2018 INSTRUCTORS' BIOGRAPHIES
The following presenters will be live at the Family Discovery Day event
David Bly is a writer and photographer who recently retired as the editorial writer for the Victoria Times Colonist. His 45-year journalism career has included five years as the heritage writer for the Calgary Herald. He has published four photography-based books, as well as a young adult novel studied in Alberta junior high schools. He has contributed articles and photos to several historical books and publications. David's interest in all things related to Family History began over 50 years ago, when he first took a genealogy course with his mother.
John Carter is a member of Little Red River Cree Nation located in Northern Alberta. John and Maya have 4 daughters and they have lived on Vancover island for 8 years. John is educated in Civil Engineering Technology and has a degree in Urban and Regional Development and a certificate in project management. John is currently an MBA candidate at Royal Roads University. John works as a project management consultant for first Nation communities. He presently works for Cowichan Tribes, providing Project management and Safety consultation services. John has had some wonderful experiences getting through barriers that exist in first Nation family history research. He has learned some fascinating stories about medicine men, healers, hunters, trappers, migrating tribes and voyagers.
Janice Cushman, Emeritus AG® is an avid genealogist and instructor, who specializes in British Isles, Canada, and U.S. research. She has the Family History Certificate (Professional Option) from Brigham Young University and is a retired Accredited Genealogist® professional. Janice’s interest in genealogy was sparked in 1979, when she took an introductory course offered by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Since then, her genealogical career has included over 40 conference and other speaking engagements, writing her book, Donaghy Family History: From Ireland to Canada, serving as the Director of the Calgary Regional Family History Center for four years, and thousands of gravestones examined!
Marlene started researching her family in the summer of 1971 when her widowed mother announced that she was moving to England and marrying a first cousin. She learned that her maternal grandfather was one of 14 children and that there were about 23 first cousins in England. Marlene heard the fascinating stories of ancestors on that side of the family including British Home children, WWI stories and many United Empire Loyalists. Then there was her grandmother got lost walking home in a blizzard in northern Alberta and nearly froze to death; a grandmother who traveled to South Africa in 1900 as a nurse’s aid to a doctor; the horse-racing great grandfather in Cumberland, England; the grandfather who served in the Boer War, and then there was........... well, you get the picture. A passion was ignited that is still burning some 46 years later. Marlene is the Branch Genealogist for the UELAC Chilliwack Branch. She has successfully submitted and received approval for over 75 applications for Loyalist recognition. She instructs a 6 week class titled “Genealogy for Beginners” and “The Genealogy story continues” on campus at the University of the Fraser Valley under the umbrella of Chilliwack Elder College. Marlene is often a guest speaker and presenter on a variety of genealogy topics at history workshops, seniors’ events, Probus clubs, Family History Societies, local service clubs and has presented at the LDS Church in Surrey and Abbotsford Family History Days for many years. Two of her articles have been published in genealogy periodicals including “Who do you think you are” magazine in England.
Barbara Doell started compiling her family history over 40 years ago and is a proud 5th generation Canadian with Irish, English, Scottish, American and Mennonite ancestry. For the past ten years, she has been researching the immigrants in her family with trips across Canada and to Salt Lake City, England, Ireland, and Scotland. Barbara is a member of the Victoria Genealogical Society where she facilitates an Irish Special Interest Group. She volunteers at both the LDS Family History Library on Mann Ave and the new VGS Genealogy Learning & Research Centre located at the Royal Oak Shopping Centre.
Yvonne Gibbon is a retired elementary school teacher who also taught music education at the University of British Columbia. She is currently a performing harpist and teaches harp on Salt Spring Island. Yvonne has been an avid genealogist for over 35 years and is currently the Family History Director at the Salt Spring Island Family History Centre.
Yvonne has been doing Italian and German research for many years in addition to her interest in Swedish Records. She and her husband went to Italy to research her father's family and had good success there by going to old churches, cemeteries, and municipal halls and by finding cousins.
Sandra Gill has been a professional genealogist for over 50 years for corporate and business clients. She has lectured and taught extensively at Camosun College, Victoria Genealogy Society, Victoria Historical Society, Saanich Pioneer Society, Huguenot Society, Loyalist Society, Friends of BC Archives and is a founding member of Victoria Genealogy Society. Her interviews have been published in local newspapers, with T.V. and radio interviews. Has served at Family History Centre since it was established. Her interests cover all aspects of family history.
Chris Hall was born in the heart of Nottinghamshire, England, only a few miles from Sherwood Forest! She has been researching her family history for almost 40 years and has a passion for the history, castles, ruins, really old churches and stately homes of every county she is able to visit. She loves the hunt and although she has several brick walls to break through will leave no headstone unturned or cemetery unvisited if it might yield up that elusive relative. She admits to being really happy when on her hands and knees in some remote ancestral graveyard trying to read 200 year old weathered inscriptions.
Elaine Hall has been involved in family history research for over 40 years, researching her own family roots in Atlantic Canada and New England. In addition, she has volunteered at the Victoria Family History Center for over 20 years. She became interested in computers when in college, back in 1974. So, when genealogical research joined the computer age years ago, her love for family history grew into a serious experience. Roots Magic is her family history software of choice, and she loves to show others the simple steps to using computer software for research, especially the basics of the FamilySearch website and Family Tree. Elaine and her husband Martin will celebrate their 41st anniversary this year. They are the parents of four sons, three daughters-inlaw and six grandchildren.
Born in Lancashire with Irish grandparents, Christine fully embraces her roots as she diligently searches out the families of her deceased ancestors. Lancashire borders Wales and family members records have been found in villages with wonderful sounding names like Llandudno. She has been a volunteer in the Victoria Family History centre for over 30 years, presently serving on the executive committee; this is her fifth year as Conference Chairperson for this event. Experience in working with Familysearch was gained when serving as an international volunteer/missionary for 3 years on the Help line, assisting patrons in solving their genealogical problems through the medium of phone, chat and e-mail. Researching and assisting patrons in solving their research is her favourite thing to do.
She received her BScn from UVIC, and in her professional life she worked as a registered nurse in the VIHA hospital system.
Julie Keyes started indexing 10 years ago, when the project first started, and became the Indexing Director for the Victoria area in 2012. She loves to discover what’s on these records and then transcribe them for others to use and she loves to teach others how to index. She has also had a passion for family history research for about 20 years. She has lived in Victoria with her husband for 30 years and has 3 children and 7 grandchildren.
Mary Kathryn Kozy has been working on her own family history for over 37 years, since she first became interested as a young teenager. Over the years she has researched families from the Midwest to the Deep South, and from both Western and Eastern Europe. She started her own family history website in November 1996, and has continued developing it. She has served in multiple positions in several local societies and on the state level. She currently serves on the board of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Washington State, supports the USGenWeb project, serves as a part-time LDS Family History missionary, and speaks to many groups in the area. Mary is married, the mother of three wonderful children, and is now a grandma of two. She holds bachelor’s degrees in both Zoology and Information Technology & Systems and has completed three certificate programs with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. She has also completed the ProGen program with an eye toward certification as a professional genealogist.
Liane Lyle is a native of Montreal with a degree in history and French and a passion for family history research. She has invested much of her free time over the past 30+ years in seeking her ancestors’ records in Quebec, Ontario, England, Germany, the US and now France. Liane has served in the Family History Centre of Victoria for many years in a variety of positions. In her professional life, she worked as a high-school teacher in French Immersion classes. As a teacher of Family History, Liane especially loves to help people learn the basics in searching for their roots so they can discover those ‘aha’ moments that bring such great satisfaction.
Monica McGarrigle has been facilitating courses on the iPad for the Cordova Bay Plus 55 Association for seven years and more recently for Esquimalt Recreation and the Williams Lake Elder College as well. Her interest in family history began over 20 years ago when she realized her younger cousins didn’t know the family stories she had be privileged to hear from their Grandmother. Monica is the third generation of her family to be born in Vancouver and in one line a sixth generation Canadian. Besides her Canadian ancestry, her heritage is Irish, Manx and English.
Ron Meuse is a local amateur historian with a strong interest in genealogy.
During 40 years of working at the Esquimalt Naval base, an interest in the local Military History was cultivated. Items of historical interest were collected from the many local resources and now he is bringing these items to life through the stories they tell.
Dave Obee is a journalist, genealogical researcher and lecturer who has written a dozen books and given 650 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997. Dave has been researching his own family history since 1978. Dave's family roots in British Columbia go back to 1890. Some of his paternal ancestors arrived in North America two centuries ago, settling in New York State and Ontario. His mother was born in a German colony in Ukraine, and came with her parents to Canada between the two world wars. Dave has visited 17 countries in Europe, doing genealogical research in most of them.
Dave is the Editor-in-Chief of the Times Colonist and has worked as a journalist for 46 years. Dave is a columnist on genealogy and family history for Your Genealogy Today and Internet Genealogy. He serves on an advisory committee for Library and Archives Canada, and is on the board of Canada's History Society. In 2012 he was awarded an honorary doctorate of laws by the University of Victoria for his work as a historian, genealogist and journalist. In 2017 he was awarded the Bill Good Award for his work in journalism and in the community.
Dave has served as president of the Federation of East European Family History Societies. For several years, he taught family history courses for the continuing education department of Royal Roads University. In his spare time, he runs the CanGenealogy link site for Canadian research.
Richard was born on a Canadian military base in Fort Nelson BC and lived on various military bases until the age of 12 when his father retired from the military. His father and uncle were both veterans of WWII and his grandfather and two great-uncles fought in WWI. One of them was killed in action in Mesopotamia ( now Iraq ) on his 29th birthday. Richard has been a student of military history for several years and feels a deep sense of gratitude for those who were willing to pay the ultimate price for the freedoms that we enjoy and often take for granted.
Jeannine Powell has been referred to as the “GenQueen”. She is passionate about Family History, especially when it comes to searching online and the use of technology in the process. Jeannine has spent 23 years honing research skills while doing family history for her immediate family and occasional commissioned jobs for others in a variety of areas, including Canada, England, Scotland, Iceland and the United States.
Jeannine has been fortunate enough to be a presenter on multiple topics over the years, including workshops with the Qualicum Beach, Nanaimo and Victoria Genealogical Societies, the VIRL (Cowichan), Cowichan Elder workshops. She has twice been interviewed by CBC News online for comment on related topics. She has a special interest in using software to manage research and has been a facilitator for the Legacy [Family Tree] User Group for several years. She currently serves as a Temple and Family History Consultant.
Pat Remley has always had an interest in family history, but it was in the 1881 England/Wales census on fiche that she was finding and discovering those elusive English and Scottish kin! She loves helping patrons and friends learn to love their ancestors with roots in England and Scotland. Pat has worked in the Family History Centre for over twenty years and has been a witness to many of the wonderful changes in Family History. Other interests include making cards and scrap booking.
Carol Stiles has been working on Family History for her own family since 1970. After all her children left home in the mid 90’s, she got serious when she started volunteering at the Family History Centre in Victoria. Within two years, she had made major progress on her own line, her husband's line, and the lines of her stepfather, and her son's and daughter's in-law. When she served as Technical Advisor to the Victoria Family History Centre, she had to learn a little about computers. (She still knows a little). She then served as the Director of the Duncan Family History Centre until January 2011 when she and her husband served a Humanitarian Mission in Slovakia. There she also helped members with genealogy and taught several classes in a foreign language. At present she volunteers as a Family History Consultant and teaches several classes a year for the FHC at the Duncan Library. Her specialty is finding data online. If it is on the web somewhere, she can find it. She discovered how to tweak the system in order to get what she is looking for. She can help you with Canadian, American, English and Scottish research, as well as French-Canadian and Eastern European research.
Karen Inkster Vance
Karen Inkster Vance, MA, is an educator, family storyteller, researcher and writer who has enjoyed documenting her family history for over 25 years. She is the author of Voices from the Past: A History of North Roe (2006), a social history of the village in Shetland, Scotland where her great-grandfather was born. She conducted over 150 oral history interviews as part of the Ex-Cadet Oral History Project at Royal Roads University and oversaw the writing and production of two documentary films, Coming Full Circle: Remembrances of Royal Roads Ex-Cadets (2009) and Ingrained in Us: Remembering Royal Roads (2013), both of which have aired on local television.
After travelling the world to tramp through cemeteries, wade through archives and interview numerous family members, Karen has discovered that true joy comes not from just filling in the names and dates on her family tree but from piecing together the lives that her ancestors led. Gathering social history clues, analyzing photos and oral history interviewing are just a few of the creative approaches Karen uses to bring her ancestors to life. She is on a mission to write down and share her ancestors’ stories and help other family historians do the same.
Karen resides in Surrey, BC, Canada. For further information about Karen and the projects she is working on visit: KarenInksterVance.com
Pamela White was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario; the youngest of 7 children. Before moving to BC in 1996, Pamela also lived in North Bay, Bracebridge and Belleville.
Pamela started family tree research in 1984 and has since discovered that one branch of her family has been in Ontario since 1797! (before Ontario even was Ontario!)
Pamela's passion for family history research has led her to visit the areas where her ancestors lived and explore their hometowns in England and Scotland. She has served in the Family History Centre for many years where she enjoys helping others learn about their ancestors.
Pamela’s main areas of research are: Ontario, the USA and Britain, however she has also done research for others in most Canadian provinces, France and Wales.