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Bruce County Genealogical Society
BCGS logo

Serving Bruce County Families --past and present

Bruce County Genealogical Society

Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0

Click to see larger Bruce County map
Projects & Events 


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Looking for Bruce County's Archives? The Bruce County Archives is part of the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, 33 Victoria Street, Southampton, Ontario, 519-797-2080, ext. 129. The Bruce County Genealogical Society's library is housed in the Archives, and one of our volunteers is usually available to assist you with your research.



Searching for your Ancestors? Look to BCGS for help!

The Bruce County Genealogical Society was founded on March 20, 1989 as a non-profit, unaffiliated organization for ancestry and family history in Bruce County, Ontario. We are proud of the many varied resources now available through our efforts.

Members and friends enjoy genealogy, meeting to network and to assist others with research. The desire is to promote education as well as to encourage high standards and accuracy.

A novice or an expert will find information about the county and far away places in our superb library of books, maps and artefacts. The publishing group is dedicated to finding and printing rare documents and research aids. Others transcribe facts from repositories and cemeteries; these records too are then published. Our newsletter, Bruce Bulletin, contains shorter articles and features helpful guides for members. The website specialty is queries, local news and history, but links can take you throughout the county or around the world, genealogically speaking that is.

Speakers, programs, workshops and courses illustrate basic tools for genealogy. You'll learn what you can expect to find, where to look for the records you need, how to research them, how to interpret and prove your data, plus how to organize your information. You'll discover what works for others searching the same places.

If you are lucky, you'll meet a distant cousin looking for your branch of the family!


To join our society, please fill out the membership application


Meetings are usually held on the 2nd Monday of each month. January through March meetings are at 1:00 PM. April through October meetings are at 7:00 PM. The November meeting is the Annual General Meeting. A Potluck begins at 12:00 noon with a speaker to follow at 1:00 PM. The location varies. Please check our website for dates, locations, changes and cancellations, or call the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre, 33 Victoria Street North, Southampton ON N0H 2L0, telephone (519) 797-2080 or 1-866-318-8889. Meetings are free, and usually feature a speaker. Visitors are welcome.


New Bruce County Cemeteries Page

We've added a new Bruce County cemeteries page to our website. We provide the cemetery civic address, GPS coordinates, transcription location, and photos location. You can reach the page by clicking on 'Cemeteries' in the left sidebar above.

WWI-Era Newspapers Now Available Online

First World War era local history has been captured by the Bruce County Genealogical Society (BCGS). Four local Bruce County newspapers – Paisley, Port Elgin, Walkerton, and Wiarton – have been scanned and converted into searchable PDF files which are available for viewing via the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre (BCM&CC) Online Collections website.

During these anniversary years of the Great War, the BCGS and BCM&CC were looking to find a way to make this record of events more accessible to researchers, students, genealogists, historians, and anyone with an interest in the people and events in Bruce County communities. The BCGS received funding support for the newspaper scanning project from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Community Foundation Grey Bruce.

Anne Goeden, Treasurer of the BCGS and project lead says “We have a strong relationship with the BCM&CC and we are pleased to be able to offer genealogists and other researchers access to these historic papers online. Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to make the papers searchable increases the accessibility greatly. What a wonderful resource!”

“This is a great step forward for our digital strategy at the BCM&CC,” says Archivist Ann-Marie Collins. “Our goal is to make our collections more accessible. Working in partnership with the Bruce County Genealogical Society and their volunteers offered us the opportunity to increase our number of digital resources. We will continue to work with them to make more papers available.”

Researchers can also visit the BCGS’s Audrey Webster Underwood Library housed within the Research Room at the BCM&CC. This library, along with the BCM&CC’s reference and archival holdings, provide a rich resource for anyone interested in Bruce County’s past.

Here are direct links to the digitized newspapers:

Port Elgin Times:

Paisley Advocate:

Walkerton Telescope:

Canadian Echo, Wiarton:


Check out our list of reference material for sale on our publications page. You'll find reprints of directories, local histories, transcriptions of newspapers, cemeteries, churches and censuses, maps and genealogical supplies.    


The Audrey Webster Underwood Collection library housed in Bruce County Archives, which is part of the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre is open during museum hours. Amongst the sources you'll find are:

We are grateful for donations. Suitable books and maps will find a good home in our collection.

For more information on doing research see our research page and research request form.


This great society has benefited from the collective efforts of others who are interested in genealogy. Many events we attend and the resources we use have been achieved though the work of dedicated volunteers. Giving some time to the society is a great way to meet others who share your interest in family history, to keep the society vibrant and to give back to the community.

There are some worthwhile and enjoyable opportunities with the BCGS such as: serving on the executive, helping with the clipping collection, convening or speaking at a meeting, assisting in the Museum Reading Room, solving queries, transcribing records, writing articles, editing the newsletter, manning promotional displays at special events, etc. It doesn't have to be a big part of your time. Every little bit helps the cause. Please contact us at [email protected] for more details.

The Bruce County Genealogical Society is a registered charity (BN 862840014RR0001) and we welcome your donations. We will issue you an official donation receipt for tax purposes.

Community Foundation Grey Bruce

In appreciation of the support of the Community Foundation Grey Bruce, which has enabled us to purchase microfilms of wills and estates, and to scan WWI-era newspapers.

Ontario Trillium Foundation

In appreciation of the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which has enabled us to scan WWI-era newspapers.

Donate Now Through!  

Bruce County's Townships (before  1998 amalgamations)

Albemarle Township
Colpoy's Bay United Church, Colpoy's Bay, Albemarle Township, Bruce County

Amabel Township
Wiarton, Amabel Township, Bruce County

Arran Township
Christ Church Anglican Cemetery Record, Tara, Arran Township, Bruce County

Brant Township
Walkerton town clock, Walkerton, Brant Township, Bruce County

Bruce Township
Underwood United Church, Underwood, Bruce Township, Bruce County

Carrick Township
Mildmay church, Mildmay, Carrick Township, Bruce County

Culross Township
Salem United Church, Culross Township, Bruce County

Eastnor Township
Barrow Bay, Eastnor Township, Bruce County

Elderslie Township
Memorial plaque, hamlet of Williscroft, Elderslie Township, Bruce County

Greenock Township
Plaque, village of Pinkerton, Greenock Township, Bruce County

Huron Township
Huron Township Hall, Ripley, Huron Township, Bruce County

Kincardine Township
Mural, village of Tiverton, Kincardine Township, Bruce County

Kinloss Township
South Kinloss Presbyterian Church

Lindsay Township
War Memorial, Lindsay Township, Bruce County

Saugeen Township
Dunblane Presbyterian Church, Saugeen Township, Bruce County

St. Edmunds Township

Lighthouse, Tobermory, St. Edmunds Township, Bruce County
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Bruce County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0
Copyright © 2003 - 2018
[email protected]

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