Victoria Genealogical Society
GENEALOGICAL EVENTS

VGS events are open to the general public as well as VGS members.
Please join us to learn more about genealogy and the pursuit of family history research.

 

VGS Workshops & Webinars

***   NEW: VGS WEBINARS   ***

VGS Webinars are a new offering brought to you by your Executive and Family Tree University. The VGS has purchased a number of these webinars on topics in which our members have shown a strong interest, but for which we’ve historically had trouble finding workshop presenters.

Because they are usually only 60 minutes in length, they cost less than a full workshop. However, we do invite members to stay after the presentation to discuss what they’ve learned and network with other members.

These webinars are now included in the following workshop schedule.  Keep an eye out for the green highlighting!

 IMPORTANT: pre-registration is still required for webinars
Webinar cost: $5 for members, $10 for non-members

 

Come to a VGS workshop or webinar, learn, meet and/or make friends and take home tangible results.  Bring a friend to share in the fun!  Workshops are two hours long - a great value!  Webinars usually run about 1 hour, but are often followed by a discussion period for those attending.  Both are open to both VGS members and non-members.  Pre-registration is required for all events as space is limited.

If you have ideas for new workshops or webinar, or want to request a repeat of past workshops, please contact our VGS Workshop Planning coordinator at workshopplanning@victoriags.org.

WORKSHOP & WEBINAR FEES

  • Regular workshops (5 to 15 people maximum): fees are $15 for members and $25 for non-members
  • Webinars (15 people maximum): fees are $5 for members and $10 for non-members
  • All monies received from workshop and webinar fees go directly to the VGS. Workshop speakers and our Learning Centre volunteers provide their time and expertise to these events in aid of VGS fundraising efforts.  Thank you for your support.

 

REGISTRATION and LOCATION

Advanced registration for VGS Workshops and Webinars is required.  Please register early to avoid disappointment as seating is limited.  Contact us at workshop@victoriags.org, or sign up at our Learning Centre.

Please let us know if you are NOT able to attend the workshop or webinar as we often have a waiting list.

 

All VGS genealogy workshops and webinars are held at
THE GENEALOGY LEARNING & RESEARCH CENTRE
209 - 4475 Viewmont Avenue
Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre, Victoria BC  Canada

10 am to 12 noon (unless otherwise specified).
Please arrive no later than 9:45 am.

For further information and directions, visit our Learning Centre page.

 

WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS - IMPORTANT NOTICE

When attending a workshop or webinar, please arrive before 9:45 am in order to sign in, get your cup of tea or coffee (by donation) and be seated so we can start promptly at 10 am. Late arrivals are a disruption to those who have arrived on time and expect to start on time.

Due to the large demand and attendance, we are asking attendees to PLEASE email workshop@victoriags.org or phone (250)360-2808 when you are unable to make the workshop. Many of our workshops have a waiting list so your spot will soon be filled, but only if we know about your cancellation. No shows are lost revenue to the VGS.

Thank you for your consideration and attention to these items.

 


UPCOMING VGS WORKSHOPS & WEBINARS

IMPORTANT: When signing up for these events by email, please use workshop@victoriags.org.
If you do not receive a confirmation email within 48 hours, please email again.
Registrations are always confirmed.

 

CHRISTMAS BREAK - NO WORKSHOPS

We wish you and your family a wonderful holiday

 

6 JANUARY 2018 - THIS ISN'T YOUR MOTHER'S GENEALOGY - PUT TWITTER TO WORK FOR YOU

PRESENTER: Merv Scott

This is a repeat offering of this very popular and extremely informative workshop, for those of you who missed it or 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.

 

13 JANUARY 2018 - 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.

 

20 JANUARY 2018 - DNA TESTING TOOLS TO ANALYZE RESULTS

***    VGS WEBINAR    ***

There's more to your DNA genealogy results than just a list of nationalities! IN THIS WEBINAR, you will learn more about your ancestry with the best analysis tools for DNA results.

Presenter: Shannon Combs-Bennett
Duration: 1 hour, including a recorded Q&A


Learn the best tools to analyze your DNA results and learn all you can about your family history - straight from your own genetic code! While it's fun to see the regions and countries your DNA likely come from, there's a lot more to be learned from your results than just what nationalities you can claim, and it starts with a detailed analysis!
In this hour-long presentation, Shannon Combs-Bennett will show you the best analysis tools for tracing your heritage through your DNA results. With essential tips for making the best use of the DNA testing kit you used and their results tell you, to third-party tools and even a few organizational tools, you'll get tips and techniques for extracting important data and achieve great results.

You should take this webinar if:

  • You want to know what you can learn from genetic testing
  • You've taken a test and you just know that there's more information in your results than meets the eye
  • You've had other family members take tests and you want to compare results

What You'll Learn

This "Genetic Testing: Tools to Analyze DNA Results" webinar features:

  • A comprehensive set of tools that will enable you to learn more from your DNA
  • What you can expect to learn from your DNA test -- there's a lot more to it than you think!
  • Useful tips for making the most of the company's test results and tools
  • Techniques for applying third party analysis tools to your results

About the Presenter: Shannon Combs-Bennett

Shannon Combs-Bennett is an acclaimed genealogy blogger and former blogger for Family Tree University. She is a contributor to Family Tree Magazine, Family Tree University, and is a resident of Virginia, where she participates in many genealogy-related organization and activities.

 

27 JANUARY 2018 - UNITED STATES GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Pat Rosson

If you are having difficulties finding records for your American ancestors, come and join us as we explore the many and varied locations to search for American records. We will cover immigration, federal and state/territorial census, birth, marriage and death, land records and military connections. There are also church records, fraternal organizations and school records available where your ancestors may have left their footprints.

 

3 FEBRUARY 2018 - ANCESTRY.COM SEARCH STRATEGIES

PRESENTER: Gerry Poulton  - OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

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 more!

 

10 FEBRUARY 2018 - NO WORKSHOP - FAMILY DAY

There will be NO workshop on this holiday weekend.

17 FEBRUARY 2018 - CSI: GENEALOGY    ** NEW **

PRESENTER: Melanie Arscott

It’s said that two heads are better than one, so we have designed this workshop to be a hands-on learning event. Tap in to your inner Sherlock Holmes or Nancy Drew and join us as we explore some family history artifacts to see what they can tell us about our ancestors.

No, we won’t be doing any Crime Scene Investigations. Instead, we will use “Crowd Sourced Intelligence” to help us solve the mystery of an object.

The focus of our investigation will be a family bible which was formerly in the possession of a local archives, and was later donated to the VGS. More than just names on the pages, we will discover how to “read” the bible and gain clues to help build a picture of the family. We will use resources in the VGS library collection, as well as online websites including the BC Archives, FamilySearch, Ancestry and Find My Past.

We will also look at a letter sent from a WWI soldier who was wounded at Passchendaele, and will read between the lines to see what we can glean from his story.

Participants are welcome to bring along an artifact of their own, for group discussion, time permitting.

 

24 FEBRUARY 2018 - PHOTO EDITING AND RETOUCHING FOR GENEALOGISTS

***    VGS WEBINAR    ***

From scanning and uploading these pictures to your computer, to fixing damaged areas and reprinting, this hour-long webinar from genealogy technology expert Nancy Hendrickson will revive and reinvigorate your family photo collection.

Presenter: Nancy Hendrickson
Duration: 1 hour, including a recorded Q&A

Digital photography tools are essential for genealogists--not only for capturing family memories now, but also for preserving, retouching and editing historical photos. From scanning and uploading these pictures to your computer, to fixing damaged areas and reprinting, this hour-long webinar from genealogy technology expert Nancy Hendrickson will revive and reinvigorate your family photo collection.

You should take this webinar if:

  • You want to refurbish your old family photos
  • You want to know what free software is available for photo editing
  • You want tips for scanning, retouching and filing digital photos

What you’ll learn:

  • What applications, programs and free online software exist for editing and retouching photos (and how to use them)
  • How to edit photos on mobile devices
  • How to efficiently and effectively scan photos and documents
  • How to organize photos on your computer
  • What methods exist for reprinting photos once they've been edited or retouched
  • What different types of historical photos exist and how to handle them (daguerreotype, tintype, etc.)

About the Presenter:

Nancy Hendrickson, author of fourteen non-fiction books, and over 300 magazine and newsletter articles, is a Contributing Editor for Family Tree Magazine, and workshop instructor at Family Tree University. She is an expert in using the Internet for genealogy research and specializes in connecting family lore with family fact.

