MGS Projects Update – March 2023


by Rick Brown #1815
Projects Chair
Manitoba Genealogical Society


Here is the update of the ongoing project at the MGS.   These are MGS member projects, and we thank our many volunteers who are helping us move forward.  Many MGS members volunteer from home, from other provinces, and some prefer to come into the Resource Library once a week.  Once again, thanks for your dedication to the Manitoba Genealogical Society. Together we are growing our collection of Manitoba Genealogy.

Cummins Map Indexing

Of the 87 areas making up the maps that we are indexing, 58 have been completed and the balance are being indexed.  We are now checking all the approximate 130,000 entries and tidying up the information.  Upon completion we will have indexed all the occupied ¼ sections, river lots and located rural schools shown on the 1923 Cummin’s Map.  This index will be put into the MANItoba Name Index (MANI) upon completion.

The Cummin’s Map provided a snapshot of Manitoba’s rural population in 1923. Since the start of immigration in the 1870’s through the railway development years to a time when most of southern part of the province was occupied.  A small amount of farmland has been added since 1923.

Member Submitted Genealogies & Pedigree Charts

This project started when the MGS reviewed a past practice at the MGS:  MGS member submissions of a 7-generation pedigree chart, Family Group Sheet(s), and Biography(s) that were part of the MGS Membership Package request.  These documents lovingly filled out by hand by past members or meticulously typed on a typewriter, and stored in a filing cabinet at the Resource Library needed to be honoured properly with adherence to current privacy laws.

To date, the team has met numerous time to figure out:

  1.  What to do with the existing data which includes people who are still living
  2.  How to best go about soliciting genealogical data from our existing members to grow our collection of Manitoba genealogies, and
  3. What to do about all the Family Genealogies that are being donated to MGS on a regular basis.

A policy was drafted which was presented to the MGS Executive Board.  This policy included Submission Guidelines for new genealogies as well as processes for the old genealogies.  The team took their approach from the Archives of Manitoba, the Library Association of America’s genealogy library guidelines, Canadian privacy laws, and what makes sense for us at MGS.  Looking at what other Canadian genealogical societies were doing was also helpful as it gave another perspective.

The policy the team put together was received favourably, but it was decided that each part of the policy should be separated because it was just too long and complicated to have so many things in one document.  So, it has gone back to the Project Committee team for rewrite.  We hope to have a second reading at the Executive Meeting in March, 2023 with all the updates.  If anyone is interested in meeting to discuss these policies and to have some input, contact Rick Brown, Project Chair, at  The team usually meets on Wednesdays at the MGS Resource Centre to work on details.

Indexing Local History Books

The indexing of the Local History Books is as easy as reading the book at your computer and listing the page number and name of all the people mentioned. The books are available for download from the U of M digital library and a simple excel sheet is used for indexing.  This is a task that can be done from the MGS Resource Library at one of the computer stations, or done from your own home at your convenience.

If you are interested in contributing to this project, please email

Guardians of All the Cemeteries

We are assembling a database of all the “Guardians of all the Cemeteries” in Manitoba.  A Guardian is usually a local church, the municipality or a fraternal organization.

As we acquire the contact information of the guardians we will also be requesting information of all burials , the location of the records and permission to include the information we gather into our records for future use. In some cases, we will also be requesting permission to visit some private cemeteries.

We would ask any members with information on their local cemetery to forward any contact information to

Future Projects

One of the future projects that has been identified is the digitizing of the information in the MGS Library be it by indexing or scanning which will allow all members to have access to the information.  We who live in and around Winnipeg take for granted the ability to drop by and, for example, read all the obituaries found in binders on our shelves.

If you would like to help with any of these project or have any special requests, please advise us at


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