Archive for the ‘FYI’ Category

FYI: Important News from Niagara Peninsula Branch

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Due to multiple conflicting schedules the Niagara Branch Program Committee has decided to move its October 25th Fall Seminar to March 2015.

Saturday, October 25th is an incredibly busy day as far as many other OGS Branch presentations are concerned and the target audience is divided. The low number of pre registered attendees for this event means that not many Genealogists would benefit from the excellent speakers and presentations.

We have NOT cancelled the event. Instead we have moved it to the Spring of 2015, to be held on Saturday, March 14th. The format of the event will change to a mid morning “pancake breakfast”, a Branch AGM, and a slightly shorter day.

We apologize for the short notice of this change. There was hope for an increase in registration closer to the date, but that has not occurred. For anyone who has registered, a refund will be coming to you.

Details regarding the Spring event will be available shortly. Look to our Branch Website and Facebook Group for updated information.

As always, Thank you for your continued support,
The Niagara Peninsula Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Contact Information for Niagara Branch can be found here:

All OGS Members Invited to our November Webinar

Sunday, October 19th, 2014

Do I Have That Book? Keep Your Library on Your Portable Device
Speaker: Nancy Waters Lauer;
Saturday Nov. 1, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m.

Learn how to have your books catalogued in a transportable book database for logging, searching, and organizing publications and authors on your iPhone or portable device for easy access. No longer will you purchase the same book over and over again.

Nancy Waters Lauer is a researcher, lecturer, college instructor, and award-winning author. She has extensive speaking experience throughout the Maryland — Virginia area. She has presented at national and regional conferences. She is a certified Six Sigma Black Belt, certified Microsoft Professional, and member of APG, GSG, ISFHWE (Secretary), NGS, Maryland Historical Society, American Society for Quality, and International Society of Six Sigma Professionals.

Up to 100 people can access this webinar at one time. The room will open 10 minutes before the session is scheduled to start. It is no longer necessary to pre-register for webinars but if you would like a personal reminder, please contact the provincial office at:

If you wish to check that your computer and network connections will work well with Adobe Connect, you will find more detailed access instructions visiting: and scrolling to the bottom of the page.

Intrigued by the OGS Genealogy Webinar Program? Become a member of OGS for full access to our webinar series – including those that have been archived. Join – or renew – for 2015 starting on November 1st. For more information on the benefits of becoming an OGS Member, please contact our membership coordinator at:

OGS Oxford Branch now on Facebook!

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

Our Oxford Branch has now started a group on Facebook. Join this group to get the latest news from Oxford.

OGS has a significant Facebook presence. On top of our OGS page, many Branches have a page or a group there.

See if your branches are on Facebook.

OGS Represented at New Archives of Ontario Speaker Series

Saturday, October 18th, 2014

To commemorate the centenary of the First World War, the Archives of Ontario is hosting a series of engaging talks designed to connect Ontario residents with archival records related to the war. Admission is free. These talks are for Scholars, family historians and history buffs as a valuable aid for further exploration of the Archives’ extensive resources related to the First World War.

The first speaker is Jane MacNamara. Jane is an OGS member, an author, and a genealogy instructor. She will be presenting Inheritance Interrupted: WWI reflected in Ontario Estate Files on Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, 6:30 p.m. – 7:45 p.m.

The Great War cut short many lives and disrupted the expected passing of property and goods to the next generation. Drawing from estate files from across the province; this presentation will show examples of these changes and demonstrate how reading between the lines and understanding the process and implications of inheritance records can enhance family and local history — in any era. For more information and to register, visit the Archives of Ontario website:

NOTE: Change of Speaker and Topic for Essex Branch October Meeting

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

Date: Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time: 7:00 pm (note change of day for Thanksgiving holiday)

Location: Windsor Public Library, 850 Ouellette Avenue, Windsor, ON

Speaker: Debra Honor

Topic: “The Enrolled Pensioners of Amherstburg”

Brief Overview: During the 1850’s the British government did not need as many soldiers to protect her empire. So the government came up with a plan to have old soldiers with good conduct be settled in areas of the colonies where they might be needed to defend the settlers. Some plans failed but the one in Amherstburg and Penetanguishene were successful. Join us and find out why.

Contact Info:

In case you missed them…..

Saturday, October 4th, 2014

Here are the links to all five articles in the How to Research Your Family History series:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

Part 5:

We are always on the look out for submissions for the OGS blog! Have you written an article that would help fellow family historians with their research? Or perhaps there is another family history topic closer to your heart.

Why not send it into for review.

Don’t forget, the complete series is also pinned to the Interesting Articles board on the OGS Pinterest page:

OGS is now on Pinterest!

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

The OGS provincial office has now joined the Pinterest community

What will you find there? Our Librarian has created 14 boards — so far — including:

• Welcome to OGS
• OGS Branches (those on Pinterest)
• OGS Special Interest Groups
• OGS Conference 2015 – Tracks Through Time
• OGS Publications
• Interesting Articles
• Historic maps
• Heritage photos
• Ancestral lands

Pins are for sharing — pin our stuff to your boards, pin your stuff to some of our boards. Share your heritage photos. Have you travelled to your ancestral lands? Taken photos? Pin them to our Ancestral Lands board — maybe find some new neighbours. Search for us under The Ontario Genealogical Society.

Happy pinning!

Reminder: OGS on Facebook

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Have you liked the OGS Facebook page yet?:

Find us on Facebook and “Like” our page to get the latest OGS news and genealogical information delivered to your Facebook newsfeed.

Many of our branches are already quite active on Facebook; Niagara Peninsula, Quinte and Nipissing are but a few.

