Archive for the ‘FYI’ Category

FYI:Posts by Others on the OGS Facebook Page

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

It seems Facebook has undergone another face lift and things have shifted a bit. The posts by others is now called Posts to this Page and is located at the left hand side of the page – you might have to scroll down a bit. Lots of interesting stuff gets posted here, including requests for help with brickwalls. Check this area often as you never know who you might be able help – or who might be able to assist you with your brickwalls.

Have a genealogical or heritage event you wish to promote? These can be posted in our Posts to this page as well – the more the merrier!

Heritage St. Clair launches ‘Men of World War I’

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

The Township of St. Clair has compiled the names of all of the 400 men who, from a population of 5000 at the time, joined the Canadian Expeditionary Forces during the First World War. Many of these men joined the Lambton 149th Battalion and 36 made the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country.

If you have ancestors from the former townships of Moore and Sombra in Lambton County, they may have made this list.

For more information, visit their website at:

Reminder for Kawartha Branch Special Event: ‘Getting Here,’ a 1-day conference

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

On Saturday Oct. 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. join Kawartha Branch at Peterborough’s Northminister United Church for a full day exploration of four of the emigration schemes that brought many of our ancestors to Ontario from Great Britain. Cost is $35 including lunch.

Registration information will be posted on the Kawartha Branch website:

For more information, see the flyer.

How to Research Your Family History: Part 4

Saturday, September 20th, 2014


Location is one of the most important things to determine, since so many records are location based. Tax and census records are clearly location based, but so are church registers and many wills. Always identify, as closely as possible, exactly where an ancestor lived, and when.

When you know the location, one of the handiest things you can have is a contemporary map. Unfortunately, old maps are not easy to find and usually do not show what you want to see. Probably the best source of Ontario maps are the county atlases. These large books were produced in the 1870’s and 1880’s for most –  but not all –  Ontario counties. Many were reprinted as a historical project in the 1970’s and 1980’s. They contain excellent township and community maps and often include some of the names of the more prominent members of the community. Check out your community library as well as they tend to have local atlases.

You can find a number of county atlases on line at In Search of Your Canadian Past: The Canadian County Atlas Project.

Other online sources of maps include:

Map of the Province of Upper Canada – 1800

District Maps Of Canada West/ Upper Canada /Ontario – 1836 and 1845

A gazetteer will provide the location of every named feature. There are a number of them, some more complete than others, and of course old ones will provide old names that are no longer in use. A good modern one the Canada Gazetteer Atlas. If you are researching locations in Ontario, check out the Ontario Locator.

Natural Resources Canada’s website Querying Geographic Names of Canada offers a search name of present and past names. For current Ontario locations, use the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s online road maps.

OGS Monthly Webinar Series for 2015

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

OGS Members, here’s your chance to have your say about the topics for the 2015 OGS Monthly Webinar Series.

Take the short survey here:

Introductory Membership Grants Access to Webinars

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

OGS Webinars are open to members only and now is the perfect time to join for the first time.

Our partial year membership launched June 1 and we welcome new members to join us for the rest of 2014 for $35.70 rather than waiting till the New Year. Partial year Members receive all the benefits of Individual membership including our quarterly mailing for August and November, as well as the upcoming OGS Research Day at the Archives of Ontario scheduled for November.

This offer is also available to those who have not been an OGS member since 2011 and would like to come back.

Join now:

Announcing October’s OGS Member’s Genealogy Webinar

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Mind Mapping Your Research Plans and Results
Speaker: Thomas MacEntee;
Thursday Oct. 2, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m.

Do you have trouble planning a genealogy research strategy? What if you had an automated way to lay out concepts, variables and actions? Mind mapping can help you create an effective research plan as well as help you connect data points once the research is completed. Learn about automated mind mapping tools that let you see your research data in a new light.

Thomas MacEntee built his genealogy business after 25 years in the information technology field. A blogger, educator, author, social media connector, marketer, and network builder, he is the founder of the GeneaBloggers community, and a very popular speaker on genealogy and technology.

Up to 100 people can access this webinar at one time. The room will open 10 minutes before the session is scheduled to start. Sign in to the Members Only area right now to attend today’s webinar live.

