Category Archives: MGS News

MGS Member, Oriole Veldhuis, Literary Prize Finalist 

Oriole Veldhuis, author of the book “For Elise: Unveiling the Forgotten Woman on the Criddle Homestead”, was selected as a finalist for the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Awards, recognizing excellence in Canadian independent publishing. The awards were presented at the 15th Annual Whistler Writers Festival on October 16. A synopsis of the book can be found at


MGS Booth at Folklorama

Sun., July 31 to Sat., August 6

MGS will be hosting an informational display at the Pavilion of Scotland, Glenwood CC, 27 Overton St. Drop in and find out more about your Scottish ancestors. MGS Outreach chair, Bill Curtis, is organizing the event and requires volunteers to assist in talking to people.

More information on the pavilion –


2016 MGS Service Awards

The Eric Jonasson Award of Merit is the major award given by MGS. It was created in 1999 to honour Eric Jonasson for his contributions to MGS. He was one of the founding members of the Society in 1976. He was the first President and served until 1980. Eric wrote his first genealogical guide “Tracing Your Icelandic Family Tree” in the 1970’s, followed by “The Canadian Genealogical Handbook” in 1976. In 1983, he published “Untangling Your Family Tree”. Eric was involved in many community and cultural organizations in Manitoba.

The 2016 winner is Shirle McGimpsey from the Dauphin Branch. The photo shows Dauphin Branch President, Don White, making the presentation.

Shirle McGimpsey

The Florence Cox Volunteer Service Award was created in 1999, Flo passed away in 2000. Flo was a member of MGS from 1979. She was a very active member in the Library and helped out in the indexing of many Manitoba Cemeteries. Flo donated a new photocopier in her will to the Society, for which we were all very grateful. The Florence Cox Awards are presented in grateful acknowledgement of exceptional service to MGS. More than one award can be made each year.

The 2016 winners are Helen Ellingson from the Swan Valley Branch, Jan Gowan from the Winnipeg/South-east Branch, and Sandra Havig from the Winnipeg/South-east Branch. Photos show MGS President, Jim Oke, presenting certificates to Jan Gowan and Sandra Havig.

Jan Gowan

Sandra Havig

Congratulations to all the recipients.

2016 MGS Annual General Meeting

The 2016 MGS Annual General Meeting was held on Saturday, June 4 at 10:00 am in the Library/Resource Center in Winnipeg. This was the 40th Anniversary of MGS. The meeting included the 2015-16 Annual Reports, election of Executive officers, and presentation of MGS awards. Here are the 2016-17 Executive officers elected at the AGM (for 1-year terms):

  • President – Jim Oke, VP Administration – Virginia Braid, VP Finance – Rick McLellan, VP Information Technology – Gordon McBean, VP Communications – Janice Butcher

The following officers were appointed by the MGS Executive at the first meeting held after the AGM:

  • Secretary – Pat Sundmark, Treasurer – Linda Wray

The 8-member MGS Executive also includes Past President, Kathy Stokes.

A 40th Anniversary cake was prepared for the MGS AGM, with the same colour scheme and picture as the new MGS web-site. It was cut by  Don White (Dauphin President) representing the branches, Kathy Stokes representing the MGS Executive, and Louisa Shermerhorn representing the volunteers – see photos below.

40th Anniv. cake

Cutting 40th Anniv. cake

Library Culling of Books

The MGS Library Committee has a NEW May 2016 list of culled books from our collection. The books to be discarded are being offered first to MGS members. As they progress with the process of downsizing, the Committee will be making lists of books that will be offered to MGS members first. The lists will be posted on the MGS web-site for one month. If no member has requested a book by the end of one month, it will offered to another organization. For the May 2016 list of books, click on the following link: Discarded_books_May2016 .

Manitoba Day – Saturday, May 14

On Saturday, May 14 the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg is hosting an Arts, Culture and Heritage Fair in Alloway Hall from 11 am. – 5 pm. MGS will once again be hosting an information display along with many other community organizations. The celebration includes free admission to the Museum Galleries, Science Gallery and Planetarium, and special events throughout the day. More information at

Birthday cake (Manitoba’s 146th) and other refreshments will be served at 3:00 pm. This is a great opportunity for MGS to inform the general public about our organization. We need volunteers to staff our display – two volunteers per hour. If you are available, please contact Bill Curtis (Outreach Chair) at Why not volunteer for an hour and then take advantage of the free admission?




MGS – 40th AGM

Manitoba Genealogical Society 40th AGM
June 4, 2016, 10:00 a.m.

The Northwest Law Enforcement Academy, 200- 1821 Wellington Avenue

Click on the links below to download the location and parking map as well as the registration form:



• Presentation: The Tragedy at Patterson Lake, Gwen Pedersen speaker
• Catered luncheon: Supplied by Food for Thought
Cost: $20.00 for lunch

Registration required –
PLEASE Register by May 20, 2016
(Doors open at 9:30)
Acknowledgement of registration will be made by e-mail or phone
Receipts to be picked up at the AGM

Geographical features to be named after Fallen Soldiers

About 7,000 Manitobans died in the First World War, but the province only has names for 1,092 of them in its archives. The known casualties from the First World War will be commemorated with their names on land features. The province is asking families to check to see whether a relative from the First World War is missing from the list – see link above. If so, families should notify the Lands Branch of MB Conservation so it can reconstruct its list.

Publication available about war dead (WWII) already commemorated – “A Place of Honour”

Index of Manitoba Soldiers killed in WWI

The Archives of Manitoba has created an electronic index of some Manitoba soldiers killed in WWI. This index was generated from a series of cards created by the Government of Manitoba for the purpose of documenting Manitoba casualties. The original index was made during and after the war but was not a complete record. As a result, this electronic index is also not a complete list of Manitobans killed in WWI. Interested individuals can search the index for persons of interest, and if found, go to the digital record. The index is fully keyword searchable, making it easy to narrow down by community or other keywords, in addition to names.

Each of the 1092 cards contains information on an individual soldier, including name, rank, battalion, date of death, and may also include personal information such as community of residence and next of kin. Some have an obituary glued to them. To access the index, consult the following web-site: