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About Dave Obee
Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher. He has written a dozen books and given more than 400 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada and the United States. Since 2007 he has been teaching family history courses for the continuing education department of Royal Roads University in Colwood, British Columbia.
He is Editor in Chief of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He was one of the founders of the annual Times Colonist book drive, which has raised more than $1.5 million in support of school libraries and other literacy projects since 1998.
Dave is a columnist for Internet Genealogy magazine and Family Chronicle magazine.
In 2012, the British Columbia Historical Federation announced that Dave's 2011 book, The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia, had been judged one of the top three examples of historical writing in the province. In 2009, the federation awarded Dave a Certificate of Appreciation "for his many contributions to British Columbia History." The certificate says that Dave "has researched, spoken, written, campaigned, lobbied and published the province's heritage."
Dave has also received a Certificate of Recognition from Heritage BC, for his work on the British Colonist website, which features 60 years of the leading newspaper in Victoria. The website was based on an idea hatched by Dave and university professors John Lutz and Patrick Dunae. This site makes a top resource available to researchers around the world.
Dave was the recipient of the B.C. Library Association's Keith Sacre Library Champion Award for 2010/2011; this is the association's top award for non-librarians. This honoured his research into the history of libraries in British Columbia.
Dave's latest book, published in 2012, is Counting Canada: A Genealogical Guide to the Canadian Census. In 2011 he completed The Library Book: A History of Service to British Columbia. It is a comprehensive look at library service and development over the past two centuries. Dave is also the author of Destination Canada: A Genealogical Guide to Immigration Records, published in 2010. He wrote Making the News, published by the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia, in 2008 to mark the 150th anniversary of the newspaper. It is a comprehensive history of Vancouver Island, drawn from old newspapers. Dave is also the co-author (with Sherry Irvine) of Finding Your Canadian Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide, published by Ancestry in 2007.
A complete list of genealogy sessions is on Dave's schedule page. This site also has more about Dave's topics. There is also information on Dave's books.
Dave runs CanGenealogy, a link site that is selective and sorted for ease of use. He also runs Volhynia.com, a website dedicated to the old German colonies in the northwest corner of Ukraine.
Dave has written about family history for Canada's History, the magazine formerly known as The Beaver, as well as Internet Genealogy and Your Family Tree.
He is one of the owners of Interlink Bookshop and Genealogical Services of Victoria, B.C., which sells books and maps from Canada, the British Isles and Europe.
Dave has visited 17 countries in Europe, and has done genealogical research in most of them. He has a keen interest in the world war battle areas in France, Belgium and Luxembourg. He served as president of the Federation of East European Family History Societies from 2004 through 2007, and is now the FEEFHS webmaster.
Dave was born in British Columbia, and his roots there go back to the arrival of his great-great-grandfather from Manitoba in 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 Russia, and came with her parents to Canada in 1928. Dave has lived in many areas of British Columbia (including Victoria, Kamloops, Vernon, Kelowna, Prince George, Smithers and Fernie) and Alberta (including Calgary, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Falun).
He has been researching his own family history since 1978, when he took a continuing education course through Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia. After puttering about for a few years, he started making real progress with the guidance of Rena Derricott of Lethbridge, Alberta.
Berkshire Family History Society
Kent Family History Society
Society of Genealogists
Sussex Family History Group
Ulster Genealogical and Historical Guild
Manitoba Genealogical Society
Ontario Genealogical Society
Saskatchewan Genealogical Society
Victoria Genealogical Society
Germany / Eastern Europe:
Die Arbeitsgemeinschaft ostdeutscher Familienforscher e. V. (AGoFF)
Federation of East European Family History Societies
Verein für Familienforschung in Ost- und Westpreußen
Southern California Genealogical Society
Personal research interests
Dave has collected extensive information on the German Baptist colonies in the Neudorf area of Volhynia, in the Ukraine. His personal family tree includes names such as Weiss, Scheffler, Tiedtke, Reschke, Tiede, Menzel, Hartmann, Schindler, and Boehnert. Villages include Iwanowitsch, Solodyri, Pulin, Neudorf, Florowka, Skolobow, Rogowka, and Wjasowitz; all are near Zhitomir.
Dave's Volhynian ancestors went there in the 1860s. They had lived in East Prussia, Posen and Poland. Specific towns include Albrechtsdorf, Bartenstein, and Pr. Eylau, in East Prussia (Ostpreussen); Nakel and Bromberg in Posen; and Dabie, Drzewce, Lodz and Konigsbach in Poland.
His research also includes:
Dave has many American connections, including the Springs of Prince William County, Virginia, the Johnsons of Alpena, Michigan, and countless cousins in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, and North Dakota. Josh Wilson Road, between Interstate 5 and the coast in Washington's Skagit County, is named after Dave's great-uncle.
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