What's Going On?
VGS MEMBERSHIPS MAKE
ANY TIME OF THE YEAR!
Contact us for more details!
Next in VGS Speaker Series
DATE: 8 Dec 2016
CHRISTMAS SOCIAL +
SPEAKER: Peter Grant
TOPIC: "THE FASCINATING MCNEILL FAMILY"
Please note that the LOCATION for the meeting on Thursday, December 8th ONLY will be at:
ST LEOPOLD MANDIC
CROATIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH **
4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC
(This is the same location where we held this year's annual seminar) -
** PLEASE NOTE: The meeting is NOT at the Holy Cross Catholic Church located
shortly before St. Leopold’s. It is about three blocks past Holy Cross. Watch
for the entrance gate on your right just after Lifton Place if heading northeast
on Gordon Head Road.)
In keeping with tradition, we will have an extended social time at the December meeting. If you can, please bring finger food (appies or desserts) to share. Come and visit with your fellow genealogy enthusiasts and celebrate the season with us!
PRESENTATION: THE FASCINATING MCNEILL FAMILY
William Henry McNeill was a fur-trading sea captain from Boston, Massachussetts who worked for the Hudson’s Bay Company for nearly 30 years, had at least ten children with a Kaigani Haida woman and eventually settled in Oak Bay with his second wife, a high-born Nisga'a fur trader. If he isn’t considered one of British Columbia’s founders, he should be
This presentation will recap what is known about McNeill’s family of origin and trace the descendancies of his children. There are many surprising revelations — not the least is the discovery that McNeill descendants live in Oak Bay to this day.
Peter Grant is the author of seven books about Vancouver Island (Victoria a History in Photographs; Wish You Were Here: Life on Vancouver Island in Historical Postcards; Vancouver Island Book of Everything). He is the proprietor of the weblog Oak Bay Chronicles (oakbaychronicles.ca), which combines local and family history. He has been interested in genealogy since the 1950s, when his great-uncle Sid wrote him a letter recounting his mother’s pedigree. Having lived in Oak Bay for 50 years, he considers it his Place, even though he now lives in Vic West!
... read more
VGS Genealogy Workshops
UPCOMING WORKSHOP LIST
- 26 Nov 2016 - Beginning Scottish Research
- 3 Dec 2016 - Paperless Genealogy
- 10 Dec 2016 - Beginning English Research
- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy your holiday.
- 14 Jan 2017 - This Isn't Your Mother's Genealogy - Put Twitter to Work For You
- 21 Jan 2017 - Making Your Own Family History Book
- 28 Jan 2017 - Ancestry.com Search Strategies
- 4 Feb 2017 - Getting Organized to Start Your Family History
- 11 Feb 2017 - Identifying Military Uniforms in Old Photographs
- 18 Feb 2017 - Writing Biographies of Your Ancestors
- 25 Feb 2017 - Introduction to Quebec Research
IMPORTANT WORKSHOP INFO
Our popular VGS 2-hour genealogy workshops have informative speakers on a wide variety of genealogy-related topics. Your registration fee will help cover costs at our Resource Centre. Come early to enjoy a cup of coffee and meet the other attendees.
Our regular workshops will accommodate up to 25 people. Fees
$15 for VGS members
$25 for non-members.
VGS Volunteers, Coordinators and Directors Needed
Your help is needed! Directors, Coordinators and committee members are required for several important positions within the Society. We are also in need of volunteers for our Resource Centre and at special events and projects - openings all year long.
Please consider volunteering for one of the following positions. What an excellent opportunity for you to give back to your Society!
Public Relations Coordinator - Promote VGS and its events to the general public and community.
Advertising Coordinator - Manage VGS advertising initiatives.
Journal Coordinator - Work with Journal Editor
Info Booth Coordinator - Organize VGS display booths and volunteer schedules at community events throughout the year.
Library Volunteers - help out at the Resource Centre or behind the scenes - if you are willing to help, there's a job for you!
VGS Current Projects
Many of our members have been busy volunteering their time and expertise in many ways including the following projects formally endorsed by our Executive Committee.
- Digitization and Indexing of VicPD Early Charge Books
- BC Coroner’s Inquests and Registers Indexing
- VGS Journals Indexing
- Times Colonist 150th Year 2008 Historical Series
- Veterans Cemetery Indexing
Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS)
NEWS & ANNOUNCEMENTS
News bulletins and announcements from VGS and beyond.
Temporary Location for Dec 8 Meeting
** PLEASE NOTE: The TEMPORARY LOCATION for the Speaker Series meeting on
Thursday, December 8th ONLY will be at:
ST. LEOPOLD MANDIC CROATIAN CATHOLIC CHURCH **
4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC
(This is the same location where we held this year's annual seminar).
The meeting is NOT at the Holy Cross Catholic Church located shortly before St. Leopold’s. Our location is about three blocks past Holy Cross. Watch for the entrance gate on your right just after Lifton Place if heading northeast on Gordon Head Road.
In keeping with tradition, we will have an extended social time at the December meeting. If you can, please bring finger food (appies or desserts) to share. Come and visit with your fellow genealogy enthusiasts and celebrate the season with us!
Our speaker will be Peter Grant, presenting "The Fascinating McNeill Family". See our VGS meetings page for more details.
Meetings will resume at St Aidans Church Hall in January.
Consider Donating This Upcoming Tax Season
Tax season is upon us and we want to remind everyone that VGS is a registered charity with the Canada Revenue Agency (charity #141045880RR0001).
We rely in part on your kind donations so we can continue to provide genealogical services in our community. We gratefully accept donations of any amount and will be happy to issue a tax receipt to you.
- Donations can be made by hand delivery of cash or cheques at the Resource Centre or at VGS events.
- Donations can also be made online by credit card or PayPal account. Visit our VGS donations page, or click on the "donate" button above (near the top, right corner of our home page).
- Donations can be made by mailing cheques (not
Victoria Genealogical Society
100-180 Wilson Street,
PO Box 45015
Victoria, BC, Canada V9A 0C3
As always, we thank you for supporting our non-profit society.
VGS DNA Genealogy Research Seminar - a Huge Hit!
Our Annual Seminar was on Saturday, October 29th and we had a full house! Opened by Wedlidi Speck, and featuring four sessions offered by three different speakers, it was a day full of DNA concepts and information. Questions were asked and answered, and a whopping 20 door prizes were given out to an excited crowd. Attendee and distillery owner, Graeme Macaloney, generously gave a last minute donation of three cases of beer from Macaloney Distillers, which were a big hit.
Many people mentioned how much they enjoyed the food served at the breaks and lunch and asked who provided them. The morning baked goods were donated by Mother Nature's Market & Deli in Cook Street Village and were absolutely delicious! Catering of lunch was provided by Judy's Snack Shack, and was just superb. Judy outdid herself with the desserts in particular which were stunning as well as scrumptious. Thank you again to these amazing chefs!
Special thanks to our wonderful speakers Wedlidi Speck, Merna Forster, Barbara Johnson and Tim Duncan (and Tim's wife Ruby who was also a great help!).
Thanks also go out to our amazing volunteers - in addition to the tireless executive members, big thanks to Sarah Hamster, Darcee Strawson, Gerry Poulton and Shelagh Scholtens. As most of you know, this is our biggest fundraising event of the year and we simply couldn't have done it without these people!
A huge thank you also goes out to all our amazing sponsors! Your donations and support are truly appreciated.
Thank you to all who attended - we hope you learned a lot and found the seminar enlightening and enjoyable!
IMPORTANT - NEW MONTHLY MEETING LOCATION!
Effective immediately, and therefore affecting our upcoming Speaker Series meeting on 13 Oct 2016, our Victoria Genealogical Society monthly meetings will now be held at:
ST. AIDAN’S CHURCH HALL,
3703 St Aidan's Street, Victoria, BC
As usual, doors open at 7:00 pm and the meeting starts at 7:30 pm
on the 2nd Thursday of the month (except Jul and Aug)
Admission is free for VGS members, and by donation for visitors and the general public.
PLEASE JOIN US AT OUR NEW LOCATION.
Seminar Tickets Sold Out - Waiting List Only
Even though we're still six weeks away from the scheduled date (October 29) of our VGS Genealogy Seminar - "MAKING SENSE OF THE SCIENCE: DECIPHERING YOUR DNA RESULTS" - tickets are now sold out. Monica Sheridan, VGS VP and lead organizer of this highly anticipated event, has just informed us that we have reached capacity and must close registration immediately. She is, however, accepting names to put on a wait list. If interested, please contact Monica at email@example.com.
Tickets Going Fast for VGS Genealogy Seminar
Our annual seminar, "Making Sense of the Science: Deciphering Your DNA Results" is now less than two months away and registration is selling out quickly! We are over three quarters full now and the remaining tickets are going fast, so if you'd like to join us for a great day of DNA and learning, you'll want to buy your ticket soon! Registration information can be found at: http://www.victoriags.org/seminar.php.
Remember also that two lucky attendees who purchase their seminar ticket and have their DNA results by September 30th will be eligible to win a chance to have their DNA results analyzed at the seminar by speaker Barbara Johnson!
We have a variety of other great prizes and bonuses for those who attend this year - check them out in last month's seminar news update (below), or on our seminar page.
We look forward to seeing you on 29 October 2016 at our VGS Genealogy Seminar!
Update on VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar
We already have 50 participants registered for our upcoming VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar on October 29th. This is exciting considering we are still almost 3 months away from the seminar. The theme for this year is "Making Sense of the Science: Deciphering Your DNA Results" and we are thrilled to have three dynamic and knowledgeable speakers to help you understand how to uncover the exciting clues that could be hiding in your DNA test results: Barbara Johnson, Merna Forster and Tim Duncan.
Again this year we have a long list of wonderful sponsors, door prizes and early bird draw prizes. Here are just some of the exciting offers:
- Early Bird Draws: one free seminar ticket each for one new VGS member and one renewing member who join or renew VGS by August 31st
- Two seminar attendees who already have their DNA results AND register for the seminar by September 30th can choose to be placed in a draw to have their results analyzed during the seminar by speaker Barbara Johnson
- A 1-on-1 analysis of your DNA results with Barbara will be a given to one lucky door prize winner at the Seminar
- A closed Q&A by donation (proceeds to VGS) will be held at the Resource Centre the day after the seminar, with seminar presenter Tim Duncan. Tim, of the Clan Donnachaidh DNA Project, will answer your questions and help you with your DNA results. The event is closed to 20 Seminar attendees (selected by draw).
- Sponsors and door prizes: we have a long list of door prizes to give away again
this year that value almost $3000. Prizes include:
- 3 1year World Memberships from FindMyPast
- 4 Sunday Walking Tour passes from the Old Cemeteries Society
- 3 MyHeritage subscriptions
- 2 World Memberships from Ancestry
- 1 DNA kit from FamilyTreeDNA
- admissions tickets to Craigdarroch Castle
- a 1 year Genealogy Gems Premium Membership
- Other sponsors include the dna store, ScotlandsPeople, Market on Yates and more
For more information on this seminar please visit our VGS Seminar page at http://www.victoriags.org/seminar.php
WHEN: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:00 to 5:00 pm
WHERE: St Leopold Mandic Church, 4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC
SPEAKERS: Barbara Johnson, Merna Forster, Tim Duncan
SPECIAL OPENING SPEAKER: Wedlidi Speck
Register now for the Early Bird fee of $80 ($90 for non members). Lunch and 2 refreshment breaks are included; gluten free and vegetarian options available. Free parking.
Last year's DNA seminar was sold out so get your registration in early.
To register for the seminar, please visit our VGS Seminar page at http://www.victoriags.org/seminar.php
27 Aug 2016 - VGS Drop-in Summer Writing Group #2 Scheduled
Our first VGS writers’ group meeting, held on July 23, was a success with 10 attendees. Everyone came away with tips, ideas and inspiration — and a request to do it again.
