Victoria Genealogical Society

The Victoria Genealogical Society provides outreach and other programs and services
designed to introduce and promote genealogy, and the Victoria Genealogical Society,
to VGS members and the general public.

For other VGS activities that are open to members and the public,
please visit our events, and meetings pages.



Our Victoria Genealogical Society Queries Committee and Learning Centre volunteers offer a variety of look up services and personalized research assistance for members and the public.  Please check out our VGS Queries page for full details.


If you wish to place an advertisement in our Victoria Genealogical Society journal (published quarterly), please find further information on our VGS journal page.

If you wish to publish a personal announcement or query, please visit our VGS queries page for more details.



Book Cover for Veterans Cemetery God's Acre, Esquimalt BCThe 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 of this challenge 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 this 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!


YOUTH PROGRAMS from the Victoria Genealogical Society

In December 2010 the Victoria Genealogical Society endorsed the development of a genealogical / family history program for school aged children. Two primary goals for the Youth Program have been accepted as recommended by the project’s Design Committee. They are:

  • To introduce young people to the world of genealogy and family history research in a fun and engaging way; and,
  • To introduce young people to the tools and techniques they can use to initiate their own research.

To meet these goals the Design Committee developed a series of recommendations which were adopted by the Victoria Genealogical Society Executive Committee. Key amongst these recommendations was “that the programs developed be age appropriate and welcoming to all family types and origins in the world - allowing young people to explore their family in any form they'd like”.

We recognize that a plethora of wonderful youth-focused genealogy programs already exist in one format or another. Therefore, where possible, the objective was to use existing programs (copying, piggy backing on, etc.) and not spend limited time and resources ‘re-inventing the wheel’.

The Victoria Genealogical Society Youth Program includes the following three programs:

  1. Genealogy in the Classroom

    This new website is accessible by anyone, from anywhere, at any time of the day -  a web based Youth Program that was launched in September, 2011. Genealogy in the Classroom provides an introduction to the tools and techniques of genealogy and family history research. This teaching resource has something for everyone: genealogy lesson plans and guides for teachers, family history projects for clubs and youth organizations, family tree activities, research articles, videos for students, forms and charts, games and more.
  2. Youth Genealogy Activity Book CoverWho's in Your Family Tree? A step by step Guide for the Detective in your Family

    Written by Merv Scott and published by the Victoria Genealogical Society in 2011, this book leads the reader through an introduction of genealogy, including activities like filling in a family tree chart, interviewing their family, finding the origin of their surname on the internet and more.

    The book also offers a write in (or e-mail in) ‘Youth Family History Research Challenge’ where those entries selected will be published in our Victoria Genealogical Society Journal. With its 3-generation Family Tree Chart and the 4-generation Youth Ancestor Chart insert, this book is suitable for students of all ages.

    The cost of the book is $5 plus postage. To order the book email

    Note that family history societies and youth organizations may be authorized to re-sell this book as part of their own fund raising campaign. Email to request this authorization or for more information on fund raising and volume discounts for bulk orders.

For more information on any of these programs email


The Victoria Genealogical Society provides this outreach program which is designed specifically for residents of retirement homes and senior citizen centres. The materials for Ask Granny! were designed to provide senior citizens the opportunity to create a genealogical gift for their children.

The workshop uses the Ask Granny! materials to guide attendees in constructing a simple ancestral chart which is theirs to keep and share with their family. Each participant also receives a folder to store the Ancestral chart and contains information that will help participants conduct further research into their family history.

The Ask Granny! Seminar is based on materials designed by its creators in the U.S.A. Our project team worked closely with these original founders to maintain the principle messaging and approach of their seminar but take on a more Canadian and Victorian focus. “We are so excited to hear of the successful implementation of the Ask Granny materials by the Victoria Genealogical Society” said co-creator Judith Russell. “It is evidence that our program is fulfilling an international need to help senior citizens capture on paper their irreplaceable memories of family names, dates and places”. Genealogical Societies interested in Ask Granny! can contact Judith thru their website at .

Thanks to generosity of the Victoria Genealogical Society’s membership the seminar materials are often provided free to retirement home residents.

For more information about scheduling an Ask Granny! Seminar at a senior’s center near Victoria, please contact our Public Relations Director via email at



VOICES OF THE PAST - A MEMORY PROJECT  from the  Victoria Genealogical Society

Voices of the Past screenshot, home pageThe Victoria Genealogical Society launched the "Voices of the Past" digital memory project in October, 2013.  

This service was designed to provide senior citizens the opportunity to have their autobiographical stories recorded digitally.  These audio recordings are then published on the Victoria Genealogical Society's Voices of the Past web pages along with accompanying photographs and written summary, where family members and friends can enjoy them now and in the future, and from anywhere in the world.  

Visit the Voices of the Past web pages to see and hear stories already posted. 

For more information please read our Voices News Release (PDF format).

To request an audio recording session for you or your loved one, or for additional information, please email