Victoria Genealogical Society

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.

We always welcome new volunteers.
Please consider joining our VGS projects and indexing teams -
you'll have fun while contributing to these worthwhile legacies.
Please contact our to volunteer.

A Project Proposal Form is available (in MS Word format)
if you wish to propose a project to the Project Director.



Digitization and Indexing of VicPD Early Charge Books

Project Coordinator: Sheila Watts

Sheila and her team are implementing a duly signed agreement with the Victoria Police Department's Museum and Historical Society that authorizes the VGS to digitize five early Charge Books, transcribe the entries and develop an on-line index.

Veteran’s Cemetery Indexing

Project Coordinator: Harvey Buckmaster

In 2014 VGS member and volunteer Harvey Buckmaster compiled and edited the book Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt,God's Acre. This updated and expanded version was published by the Victoria Genealogical Society in Nov 2014.  Harvey continues to lead the effort to record, transcribe and index new memorials sat Veterans Cemetery.

Victoria Genealogical Society Journals Indexing

Project Coordinator: Diana Gaiger

Volunteers C. Thomas and R. Williams are now indexing a backlog of the more recent VGS Journals to bring the index on this website up to date. Watch for an announcement soon on the updated Index.

Times Colonist 150th Year 2008 Historical Series

Project Coordinator: Pat Rosson

Pat has made a collection of the news clippings and is currently indexing the articles with the goal of posting the index to the VGS website. Once built, Family History and other researchers will be able to access the index and order their clipping of interest thru the VGS Queries line.

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BC Coroner’s Inquests and Registers Indexing - COMPLETED

Project Coordinator: Evert Moes

Evert and his team have indexed the over 38,000 entries covering the period from 1848 up to 1937 when the Coroner’s reporting system changed. This was a joint project with the BC Archives.


Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt book, 2014 Edition - COMPLETED

Project Coordinator: Harvey Buckmaster
Launched November 1, 2014

The Veterans Cemetery, Esquimalt, British Columbia, God's Acre book - revised and updated 2014 edition by Harvey A. Buckmaster, Compiler and Editor - was published by the Victoria Genealogical Society and launched November 1, 2014.  It replaces the original edition published in 2000.

The book is available for sale at the VGS Genealogy Learning and Research Centre, and can be purchased on-line on our VGS Publications page.


Research In Victoria, 2nd Edition - COMPLETED

Launched 26 Oct 2013 at the VGS Genealogy Seminar, Victoria BC

Project Coordinator: Merv Scott

Volunteers did a major rewrite of this 1996 VGS book with the goal of producing a 2nd edition, titleed Research in Victoria - A Catalogue of Genealogical Resource  and published October, 2013.

Visit our publications page to order this excellent research guide.


Burial Listings and On-line Index - COMPLETED

Launched 26 Oct 2013 at the VGS Genealogy Seminar, Victoria BC

Project Coordinator: Merv Scott

The goal of this Victoria Genealogical Society project is to provide genealogy researchers an avenue to search cemeteries located primarily on Southern Vancouver Island for burial information and photographs of tombstones.  Led by the work of volunteer Judy Wasylenko, we have developed separate VGS Burial files encompassing a total of 46 cemeteries on Southern Vancouver and the Gulf Islands. Webmaster Claudia Boorman converted these files into master files and on-line name indexes that will be made available to genealogy researchers.

Visit our burial index page to access our online burial index and cemetery list.


"Voices of the Past" Memory Project - COMPLETED

Voices of the Past poster thumbnailThis project was approved by the VGS Executive in September 2012,
and launched 26 October 2013.  Service is ongoing.

Project Coordinator: Merv Scott

Audio recordings of early personal memories will continue to be collected locally and digitally saved for posterity with any accompanying photographs. The stories will be available for everyone to enjoy.  No fees attached.

Topics and themes covered in these audio recordings include family traditions, community livinging celebrations, occupations, school days, military, arts and entertainment, and more.

Download the Voices of the Past Memory Project poster (in PDF format) and help us publicize this new service.



VGS Ambassador Program - COMPLETED

Project Coordinator: Joanne Barnard

The Executive Committee endorsed this project to develop a program aimed at increasing the public’s awareness of genealogy and the VGS. Operating Guidelines were developed and approved by the VGS Executive and the first Ambassador, Joanne Barnard, was appointed.  VGS Ambassadors have the authority, materials and training to contact other agencies and provide them with information about the VGS.