So VGS will be holding a second writing group meeting on Saturday August 27 at 10 am at the Resource Centre. Everyone is welcome, whether you attended the first session or not. Get feedback on your latest project or ask specific questions on genealogy writing or writing in general. The drop-in fee is $5 per person.
Mark your calendars and join us on Saturday, Aug 27 from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.
Seeking Workshop Presenters and Ideas!
Do you have specialized knowledge in a genealogical or historical topic?
Do you enjoy sharing that knowledge with others?
And do you have enough material to lead a workshop for up to 2 hours?
If so, we need you! Many of our workshop presenters are away this fall and we need to fill some spaces so that we can keep presenting interesting and informative workshops to our members.
If you are interested in presenting a workshop for the Victoria Genealogical Society, please contact Monica Sheridan at firstname.lastname@example.org
Women in the Royal Canadian Navy (1910-1946) - Can you help?
Our friend Dave at the CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum here in Victoria is hard at work on a significant research project that focuses on Women in the Royal Canadian Navy (1910-1946). We would like to support this important initiative. He is looking for the following information. Can you help?
Do you have a female ancestor or relative who served in the Canadian Navy between 1910 and 1946?
The CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum in Victoria – not the Maritime Museum of BC - has a project to identify and record the names of all the women who once served in our Navy: nursing sisters, doctors, technicians, dieticians, Physios and members of the WRCNS (Wrens). This also includes those Canadian women who may have joined the WRNS during the First World War. On completion, it is their intention to publish the information in book form.
Currently, they have some 8,000 names in their data files but a lot of the info is incomplete: e.g. they hold the married names of 200 Wrens but have no relevant maiden names; for others, they lack many married names, service numbers, ranks and trades. [Photo: WWII Wrens (Womens Royal Canadian Navy Services) - National Archives PA-142460]
They wish to record the following information for each person:
1. Service number
2. Maiden name
3. Married name(s) where applicable
4. First name (s)
5. Nickname where applicable
6. Rank attained
7. For the Wren's, their Navy trade or occupation.
They are also looking for high definition images [300 dpi or better] of the women in naval uniform, plus copies of diaries, note books, letters, obituaries, and any naval documents like a station card, leave chit, draft order, etc.
If you can assist, please contact Dave directly at the address below or via Clare Sharpe at
Dave Freeman, LCdr RCN Ret’d.
Naval & Military Museum,
PO Box 17000 Stn Forces
Victoria, BC V9A 7N2
Registration Now Open - VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar - 29 Oct 2016
Last year’s DNA seminar inspired many of you to have your own and other family
members’ DNA tested. But we have heard overwhelmingly that understanding the
results is another matter altogether. Many of you find yourself scratching your
heads in bewilderment at the dizzying array of numbers, names and lists that you
received. Or you’ve been sent a long list of “cousin matches”, DNA Circles, or
Chromosome Display Tools, but have no idea what they mean or how to use them to
find actual family connections.
If your DNA results haven’t proven to be the treasure trove of information you were hoping for, then please join the Victoria Genealogical Society for a day of DNA discovery! Three dynamic and knowledgeable speakers will help you understand how to uncover the exciting clues that could be hiding in your test results.
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for this exciting genealogy seminar.
MAKING SENSE OF THE SCIENCE: DECIPHERING YOUR DNA
WHEN: Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:00 to 5:00 pm
(time is different from last year)
WHERE: St Leopold Mandic Church, 4081 Gordon Head Road, Victoria BC
(place is different from last year)
SPEAKERS: Barbara Johnson, Merna Forster, Tim Duncan
SPECIAL OPENING SPEAKER: Wedlidi Speck
Lunch and 2 refreshment breaks included. Gluten free and vegetarian options available.
For more information on this seminar, or to register, please visit our VGS Seminar page.
VGS Summer Writing Group - 23 Jul 2016
VGS is conducting a pilot project this summer for genealogy writers. We are hosting a drop-in writing group with a $5 per person fee. Hone your writing skills, solicit feedback from your peers or break through that writer’s block.
Bring your latest project or a list of writing questions and join us on Saturday, July 23 from 10 am until 12 noon at the Resource Centre.
Wishing You the Luck of the Irish in Your Family Research
The following graphic meme was displayed near the top of our home page
from March through June 2016 in celebration of St Patricks Day ...
VGS in the News - Promoting Family History Research
Recently two of our VGS volunteers were interviewed for a news segment about family history research on our local CTV station. Our thanks to Astrid, CTV journalist and our VGS volunteers Allison and Monica - great job! Your enthusiasm shines through.
The video clip of this segment can be viewed online at the CTV Vancouver Island News site.
VGS Supported 55+ Lifestyle Show on March 22
The newly renamed 55+ Lifestyle Show (formerly called the Senior's Expo) was held a Pearkes Arena here in Victoria BC this past Tuesday on March 22nd, and the Victoria Genealogical Society was there.
The show was hosted by the magazine "Inspired Senior Living" and boasted over 125 exhibitors. One of the many exhibitors was the VGS and our volunteers hosted an information booth that was kept busy at this well attended event.
Thanks to our VGS volunteers who manned our booth, and to all the members and public who dropped by to say hello.
This is the 5th event that the VGS has hosted an Information Booth at this season. Next up is the Victoria Highland Games in May. See you there.
It's always Family Day!
This past month we featured the following graphic at the top of our home page in honour of Family Day. Our goal was to encourage everyone to spend time with their families and to share their stories and love of family history and genealogy. This applies all year long!
Identifying Old Photos - Don't Miss Upcoming Workshop
Do you have any old photos that you need help identifying? Here's your opportunity!
VGS has scheduled a workshop on Photography and Photo Identification, to be presented by Gwen Spearman on May 14, 2016. Prior to the workshop, each person attending is asked tp submit one or two photographs for Gwen to analyze and interpret using her history detective magic. Using clues from the clothing styles, Gwen will estimate a time frame, and indicate what the style of clothing your ancestors wore can tell you about them. It's amazing what secrets can be unlocked from a single photograph!
