Please Note: KDGS is offering our GIR service via email.
If you need assistance with your genealogical research, please email: Librarian@KDGS.ca

Come to the Library to chat with genealogists from the Kelowna and District Genealogical Society. Learn how to find more on your family tree, or ask about your next steps if you’ve hit a wall in your research.

There is no charge for this service. 

Genealogist in Residence Schedule  
We are back in the library every second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 1 – 3 pm. Come and meet a Genealogist in person at the downtown library or take advantage of our email service.

GIRs are in attendance in the Westbank Library from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm on the last Wednesday of the month.

Drop-in programs, no registration required.

Family History Forums

Note: Family History Forums are now via Zoom. Please see below for instructions on how to sign-up.

Family History Forums are hosted by the Kelowna & District Genealogical Society through Okanagan Regional Library via Zoom. They are free to everyone with an interest in tracing their Family History. Family History Forums are generally held on the fourth Tuesday of each month (except December, July and August) starting at 6:30pm.  See the Forum Schedule for more information.

You must pre-register to attend by clicking on the event on the ORL’s Events Calendar and following the instructions. Be sure to enter your email address correctly and watch for the email from the ORL to confirm your registration – you will then be sent the Zoom link. https://orl.evanced.info/signup/Calendar – click on the listing on the appropriate Tuesday section of the calendar.

Family History Forums, 2022-2023

September 27: Getting Started in Genealogical Research, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

Are you wanting to discover your unique Family History but don’t know how to start? Claire Smith-Burns will give you some pointers to help you begin your genealogical journey.  

October 25: Beginning English Genealogical Research, presenter Teresa Smith

If you have ancestors hailing from England, you will want to attend this excellent primer in English Research! Learn about the best record sources and how to access them. Also, some great English Genealogy websites.

November 22: Beginners Series: Names, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

Genealogy is built on three elements: Names, Dates and Places. We will learn about names, including spellings, Anglicization, variants, nicknames and patronymics. We will also look at strategies for searching our ancestors’ names online.

January 24: Beginners Series: Sources, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

This is an introduction to genealogical sources of information: What are they? How do I learn about them? We will cover the classification of sources into Original, Derivative and Authored; providing Primary, Secondary and Undetermined Information; giving us Direct, Indirect and Negative Evidence.

February 28: Beginner Series: Keep Organized, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

Tips for Organizing your Paper and Digital Files. Your filing system must work for you and be simple enough that you will keep it up!

March 28: Census and Other Lists for Genealogists, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

Census records provide a snapshot of your family on a given day in history. Typically, censuses were taken every ten years; fill in the years between with voter’s lists and directories to build a cohesive picture of your ancestors’ lives. Examples from Canadian, US and UK records.

April 25: Using Passenger & Immigration Records in your Family History, presenters Xenia Stanford & Mary Read

Before you can start researching records of your Immigrant Ancestors to Canada in their country of origin, you must first narrow down their place residence in that country. The clues you need are in Canadian records. We will survey a number of records that may hold the clue for your ancestor’s birthplace. 

May 23: From whence did they come? Finding the place of origin for your Immigrant Ancestor, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

Before you can start researching records of your immigrant Ancestors to Canada in their country of origin, you must first narrow down their place of residence in that country. The clues you need are in Canadian records. We will survey a number of records that may hold the clue for your ancestor’s birthplace.

June 27: Church Registers Online, presenter Claire Smith-Burns

More and more church register transcriptions and images are becoming accessible online.  Learn how to find these, decipher them and download images for your own family history research.  Our survey will include examples from the UK, Canada, USA and Europe.