Victoria Genealogical Society (VGS)

Special Interest Groups (SIGs) provide an opportunity for VGS members to ask experienced researchers specific questions about your elusive ancestors! They are centred around a geographic location, (e.g. Ontario, Ireland) or a topic (e.g. DNA). Members researching that area know where to look for information and how to get copies of registrations or certificates. They know the quirks and exceptions to databases and collections and can point you in the right direction so you can continue to build your personal family tree. They can also suggest underused databases which you might not be aware of and sources you may have overlooked.

SIGs usually meet once a month (except in July & August) at The Genealogy Learning and Research Centre under the guidance of a SIG leader. Most meetings are held in the morning before the Centre opens for the day and one is an evening meeting.  Other groups function more as user support networks, where members stay connected via phone and email (no regular meetings). This is true of the Eastern European SIG and the Mac and Reunion User Group.

All VGS members are welcome to join and participate in any VGS SIG group activity at no extra cost as a benefit of membership.  Please refer to the following SIG schedule and SIG descriptions including contact information for each SIG leader. SIGs are also listed on the back page of our VGS journal.

If your area of research is NOT covered by any of these groups, please make a suggestion to the SIG Director at We have people researching all over the world and most research questions can be met with expert advice and guidance from our members.


VGS SIGs - Monthly Schedule

***   NEW SIGs LOCATION STARTING OCT 10, 2017   ***

The Genealogy Learning & Research Centre
Pennbridge Building, Royal Oak Shopping Centre
#209 - 4475 Viewmont Ave., Victoria, BC

Meeting schedules my be disrupted due to stat holidays or other reasons.
Any variations in meeting dates are announced in our e-bulletins,
or members will be contacted directly when possible.


Sept - June Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
1st Week  
2nd Week USA
*** NEW DAY ***
10:00 am - 12:00 noon
  VGS Monthly
Speaker Series
Meetings - 7:30 pm
[St Aidan's Church] **
3rd Week DNA
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
CSI     *** NEW ***
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
    IRISH  *** NEW TIME ***
10:30 pm - 12:00 noon
4th Week     ONTARIO
10:00 am - noon
10:00 am - noon

** NOTE: Our monthly VGS "Speaker Series" General Meetings are now held at
see our VGS meetings page for details.


SIG & User Group Descriptions

Groups are listed alphabetically. 
Dates, times and location are summarized in the above schedule section.

SIGS for the current month are also summarized on our home page - in the "What's Going On" side bar.



CELTIC - Meetings are NO LONGER held.  If you are interested in Scotland research, please contact our SIG DIRECTOR to be put in contact with experts in this area.  Also see below for information on our England and Irish SIGs.



CSI - Crowd Sourced Intelligence - This SIG will meet at the Learning Centre on the 3rd Tuesday at 7 pm each month. The focus will be on researching items that have been donated to the VGS, which have an identifiable family connection (i.e. a name on them). Learn to pull out clues by careful observation, think logically about them and then search for answers in the many databases we have available to us, all the while collaborating with others. The skills you learn here can then be applied to your own research, giving you more sources to consider and building a clearer picture of your family. The aim is to return found items to their families, when possible.

     SIG Leader: Melanie Arscott


DNA - Meets on the third Monday evening of each month.  Learn, share, and contribute your experiences with DNA genealogical testing and research.  Or come to learn more about your options if you haven't yet had your DNA tested.

     SIG Coordinator: Sheila Webber        SIG Email List: Claudia Boorman


EASTERN EUROPEAN - This group was started in 2009. Countries include Romania, Belarus, Czeckoslovakia, Ukraine, Serbia, Russia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Croatia, Herzagovina.
This group now meets by email only.

     SIG Leader: Sarah Hamster


ENGLAND - The England SIG welcomes all members who are researching their family history in all parts of England.  Meetings are held at the VGS Genealogy Learning and Research Centre on the fourth Thursday of each month  from 10:00 am - noon.

     SIG Leader: Heather Shave


IRISH*** NEW TIME - STARTS AT 10:30 AS OF JAN 2018 ***

The Irish SIG welcomes all members who are researching their family history in Ireland.  Meetings are held at the VGS Genealogy Learning and Research Centre on the third Friday of each month  from 10:30 am - 12:00 noon.

     SIG Leader: Barb Doell


ONTARIO - More than half of Society members have family history connections with Ontario. This group meets at 10:00 am on the fourth Wednesday of each month.

     SIG Leader: Gerry Poulton


These meetings are held the second Monday of the month at 10:00 am (unless rescheduled for stat holidays).

     SIG Leader: Pat Rosson




User groups do not usually hold regular meetings.  Instead they offer help and support to members as needed or requested, usually via phone or email.

MAC AND REUNION USER GROUP does not meet formally, but does offer support and help to Mac and Reunion (family tree software) users on genealogy matters, either by phone, by email, or in person as needed.

     Facilitator: Claudia Boorman



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