Monday, 8 January 2018

Canadian towns -Genealogy in Maple Ridge & Hammond, B.C.

My genealogy interest in the Lower Mainland (area of Vancouver, B.C.) is multi-faceted. Members of our family were estate gardeners, fruit farmers, longshoremen and yet others were involved in the building of the Second Narrows Bridge.

View across the Fraser River from Port Hammond
From the Image Library- Library and Archives Canada
MIKAN 2878650
It was this last occupation which led me on a journey to find any pictures of the crew who built the Second Narrows Bridge. Unexpectedly, I came across a fabulous photo of the crew of the Hammond Cedar Mill. Hammond is one of the communities in the Maple Ridge area. Maple Ridge is outside the Greater Vancouver area, GVA, but it is a community that has been incorporated since 1874.

I have always known Maple Ridge as Haney, nowadays the city centre is referred to as Haney. But I digress. Below for your genealogy pleasure are some of the sites that I came across during this segway journey into a bit of my family history.

Each of the pictures on the Hammond Cedar Mill page are 'clickable' but they take a very long time to load.
      One of the pictures is of a group of men and the label reads: Accident Free Sep.18 1951 to Sep.18 1952. Not very many names are listed unfortunately.
      Tip: to close the picture hit the Esc key very top extreme left key on your keyboard. That will cancel the loading of the pictures.

This short newsletter from the Maple Ridge Historical Society (a pdf document 2013) has a few historical pictures of events in Maple Ridge - pgs 5 to 6 have a few pictures of the mill.

Fred Braches is a well known historian in this area- his name pops up again and again. This is his contribution to the History of the Hammond Cedar Mill.

Other Maple Ridge Genealogy Resources

Enumeration: Maple Ridge 1917 : An extraordinary 1917 census of the people, horses, cattle, sheeps, hogs. poultry and bees.

ArchiveCenter in Maple Ridge - not to be confused with Maple Ridge Museum and Archives, this is an online archives of documents relating to the business of the City of Maple Ridge. Of interest to a genealogist: Maple Ridge this month - a monthly newsletter for the community and Heritage Newsletters.

The Maple Ridge Museum and Archives has some very useful resources. My favourites are Pioneering Families and the Our Cemeteries, of course! both are under Discover Our Stories.

Haney House Museum - built in 1883 by local pioneer Thomas Haney.  It was occupied by various members of the family until 1979. 

Port Haney is named for Thomas Haney who purchased the land and developed a brickyard which lasted for only a few years. Thomas then moved on to other businesses with his brother in law.

History of Maple Ridge Slideshow - very cool slideshow to explain the history of Maple Ridge, Port Haney, Port Hammond, Webster's Corner, Whonnock, Ruskin and other communities. Slide 44 of 50 provides a list of the communities that mail was delivered to. It rolls through quite quickly, so do let it roll and rewind to catch up on what you missed.

The Maple Ridge Archives are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Flickr. Genealogy à la Carte has a list of Facebook pages for Genealogy here

Fred Braches also wrote - Whonnock and Ruskin Archives and History and contributes to the Whonnock History Blog  -  Whonnock is a community very close to the Maple Ridge boundaries.

Also do check with the public library in Maple Ridge for any local history information that I've overlooked. The only information about digital or online collections I could find via their webpages are access to electronic databases and Ancestry Library Edition. Points to the Past: an access point to many Gale products, 18th Century newspapers, British Newspapers 1600-1900, Times Digital Archives 1785-2008 to name a few. Accessible only by B.C. residents and I assume this means with a B.C. library card.

Other Resources 

M. Diane Rogers is a genealogist in Vancouver, B.C. and has written extensively on genealogy resources for the area as well as British Columbia in general. Diane's list of Lower Mainland Genealogy Resources.

BC Genealogical Society


  1. Hi, Penny.
    The Maple Ridge Family History Group, part of the Historical Society, is very active in personal and community research. I was at their last meeting - a lively, award winning group!

  2. Another related area -very varied and interesting - would be Whonnock and Ruskin. Whonnock Notes, a history series, is in-line free:
    And we had a family friend working on the third Second Narrows Bridge - now the Ironworkers Memorial Second Narrows Crossing. I was pretty young �� but I remember. I have some research material and you might like a photo of the memorial.

  3. Re: Ancestry LE and Points to the Past...With AncestryLE it depends on your particular library - each does their own subscription. As for Points to the Past, it appears most public libraries have access to it - again, always best to check. And yes, BC Library card only, at least for remote access. In-house, even if you don't have a card, many libraries offer guest passes that allow you to use the digital resources while using one of their computers. Never hurts to ask! And yes, I work at a public library in BC *g*...

  4. Hello Diane and Teresa : Thank you so much for your comments. Not surprised to hear of a 'lively' genealogy group! Perhaps someday I'll come along to a meeting. Thank you for the overview of Points to the Past, Teresa, it's great that most libraries have access to a scheme like this. So nice to have comments from someone who 'works in the field' - :) Librarians are friendly!

  5. Hi Diane - it would be great to see what you have on the Second Narrows. Please email me. Tx!

  6. Anyone looking to research family history questions regarding Maple Ridge can contact us through our website at The city of Maple Ridge includes the former postal identities Haney, Port Haney, Port Hammond, Yennadon, Albion, Webster's Corners, Whonnock, and Ruskin.