The deadline to sign up and submit your photos is April 15th in order to give Gwen time to do her research. So it's not too early to register for this workshop. Enrollment has a limit of only 15. So please register early to avoid disappointment! Please contact our workshop coordinator at email@example.com.
Further information on our VGS workshops and registration can be found on our workshops page.
VGS Supports Heritage Day and Black History Month Events
On 13 Feb 2016 (this coming Saturday), the BC Black History Awareness Society will be hosting Professor Handel Wright, an author, Professor and Director of UBC Centre for Culture, Identity and Education. He will be speaking at their 2016 Heritage Day Event here in Victoria BC.
Topic: Did You Say “Black” British Columbia?
Location (new venue): Wingate Studio, Baumann Centre Building, 925 Balmoral Road (Quadra & Balmoral)
Time: Saturday, 13 Feb 2016. Doors open @ 1:30 PM. Admission by donation.
The Victoria Genealogical Society will have a booth at this event. Be sure to drop by and say hi!
Further details are available on their Heritage Day Poster.
VGS Workshop Lineup Includes "Writing Your Memoir: How to Get Started"
Our VGS Vice President and Workshop Coordinator Monica Sheridan has been doing an awesome job of putting together a mix of amazing new and previously offered genealogy-related workshops this year. Many are presented by knowledgeable VGS Members, while some presenters are recruited from the community. These workshops are always fun as well as informative.
Details of upcoming workshops can always be found on our VGS events page, and are also summarized on our home page in the right hand column under "VGS Genealogy Workshops". There's something for everyone, whether you're a VGS member or not.
Have you always wanted to write your memoirs or family story, but didn't know how to get started? Last November we held a workshop called "Self Publishing a Memoir" by Darin Steinkey. As there is still much to learn on this interesting topic, Darin has agreed to come back on 13 February 2016 to talk more about the planning and writing stages. As he describes it:
All writing abilities and levels welcome.
Whether you have something you'd like critiqued, or haven't written a word yet
and just want to learn the ropes, this workshop is for you.
Join us on Saturday 13 Feb 2016, 10am, VGS Resource Centre, Victoria BC
Those wanting to attend this workshop should contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org
VGS England SIG Meetings Moved to Thursday Morning
Special Interests Groups (SIG) are one of the free benefits offered to our members. If you have ancestors in England and want to network and trade research ideas and tips with others who are doing the same, why not join the monthly VGS England SIG at its NEW TIME?
VGS ENGLAND SIG ~ 4th Thursday of the month ~ 10 am - 12 noon
VGS Resource Centre, 947 Alston St, Victoria BC
Please join us at our next meeting on January 28, 2016.
Information on all our SIGs is provided on our VGS SIGs page.
VGS Seminar Feedback - We're Glad You Liked It!
Our annual seminar was nearly a month ago now, and the positive reviews keep rolling in. We wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who sent us feedback, and thought we'd share some of it with our membership. Enjoy!
Workshop Schedule Change
This November we are offering some excellent new Saturday morning workshops, suitable for beginners and advanced researchers alike.
We want to make you aware of a schedule change that affects our November 21 and 28 workshops. The order has now been switched so that "Geneaogy on the Cheap" will now be held on Saturday, November 21, 2015, and "Self Publishing a Memoir" will happen on November 28.
We still have room in both workshops, so be sure to sign up today. Don't miss out! Visit our VGS workshops page for further details.
Join our School Library Challenge - VGS Veterans Cemetery Book
The Veterans Cemetery in Esquimalt has been an honoured final resting place for those that have served in Canada’s military since 1868 and was designated as a National Historical Site by the Government of Canada in 2006.
Volunteers from the Victoria Genealogical Society, led by Editor Harvey Buckmaster, have published the book Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt which contains the complete inscription for each of the 2,888 burial maker records and more.
“Magnificently transcribed” is how book reviewer Bobbi King describes the Victoria Genealogical Society’s latest publication, “a distinctive memorial to the interred”.
Several local community historical and heritage based organizations donated the funding required for the initial print run of the book and now the general public are invited to play a role in honouring our veterans and their families.
It’s easy! Just join our School Library Challenge!
The goal is to provide a copy of the publication, Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt to every school library in the Capital Regional District, so it will be available to students conducting history research or Remembrance projects. You can support the campaign to make this happen simply by purchasing a copy of the book and designating it towards the Library Challenge. The volunteers of the Victoria Genealogical Society are administering the program and will deliver YOUR book to a local school library and donate it there in YOUR name or your loved one’s name.
You can support our Library Challenge by purchasing the book online on our
VGS Publications page. Be sure to select the
"Library Challenge gift" option from the drop-down menu before adding this book
to your cart. Thank you for your support!
Chapters and VGS team up for FUNdraiser - Nov 19
Mark your calendars! You're invited to a Fundraiser for the Victoria Genealogical Society that will be held on November 19th, between 6:30pm and closing at 9pm at Chapters, 1212 Douglas Street, Victoria.
Come out and do your shopping while supporting the Victoria Genealogical Society.
With every purchase of regularly priced, in-store items at Chapters on this special evening, 10% of the purchase will be donated back to the Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS).
Choose from a wide selection of books, gifts, toys, magazines and much more. Whether you are shopping for birthday presents, Christmas gifts, or yourself, your purchase will provide important funding for our non profit's programs and services.
YOU MUST REGISTER: When you arrive at the Chapters store you MUST register at the Victoria Genealogical Society registration desk which will be located directly inside the main doors of Chapters. The VGS volunteer at the registration desk will provide you with a sticker and code that you are to give to the cashier when they ring in your purchases thereby ensuring your purchases go towards our Victoria Genealogical Society fundraiser. Although not required its suggested that you print off the invitation and show it at the registration desk. Click to print the invitation. THERE ARE NO FEES TO REGISTER.
PRIZES: There are prizes for the people that bring the most friends! The first prize is a gift basket donated by Chapters! You don't have to arrive with your friends to qualify - just have them tell the VGS volunteer at the registration desk that you invited them so we can track who brought the most friends. Optionally you can ensure your invitees are recorded under your name by emailing us your list of invitees...send your email to Merv at Projects@victoriags.org no later than November 18th (note that names, email addresses, etc. will not be given to Chapters).
AND MUCH MORE!
Please mark November 19th on your calendar. Invite lots of friends, colleagues and neighbours. Print off the Chapters FUNdraising invitation and give copies to your friends. Email news of our FUNdraiser broadly, simply by sending them the link to our VGS website: www.victoriags.org.
An R.S.V.P. is not required but would be appreciated so we can share the number of likely attendees with the store. The store can then decide if they need to have more staff working that night. You can R.S.V.P. your name(s) to Merv at Projects@Victoriags.org. Your name, email address, etc. will not be given to Chapters, just the numbers attending.
YOUR SUPPORT IS CRITICAL: Thanks for supporting our non profit Society and our volunteers who provide our many programs and services. Your support provides critically needed funding.
If you have any questions, please email Merv at Projects@Victoriags.org.
VGS Seminar a Success
A sell-out crowd attended our VGS Genealogy Seminar on 24 Oct 2015 in Victoria BC titled "Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age". Judging by the comments we've received, the seminar proved to be informative, enjoyable, engaging and just plain fun. It was a resounding success!
Grateful thanks to our donors and to all who participated and volunteered.
The seminar couldn't have happened without you!
More Donations Announced For VGS Annual Seminar
More door prizes and seminar give-a-ways have been received during this lead up to our October 24th Annual Genealogy Seminar. The Royal BC Museum has donated 2 adult museum passes as well as a book titled Feeding the Family: 100 Years of Food & Drink in Victoria by Nancy Oke, and an Emily Carr Studio Billie's Calendar. Hillside Centre has donated a gift card, and ScotlandsPeople have donated search credit vouchers.
Our thanks to these and our other sponsors. For a complete list of our donors and door prizes visit our donors page.
VGS Seminar Registration NOW CLOSED - WAIT LIST STARTED
Due to the popularity of our upcoming VGS Genealogy Seminar, we are now filled to capacity. Effective immediately, the Seminar registration is NOW CLOSED.
If you missed out and still want to attend, please send in your names via email to email@example.com (with no registration fee) and we will add your name to our WAITING LIST.
If there is enough interest we will plan to hold this seminar again. Thanks to everyone for their support.
VGS October Seminar Speaker Review #3 ~ STUART RENNIE
To help us understand the legal aspects surrounding DNA use in research, the final speaker featured at our upcoming VGS Genealogy Seminar is Stuart Rennie, a lawyer in private practice and a records management consultant. Born in Calgary, Alberta, Stuart was called to the British Columbia Bar, and also serves as the Legislation and Law Reform Officer for the Canadian Bar Association (British Columbia Branch).
In addition to his law degree from the Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia, Stuart has a Master’s degree in Library and Information Studies from UBC. He will be using all of this expert knowledge to speak to us about legal implications.
Stuart is co-author, with Sandie Bradley, CRM, FAI, of the Records Management Manual for the Local Government Management Association of British Columbia. Stuart is also a member of ARMA International. In 2015, he was awarded the ARMA Canada Region Member of the Year Award and the Distinguished Member Award.
Stuart is an adjunct professor at UBC where he teaches Competitive Intelligence and Archives, Records and the Law. In his personal life, he holds a Yon Dan (4th degree) black belt in traditional Okinawan Meibukan Goju-Ryu Karate Do and has traveled to Japan several times to train. He is also a frequently invited speaker at workshops and conferences across Canada.
Ask Granny Visits Parkwood Place
Volunteers from the Victoria Genealogical Society were at Parkwood Place on Shelbourne Street in Victoria BC on September 17th where they presented the first 'Ask Granny' Seminar of the fall season.
'Ask Granny' is a hands-on workshop where participants are shown how to use ancestor charts and family group records. During the seminar participants are provided a folder/booklet of information into which they also add their newly made charts. The folder is labeled “A Genealogical Gift To My Children” and participants are encouraged to store it with their important records.
Thanks to generous donors from within the Victoria Genealogical Society all the materials are provided free to seniors. Organizations wanting the Victoria Genealogical Society to present “Ask Granny!” to their seniors can email Projects@Victoriags.org or call 250-360-2808.
Door Prizes and Sponsors for the VGS Annual Seminar Announced!
Preparations for the October 24th Annual Genealogy Seminar hosted by the Victoria Genealogical Society continue to progress nicely. Moving the seminar to a larger facility this year has already proven to be a good decision as registrations have already surpassed attendance numbers of previous Annual Seminars.
"It is looking very likely that we will have a sell-out" reported Monica Sheridan, VGS Vice President and Lead of this year's Seminar Committee. "I hope that people register quickly so they wont' be disappointed".
The list of this year's sponsors and door prizes was announced at the September 10th Speaker Series event hosted by the Victoria Genealogical Society. The list is a wonderful mixture of local businesses and international genealogical companies.
Seminar registrants will be entered into draws for the following FREE door prizes:
- a 12 month World Deluxe Membership to Ancestry
- 1 Ancestry DNA kit
- 2 one-year World Subscriptions to Find My Past
- 2 one-year Gold Subscriptions to Mocavo
- 1 year Genealgy Gems Premium Membership donated by Lisa Louise Cooke
- 2 Belfry Theatre's passes to the production of "The Valley", Feb 2016
- 4 Old Cemeteries Society Sunday Walking Tour tickets
- a copy of the book 100 More Canadian Heroines signed and donated by the author Merna Forster
- a copy of the book Tilly signed by the author Monique Gray Smith and donated by Merna Forster
- 2 packets of limited edition art cards by the artist Barbara Paterson titled "Our Emily" donated by Merna Forster
- 4 entrance passes to Craigdarroch Castle
We are also grateful to the support provided by these local sponsors:
- Save On Foods
- Market on Yates
For a complete list of seminar donors and contributions, please visit our donors page.