Click here to view other branches on Facebook.

Genealogy and the Law in Canada

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Gen and Law258

The September issue of e-Newsleaf had a very interesting editorial on how copyright laws may affect the sharing of electronic files. It mentioned the book Genealogy and the Law in Canada.

This book was published jointly by OGS and Dundurn Press and is part of the Genealogist’s Reference Shelf series. The author, Dr. Margaret Ann Wilkinson, is a professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Western Ontario who has taught, written and spoken widely about intellectual property, privacy protection and legal ethics.

The book explores Canadian law and how it pertains to copyright, information found in cemeteries, genealogy and libel, and the publication of genealogical material. For individual family historians or professional genealogists, the book contains a wealth of information.

It is available through the OGS e-store.

How to Research Your Family History: Part 5

Saturday, September 27th, 2014

Now that we have laid the ground work on the How of starting your family history research – it’s now time to look at the Where.

Records:Where to Look

Vital Stats, Land Records, Wills and Probate Records, Military Service Records – the list goes on. With so many records to hunt down – just where does one start? In a word – Archives! Start with your local Archival Institution – not just for the records, but for the invaluable assistance you will receive from the Archivists. Yes, you could go online and start your search there, especially if accessing an Archive is not easily accomplished. Just keep in mind though, you might not know what – or who – you are looking for BUT you do need to know what – and who – you have found. This may be the most important distinction between doing your research solely on-line vs utilizing an Archive or even a Library: Guidance. Archivists and Librarians not only know their collections – they know how to search – consulting these professionals will save you time, effort and perhaps even money.

Being the Ontario Genealogical Society, our primary focus is on Ontario records. For these, your point of reference will be the Archives of Ontario. Here is a basic guide of the genealogical resources you will find here:

Ontario Births:

  • Prior to 1869
    • Civil registration for births in Ontario did not come into effect until 1869, so you will have to rely, where possible, on church records.  The Archives of Ontario (AO) website offers some tips on how to search for church records.
  • 1869-1913
    • Reading Room at the Archives of Ontario
    • Local Library, Archives or Family History Centre
    • Through the AO’s Interlibrary Loan Service, provided your local library or archival institution is a member of the Interlibrary Loan Network
    • Microfilm reels – index and registration –  may be purchased through the Ontario Genealogical Society (Pending approval of the Archives of Ontario)
    • (free genealogy website)
    • Paid subscription to genealogy website (check your local library to see if they subscribe to any of these sites)
  • 1914-1916
    •  Reading Room, Archives of Ontario.
    • Through the AO’s Interlibrary Loan Service, provided your local library or archival institution is a member of the Interlibrary Loan Network
    • These records are not available for sale.
  • 1917
    • These records are closed for scanning. According to their website, the AO is planning to make 1917 births available in microfilm format sometime in late 2014.

Ontario Marriages:

  • Prior to 1869
    • As with births, the civil registration of marriages in Ontario began in 1869. The Archives of Ontario has some marriage registrations dating back to 1780, but the collection is not extensive.  As with pre-1869 births, you will have to rely on church records for early Ontario marriages where possible.
  • 1869 -1928
    • Reading Room, Archives of Ontario
    • Local Library, Archives or Family History Centre
    • Through the AO’s Interlibrary Loan Service, provided your local library or archival institution is a member of the Interlibrary Loan Network
    • Microfilm reels -index and registration –  may be purchased through the Ontario Genealogical Society (pending approval of the Archives of Ontario)
    • Paid subscription to genealogy website
  • 1929-1931
    • Reading Room, Archives of Ontario.
    • Through the AO’s Interlibrary Loan Service, provided your local library or archival institution is a member of the Interlibrary Loan Network
    • These records are not available for sale.
  • 1932
    • These records are closed for scanning. According to their website, the AO is planning to make 1932 marriages available in microfilm format sometime in late 2014.

Ontario Deaths:

  • Prior to 1869
    • Deaths were not registered in Ontario before this date. Your best bet is to try to locate Estate Files from the Surrogate and Probate Courts. For more information on how to search for and locate these records, follow this link to the Archives of Ontario’s pathfinder page for Ontario Court of Probate and Surrogate Court Records: Wills and Estate Files.
  • 1869-1938
  • 1939-1941
    • Reading Room, Archives of Ontario.
    • Through the AO’s Interlibrary Loan Service , provided your local library or archival institution is a member of the Interlibrary Loan Network
    • These records are not available for sale.
  • 1942
    • These records are closed for scanning. According to their website, the AO is planning to make 1942 deaths available in microfilm format sometime in late 2014.

Vital Stats are of course not the only sources genealogists may use when documenting their family histories.  Crown Land and Land Registry records, as well as divorce records and of course newspapers, are but a few of the resources available to genealogists and family historians.

The Archives of Ontario is your best resource for accessing all of these record collections. Click here for the Research Guides and Tools page on the AO website. Don’t forget to check out the Citing Archival Records guide-book as well.

Contact Information for the Archives of Ontario:

Mailing Address:

The Archives of Ontario (map)

34 Ian Macdonald Boulevard

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

M7A 2C5

Email Address:


1-800-668-9933 Toll-Free Number (Ontario only)



If you are searching for service records for Canadian Soldiers of the First World War, Library and Archives Canada has digitized many of the records and continue to do so as part of the Government of Canada First World War commemoration initiative. You can find out more about this initiative, and access the database by visiting the Library and Archives of Canada website.

If you are researching ancestors from a specific region in Ontario, you will find that nothing beats local knowledge. OGS has 33 branches and special interest groups spread across Ontario. Click here to see if we have a branch in your region of interest.