Parksville workshop to aid in genealogy research

Qualicum Beach Family History Society will host Unlocking the Past conference

The Qualicum Beach Family History Society will once again hold a local conference to help those who are interested in genealogy.

The two-day workshop will be at the Beach Club Resort (181 Beachside Dr., Parksville) April 20 and 21.

Lola Cook, co-chair of the 2018 conference, said the society has hosted two conferences in the past which have drawn people from all over the Island, the Lower Mainland and even Alberta.

“If you’re into genealogy, it’s a chance for networking for a lot of the people that come,” Cook said.

“In the past, it’s been amazing; a couple of people have found out that they’re related to somebody else that’s at the conference. It’s their third cousin or something.”

The workshop, Cook said, is for both people who are just taking up an interest in genealogy, and those who are struggling to find out more about genealogy.

“Certainly there are people who hit a brick wall, and I’m one of them, that they’ve gone as far as they can and then there’s this brick wall that they can’t get past, so they’re hoping some expert will help them.”

The 2018 conference includes three speakers: Lesley Anderson, Tara Shymanski and keynote speaker Thomas MacEntee.

Anderson, who has been involved with genealogy for more than 45 years, has worked as the Canadian spokesperson for for the past 10 years. Cook said Anderson will be hosting a session on DNA and how it can help with researching genealogy.

Shymanski, a professional genealogist, is a Canadian research specialist with extensive experience in researching American and English records.

Cook said Shymanski will be teaching workshop participants how to search census records and how to find ancestors through land registries.

MacEntee, an American genealogy professional, specializes in the use of technology and social media to improve research and to connect with others in the family history community.

The cost for the two days is $180 for QBFHS members and $195 for non-members. The cost for one day is $100 for members or $110 for non-members. People can choose either day one or day two.

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. each day, with the workshops running from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information on the conference, or to register for the workshop, visit online at

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