Seminars / Education

Fall/Winter 2018/2019 Genealogy Programs at Cloverdale Library

Note: Pre-registration is required for Genealogy Programs - payment
is required before registration is complete unless otherwise noted.


To register, please call the Cloverdale Library at 604-598-7327,

drop in, or email


Our website:

Ongoing:  Genealogy Collection Orientations

with Cloverdale Library Staff

The Cloverdale Branch of Surrey Public Library has one of the most extensive collections of Canadian genealogical materials in Western Canada. The library has a wide variety of books and microfilms covering records from the Canadian provinces and territories. To help you become familiar with the collection, the Cloverdale library offers orientations on the first Saturday of every month, from 10 am - 10:50 am. Visit our website for upcoming dates.

No Charge but please register - dates may change over holiday weekends, and orientations are not be held during the summer. Please check the latest program listings online or contact the branch.

Upcoming Family History Programs


Fall 2018 Genealogy Programs at Cloverdale Library


Fun Family History Fridays

A free drop-in, conversation session for any and all who are interested in family history and want to meet other family historians. No preparation required – just bring yourself and your fascination for all things genealogical.  By all means bring a friend along as well.

Generally the meetings will take place the first Friday of each month. But check our schedule or contact us to make sure.

Fridays, Sept. 7, Oct. 5, and Nov. 2,  Dec 7 2:30pm – 4:00pm
No Charge

Rock and a Hard Place

In 1922, Simon McGeown murdered a seven-year-old girl. He was hanged in Crumlin Road Jail, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Our presenter, Ann Buchanan, is a descendant of his. Rather than examine the crime itself, Ann will discuss researching the time and place surrounding the crime. She will be using family history tools to build the character of an ancestor. Her aim is to try and answer why a person would commit such a crime. This presentation includes researching his military career. It covers the extreme unrest during the First Troubles, the Irish War of Independence that led to the creation of Northern Ireland.

Saturday Sept. 15, 10:30 am - 12:00 pm
No Charge

Dig into Family History

with Jamie Brown

Getting started or re-started on your family tree?

Come and learn about the variety of Family History records. The records can include birth, marriage, death, census, and passenger lists.

Saturday, Sept. 22, 10:30am – 12:30pm
No Charge


Ongoing: Start Searching Your Family History

A beginner’s workshop in five lessons with Brenda L. Smith


Tuesday Evenings, 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm: Sept 25, Oct 9 and 23, Nov 6 and 30


This series of five 3-hour classes, developed by writer and researcher Brenda L. Smith, addresses each beginning family history researcher's need for guidance in embarking on a very personal journey.  Working with their own materials, and supporting each other, learners will discover their particular motives and set goals for their research, organize and evaluate their data, and plan the first stage of their individual programs.  Participants must be able to commit to attendance at all five sessions.

Lesson 1: Probe the Past - From the Known to the Unknown 
Discover your personal motivation for compiling a family history, formulate goals for research, and draft a family tree diagram.

Lesson 2: Organize - The Second Prime Directive
Explore organizational approaches, basic data collection and storage techniques, organize your workbook, and create a family group sheet.

Lesson 3: Can You Prove That? Verify Your Findings
Process documents, discuss evidence and apply standards of proof.

Lesson 4: Right Forest, Wrong Tree: Interpret Your Findings
Build context for your research, & develop techniques for critical analysis of family history data.

Lesson 5: Pack Your Parachute: The Research Plan
Renew your research goals and prepare a plan for continuing research.

Charge: $100 for the series

Prison and Court Records

With Andrea Lister

Prison and court records can tell you a lot about your ancestors and their lives.

Whether documented legal battles or criminal activity, these records will provide a wide variety of colour and detail. We will look at records on everything from petty theft to illegal poaching to declaring someone' husband dead.

Tuesday, Oct 2, 6:30pm – 8pm
No Charge

Why Write Your Family History?

With Brenda L. Smith

It is never too soon to start writing your family story, but it can be too late.

Learn to prepare to ask well-researched questions of your elderly relatives. Consider how to be ready when you have the opportunity to travel. Explore why you should give yourself time to reflect on your personal experiences.

Saturday Oct 27, 10:30 am – noon
No Charge

Ancestry Library Edition Workshop

With Jamie Brown, and Carmen Merrells

Ancestry Library Edition (ALE) is free to use at Cloverdale Library. Learn to use it to help improve your research skills and become a better family historian.

Bring your own device for a hands on session!

Wednesday Nov 7, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
No Charge

10th Annual Family History Show & Tell!
Location is Guildford Library!

Hosted by Paul MacDonell

We continue the tradition by inviting people who document their family history to bring in their creations – there have been family quilts, a digitized Super 8 film featuring a BC lumberjack ancestor, artfully done scrapbooks, storyboards, diaries, a very special chamber pot, digital collages and much more.

So please join us and bring whatever you’ve made to honour your ancestors. Or, you might just have a unique family history artefact to share with everyone.

You are welcome to share by describing your project OR you may simply have a table and showcase your items. A laptop with the Internet and a projector will be available to demonstrate online projects such as family history websites or digital collections.

Visitors without stories are welcome to see and listen. Who knows, you might discover a great Christmas gift idea!

Note! Participants limited to a maximum of ten minutes talk time.

Saturday Nov 17, 10:30 am - 12:30 pm.
At Guildford Library
No charge
. Register at either Guildford or Cloverdale.




SAVE THE DATE!! Friday, Sept. 28 – Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, Kelowna, BC

Kelowna and District Genealogical Society

“Harvest Your Family Tree” Conference 2018

Are you coming?

A reminder that registration closes at midnight on September 20th!! This promises to be our biggest conference ever and certainly is the largest genealogy conference in Western Canada. People are flocking from all four Western Provinces plus even Australia! If you are interested in Family History, don’t miss out.


Besides having many interesting and informative sessions; a large Marketplace full of unique merchandise, information and piles of great used books; we are providing a FREE lunch and all-day refreshments! We also have over 100 Door Prizes including hotel packages, DNA Kits, Genealogy Software, Website Subscriptions and so much more! What’s not to love? You may even meet a distant cousin or finally make that big breakthrough on your elusive ancestor!


Be sure to join us for a fun and informative weekend! Much more information, registration and payment via Interac e-transfer (or by cheque) at:

Exciting Speakers, Genealogical Marketplace, One-on-One Consultations,

Friday Reception, Lots of Great Door prizes, Raffles, Lots of Fun & Lots of Information

Stay tuned for more information coming in early 2018!

Get the scoop on all the conference news by joining our conference mailing list: mailto:



Have you registered for the Conference yet? We are now over 100 registrants for this September event and some lectures are filling up but there is still room in everything except Blaine Bettinger’s consultations (don’t forget that Helen Smith is also doing consults and is a DNA expert as well); the Microsoft Word Computer Lab is full and there is only limited space in the two PowerPoint Labs. However, there is still lots of great selections available!


We are pleased to announce that Blaine Bettinger is now giving a Keynote Address at the Friday Evening Reception! He has an interesting and lively topic for us. Although this is a free event thanks to our hosts, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, there are limitations on the attendance numbers due to fire codes. So, do make sure you register for this event before it is too late.


Once you are registered, you will be invited to join our special “Harvest Your Family Tree” Facebook page where you can meet the other registrants and keep up on the latest conference developments.  This is a closed group and it has been fun sharing information and learning more about the people who are coming from far and wide to the conference.  So far, we have attendees coming from Australia, Saskatchewan, Alberta and all points in BC.  I am really hoping to entice some Washingtonians up here this year, too!


To find out more and register, visit our Conference Website at: or follow the link from our KDGS homepage: