Saturday, March 07, 2009

The British Columbia Genealogical Society, Canada

British Columbia Genealogical Society parade group,
2007, St. Patrick's Day Parade, Vancouver, BC, Canada

The British Columbia Genealogical Society (BCGS) is the genealogical group I am most involved with. If you live in British Columbia or if you are researching anyone who lived in British Columbia, you will definitely benefit by joining our society.

The BCGS is 'all volunteer'. We have regular meetings every month in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada - on average 70+ people attend. We sponsor special events throughout the year including at least one trip to Salt Lake City, Utah, our cemetery committee is very active in photographing and recording British Columbia's cemeteries, we publish a quarterly journal and an e-newsletter and we own and manage our own genealogical library.

The monthly meetings feature either speakers or our special interest group sessions - for instance, for the English, Canadian, Scottish, DNA or computer groups. Experienced members lead these groups. Sometimes a group member presents on a topic or talks about their research. Other times, it's a 'roundtable' and we all share information and assist each other. For a full list of the BCGS groups, and contact information, please see our website:

Some groups meet at other times, for example, the Quebec and Scandinavian groups, so check with a facilitator for current meeting plans.

Today we had a very successful event - a Sold Out seminar with Megan Smolenyak Smolenyak. Everyone enjoyed the day. She is a very good speaker - for instance, her DNA session gave those new to the idea the basics, while at the same time, she relayed up to date information to the DNA converts in the room.

The BCGS's Walter Draycott Library in Surrey, British Columbia holds over 13,000 genealogical books, periodicals, microforms and CDS. We have a special research interest in British Columbia, but our members are researching all over the world, so our collections are worldwide. The library is free for members to use but non-members can research at the library for a small fee. Once a year, in July, we host a free Library Week - during those days we have volunteers each day to assist visitors with research in different countries.

We also attend a number of genealogical and heritage events during the year to promote interest in genealogy and in the British Columbia Genealogical Society. And our Boutique which sells genealogical books, research tools and even novelties (you need a new genealogy mug, don't you?) is at most of our regular meetings, almost all BCGS events and attends seminars and events put on by other genealogical and historical groups.

Our next event will be 15 March 2009, a week tomorrow, when our BCGS group will be marching in Vancouver's 6th Annual St. Patrick's Day parade. If you're in the Vancouver area, come to the parade. Be sure to cheer and wave to us!

There is lots of information about our Society and about British Columbia genealogical research on our website.

British Columbia Genealogical Society:

This post was written for Genea-Bloggers Weekly Genealogy Blogging Prompt #8: Talk about highlights and events from your local genealogy society. Most genealogy bloggers are members of several historical societies and love to hear about the events in other organizations. This is also a great way to attract new members.

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