Dean Ford, president of Nanaimo Family History Society, and his organization seek a permanent home for their library and reference materials. (KARL YU/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo family tree non-profit looks to lay down roots

Nanaimo Family History Society seeks space for library

A Nanaimo non-profit that assists with family trees is looking for a location to lay down roots.

Nanaimo Family History Society had to shutter its genealogy library at Old Victoria Road in 2015 due to a loss of B.C. gaming grant money and has been forced to store its collection of some 2,000 books at members’ homes. The material includes rare pioneer records and volumes of genealogical material that spans across Canada and the society has preference for space from 400-600 square feet that would be available for volunteers to access at least once a month to help the public with research and book borrowing, said Dean Ford, society president.

“The space will be just for storage of books, I mean a dry, climate-controlled area so the books don’t get mouldy,” said Ford. “We have some unique books that are not available online and nowadays a lot of stuff is getting online, but we have books that they haven’t digitized yet and that’s what we’re looking for, is somewhere to keep those, because right now they’re spread out … some on Gabriola Island, so they’re really hard to get at on a regular basis, so we’d like to just consolidate them back in one area.”

The society is willing to pay rent so long as it is not too much, said Ford, and it can also issue tax receipts. It was established in 1985, became a registered non-profit society in 1989 and boasts about 90 members.

“What we do is we help people do genealogy research,” said Ford. “We have different speakers come in and talk about different subjects; DNA, what to do with your photos, how to pass on your family history because the generation now is not as much interested as the older generation, but we’ve done all this work, we want to pass it on to somebody.”

For more information, go to and to contact the society, e-mail

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