South West Branch Celebrates 40 Years of Genealogy

Mar 25, 2018

Southwest Branch MGS 40th Anniversary Celebrations

The Southwest Branch of the Manitoba Genealogical Society is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2018. The Branch was chartered as a Branch of Manitoba Genealogical Society Inc. in 1978 with 18 charter members. The purpose as described at the time was to encourage the pursuit of genealogical research in southwestern Manitoba and beyond and to provide opportunities for members of the Branch to meet and to maintain a visible presence in southwest Manitoba.

Currently, “the Branch” is composed of about 70 members from southwestern Manitoba as well as those from further afield who are interested in researching family members from this area. The Branch maintains a resource library, named after long-time Brandon resident and passionate genealogist Margaret E Goodman. Located in Knox United Church it is open to researchers every Monday afternoon and by appointment.

Regular meetings are held the first Wednesday of every month (except July and August or if on a tour) at Crocus Plains School. These meetings provide a time to network with other genealogists, learning from the presentations and from each other.

As well special events are held to further members’ expertise. These include workshops, seminars and special guest speakers. “Drop-in Genealogy” is an opportunity for genealogy researchers who have a question or a road block in their research to come together and help each other.

The Southwest Branch is part of the larger Manitoba Genealogical Society. Thus, besides local resources, members have access to the Resource library in Winnipeg, special online databases, journals and publications.

The Branch’s website at  and Facebook page: southwest manitoba genealogical society inc. contains interesting information on genealogy as well as up-to-date information on Branch happenings.

The Branch is planning three events to celebrate their 40th Anniversary. First, on Friday April 20, an evening reception will be held at the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum. Open to present and past members, check our website/Facebook page for details.

On April 21, there will be an all day seminar at Knox United Church entitled  “Using Today’s Technology to Unlock Puzzles of the Past”.  It promises to be an informative and educational event. As we journey through the day we will touch on traditional practices as well as new technological forms of research. Speakers for the day will be Dave Obee, internationally known Canadian genealogist from Victoria, BC and Ms Pat Ryan, well known professional genealogist and educator from Indian Head, SK. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn from two experienced genealogists who will present a wide range of research ideas. The day will appeal to all genealogists from beginner to advanced. It will provide a place to meet and mingle with the presenters and other family researchers.

Mr. Obee’s sessions will be on “DNA: A dozen reasons to get moving with genetic genealogy (and a few why you shouldn’t)”, “Destination Canada” and “A Fresh Light on Old Newspapers”.  Ms Ryan will present two sessions: “Who’s Your Momma?” and “Why Can’t I Find Them?”.

Cost for the day, including lunch, is $70.00 for members and $80.00 for non-members. See the website or call 204-726-5344 for further details and to register. Complete list and description of sessions is on website.

The weekend will culminate in the annual Heritage Dinner After a catered dinner, guest speaker Dave Obee will speak on “Crowdsourcing Your Family Research”, a session about how to draw from the work of other people, including those who were gathering information or jotting down observations a century or more ago. The dinner is open to the public. Tickets ($25.00 each) are available through registration on the website or by phoning 204-726-5344.