VGS October Seminar Speaker Review #2 ~ WEDLIDI SPECK
As the date of our annual VGS Genealogy Seminar draws closer - 24 October 2015 - we'd like to highlight another of our excellent speakers for you. The title of our seminar is "Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age". Wedlidi Speck will add a most interesting cultural spin to this topic through his gift of story telling.
We are very honoured to have Wedlidi Speck speaking at our annual seminar. Wedlidi is a member of the Namgis First Nation of Alert Bay. The Namgis are part of the Kwakwaka’wakw cultural group located on the northern end of Vancouver Island. Culturally, Wedlidi traces his roots to the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Nuuchanulth, the Island Comox, and to the British Isles. He is proud of his history and possesses a keen interest in genealogy, indigenous mythology, and a growing interest in DNA genealogy. Wedlidi is a hereditary head chief of his family clan, and a gifted spiritual leader and storyteller.
Wedlidi will use these storytelling gifts to speak to us about the journey that he has embarked on with his own DNA testing. As an individual who has grown up in a culture that values knowing your roots, Wedlidi grew up knowing his ancestry. However, the DNA results told a somewhat different story and he will speak about the divergence that can occur between what we think we know about our heritage and what DNA may bring to the table.
Wedlidi is currently the Director of Aboriginal Organizational Development with the Ministry of Children and Family Development. As part of the Learning & Development Team, Wedlidi strategically informs work on indigenous cultural competency and cultural safety.
The Comox Valley is home, where he has lived for 27 years. He is married with three adult children and one teen, three grandchildren and a cat named, ‘Rosy.’
The Power of Photographs in Genealogy Research
|Monica's birth grandmother Ethel Jane Anderson|
A touching story was published in the August 21 edition of "Victoria News" (page 3) that clearly showed the power of photographs when combined with genealogy research.
VGS member and tireless volunteer Monica Sheridan, was featured in the story by journalist Kendra Wong titled "Finding Roots: Genealogy Society Traces Family Tree". It's a story about the power that an old photograph had over Monica, prompting her genealogical quest.
For VGS members the story was an abbreviation of that told by Monica at a Speaker Series event hosted by the VGS last year. The story was also published in full detail in the 2014 Winter edition of the VGS Journal. It was nice to see this touching story shared to an even wider audience and in a way that promoted genealogy research.
Here's the link to the Victoria News e-edition that was made available today. Please "click to read", then scroll to page A3 to read the full article.
Our thanks to Kendra who also included a notice to readers about our October 24th VGS Annual Seminar. Tickets are selling well for the event and volunteers have recruited a long list of exciting sponsors. Ancestry, AncestryDNA, FindMyPast, Mocavo, ScotalndsPeople and Lisa Louise Cooke (Genealogy Gems) are just the sponsors from the genealogy community. From our local community the sponsors so far include The Belfry Theatre, Save On Foods, the Market on Yates, Old Cemeteries Society, Staples, and local author Merna Forster.
Read more about our VGS Annual Genealogy Seminar, a key fundraiser for the Society this year, and register now to take advantage of the Early Bird rates.
VGS Visited Craigflower Manor and School House
The old Craigflower Manor and Schoolhouse were once again filled with people on July 25th when a large contingent of Victoria Genealogical Society members and guests toured through the buildings. The day began with a tour of the Manor House that was led by guides Jim Maxwell and Randy Stewart of the Victoria Highland Games Association (VHGA). After the group toured the Manor House they were provided a presentation at the Craigflower Manor Forge by John Archer, Blacksmith.
From the Forge the group made their way over to the Craigflower
Schoolhouse where Helen Edwards of the
Hallmark Heritage Society provided a tour
It was a jam packed morning with lots of smiles all around as Jim and Randy told us tales about gunfire and ghosts, John challenged us to balance 9 nails on the head of one nail, and Helen just challenged us to walk in her special room without experiencing vertigo. Topping off the morning was the picnic that followed on the banks of the Gorge waterway. All in all a great day. What a beautiful place we live in.
VGS October Seminar Speaker Review - BARBARA GORHAM JOHNSON
As many of you know by now, registration for our VGS annual seminar, “Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age”, is now open. In fact, I’m happy to say that many of you have already signed up! If you’re planning on joining us, be sure to take advantage of the early bird discount, available until September 26 and get your tickets while they last! This exciting genealogy seminar is scheduled for 24 October 2015. Don't miss it!
In preparation for this event, each week for the next three weeks we’ll be featuring a more detailed biography of each of the three seminar speakers.
Barbara Gorham Johnson comes to us from Washington State. Barbara brings a broad experience of science and teaching, and an enthusiasm for genealogy and how DNA can benefit research. She has been conducting her own family research for the last 20 years, as well as teaching many programs to local genealogical societies on a wide variety of subjects. Barbara has a degree in Microbiology, and has conducted research at the University of Washington.
In addition to being a member of her local Skagit Valley Genealogical Society, Barbara has also been a Park Ranger and has taught science for the Pacific Science Center, traveling throughout Washington State to bring science to elementary and secondary schools. All of these experiences mean that she is highly skilled at presenting a complex topic such as DNA in a way that is engaging and easy to understand.
Barbara will be presenting the following three of the five sessions on October 24, 2015:
- What is DNA?: The (Simple) Science
- What You Need to Know Before You Take a DNA Test
- Test Results: What They Tell You
We will also have Question & Answer periods after each session, to allow you to ask Barbara questions that you may have still have after her presentations.
Barbara recently retired as a Park Ranger with the North Cascades National Park. In her retirement, she enjoys bird watching, hiking and, of course, working on her family tree. She and her husband live in Sedro Woolley, Washington not far from the Canadian border, where they serve as “staff” to their two beagles. We very much look forward to welcoming Barbara to our seminar on October 24, 2015!
Interested in hearing Barbara speak in person about DNA and genealogy? Please click this link for more information on registering for our VGS seminar.
Special Tour of CRAIGFLOWER MANOR With SCHOOLHOUSE Picnic
TOUR NOW FULL - TAKING NAMES FOR WAITLIST ONLY
Register today for this special Tour of Craigflower Manor with Schoolhouse Picnic:
Date: July 25th, 2015
Time: 10:00am – 12:00pm approximately
Cost: $10 VGS Members $15 Non members
(all revenues to be split 50/50 between VGS and VHGA)
TOUR: Jim Maxwell, President of the Victoria Highland Games Association (VHGA), is offering VGS members this opportunity for a guided tour of the historic Craigflower Manor and lands including a blacksmith demonstration.
As the new managers of the manor and property the VHGA shared their exciting new plans at our June AGM. If you missed the AGM you will want to ask Jim about their planned Scottish/Gaelic cultural centre.
The Manor itself is designated a National Historic site of Canada. It is a two storied Georgian-style house that was built from 1853-56 and situated on a busy 900 acre working farm. Originally built for the Scottish immigrant family of Kenneth McKenzie it seems quite fitting that the property is now in the hands of the VHGA.
PICNIC: Tour attendees are invited to bring along their own picnic lunch because after the tour of the Craigflower Manor our tour group have been invited to picnic at the nearby Craigflower Schoolhouse (shown on the left) which the new residents, the Heritage Hallmark Society, is kindly opening for us see as well.
There are BC Transit bus stops nearby for routes #14 and #25. There is also parking onsite at the Craigflower Manor and on the new Craigflower bridge in front of the Schoolhouse.
This guided tour is limited to 15 people so register early to avoid
Register by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tour fees will be collected at the beginning of the tour by Merv Scott.
VGS MEMBERSHIP DRIVE *** CONTEST *** ENDS JUNE 30, 205
Your membership funding is critical. July 1st is the start of a new VGS Membership Year and we hope you choose to join or re-join as your membership is more important than ever.
This year we are offering an incentive to join or renew your VGS membership: all memberships paid BEFORE JULY 1, 2015 will be entered into a draw for one of two free registrations to our October Annual Seminar (one for existing members and the other for new members).
Our volunteers work to provide you with several channels to pay your
- Drop off a cheque/cash/money order to our Resource Centre at 947 Alston Street (phone 250-360-2808 or visit www.victoriags.org/library.php for open hours);
- Pay online at http://www.victoriags.org/membership.php
Thank you for your support.
VGS 2015 SEMINAR REGISTRATION NOW OPEN - Early Bird Discounts!
The Victoria Genealogical Society is proud to report that our 2015 Seminar Program is now finalized!
We have an impressive lineup of speakers to address this year's theme, "Creating Connections Through DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age". The program includes sessions on DNA basics and what it brings to genealogy, the pros and cons of the major companies currently offering testing, what your DNA results actually mean, and the legal implications of DNA testing and results in genealogical research. We also have a session led by a hereditary chief of the Namgis First Nation who will be explaining how his traditional heritage systems met DNA testing and changed his world.
Whether you're already using DNA testing in your research, or still wondering what all the fuss is about, this seminar is for you. This is a great opportunity to hear the experts, ask your questions and decide which test is best for you. And best of all, this is a great way to have fun meeting other genealogy researchers, enjoying a lovely catered lunch, and immersing yourself in your favorite hobby: genealogy!
Register today! Our VGS Seminar will be held on October 24, 2015. Register soon for an early bird discount. Further details as well as the seminar registration form can be found on our VGS Seminar page.
Please help us spread the news about this exciting seminar. We are a non profit society that relies on funds raised by services like this seminar. There are lots of ways you can help us to promote this event:
- Tell your friends.
- Email a link to our VGS Seminar page to anyone or any organization you think may be interested.
- Download and print our VGS Seminar poster and display on bulletin boards at your workplace, library, recreation center, coffee shop, etc.
We thank you for helping us spread the word any way you can!
VGS SILENT AUCTION Ongoing to 11 June 2015
Visit our 2015 VGS Silent Auction page to learn about the goodies we currently have up for bid - think wine and chocolate and more! You can now place your bids at our VGS Members Night on 14 May 2015, or at the VGS Resource Centre when attending a workshop or doing research.
Bidding will be finalized at our AGM on 11 June 2015. Thank you for your support.
VGS SEMINAR ANNOUNCED - Mark Your Calendar for 24 Oct 2015
"CREATING CONNECTIONS THROUGH DNA: Genetic Genealogy in the Digital Age", a daylong seminar will be held on Saturday, October 24th, 2015.
The location (St. Aidan’s Church Hall) has been booked, three guest speakers have been confirmed, and the caterer has been reserved. Watch this website for additional details.
Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program - Starting AgainGood news! Thrifty Foods has accepted our fundraising application for their Smile Card Program again this year. With your help we are hoping to raise the full amount of $2500 in support of our VGS library.
Members and non-members are invited reactive their existing Thrifty Smile Card (previously obtained from VGS), or pick up a new Card from us. Smile Cards are available at the Resource Center and are free for members and non-members. Please do not ask for a Smile Card at a Thrifty Foods store as those cards will not be linked to VGS.
Thrifty Foods Smile Cards work like most other gift cards you may have seen, but when you ‘load’ money into your Smile Card, Thrifty’s makes a donation to our VGS Fund Raising drive for new books and subscriptions for our Library. Thrifty’s donation is equivalent to 5% of what you’ve ‘loaded’ or paid into your Smile Card….which clears up the misconception that your card is only loaded with 95% of what you paid and the other 5% was sent to VGS. False. Thrifty’s pays the 5% from their revenues, and you spend 100% of what you've loaded on your groceries..
Even if you only shop at Thrifty’s occasionally you will be helping our Library.