 

3 MARCH 2018 - TOUR OF BC ARCHIVES

PRESENTER: Genevieve Weber

Details TBD

 

10 MARCH 2018 - NO WORKSHOP - LDS FAMILY HISTORY CONFERENCE

 

Our friends at the Victoria LDS Stake Centre on Mann Avenue are once again holding their
Victoria Family History Conference - Celebrating Families Across Generations, on March 10, 2018.
Their registration opens 1 Feb 2018 - www.victoriafhc.org

[Tim Duncan's DNA workshop has been rescheduled for 14 Apr 2018]

 

17 MARCH 2018 - GENEALOGY IN THE CANADIAN PRAIRIE PROVINCES

PRESENTER: Pat Rosson

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 contributions are some genealogical societies making through indexing projects

 

24 MARCH 2018 - IRELAND BY INTERNET

PRESENTER: Barb Doell

In honour of St. Patrick’s Day last week, 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!

 

31 MARCH 2018 - NO WORKSHOP - EASTER WEEKEND


We hope you enjoy this holiday weekend.

7 APRIL 2018 - TERRIFIC TECHNOLOGY TRICKS FOR GENEALOGISTS

***    VGS WEBINAR    ***

Learn terrific technology tricks for using available mobile apps, social media, and tech tools to research and document your family history.

Presenter: Gena Philibert-Ortega
Duration: 1 hour

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier, and it can with a little bit of know-how. Make the most of the tech tools we have at our fingertips to streamline your genealogy and advance your research. If you love being able to research, store and share your family history online and want to discover new ways of using those tools to your advantage, this webinar is for you!

In this hour-long presentation, presenter Gena Philibert-Ortega reveals a ton of tech tricks that make researching your family history fun. You'll learn how to integrate mobile apps and tools into your research so you can research on the go, along with how to take advantage of social media to crowd source and share your discoveries, and ways of combining various technology tools to integrate and streamline your research process.

You should take this webinar if:

  • You want to use your phone and tablets in your genealogy research
  • You want to learn new methods for conducting and storing your research online
  • You're seeking a way to simplify your process
  • You're not a natural technophile but you want to take advantage of the tools available

What you’ll learn:

  • Tricks for using mobile apps, social media, and online tools to research your family history
  • Strategies for finding and sharing your genealogy research online
  • Creative uses and combinations of technology you already have at your fingertips
  • How to use maps, your camera phone, and other tech tools to document your family tree

About the Presenter:

Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master's degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women's studies and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States and virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines and of several books, Putting the Pieces Together and Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) as well as From the Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012). Her current research interests include social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women's lives.

 

14 APRIL 2018 - DNA - [rescheduled from 10 march 2018]

PRESENTER: Tim Duncan

Tentative - details TBD.

 

21 APRIL 2018 - GOOGLE EARTH: A GEOGRAPHY & HISTORY TOOL FOR GENEALOGISTS

PRESENTER: Elaine Fraser

This introductory workshop will cover the basic components of Google Earth that will enable you to begin mapping your ancestor’s trail. Learn to create a map of the various places they lived or use descriptive placemarks to map burial sites in a cemetery. The options of what you can do are endless!

Google Earth is a powerful software program that can be used on PC, Mac and Linex platforms. This introduction to using Google Earth as another Genealogy tool will only begin to touch on the full scope and possibilities of the program.

Content in this workshop will cover using the program on the PC and will address:

  • how to download, install and set the program up
  • how to use the Navigation tools to move around the earth
  • the major components found in the Google Earth Window
  • the purpose and function of each of the tools in the Menu Bar
  • and, time permitting, a demonstration of a very comprehensive file on the WW2 exploits of an Air Force pilot

The handout for this workshop will have examples, helpful hints and a resource list for finding help on the Internet. If you bring a USB drive you will be able to download the resource list. This will hopefully spare you from the dreaded task of entering URL addresses on your keyboard.

Join us this Earth Day to learn how to use the versatile Google Earth program to find new and interesting ways learn more about your ancestors!

