVE and Diana GAIGER

Goal: Learn how to get started on your family’s history and how to effectively use the Resource Centre including:

  • Deciding what you want from your research
  • How to gather and record information
  • Computer or hardcopy
  • What materials and tools are in the Resource Centre to help with research?
  • How to make the most of your new adventure

January 28, 2012 - The Genealogical Interview: How to make the most of living sources in genealogical research - REPEAT

Presenter – Pattie WHITEHOUSE

Interviews are an important but often overlooked source of information for genealogists and family historians.

Goal: Learn how to obtain missing genealogical information and provide context and detail for family histories by interviewing family members, neighbours and acquaintances. Topics include:

  • Adding to your arsenal: How interviews complement family documents in genealogical and family history research
  • Planning your research: Whom do you interview? Where? What equipment and conditions do you need?
  • Interviewing skills: What to ask, how to ask it and when to shut up
  • Interviewing ethics: How to encourage the reluctant subject and what to do when you unearth skeletons in the family closet
  • Practice makes perfect: A chance to try out what you’ve learned and test your interviewing prowess

A professional Personal Historian since 1992, Pattie combines the experience of more than 10 years in business with a background of a Master of Arts degree in psychology and volunteer service as a counselor. These experiences have enabled her to become a skilled interviewer, an inspiring coach and an effective writer. When she is not helping people write their personal histories, Pattie enjoys Scottish country dancing, hiking in the Highlands and dog agility training.

January 21, 2012 -  *** CANCELLED ****

Linda Boon's workshop cancelled due to the snowy weather - rescheduled to June 16, 2012

January 14,2012 - How to utilize WORD to compile and write your family narrative.

Presenter: Pat ACTON

Goal: How to utilize MS WORD to compile and write your family narrative, including stories, photographs, recipes and so on, including:

  • How can WORD be set up in preparation for writing your story?
  • How can electronic copies of partial stories that you have already written be integrated and merged?
  • How can WORD tables and other formatting features be used to give your story shape?
  • How can scanned photographs and / or hand drawn illustrations be inserted into a page of text?
  • How can a Table of Contents and / or an index be automatically generated?
  • How can WORD by used to cite sources – footnotes or endnotes?
  • Suggestions on how to get started with lots of examples

January 7, 2012 – Analysis of family history research using the table feature of MS WORD.

Presenter: Pat ACTON

Goal: How to use this feature to analyze, organize research and present your family’s story, including:

  • An introduction to the table function in WORD for beginners
  • Why use this function to organize and analyze genealogical research and records?
  • How can the table function be used to enhance writing your family story?
  • Using scanned photographs with the table function
  • Possibilities and methods (with examples and samples)
  • Suggestions on how to get started

2011 WORKSHOPS

December 10, 2011 - NO WORKSHOP - Attend our VGS CHRISTMAS OPEN HOUSE instead!

No workshop will be held on December 10, 2011.  Instead, everyone is welcome to join us for our annual Christmas Open House.  More details to follow.

December 3, 2011 - ACCESS THE WEST: MANITOBA, SASKATCHEWAN, ALBERTA & BC FAMILY HISTORY RECORDS - Pat Rosson - NEW

Presented by the BC and the West SIG.

Goal: to learn how separate legislation in the four western provinces means different levels of access to records including:

  • How to navigate each provinces' access legislation to find your ancestors?
  • Which records are available on-line now?
  • What are the contributions that some genealogical societies are making through indexing projects?

November 26, 2011 - ORGANIZING YOUR RESEARCH & USING GENEALOGY FORMS - Sarah Hamster - REPEAT

Sarah Hamster has long been a practicing believer in organization and use of hardcopy forms. Her methodical approach is aimed at both providing family history information to the current generation and to handing her research to a relative to be maintained in future.

This 2 part workshop is a combination of Sarah’s popular workshops on organizing and using forms. NOTE: Part 1 and Part 2 will be held in sequence,
the same day from 10:00 am until 12 noon.

Goal of Part 1: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents,
photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binders?(examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems – should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citation be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Goal of Part 2: How to use genealogical forms to best advantage including:

  • What are the main types of genealogical forms?
  • When should each type of form be used? (e.g. pedigree form versus family group form)
  • What are transcription / extraction forms and when should each be used?
  • How should completed forms be organized?
  • Are the interactive forms available on the internet practical?

A package of sample forms will be provided as part of the workshop.

November 19, 2011 - INTRODUCTION TO THE PRESERVATION OF PAPERS & PHOTOGRAPHS - NEW
- WAIT LIST ONLY

Presenter: Betty Walsh, Archival Conservator, Royal BC Museum

Goal: An introduction to the preservation of family papers and traditional photographs.

What is conservation? What is preservation?

What is paper?

  • How does it deteriorate?
  • What environment is best for papers?
  • What storage materials are appropriate?
  • What is the best way to make copies?

What are traditional photographs?

  • How do they deteriorate?
  • What environment is best?
  • What are the best storage materials for photographs?
  • What is the best way to make copies?

Electronic media – a few minutes:

  • Traditional versus electronic media – which lasts longer?
  • How do you preserve digital files?

Betty Walsh has worked at the BC Archives and the RBCM since 1982. Prior to joining the archives, she earned a Master of Art Conservation degree and
worked in the private and museum sectors.

November 12, 2011 - GETTING YOUR FAMILY EXCITED ABOUT THEIR FAMILY HISTORY! - Diana Gaiger - NEW

Goal: Ideas and tips on how to get your children, grandchildren and general family interested in learning about their family’s story.

  • Practical things you can do to make genealogy interesting and ‘come alive’ for your family.
  • Fun ways to involve younger family members.
  • Interesting ways of presenting information to the family.
  • Opening communication between the generations.

Diana has helped many people start or sort out their family information so that they can share the information with family members. Diana uses both hard copy and computer to present the results of searching. Diana’s enthusiasm is catching!!!



November 5, 2011 - PLANNING AN ANCESTRAL JOURNEY - Merv Scott - REPEAT

Goal: How to plan an ancestral journey or things to consider when going ‘ancestor hunting’.

Are you thinking of travelling to the country or region where your ancestors lived? If you have identified the country/region to visit, Merv’s workshop will help identify:

  • Tools and resources to use when planning your trip.
  • Steps to consider before you leave.
  • Tips on what to take and what to leave at home.
  • Is knowledge of local religious, political and geographical divisions important?
  • Why knowing even the basic history of the country you will be visiting can help make your trip more productive.

Merv will share his many hints and tips for ancestral travel based on his own experiences in Scotland and England. This is a repeat of a workshop Merv presented last year on the Border country of Scotland.



October 22, 2011 – ANCESTRY SEARCH STRATEGY - Gerry Poulton - REPEAT

Goal: How to maximize your search results using Ancestry.

In this popular repeat workshop Gerry will share his experience with Ancestry and how it has helped him research his Canadian ancestors. In particular, Gerry will discuss strategies to increase your success rate with Ancestry searches, such as:

  • Why use a research log to track search variations and results?
  • What is the ‘advanced search’ option? How can it best be used?
  • What do the terms ‘wildcard’, ‘Soundex, ‘filters’ mean?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to using the above search strategies?

If time is available, Gerry will also discuss Canadian records (emphasizing Ontario) including:

  • Census records
  • Birth, marriage and death records
  • Immigration & emigration records (including passenger and border crossing records)
  • Military records


October 15, 2011 – FIRST STEPS IN GENEALOGY - Diana Gaiger and Barbara Doell - REPEAT

Goal: Learn how to get started on your family’s history including:

  • Why it is important to decide what you want from your research?
  • How to go about gathering information? Are there basic sources?
  • What are the basic forms that are useful? What is a pedigree chart? A family group sheet?
  • How can you separate family lore from fact?
  • Tips to help you enjoy your research.

Barbara Doell started her computer research recently and has added to previously accumulated family research. Barbara has gained a variety of helpful hints and is always willing to help others with their research. Diana Gaiger has been researching for many years in the adoption community and genealogy.



October 1, 2011 - RESEARCHING YOUR ANCESTORS IN EASTERN EUROPE - NEW
Sarah Hamster, Rick Deegan, and Karen Leeson

Presented by the Eastern European Special Interest Group (SIG).

Researching your family history in Eastern Europe can be a daunting and frustrating experience. The area has a history of political turmoil, conflicting military alliances, changing boundaries and multiple languages.

Goal: Learn how to tackle your eastern European family’s history including:

  • What areas and countries are considered to be ‘eastern Europe’?
  • What are the major sources of information? Major websites?
  • What types of information are available?
  • The value of a good map / how to identify political boundaries from the time of your ancestors.
  • How can language hurdles be overcome?
  • Tips to help you get started on your research.

Sarah, Karen and Rick all have years of experience bouncing against brick walls. Sarah, who has been looking for her ancestors for more than 20 years, has had wonderful luck except for her paternal grandmother. Sarah’s only proof of her existence is her marriage certificate and even then “I don’t know if she lied about her age as she did many times in her life”. Karen will show the scrapbook she has made of her family’s story.



September 24, 2011 - MANAGING MEMORABILIA - Colleen Miscovitch -  NEW

This workshop is best described in Colleen’s own words: “I was mightily inspired by the (Mary Nemes’ Scrapbook workshop) session last spring, and I'm now trying to get creative with my family's fabulous genealogical raw materials.”

Colleen will talk about:

  • Picking a theme or goal for your projects.
  • What tools and techniques should be considered?
  • Traditional scrapbooks vs ‘digital scrapbooks – can they be combined?
  • Various ways of displaying memorabilia – what kinds of ‘genealogical raw materials’ can be included?

Colleen will share examples of her finished products and various mockups.



June 25, 2011 - Using Scrapbooking to Illustrate Your Family History - REPEAT

Presenter: Mary Nemes

Goal: How to use scrapbooking to help tell your family story.

This workshop is being repeated by popular request. Mary will bring her skills, enthusiasm and samples of her work to show:

  • Why she decided to use scrapbooking to tell her family’s story
  • Scrapbooking possibilities and methods (with examples and samples)
  • What she has done and how she has done it
  • Suggestions on how to get started scrapbooking

Mary will also show how she uses her computer to copy pages to share with family.



June 18, 2011 - Ancestry Search Strategies - REPEAT

Presenter: Gerry Poulton

Goal: How to maximize your search results using Ancestry

In this popular repeat workshop Gerry will share his experience with Ancestry and how it has helped him research his Canadian ancestors. In particular, Gerry will discuss strategies to increase your success rate with Ancestry searches, such as:

  • Why use a research log to track search variations and results
  • What is the ‘advanced search’ option? How can it best be used?
  • What is a ‘wildcard’? How does it work?
  • What is ‘Soundex’? How does it work? When should it be used?
  • What are filters?
  • What are the advantages and disadvantages to using the above search strategies?

If time is available, Gerry will also discuss Canadian records (emphasizing Ontario) including:

  • census records
  • birth, marriage and death records
  • immigration & emigration records (including passenger and border crossing records)
  • military records


June 4, 2011 - Introduction to Family History

Presenter Melanie Arscott

Goal: An introduction to family history and genealogy.

Have you seen those commercials claiming that discovering your family’s history is as simple as ‘entering your grandfather's name’? Have you ever wondered ‘who do you think you are?’ This workshop will cover topics such as:

  • What is genealogy and family history?
  • How to get started?
  • What to do with the shoe box of family photos and documents?
  • Can all the answers be found on the internet?
  • How can family history be shared with others?

Join Melanie as she shares her enthusiasm for family history and describes some of the ins and outs of discovering whether there are any truths to your family stories.

 


May 28, 2011 - Researching Your British Army Ancestors

Presenter: Robert Brett

Researching records of ancestors who served in the British Army in all its campaigns and wars is a huge subject. In the limited time available the workshop will focus on only those who served in World Wars One and Two. The basic background knowledge and reference sources required to properly understand and explore their careers and medal entitlements will also be discussed. Similar reference sources for those who served in the Canadian army will be noted.

Goals:

  1. To respond to some frequently asked questions about the Army, such as formations and structures, and ranks and terminology used in service records; and then
  2. To explain how go about researching your ancestor’s service records and medals they received. A Case Study for a WWI soldier will be presented.

Topics will include:

  • What should I know about my army ancestor to start my search?
  • Where can original documents be found?  What online resources are available?
  • Where are casualties recorded?
  • My ancestor was killed in action, where is this commemorated?
  • What medals were issued for WWI and WWII?  How can entitlements be checked?

Robert's former hobby before embarking on genealogy studies some ten years ago was researching the medals of the British Army for about thirty years. He is a member of OMRS The Orders and Medals Research Society of the United Kingdom.



May 7, 2011 - Stories in Stone: Clues to Family History in Cemeteries.

Presenter Wilf Bruch

Why visit cemeteries and use cemetery records?

Family historians often overlook cemeteries and cemetery records in their research, particularly if they already have birth and death dates. However a visit to a cemetery and use of its records can provide much, much more information. The visit could also lead to previously unknown family members and living ancestors. Come to Wilf’s workshop Stories in Stone: Clues to Family History in Cemeteries to find out how cemeteries can add to your family story.

Goal: How one can use a cemetery and cemetery records in genealogical research including:

  • Beyond the Death Certificate
    • Society records and research
    • Newspaper Obits
    • Local Archive records
  • A Cemetery visit
    • How, when and why
    • Surprises you may find

Wilf’s passion is the preservation and appreciation of old cemeteries. He has been volunteering with the Old Cemeteries Society for some fifteen years and knows the cemetery very well. He has led or been involved in most of the restoration and recording projects at Ross Bay Cemetery and The Old Burying Ground over that time period. He delights in helping people discover their ancestor’s final resting place and has a few stories



April 30, 2011 - Proof and the Family Historian: Separating Family Fiction from Fact

Presenter: Linda Boon

Goal: Learn how use critical thinking skills to evaluate information gathered for your family history including:

  • Why is the first step starting with yourself?
  • Why is it important to distinguish the difference between a fact, a deduction and an assumption?
  • What is the standard scientific procedure and how can it be used in family history?
  • What is the Genealogical Proof Standard?
  • What is the difference between primary, secondary, tertiary and circumstantial evidence?
  • How can problem solving become part of the research process?
  • What are some specific problems that could be encountered?

During Linda’s search for her family roots she has experienced several situations in which she has learned that what you see or hear is not always true.



April 16, 2011 - The genealogical Interview -
How to make the most of living sources in genealogical research

Presenter: Personal Historian Pattie Whitehouse

Interviews are an important but often overlooked source of information for genealogists and family historians.

  • Adding to your arsenal: How interviews complement family documents in genealogical and family history research
  • Planning your research: Whom do you interview? Where? What equipment and conditions do you need?
  • Interviewing skills: What to ask, how to ask it and when to shut up
  • Interviewing ethics: How to encourage the reluctant subject and what to do when you unearth skeletons in the family closet
  • Practice makes perfect: A chance to try out what you’ve learned and test your interviewing prowess

A professional Personal Historian since 1992, Pattie combines the experience of more than 10 years in business with a background of a Master of Arts degree in psychology and volunteer service as a counselor. These experiences have enabled her to become a skilled interviewer, an inspiring coach and an effective writer. When she is not helping people write their personal histories, Pattie enjoys Scottish country dancing, hiking in the Highlands and dog agility training.



April 2, 2011 - Understanding adoption

Presenter: Diana Gaiger

Goal: Learn how to understand and research adoption including:

  • Are there strategies that can be used?
  • What is the legal process for adoption and how will understanding this process aid in an adoption search?
  • What are documents such as adoption decrees?
  • Can adoption agencies help?
  • Does the adoption process and therefore research strategy vary between jurisdictions? How can a person learn this?
  • Suggestions on how to begin.

Diana Gaiger has been active in the adoption triangle for the past 30+ years. As an adoptee that has reunited with her birth family, Diana understands many of the emotions involved with adoption. Having helped many people over the last 30+ yeas, Diana has gained much insight to many situations and has seen many changes in the adoption community.



March 26 - National Archives of England - REPEAT

Presenter: Heather Shave

The National Archives of England, the UK government's official archive, contains over 1,000 years of history. Many collections have been digitized which has led to changes in the structure and content of the website. Heather, an extensive user of National Archives, discusses how these changes in can impact genealogical research.

Goal: How can the National Archives of England help genealogical research including:

  • What types of records are available (e.g. wills, manorial, marine (navy and merchant navy, military, etc.)?
  • Can this source be used for research on Ireland, Wales and the British colonies (e.g. British Columbia)?
  • What are the best techniques for searching these records with the new site structure?
  • When and how to order documents?

Since England and the far flung British Empire have played such a large role in the history of many countries this workshop will also be of interest to those who have non-English ancestors.



March 19 - Gadgets & Gizmos

Presenters: Gerry Poulton, Diana Gaiger and other VGS members.

We will be presenting:

  • Software programs to improve your genealogy research and recording - e.g. MWSnap etc.
  • Physical items - e.g. iPad, flash drives, binding, small paper cutters, hand held scanners, cameras, digital picture frames etc.

The items and software presented at this workshop have no financial connection to any of the presenters. These are items that we have found useful or fun for genealogy.

Gerry is a long time researcher who enjoys all aspects of genealogy by computer, books, volunteer in the VGS Resource Centre for a number of years and personal travel.

Diana has worked in the adoption community for many years and volunteered in the VGS Resource Centre for the past 3 years.

If you have something to add to the presentation, please contact Diana at diana_g@shaw.ca



March 5, 2011 - First Steps: Getting Started on your family history

Presenters: Barbara Doell and Diana Gaiger

Goal: Learn how to get started on your family’s history including:

  • Why it is important to decide what you want from your research?
  • How to go about gathering information? Are there basic sources?
  • What are the basic forms that are useful? What is a pedigree chart? A family group sheet?
  • How can you separate family lore from fact?
  • Tips to help you enjoy your research

Barbara Doell started her computer research a year ago and has added to previously accumulated family research. Barbara has gained a variety of helpful hints in the past year and is always willing to help others with their research. Diana Gaiger has been researching for many years in the adoption community and genealogy.



February 26, 2011 - Researching Black Canadians: a Case Study [ CANCELLED ]

Presenter: Gael Huntley

Goal: Learn how to research the Black Canadians in your family’s history including:

  • Does Black Canadian history differ from that of Afro-American?
  • How to go about gathering information on Black Canadians?
  • Are there basic sources of information?
  • Examples and tips on how to get started


February 19, 2011 - Analysis of family history research using the table feature of WORD

Presenter: Pat Acton

Goal: How to use this feature to analyze, organize research and present your family’s story, including:

  • An introduction to the table function in WORD for beginners
  • Why use this function to organize and analyze genealogical research and records?
  • How can the table function be used to enhance writing your family story?
  • Using scanned photographs with the table function
  • Possibilities and methods (with examples and samples)
  • Suggestions on how to get started


FebRUARY 5, 2011 - Finding your English Ancestors Cheaply

Presenter: Penny Holt

>>>   SORRY - THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL   <<<

Goal: How to use little known internet sources, and obtain other resources inexpensively or for free, to maximize your family history research in England.

Penny will share her experience with the internet and other resources that are obtainable from right here in Victoria and how it has helped her research her husband's English ancestors, mostly using Kent as her example. In particular, Penny will discuss strategies to increase your success rate with techniques, such as:

  • use of mailing lists
  • many little known websites
  • avoiding purchasing expensive certificates
  • partnerships
  • deep, advanced searching
  • how to get printed resources cheaply or for free
  • and more


Presenter: Inba Kehoe,
Copyright Officer and Scholarly Communications Librarian
McPherson Library, University of Victoria

Family historians frequently use their research materials to write a book, produce a family history leaflet, prepare an article for a magazine or journal, post material on a website and so on. These research products often involve reproduction of complete or partial documents, photographs, postcards, newspaper clippings, etc.

Whatever the end product, or the materials used, family historians have certain responsibilities regarding copyright.

Goal: How to determine what responsibilities a family historian has regarding copyright including:

  • What are copyright and intellectual property and why do family historians need to know?
  • What are the criteria for copyright protection and what categories are protected?
  • Who is the copyright owner and how can this be identified?
  • What are the rules for the ownership and duration of copyright?
  • Do Canadian copyright rules apply to material obtained from another jurisdiction or country?
  • What are the rights of the copyright owner?
  • How can the copyright situation be analyzed and identified?

In her work as Copyright Officer and Scholarly Communications Librarian at the McPherson Library, University of Victoria, Inba is responsible for overseeing and advising the university community on copyright issues. She is also responsible for advancing the university's newly established online publishing program.



Jan 22, 2011 - Organizing Your Research - REPEAT

Presenters: Sarah Hamster and Pat Acton

Goal: How to manage the mountain of research notes, documents, photographs, and family mementoes including:

  • Is there one right way to organize family history research?
  • Are there forms that can help with organization? (sample forms provided)
  • How to store paper records? File folders, envelopes, binders? (examples)
  • What can be done to organize both scanned and hardcopy family photos? (examples)
  • Reference number systems – should they be used? When? Which system?
  • How should source citation be included?
  • Suggestions on how to get started.

Between them Sarah and Pat have over 30 years of experience in the collection of material acquired by family historians. During this time they have used various methods of organization and filing before settling on systems that work well for them. In this workshop they will share their experiences and give recommendations for handling research materials