Category Archives: MGS News

Free MGS Library Books

The following books are available free of charge from the MGS Library.

                                   TITLE      AUTHOR DATE
Key to the Parochial Registers of Scotland v. Ben Bloxham 1979
The Book of Irish Families Great and Small O’Laughlin 1992
Genealogy to Go! (War of 1812) Elizabeth Lapointe 2011
Raising the Standard (History of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Manitoba (1886-1986) William A. Neville 1986
Handbook for Genealogists Elizabeth Briggs 1990
Meyer’s Directory of Genealogical Societies in the USA and Canada Mary K. Meyer 1996
The Library of Congress: A Guide to Genealogical & Historical Research James C. Neagles n.d.
Ballymoney Old Church Graveyard Dorothy Arthur 2008
Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names (3rd ed.) E.G. Withycombe 1977
London A – Z street atlas and index   n.d.
The Family Tree Detective Colin D. Rogers 1985
Finding Your Ancestors in English Quebec Althea Douglas 2001
In Search of your European Roots Angus Baxter 1985
Early Marriage Records of New Brunswick B. Wood-Holt 1986
The Local Historian’s Encyclopedia (2nd ed.) John Richardson 1986
Mini Dictionary for Research in Foreign Genealogical Records, vol. 1 (Denmark, The Netherlands, Germany, Norway & Sweden) n.d.
Your Family Tree   2010
New Cousins: How to Trace Living Descendants of your Ancestors Karen Bali 2009
Orkney Guide Book (3rd ed.) Charles Tait n.d.
Miscellaneous research outlines (Wales, USA, New York, Scotland, Sweden, Polish, Ireland, Latin America, Norway, Iceland, Germany, French, Danish, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I., Saskatchewan, Quebec, Australia, New Zealand)   Various dates


New MGS Brochure and Membership Form

MGS is modernizing. Thanks to a donation from Friesens Printing, Altona ( a new brochure has been designed and printed. We will be distributing it widely to MGS branches, public libraries, archives, universities, etc. Click here to download a copy of the new brochure MGS_brochure_nov.30.2016.
We have also developed a new  Membership Form. Click on membership-form-dec-16. Please destroy copies of the old form. If you are not using MANI to pay your membership fees and wish to mail in a form, please use the new form from now on.

Free MGS Library Books Available

The Library Committee under Mary Bole has been working hard sorting out our library collection. They have culled some duplicate copies and older books to make room for other books. The culled books are available free of charge. Just drop into the MGS Library to look at the collection or email the Library at if you are interested in a particular book. Maybe you will find a “gem”. Click here for the list of available books mgs-free-books-nov-16 .

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?