 

28 APRIL 2018 - BEGINNING ENGLISH GENEALOGY

PRESENTER: Heather Shave - OF INTEREST TO NEW MEMBERS

New to English research? Then this workshop is for you!

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 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 are online. Different sources for the records, some free and some commercial will be discussed as well.

 

5 MAY 2018 - SCOTLAND BEYOND SCOTLANDSPEOPLE

PRESENTER: Heather Shave

What records are available for Scotland besides the census, civil registration and parish records? Scottish Poor Law records, land records, and tax records are some of the sources which can be used.

  • What is a “Service of Heirs”? A retours? A sasine?
  • What can be found in the Kirk Session Records?
  • What about occupation records?

Location of records, including websites will be given in this highly informative workshop

 

12 MAY 2018 - TOP 10 TOOLS FOR SOCIAL HISTORY and SECRETS TO TRACING YOUR FEMALE ANCESTORS

***    VGS DOUBLE WEBINAR    ***
TWO 30 MINUTE FAMILY TREE UNIVERSITY WEBINARS

1. TOP 10 TIPS FOR SOCIAL HISTORY

The lives of famous figures from the past like Susan B. Anthony or Thomas Jefferson can certainly make for intriguing reading material, but what really piques the genealogists' interest is social history: Stories of our ancestors' day-to-day lives. Take this video course for the 411 on how social history can enhance your genealogy.

Presenter: Gena Philibert-Ortega
Duration: 30 minutes

You should take this webinar if:

  • You have a passion for history
  • You want to know more about the lives of your ancestors
  • You’re interested in adding context to your family research

What you’ll learn:

  • What is social history
  • How social history can be incorporated into your family history
  • Must-have resources for discovering social history

About the Presenter:

Gena Philibert-Ortega holds a Master's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and a Master's degree in Religion. Presenting on various subjects involving genealogy, women's studies and social history, Gena has spoken to groups throughout the United States and virtually to audiences worldwide. Gena is the author of hundreds of articles published in genealogy newsletters and magazines and of several books, Putting the Pieces Together and Cemeteries of the Eastern Sierra (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) as well as From the Family Kitchen (F + W Media, 2012). Her current research interests include social history, community cookbooks, signature quilts and researching women's lives.



2. SECRETS TO TRACING YOUR FEMALE ANCESTORS


From maiden names mysteries to great-grandmas named “Mrs.”, researching your female forebears is full of challenges. In this class, you’ll learn tools and tactics to overcome those dead ends and uncover your female ancestors’ stories.

Presenter: Lisa A. Alzo
Duration: 30 minutes

You should take this webinar if:

  • You’re struggling to hunt down the females in your family tree
  • You know a little bit about your female ancestors, but have hit a brick wall in your research
  • You have yet to begin searching for the women in your family, but don’t’ know where to start

What you’ll learn:

  • Learn about key records for locating maiden names
  • Discover unique resources for uncovering your female ancestors’ stories
  • General tips and tricks for finding those elusive females

About the Presenter:

Eastern European genealogy specialist Lisa A. Alzo received the Association for Women in Slavic Studies 2002 Mary Zirin Prize for excellence in scholarship, and serves on the Board of Directors for the Czechoslovak Genealogical Society International. Her books include Three Slovak Women (Gateway Press), Slovak Pittsburgh (Arcadia) and Cleveland Slovaks (with John T. Sabol, Arcadia). She’s written numerous articles for genealogy publications, including regular contributions to Family Tree Magazine, and blogs regularly at The Accidental Genealogist. A genealogist for 20 years, Lisa has taught genealogy courses for more than a decade, and is a frequent speaker at national conferences, genealogical and historical societies.

19 MAY 2018 - NO WORKSHOP - HIGHLAND GAMES


VGS volunteers will be manning a display at the Highland Games again this year.
Hope to see you there!



26 MAY 2018 - TBD

2 JUNE 2018 - TBD

9 JUNE 2018 - TBD

Additional VGS Workshops will be announced as available.
Watch this space for more information.

Other workshops and seminars are also offered through our outreach programs - check it out!

Information on our VGS past workshops are still posted for reference.

 

VGS PROGRAMS and SERVICES

The Victoria Genealogical Society also offers other seminars, workshops and services as part of our outreach programs and support services that may also be of interest. 

Please visit our Programs and Services page for more details.