Brenda Smith will teach three genealogy lectures during Langley Heritage Week. (Ann Harrison photo)

Langley Heritage Week centres on genealogy training and tours

The annual events allow people to explore the history of this community and more.

Genealogy is so much more than the date of people’s birth, the date of their marriages, dates for the birth of any children, and when they died.

“It’s storytelling,” said Brenda Smith.

The Maple Ridge woman teaches genealogy courses and will be offering sessions on three genealogy topics for Heritage Week in Langley.

She said researching family history starts with the person interested in finding out more. Their own documents start the story, telling of their connections (parents, siblings, grandparents, vital statistics and more).

“You are the place where you start, your documents talk about the people who came before you,” Smith said.

A person may be interested in researching a certain member of the family or their entire lineage. The courses, intended for those 16 and older, can help people do just that. The three lectures build upon related topics and cost $15 apiece.

On Tuesday, Feb. 12, people can learn about how to conduct searches for ancestors. Participants receive a starter workbook and other materials to guide the first steps on this popular self-development path.

In the second lecture, Smith demonstrates how to access B.C. records, including births marriage and death records, baptism, oversees military deaths and more.

“For me it’s an amazing story of the province,” she said. “Those records tell us what this province has been up to since 1856.

That second lecture is on Feb. 13. The final lecture is on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14.

That Thursday lecture is all about research possibilities on the internet and can help people steer clear of missteps and rabbit holes (spending a lot of time following bad or incorrect information).

All the workshops run 6 to 8 p.m. at the Langley Centennial Museum in Fort Langley. People must sign up in advance through the website and Smith suggested people bring a notebook. They can take one, two or all three lectures.

“They come in at so many different levels and what they hope to accomplish,” she said of the people who take courses.

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Other Heritage Week events

Tea will be served to warm up after a walking tour of Fort Langley with Centennial museum curator Kobi Christian on Feb. 16. The fee is $20 for the tour and refreshments (tea/coffee and baking). The tour features history on the village’s historical buildings and people. This event happens rain or shine but umbrellas will be provided in the event of rain.

Join heritage expert Fred Pepin and celebrate Heritage Week by visiting historic landmarks found in Langley’s heritage community of Murrayville. Lunch and bus included. Pick up available at W.C. Blair Recreation Centre and Langley Centennial Museum, which oversees Heritage Week events in the community.

The $30 tour is popular so sign up early. It’s Monday, Feb. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and for those 16 and older.

Historian and author Warren Sommer will be the guide for a tour of the gravestones of Fort Langley, including sharing the meaning of cemetery art.

This event costs $15 and happens Sunday, March 3 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., again for those 16 and up.

All the events require registration in advance through the Township recreation website

• Sign up

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