Our Smile Card holders can pay by cash or credit card when they ‘load’ their Smile Card at the Customer Service counter or a cashier in any Thrifty’s store they shop. Remember to load your Smile Card before your groceries are rung in.
Members in the Thrifty’s loyalty program still collect points when they use the Smile Card to make a grocery purchase and the balance remaining on your Smile Card shows on the receipt. Smile Cards can be re-loaded so don’t throw them away!
If you have any questions about the Smile Card program, please contact Merv Scott at Projects@VictoriaGS.org - NOT Thrifty’s. Merv has a contact at Thrifty’s to sort out our questions.
Ready, set, go! Reload those Thrifty Smile cards before you ring in your groceries, and support your VGS library with every fill up. Thank you!
HIGHLAND GAMES May 16 to 18: Call For Volunteers
The Victoria Genealogical Society will be at the Victoria Highland Games on May 16-18, 2015, and we need volunteers to help at the VGS information booth there. If you can help or have questions about what is required please contact Pat Rosson email@example.com
If you aren't a member, or are unable to help, do drop in to the VGS booth at the Highland Games and say hi to our volunteers and thank them for the work they do in promoting the Society.
Enjoy your Victoria Day long weekend.
VGS Reaches Fundraising Goal for Smile Cards!
We are excited to report that our Library Acquisitions Fundraising Program has been a resounding success again this year and our Goal has again been reached! Congratulations to all our members and friends who participated by taking and using one of our Thrifty Foods Smile Cards. With over 100 Smile Cards being used by our members and friends we reached our goal limit of $2500 set by Thrifty Foods. That funding is sorely needed to continue providing Library resources like the popular library edition of Ancestry.
If you have balances remaining on your Thrifty Smile Cards they still work so use up them up.
More good news - Thrifty Foods has invited us to reapply for funding from their next fiscal year’s Smile Card Program, which begins May, 2015 - so don’t throw away your Smile Cards as we may be able to access this fund again. Watch for further news on this website.
If you are afraid you may lose your Smile Card in the meantime you can always return them to our friendly volunteers at the VGS Resource Center.
PLEASE DON'T RETURN YOUR SMILE CARDS TO THRIFTY FOODS.
If you have any other questions about the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Program, please email Merv Scott at Projects@victoriags.org
VGS Supports BC Black History & Heritage Day Event
The BC Black History Awareness Society enjoyed a large crowd to their February 15th BC Black History & Heritage Day at the James Bay New Horizons Center. There were some 70 people on hand to take in the event, mingle through the various display booths (including the VGS booth) and hear a wonderfully informative presentation by John Lutz, Associate Professor of History at UVic.
Mr. Lutz's presentation was about artist Grafton Tyler Brown, the first documented professional graphic artist on the west coast in the early 1880's.
Half Price Memberships for New VGS Members
If you've been thinking of joining VGS to gain all the benefits of membership in our wonderful genealogy society, now is the time to act! For a limited time (Feb 1 to Apr 30), regular and family memberships are being offered at half price. Regular (adult and senior) members will only pay $25 instead of the usual $50. Family memberships will only cost $37.50 instead of the usual $75. Memberships run until June 30, giving you plenty of time to try us out and reap the benefits.
Check out our VGS membership page to learn all about the benefits of joining, and how easy it is to sign up, Benefits include free access to our Resource Centre and our monthly Speaker Series events. And the networking opportunities with other talented researchers are phenomenal! We also offer online options for joining and paying your membership fees from the comfort of your home.
Spread the word about this wonderful opportunity. We hope you, your friends and family will give us a try.
Book Review of VGS Publication on Eastman Blog
Last November the VGS released its new book "The Veterans Cemetery. Esquimalt, British Columbia. God's Acre", compiled by Harvey A Buckmaster. A book review by Bobbi King was posted on Dick Eastman's blog on 26 Jan 2015.
The review is complimentary, as quoted in part:
"The Veteran’s Cemetery, known as God’s Acre, has been magnificently transcribed and re-published by the Victoria Genealogical Society, following a previously published volume in 2000."
"The index includes over 2600 names. Such meticulous and painstaking indexing is demanding work, but yields an enlightening and immensely useful cemetery book. The work of the organization is to be commended for such a carefully constructed cemetery book, a distinctive memorial to the interred."
For more information on this Veterans Cemetery book, or to purchase a copy online, please visit our VGS Publications page.
Happy New Year! Join in the fun!
We hope that you took time over the holidays to spend with family and friends, and to relax and regroup. Perhaps you even had time to make some new discoveries in your genealogy. If so, we want to hear about them. You can do this in any number of ways. You can write a short article for our VGS Journal and send it to our Journal Editor, or you can add a post or comment to our VGS Facebook Group or VGS Facebook Page (free Facebook membership required). You can announce it at our monthly VGS Speaker Series gatherings, or talk to other researchers about it when you visit our VGS Resource Centre. And if you have your own blog or website, you can share your new and old discoveries there as well.
We too have regrouped and have now scheduled more meetings and workshops for you to enjoy. We hope you'll join us tomorrow night at our monthly "Speaker Series" meeting where a whole panel of presenters from VicPD, UVic and VGS will discuss the Victoria Police Department's early charge books and our ongoing project to index their recently scanned images.
We also have 3 workshops scheduled for January. If you want to learn more about creating a blog, researching Scotland on the Internet, or writing your ancestors' biographies, then you'll want to sign up for one or more of these workshops.
We wish you all a very happy and productive 2015!
VICTORIA GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
~ WE COVER THE WORLD ~
The Victoria Genealogical
Society (VGS), located in Victoria BC Canada,
was established in 1978 as a non-profit, volunteer-run society.
VGS's first aim is to further the study of genealogy -
the exciting search for one's ancestors and family history.
Our VGS Resource Centre contains a large Canadian collection,
plus resources from other parts of the world
to help you with your genealogy research.
Are you interested in researching your heritage and family tree?
Are you looking for others who share your enthusiasm for genealogy?
Are you looking for resources and help with your genealogy research?
We can help! Learn more about us. We hope you'll join us!