Category Archives: MGS News

2017 MGS Annual General Meeting

The 2017 AGM was held on Saturday, June 3 at 11:15 am at the Northwest Law Enforcement Academy in Winnipeg. The meeting included the 2016-17 Annual Reports and financial statements, election of Executive officers, and presentation of MGS awards. The 2017-18 Executive officers elected at the AGM (for 1-year terms) are:
President – Jayne Paradis, VP Administration – Virginia Braid, VP Communications – Janice Butcher, VP Finance – Rick McLellan, VP Information Technology – vacant.

The Secretary and Treasurer will be appointed by the MGS Executive at the first meeting after the AGM. The 8-member MGS Executive also includes Past President, Jim Oke. A special thank you to Jim for his contribution as President over the last three years.

2017 Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation and Promotion

Long-time MGS member, Kathy Stokes, has been awarded the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Historical Preservation and Promotion. This award, initiated in 2011, is presented in consultation with the Manitoba Historical Society to people who have rendered prolonged, meritorious service in the preservation and promotion of Manitoba’s history and heritage. Awards are presented annually in a ceremony at Government House. This year’s awards were presented on May 11. A red maple tree will be planted in a local park in honour of each of the five 2017 recipients.
Kathy’s citation follows: “Kathy Stokes has been an active member of the Manitoba Genealogical Society since 1976, having served as its President twice, and the Chair of its Special Projects Committee since 1980. She was instrumental in the creation, preservation, and public presentation of transcription records for over 1300 cemeteries throughout Manitoba, and is now helping to transfer this information into an online computer database (MANI). She gives regular seminars on genealogy and has written numerous columns for the Society’s journal, as well as several books on family history in Manitoba. She has also worked with the Fort Garry Historical Society and the Manitoba Heritage Federation. In 2013, her work was recognized with the Lieutenant Governor’s “Make a Difference Community Award.”


Thank You from MGS

Two organizations have been very helpful to MGS over the years in providing obituaries for our records:

  1. Winnipeg Free Press. For 40 years the Winnipeg Free Press has supplied the Research Committee with copies of their obituary pages so they can be indexed. 
  2. Portage la Prairie Regional Library. The Library, courtesy of Librarian Percy Gregoire- Voskampe, has provided obituaries from the Portage Daily Graphic for the years 1929-2015. 

MGS greatly appreciates these contributions to the work that we do.

Invitation – 2017 MGS AGM

Saturday, June 3 at the Northwest Law Enforcement Academy, 200-1821 Wellington Ave., Winnipeg. The meeting will include the 2016-17 Annual Reports, approval of financial statements, election of Executive officers, and presentation of MGS awards.

  • Executive officers to be elected annually at the AGM for 1-year terms include President, VP Administration, VP Communications, VP Finance, and VP Information Technology. The Secretary and Treasurer are appointed by the MGS Executive at the first executive meeting after the AGM. The Past President completes the 8-member executive.
  • Click here for a copy Nomination Form – Executive
  • Nominations for Executive officers can be sent to the Nominations committee chair, Daryl Dumanski at . Deadline May 29.

Schedule for June 3 Meeting:

  • 9:30 Meet and Greet – opportunity to talk with David Obee and browse his books for sale
  • 10:00 Presentation by David Obee (more information below). MGS non-members are invited to attend at no charge.
  • 11:15 MGS AGM

MGS Volunteer Award Nominations

Two annual awards have been presented at the AGM for many years. In 2017 a new award was approved by the Executive – the Joan Whiston Volunteer Award (in memory of Joan’s service as Past President). Thus nominations will be received for the following three awards:

  • Eric Jonasson Award of Merit
  • Florence Cox Volunteer Service Award
  • Joan Whiston Volunteer Award

Click here for the Awards nomination form – Nomination Form -Awards. Completed nominations can be sent to the Awards Selection Committee chaired by Jim Rutherford, One or more MGS members are required to sign each nomination.
A detailed description of the Awards and a list of past recipients can be found at



Presentation by Genealogist David Obee

MGS is very fortunate to have David Obee present before our AGM on June 3. Non-members are invited to this presentation free of charge. David is a very well known genealogist and presenter who has written several books. Details on his career can be found at
            David’s topic will be “Decoding the Dash: Build the Stories of Their Lives.” Grave markers often show birth and death dates, with a dash in between the two dates. Those dates are usually the least interesting aspects of a person’s life, because it is what is in between that counts. Lives are not measured by start and end dates; if so, they would have no meaning. This session uses examples to show what might happen when we start digging on the Internet, on the standard family history sites and beyond, and then dive into records in archives and libraries. It is easier than ever to tell the stories of your ancestors’ lives.


MGS Library Books and Periodicals to Give Away

  1. The MGS Resource Centre has several books to give away. Donations are welcomed.
  • Atlas: Canadian Railways (1991)
  • The Bergthaler Mennonite Church of Saskatchewan 1892-1975 (Doell)
  • Bunclody Community 1879-1970
  • Family history in Prince Edward Island (1981)
  • Hamlyn Boys’ and Girls’ Atlas (1975, 1984)
  • Hammond Headline World Atlas (1983)
  • Manitoba Place Names (n.d.)
  • Moments 77 (Red River Community College)
  • The Origin and Meaning of Place Names in Canada (1930)
  • The Projector Year End Review 1972-73
  • Red River Community College (1990)
  • R.C.C. Students’ Association Yearbook (1976)
  • Sixteenth Century Maps Relating to Canada (1956)
  • Steinbach Mennonite Church 50th anniversary
  • The Surnames of Wales (Rowlands) (1996)
  • Tomorrow’s Past: A Century of Manitoba Teachers (n.d.)
  • Van Nostrand Atlas of the World (1961)
  • Winnipeg and Area Atlas (2001)
  • Winnipeg in Maps: 1816-1972 (1975)

2. Back issues of several periodicals:

  • Complete set 1987-2001 of The Genealogist (Journal of the American-Canadian Genealogical Society founded 1973 in New Hampshire)

Miscellaneous issues (mostly late 1980s and early 1990s) of the following:

  • Canoma, vol. 7 no. 1, 1981 (Ottawa, Energy, Mines & Resources)
  • Cousins et Cousins (NWT Canadian/French Heritage Center, Minneapolis Geneal.)
  • Lost in Canada? (Canadian-American Genealogical Journal)
  • The Heritage Press (Red River Valley Heritage Society, Minnesota)
  • Chez Nous (La Societe Canadienne-Francaise du Minnesota)
  • Nouvelles Villes Jumelles (La Societe Canadienne-Francaise du Minnesota)

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 .