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.

Reminder: Save Norfolk County Branch – Call for Volunteers

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

Alan Campbell
President OGS

This is a reminder that there is a meeting of Norfolk County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society on Sept. 16, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. at the Delhi Seniors Centre, 418 Queen Street, Delhi, Ontario.

This meeting is being held to vote to become an inactive Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. The vote is being taken simply because new volunteers have not come forward to fill the positions on the Executive and those of Committee Chairs. It would be unfortunate if a Branch that was chartered in October of 1987, were to move to inactive status with the resulting loss of easier access to family history materials by researchers.

Potential volunteers are welcome to contact either Co-chair of Norfolk Branch for more information prior to the meeting:

  • Marie Shull @
  • Shirley Godfree @

How to Research Your Family History: Part 3

Saturday, September 13th, 2014

We now come to the two most difficult issues that genealogists must grapple with: Proof and Citing your sources.

Prove everything before going back another generation. Otherwise you may discover that you have spent much time developing a magnificent family tree of great value to someone else. The rule of thumb is that you should have three independent sources before accepting anything as fact, although you will quickly learn to judge the reliability of sources. This is because

  • A family story is rather unreliable
  • A family tree found on the internet is quite unreliable
  • Great aunt Minnie’s recollections of her childhood may be unreliable
  • A date of birth given on a tombstone may not be reliable
  • The age of an adult given on a census may be reliable, but be skeptical

Consistent age from several censuses is reliable. The date of a christening found in a church register is usually reliable but a date of birth in the same record may not be. A civil registration certificate is quite reliable and on its own can be regarded as proof.

What happens if you don’t find the evidence you are looking for?

First, remember the rule – Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Ministers sometimes forgot to put the entry in the record book. The person recording the information may have mis-heard the name and written down something else, a problem that often occurred when there was an unfamiliar accent. Becoming very creative about spelling may help you find the document you’re looking for.

For every fact you find – and accept – you should note the source so that someone else can go there to check your data. And of course you will want to return to that source too. You will be surprised how often you will want to re-check something a year or so later.

This rule particularly applies to information gathered from the Internet. Remember:
The Internet is a wide sea, but very shallow.

Unfortunately genealogies supplied on the internet rarely cite sources, so most of the information supplied on the Internet is only a starting point for your own research. The information is an interesting idea, worth slightly less than family legends, but requires you to verify the facts before it becomes valuable data.

Nothing is true until you have proven it true and cited your sources so that others can check your facts.

British Home Child Day in Ontario

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

On September 28th, Historic Black Creek Pioneer Village will be hosting British Home Child Day in Ontario.

Events include:

  • Performances by members of Barb Perkin’s HOMECHILD Musical, Folk Singer Marion Parsons, as well as Highland and Irish Dancing – and of course, there will be bagpipes and drums!
  • Author Marjorie Kohli will give a presentation on the contribution British Home Children made in the First World War.
  • Rose McCormick Brandon will host an open mike session with British Home Child stories including two British Home Children.
  • A multi-media installation inspired by the lost childhood of British Home Children by international artists Nerea Martinez de Lecea and Michele Woodey
  • BOOK LAUNCH of Belonging, Sandra Joyce’s sequel to The Street Arab – The Story of a British Home Child
  • The British Home Children Advocacy & Research Association’s display of diverse and precious artifacts
  • Genealogists will be on hand to give tips on research
  • MP Judy Sgro, York West, former Minister of Immigration, will also be on hand to help in the celebrations
  • This day will culminate in a SPECIAL DINNER to be held in the Village: reserved tickets, including parking, admission and a three course meal,will be available soon

A special dinner package is being offered to the British Home Children Advocacy and Research Association for forty dollars including a three course meal, admission to the day long event and parking. Seating is limited and tickets must be bought in advance. For those not wishing to attend the dinner, admission tickets may be purchased from Black Creek Pioneer Village directly on the 28th. The dinner will be held in the Canada West Room at 5 pm sharp.

For more information and to purchase tickets, please visit Historic Black Creek Pioneer’s website at: