British Columbia Monthly - June 2018

+13 votes

Hear ye, hear ye! If you are interested in British Columbia, and the people who made it what it is today, then the British Columbia Project might be for you!

I'm not going to pick a theme this month. Instead, I'll link to some British Columbians in the news, talk about the site that makes BC just about the easiest place in the world to do genealogy, and link to the previous issues, plus a couple of other notes about BC-related resources that you may have missed.

British Columbians in the News

BC Archives

When I first started getting serious about genealogy, I came across the BC Archives site pretty quickly. I love it: it's free, you don't have to sign up for it, and, with some exceptions, it lists everybody who was born in British Columbia up to 1903, everybody who was married in British Columbia up to 1941, and everybody who died in British Columbia up to 1996. (The government of B.C. only started registering births in B.C. in 1854, and marriages and deaths in 1872, but the archives also hold church records for baptisms from 1859 to 1872, and marriages from 1836 to 1888.) 


I had such success in tracking back my own family (at least from the time that various branches arrived in B.C.) that I thought, "This is so easy! Why do people talk like genealogy is hard work?" It took me a while to realise that not all jurisdictions make their BMD records available for free like B.C. does. For the years between when the public records begin and privacy rules start to kick in (which, admittedly, isn't very long), B.C. has to be just about the easiest place in the world to do genealogical research.


For an example, see the WikiTree profile for "Boss" Johnson, the 24th Premier of B.C. At the time I write this post, most of the information on his profile comes from the BC Archives. (There is more to find, of course, and he still needs to be connected, but the basics are there, including leads to other people.)


Currently, I'm going through my watchlist in order by birthdate, and putting in sourced death dates and places (where I can find them on the BC Archives site) for the B.C. residents on my watchlist who have gone Unlisted because they didn't have death dates on their profiles.

Previous Issues

British Columbia Challenge (June 2017)

British Columbia Monthly - September 2017

British Columbia Monthly - October 2017

Other Resources

University of British Columbia graduate lists

Historical blogs about Vancouver, British Columbia

in The Tree House by Greg Slade G2G6 Pilot (713k points)

Update on BC Premiers

The following premiers are open and unconnected:

Just connected up W.A.C Bennett.
Wow! That was fast! Good job, Tanya!
BC Archives vital statistics "with some exceptions, pretty much everyone......'

Those exceptions tend to be aboriginal people, and people with Asian ancestry  - apparently, vital statistics didn't have to be recorded for them till 1917; often information is available through Church records.  And I have noticed  huge improvement over the past few years, so that it is still worth the search.  I, too, love the BC Archives for easy access, and often images of actual documents!
Went down the list and did some tidying.
Thank you, Aaron.
I love the Archives they are great. I have used them many time to find relatives of my wife and even told a relative about it and she has started looking up family also.

2 Answers

+6 votes

Figured that I'd take a crack at one of those and after some time I had a bit of success: Premier John Turner is now connected. It should show up on the connection finder shortly. I was able to make it through his wife, Elizabeth Eilbeck's sister, Isabella Eilbeck who was married to another BC politician, William Wilson. Notes are on the sisters' profiles. 

I should add that it should be possible to make several further connections, as, according to his obituary, John Turner had a sister, who appears to be Ellen Martha (Turner) Wiffen, as her children, Lydia Martha Wiffen (a.k.a. Mrs. Edward White) and Herbert Charles Wiffen, were mentioned in Turner's obituary as being his niece and nephew. I've created profiles of them, though I'll leave it to you to make the necessary attachment to John Tuner or to create their father (also named John Turner of Ipswich in Suffolk, England). 

There are other children as well as their spouses and so on... should be able to have that premier connected to the tree on both sides of his family, but I'll leave that for others to sort out.

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (141k points)
Good job! I had taken a crack at John Turner, and ended up giving up. I never could find his wife's family, which turned out to be the key, apparently.
+4 votes
Some names that do not show when searching the BC Archives birth, marriage and death records are found more readily when searching the FamilySearch indexes.
by Judith Chidlow G2G6 Mach 5 (58.6k points)

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