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Archives - Libraries - Museums

Anglican Church Archives Network in British Columbia. Descriptions of the Holdings at Anglican Church Archives in British Columbia

Archives Association of British Columbia The AABC provides information on the many programs and services offered to archivists and archives in British Columbia.

BC Archives Browse the overview of textual records, and the finding aid databases, or search the catalogue which includes indexes birth, marriage and death registrations.

BC Museums Association This page is the index to all of the museums, art galleries, historic sites, cultural and science centres in BC known to the BCMA.

BC Vital Statistics - Genealogy The Vital Statistics Agency has records of birth, marriage, and death occurring in British Columbia since 1872.

British Columbia Archival Union List A database of fonds and collection level descriptions of records held at 156 publicly-accessible archival repositories in the province. Searchable.

Campbell River Museum and Archives Contact Information

City of Richmond Archives Search the archives holdings, browse other research tools, visit the virtual exhibit.

Chinese-Canadian Genealogy - The Vancouver Public Library has created this site and has the following to introduce it. "The genealogical research culture in Canada tends to be strongly oriented towards those of British Isles and European ancestry, so this site represents a modest effort to provide some balance. 
"Because B.C. was the destination of a vast majority of Chinese immigrants to Canada for many decades, I believe this link is particularly appropriate for B.C. Genweb." 
--- per. Janet Tomkins, Genealogy librarian.

City of Vancouver Archives Holdings include City of Vancouver government records, records of non-government organizations, businesses and individuals, historic photographs, maps, etc. Search the entire database.

City of Victoria Archives Responsible for acquiring, preserving and making accessible archival material in the form of civic and private records documenting the history of Victoria. The following searchable links are available 1. Obituaries From the Victoria Daily Times Newspaper, 1901-1939; 2. Marriage Notices From the Victoria Daily Times Newspaper, 1835-1953 (predominantly 1901-1939) and 3. Ross Bay Cemetery Burial Records, 1872-1980

Courtenay & District Museum The Courtenay Museum is dedicated to diverse historical subjects ranging from arts, artifacts and legends of the Comox Indian Band to pioneer industries and lifestyles on Vancouver Island.

Doukhobor Collection, University of British Columbia The collection includes printed and manuscript material relating to Doukhobor life in Canada and the Soviet Union.

Esquimalt Municipal Archives Local government records, graphic records, manuscripts and library collections.

Guide to Archival Repositories in British Columbia Entries for 173 archives in the province and includes the name and location of each repository, contact information, and a brief description of the extent, nature and scope of holdings at each institution.

Hudson Bay Company Archives (at U. of Manitoba) The Hudson Bay Company entrusted its ancient archives to the University of Manitoba.

Hudson Bay Company Archives  (of the on-going Hudson Bay Company which has a section describing its historical roots)

Kitimat Centennial Museum Displays of objects that express Haisla arts and technology, turn-of-the-century settlement in the Kitimat Valley, and the creation of the town of Kitimat in the 1950's.

Langley Centennial Museum has many searchable databases on-line; two are of particular interest to genealogists. First,  Langley's Cemeteries (listed under 'Heritage') for Fort Langley, Langley Lawn and Murrayville' and secondly, Historical Photographs (listed under 'Collections').

Legislative Library of British Columbia Find books and government documents in our collection, as well as citations to recent British Columbia newspaper and periodical articles.

Local Catholic Church History and Genealogy Canada

Metchosin School Museum First opened in 1872 as a schoolhouse with 10 students. Re-opened 100 years later as a museum.

New Westminster Public Library - Genealogy and local history Genealogy and local history resources at the New Westminster Public Library.

Saanich Historical Artifacts Society A Volunteer Society devoted to the collection and preservation of memorabilia from their pioneer past.

Saanich Pioneers' Society Museum and Archives

Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association The R.J. Haney Heritage Park, operated by the Salmon Arm Museum and Heritage Association, is situated on 40 acres of meadows, woodlands, and stream.

Salt Spring Island Historical Society Archives A large collection of local family photos and other information.

Simon Fraser University Archives Information on the university archives, and freedom of information and protection of privacy.

Surrey Public Library Online guide to this library's extensive collection of Canadian genealogical materials. Includes detailed information on current book and microform holdings.

UBC Special Collections and Archives University of British Columbia Archival Holdings, Records Management, and listings of many other archival resources on the Internet.

University of Northern British Columbia Library Searchable Web Interface to the Online Catalogue.

University of Victoria Archives Archives Collections Policy, Recent acquisitions, Victoria College student life, 1903-1963, Records Management Program, Records Management News and Guidelines for Record-Keeping.

UVic Library Gateway Search the Online Catalogue of the McPherson Library and Curriculum Lab.

Vancouver Public Library, Central Branch, Special Collections Northwest History Collections, Vancouver Building Register, Historical Photographs, Indexes and Finding Aids.

Vancouver Island Regional Library The library system serves communities on Vancouver Island (excluding Greater Victoria), the Queen Charlotte Islands and the Central Mainland Coast through it's 38 branches.

White Rock Museum and Archives. Limited opening by appointment. Call (604) 541-2222.

Bibles

BC Bible Records a place to post BC family information in family bibles.

Cemetery - Obituary

Barkerville Cemetery Headboard and Tombstone Inscriptions, listed alphabetically.

Bowell Funeral Record Database online searchable database at the New Westminster Public Library.

British Columbia Cemetery Finding Aid Search online or download this database of over 340,000 interments in BC Cemeteries.

British Columbia Municipal Cemetery Network   The BCMCN is a group of municipal cemeteries providing a range of cemetery services to many communities throughout the province. Many of these cemeteries have been in operation for more than 100 years and continue to serve the community's present memorialization needs. They also continue to care for these special places that hold the remains of many of the founders, builders and early citizens of this province.
     All cemeteries listed on this site are owned and operated by a local government body (city, district, town, etc.) that is responsible for the care and operation of the cemeteries. All revenues from the fees for service remain in the community and are used to offset the costs of operating the cemetery or for cemetery improvements.
     The services offered by each cemetery vary and you are encouraged to explore them all.

Mountain View Cemetery, the City of Vancouver. An alphabetical listing of burials at the cemetery.

Murrayville Cemetery, in Langley - - Also contains links to several other cemeteries in B.C.   Go to the bottom of the first web page of this site to find the links.

North Vancouver City MUNICIPAL Cemetery Click the "Map" drop down list, then click on "Cemetery". Search criteria is on the left of the screen.

Old Cemeteries Society A non-profit society to encourage the research, preservation and appreciation of 20 heritage cemeteries in Victoria, BC. Web site contains information on symbols used on stones, a sample database of Ross Bay Cemetery, and tips for recording cemeteries.

Prince George Cemetery   The City of Prince George maintains this site and cemetery

Search for Funeral Homes This search, provided by BC Vital Statistics, allows you to search for the name, city, address and phone number of Funeral Homes in BC. 
 

Census

Post-1901 Census Project  Details and results of a Parliamentary discussion leading to the release of Post-1901 Census information which had formerly been declared 'unavailable' or 'unreleaseable' due to 'privacy concerns' voiced by a former Federal Privacy Commissioner and a probable desire by Statistics Canada to keep the data available only for their statistics research and its data sales revenues.  The impetus of this initiative was provided primarily by Canadian genealogists with much encouragement by genealogists from other countries and a few brave Canadian Parlimentarians and Senators.
Post-1901 Census Project - PETITIONS
Post-1901 Census Project - MP Scoreboard
Post-1901 Census Project - en francais

Southern Interior Census Data Data from various census databases including Yale District 1881 and 1891, Indian Reserve Commission Census 1877 and OMI Census 1877. Searchable.

1881 Census of Vancouver Island Searchable, online database for the 1881 census of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, presented by Malaspina University-College, Vancouver Island.

1891 Census of Vancouver Island Searchable, online database for the 1891 census of Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands of British Columbia, presented by Malaspina University-College, Vancouver Island.

1891 Census for BC, District K4, listed as North Nanaimo. Covers the current day area of Mid Vancouver Island, that is now known as Nanoose, Parksville, French Creek, Qualicum, Qualicum Bay, Errington, Coombs, and Hilliers. A total of 150 persons.

1901 Census of Vancouver Island, Sub District B; Polling Sub-Div #1: Union Bay, Courtenay, Denman and Hornby Islands, Comox, Cumberland Town, Union Village and Sayward.

1901 Census Central Vancouver Island It includes Nanaimo, Nanoose, Parksville, Union Bay, Richmond, Comox, Cumberland Town, Union Village and Sayward.

1901 Census of Victoria and Area It includes Victoria and area including Port Renfrew, Sooke, Metchosin, Colwood, Langford, Oak Bay, Saanichton, Sidney and the southern Gulf Islands.

1901 Census of British Columbia A 5% sample of the British Columbia portions of the 1901 Census of Canada derived from a database created by the Canadian Families Project. The sample contains nominal census records for 8,092 individuals. Presented by Malaspina University-College. 
 

Directories

1868 Directory of Victoria

1892 Directory of Victoria - Malaspina University-College

viHistory A searchable database of Vancouver Island Business Directories. This section provides listings for Nanaimo (1882 and 1892) and Victoria (1882). 

1887 The British Columbia directory : containing a general directory of business men and householders in the principal cities and every important district, with provincial and dominion officials, and general information about the province, 1887

BC Census Directories - A collection (for a fee, I suspect) of all British Columbia Census known records (for a fee, I suspect) 

Emigration

Pioneer Asian Indian Immigration to the Pacific Coast East Indian immigration to Vancouver. Historical photographs and a bibliography.

Explorers

Alexander Mackenzie Voyageur Route Tracing the route of North West Company fur trade explorer Alexander Mackenzie.

First Nations

1877 Oblates of Mary Immaculate Census Head of the Lake, Okanagan Mission '& Spallumcheen

1877 Indian Reserve Commission Census Spuzzum, Boothroyd Group, Nicomen, Dead Man's Creek, Spallumcheen, Boston Bar, Kanaka Flats, Cook's Ferry, Kamloops, Head of Okanagan Lake, Skah-zeeze Falls, Siska Flats, Oregon Jacks, South Thompson, Penticton, Skwok-kum, Skup-pah, Cornwall, Little Shuswap Lake, Anse de Sable-Mission, Ka-pa-cheets-in, Lytton, North Thompson-Canoe, Adams Lake '& Osoyoos

First Nation Information Project British Columbia First Nation Directory

First Peoples' Cultural Foundation The focus of the First Peoples' Cultural Foundation is to preserve and enhance the language, culture and heritage of aboriginal people in B.C.

Prelude to the Study of a Totem Pole In 1958 the People of Kitwancool permitted anthropologists to collect and preserve several totem poles with the agreement that their histories, stories, and traditions would be published. 
 

GenWeb

Canada GenWeb Project for information on other provinces.

Cariboo-Chilcotin GenWeb A regional page of the BC GenWeb Project.

High Country A regional page of BC GenWeb.

Kootenay GenWeb A regional page of the BC GenWeb Project.

Okanagan-Similkameen A regional page of the BC GenWeb project.

Peace River GenWeb A regional site of BC GenWeb.

Southwestern BC (Vancouver Coast) GenWeb A regional page of the BC GenWeb Project.

Vancouver Island GenWeb A regional page of the BC GenWeb Project. 
 

Geography and Maps

British Columbia Geographical Names Information System Searchable database of BC place names. Results include display of digital maps.

CNR British Columbia Map, 1900 Map of Manitoba Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia: Canadian National Railways.

Early British Columbia Surveying History A pictorial history of field surveying in British Columbia covering the last 100 years.

myBC provides mapping information for most addresses in British Columbia.

Victoria, British Columbia, Downtown Property Map Developed for Colliers International, a global real estate services firm, this map shows all properties in the downtown core of Victoria, and includes streets and street names, cadastral lines, building footprints, the number of floors in a building, landmarks, and property type.

viHistory A gateway to information about the history of Vancouver Island. There are several old maps of Victoria, Vancouver Island and Nanaimo.
 

History

Barkerville Online The Cariboo Sentinel Newspaper provides information about the Gold Rush and the early development of British Columbia.

BC Heritage Your online guide to BC Heritage historic sites and services and an introduction to the programs of the British Columbia Heritage Trust. A BC Government page.

BC Studies - The British Columbian Quarterly Dedicated to the exploration of British Columbia's cultural, economic, and political life, past and present.

Centre for the Study of the Pacific Northwest This site makes accessible some of the University's myriad resources in regional history. Includes the Pacific Northwest Quarterly which is a journal devoted to the history and culture of the northwestern United States, Alaska, and western Canada.

Doukhobor Genealogy Website - an internet source connecting researchers of Doukhobor genealogy. Dedicated to the reclamation, discovery, collection, preservation and free sharing of information related to Doukhobor family history.

Early Canadiana Online (ECO) is a full text online collection of more than 3,000 books and pamphlets documenting Canadian history from the first European contact to the late 19th century. There are many BC references.

Electoral History of British Columbia, 1871-1986 from Elections BC

Emily Carr Includes family information from the BC archives.

Fort Steele Heritage Town Come to Fort Steele Heritage Town and be transported back in time to a mining boom town in the 1890s. Information on Archives & Library Holdings.