For more information email 


VGS Journals Digitization Project - COMPLETED

The project to scan all past VGS Journals in order to preserve them in a digital formal has been successfully completed. 


Greater Victoria Pioneers Indexing - COMPLETED

Project Coordinator: Diana Gaiger

Volunteers including C. Thomas, R. Williams, B. Ellison, B. Doell and Diana Gaiger used a newly developed indexing system created by Claudia Boorman and Merv Scott to clear up a back log of newspaper clippings that had accumulated since the Index was last updated in 2007. The index on the VGS website has been updated and the backlog is now gone.

This project expanded the Greater Victoria Pioneer Index by 25% and it now includes over 5,500 names of early residents mentioned in almost 800 clippings.


 VGS Genealogy/Family History School Program - COMPLETED

Project Coordinator: Merv Scott

Design team for Genealogy in the Classroom
The Genealogy in the Classroom
Web Development Team met at the
VGS Centre in May 2011.
Back row: Merv, Claudia, Maureen
Front row: Marg, Christina

In November 2010,  the Executive Committee endorsed a project to design a genealogy/family history program for school aged children. The volunteers recruited to the program’s Design Committee were: Christina Thomas; Lori Prophet; Margaret Kirkpatrick; Merv Scott; Penny Holt and Rosemary Smith.

The committee completed their research and brainstorming and tabled a full and comprehensive report to the VGS Executive in December 2010. The Executive Committee accepted the Report and its Recommendations and endorsed the second phase of the School Project which includes 3 primary projects:

  • Develop a web based resource for teachers, parents and students
  • Develop a hard copy Youth Activity Book
  • Develop a Youth Summer Program to be delivered at the (previously named) VGS "Resource Centre"

Volunteers were recruited to complete the development of these projects and their work is now complete:

  • In September 2011 the web based resource Genealogy in the Classroom was launched thanks to efforts of the Web Development Team of Christina Thomas, Margaret Kirkpatrick, Maureen Helmersen, Claudia Boorman (web developer) and Merv Scott.  An on-line video introduction to the website was added in August 2012.
  • The youth activity book was also completed in Septermber 2011. Written by Merv Scott, it’s titled Who’s in Your Family Tree? A step-by-step guide for the Detective in your family. For more information about the book and to order your copy, go to Publications.
  • The Summer Youth Program Star in your own Detective Story! was designed and developed by Wanda Crawford, Diana Gaiger and Merv Scott. The program was offered during July and August 2011 but unfortunately it was determined there wasn’t enough students enrolled to stage the program and was cancelled.

'Ask Granny' Seminar Program Development - COMPLETED

Project Coordinator: Merv Scott

On November 4, 2010, the VGS Executive Committee endorsed a project to develop and deliver a pilot 'Ask Granny' Seminar to residents of a local retirement home. Each seminar will use the ‘Ask Granny’ materials to guide attendees in constructing a simple ancestral chart. Heather Shave, Lynn Davies and Layne Mikoda volunteered to help Merv put together the pilot. Diana Gaiger, Jo Little and Sarah Hamster also volunteered to help in the presentation of the Seminar.

In April 2011, two pilot Ask Granny Seminars were conducted, one at the Victorian and another at the Shannon Oaks residence (stories about these Ask Granny seminars are also posted on our home page and in our news archive pages).

At their May 2011 meeting, the Executive Committee evaluated the success of these pilots and unanimously passed a motion to approve the pilots and formally adopt the 'Ask Granny!' Seminar Program - now included on our active programs page.

Questions about this Program can be sent to

VGS Members Surname Interests On-line Index - COMPLETED

Project Coordinators: Rick Deegan and Claudia Boorman

The project to update the Members Surname Interest Online Index has been successfully completed with the launch of the new Index on December 8, 2010. The old index had not been updated for some time and has now been removed and replaced in its entirety. The team of Claudia Boorman, Rick Deegan, Diane Clarke and Merv Scott worked on the project which included developing a new data entry and upload system, designing new input forms and guidelines, and more.

Members can still submit their surname research interests - more details are available in our on-line index section.