Gulf of Georgia Cannery A pictoral history of this cannery which was constructed in 1894. Over the years it was used as a cannery, reduction plant, and net loft. As you step inside the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, the flavour of the West Coast fishing industry surrounds you.

History of Esquimalt Origin of the Name, Historical Outline, Reeves and Mayors of the Township of Esquimalt.

History of Fort Langley Brief history of Fort Langley and the Hudson's Bay Company.

Hudson's Bay Company at Fort Victoria This site is meant to give you an understanding of a few of the people who make up Victoria's past. The Fort was built in 1843 as a Hudson Bay Company outpost. It was the first non-native settlement in Victoria.

Know BC BC facts, people and places. BC lore and a BC quiz. Information on the Encyclopedia of British Columbia.

Living Landscapes: Thompson/Okanagan - Past Present and Future A Royal British Columbia Museum and Okanagan University College project featuring the human and natural history of this region. Includes articles, historic photographs, census databases, HBC Post Journals and maps.

Memorial to the Coal Miners of Michel, Natal & Sparwood, BC Working in the mines was quite dangerous with men losing their lives in almost every year for the first half of the century. As you can see from the list, the majority of the fatalities occurred in the years up to 1970.

St Mary's, Metchosin A History of St Mary's Church, and information on Metchosin History and Pioneers. The Metchosin Pioneers section features biographies on different pioneer families.

The Homeroom A gateway to resources and information relating to the history of schools and the development of education systems in British Columbia.

viHistory A gateway to information about the history of Vancouver Island. Includes: City of Victoria Municipal Elections Regulations By-Law, 1873, City of Victoria Wards By-Law, 1890, A By-Law for the Extension of Corporation Limits, 1890, Victoria City Act, 1892 and City of Victoria Wards By-Law, 1892.

Who Killed William Robinson? A rich social history of the Blacks, Aboriginal People, Kanakas (Hawaiians) and Whites of many national backgrounds who settled Salt Spring Island. Their stories tell us much about the settlement of British Columbia, Canada. 
 

Links

British Columbia History Page A comprehensive list of links to everything associated with BC History. 
 

Canadian Genealogy and History Links A comprehensive listing of WWW sites of interest to those conducting research in Canada. 

Cyndi's List of Genealogy Sites on the Internet Links to Genealogy resources worldwide. 
 

Maritime

Maritime Museum of British Columbia West Coast Lighthouses, Collections, and the Vintage Vessel Registry displaying wooden boats of a bygone era.

Vancouver Maritime Museum A list of exhibits displayed at this museum which is the Greater Vancouver region's link to maritime history, art, culture and technology. 
 

Military

CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum Located in Naden on Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt the museum's exhibits focus on the Canadian Women's Army Corps, the Royal Canadian Navy on the West Coast and the West Coast Defences.

Newspapers

British Columbia Obituaries WorldWide Obituary Locator and Newspaper Directory

Hugh Doherty's Newspaper Museum The first newspapers on Canada's West Coast Victoria, British Columbia: 1856-1863 
 

Organizations and Societies

Abbotsford Genealogical Society This organization is committed to collecting & publishing of materials of use to the Family History Researcher and promoting effective techniques in instructing genealogical & historical research. Information on meetings, publications, and the library.

British Columbia Folklore Society Bringing together and preserving the traditions of British Columbia. Information, newsletter, and links to other Folklore related links.

British Columbia Genealogical Society Overview, Membership, Meetings, Resource Centre, Contact Information, Members Query Page, Microfiche Holdings and Hot Links.

British Columbia Historical Federation The federation provides a forum to publicize successes of regional historical societies. Includes information on British Columbia Historical News is a quarterly journal of the BCHF.

Campbell River Genealogy Club Information on Meetings, Library, Newsletters and Publications. The 1901 Census for Comox District, and surname index of the club's obituary clipping file.

District 69 Historical Society The District 69 Historical Society collection area includes: Parksville, Nanoose, Errington, Coombs, Hilliers, French Creek. Includes Census, Obituary and Marriage listings.

Heritage Society of British Columbia An umbrella organization representing member groups who are involved with heritage projects and issues. Our interest in heritage ranges from restoration of the built environment to the preservation of historic trails.

Heritage Vancouver Society Membership information, A Short Guide to Heritage Conservation in Vancouver, and the societies newsletters.

Jewish Genealogical Institute of British Columbia Founded in 1992 to bring together people interested in pursuing their Jewish family history.

Kamloops Family History Society Information about this society and its publications.

Kelowna & District Genealogical Society Publications, Members Pages, Information on their newsletter and Queries services.

Kitimat Family History Society Dedicated to the preservation and sharing of genealogical information, from the Kitimat area as well from around the world.

Mennonite Historical Society of BC Information about this organization, family histories, newsletters and links to other historical societies.

Nanaimo Family History Society Information on this societies meetings, newsletter and publications.

Nicola Valley Museum Archives Association Information on this societies publications.

Prince George Genealogical Society Meetings and Membership, Resources and Services, Cemetery Records, Surname Interests and Links

Slovak Heritage and Cultural Society of British Columbia Information about this society and their Newsletter.

South Okanagan Genealogical Society Covers Penticton, Summerland, Kaleden, Naramata, Okanagan Falls, Oliver & Osoyoos

Vancouver Historical Society Calendar of events, Monthly Meetings, Vancouver Bibliography, Newsletter and Related Sites.

Vernon and District Family History Society Meetings and Membership, Publications, Resources and Services, Cemetery Records, Surname Interests and Links.

Victoria Genealogical Society Information about this societies library, newsletter, query service, etc.

Victoria Heritage Foundation The Victoria Heritage Foundation (VHF) is a volunteer organization which administers the preservation of its heritage properties on the City's behalf. 
 

Passenger Lists

Bride Ships In 1862 BC had a mostly male population. Arrangements were made to send potential brides from the UK.

Personal

Bill Irvine's Home Page The Irvine Family Genealogical Group. Irvines in Victoria, BC since 1851.

Bonnie's WWW Pages Descendants of Johan Oscar Roos and Nanni Kangas in BC.

DeBeck Family of B.C.

Gayle's Family Tree Home Page Jesperson, Mikkelsen (Michelsen), Unsworth, Carrington, Price, Bate, Jones.

Genealogy of the BATE family and KIAR Family Mark Bate Sr. was the first Mayor of Nanaimo, British Columbia. He was born in England and emigrated with Elizabeth Bate in January of 1857.

Hamilton Family of Salt Spring Island William & Caroline Hamilton and 4 children immigrated to Canada from the Port of Liverpool in 1891. In 1897, the Hamilton family, now with 8 children, moved to Salt Spring Island, just off the BC coast.

McCormick Family Home Page The McCormick family from Mayo, Ireland which settled in Vancouver in the late 1800's.

Pam's Homepage Researching Hendy, Rowley, Beaumont, and Craigie. Includes an online Gedcom.

The Northwest Twig of the PEPPAN Family Tree The descendants of Louis Seymour Peppan, aka Simeon Peppin aka Simeon Pepin, and his wife, Emma Sarah Peppan nee Houston. Includes link to Chief Dan George. 
 

Publications

BC Studies Dedicated to the exploration of British Columbia's cultural, economic, and political life, past and present. Each issue offers articles on a wide range of topics, in-depth reviews of current books, and a bibliography of recent publications.

Ladner's Landing: The Series User-friendly books of walks around historic Ladner British Columbia explore the town's heritage based on farming, fishing, salmon canneries, ship-building, the railroad and the sawmill. Monthly site updates promote local heritage activities.

Sonotek Publishing Ltd. Books about British Columbia. Includes illustrated histories and historical biographies.

Genealogical Resources for British Columbians ISBN 0-7726-3390-8 - this book is available from The Victoria Genealogical Society. Price $10.00. Mailing and handling $3.00 in Canada and $5.00 elsewhere. This 124 page guide provides contact information, including e-mail and website addresses, for a large number of BC organizations holding records of interest to genealogists. Note the prices are Canadian dollars - $10 CDN = about $6.75 US. 
 

Railway

CPR Employees in British Columbia in 1884 CPR Employees in 1884. Extracted from the Sessional Papers of the Gov. of Canada.

Sales

George Young Historical Research Specializes in the history of the province of British Columbia.

Mann Cybrarian Mann Cybrarian is named after a Scottish grandfather & the 21st C. acronym for librarian. Business specializes in ancestry research for pre-20th C. Scotland and the Cumberland, Courtenay, Royston area of Vancouver Island, B.C.

The Victoria Genealogical Society has a service that provides copies of the BC birth, marriage or death registrations and also handles general research queries for BC. Details can be found at the Victoria Genealogical Society website under 'Queries'. 
 

Surnames

Index of Swiss Surnames - Bulkley Valley BC A list of surnames brought to the Bulkley Valley of west central British Columbia by Swiss settlers. The Bulkley Valley includes the communities of Smithers, Houston and Telkwa.