Upcoming Heritage Event: Celebrating the Battle of Bannockburn

April 17th, 2014

Battle of Bannockburn poster image

Join the St. Andrew’s Society of Toronto on Saturday, June 21, 2014, as they celebrate the 700th Anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

The Battle of Bannockburn: ”Scotland Then and Now” Symposium    

Date: 21 June 2014

Time: 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Location: St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto


  • Prof. Graeme Morton –   “The National Story Since Bannockburn.”
  • Brigadier General Julian Chapman –   “The Mechanics of War in 1314.”
  • Dr. Mairi Cowan - ” ‘The Saints of the Scottish Country Will Fight Today’.”
  • Prof. Andrew McDonald - “Bannockburn, Barbour’s ‘Bruce,’ and the  Reign of Robert I.”
  • Prof. Barbara Murison - “Bannockburn: a talisman for Scottish independence?”
  • Tickets: $20.00 In advance

Click here to download the full size poster

Buy your tickets here

Bannockburn Celtic Concert

Date: 21 June 2014

Times: Doors: 7:00 p.m., concert starts at 8:00 p.m.

Location: El Mocambo, 464 Spadina Ave., Toronto



Tickets: $25.00 In advance

Click here to download the full sized poster

Buy your tickets here

For more information about these, and other St. Andrew’s Society events, please visit their website at: http://www.standrews-society.ca/

New Blog Category: Brickwalls

April 16th, 2014

Welcome to a new category for the OGS Blog: Brickwalls.

The intent behind this new category is to offer the genealogical community a place to seek and offer assistance to those who have hit that inevitable and much dreaded brickwall.

Please keep in mind that this is not intended – nor can it – function as a research service. If you require the services of a professional genealogist, your best bet is to visit the website for the Association of Professional Genealogists: http://www.apgen.org/resources/. The APG also has an Ontario chapter: http://ocapg.org/

Here’s how it works – aka, The House Rules:

  • If you have hit a brickwall, you may send a detailed, but brief, i.e. no more than 4 paragraphs, query to: blog[at]ogs.on.ca. The blog moderator will then post your query.
  • Once your query has been posted, anyone who believes they can offer assistance may contact you in one of two ways:
    • Include contact information in your query – Keep in mind though – this is a public site!!
    • Not comfortable with putting your info out there? No problem – folks can simply leave any info they may have in the comments sections of your post – you just have to remember to check the blog regularly to see if any comments have been left for you.

Please note: Submissions may be edited for length and the protection of personal information.

All comments are moderated before being made public

Our first query is from OGS Member Philip Gross who is looking for Birth/Baptism records for:

Elizabeth Fleming

Elizabeth was the last of seven children born to Daniel Fleming and Elizabeth Fleming (nee Taylor). The parents migrated from Bradford-on-Avon in 1828 with their first three children and spent the years to 1840 in Erie County, Pennsylvania. My first record of the family in Canada is the Baptisms of the three US-born children at St. Luke’s Anglican Church in Burlington, Upper Canada on 29 September 1840.

The 1841 Census of Upper Canada, a Head of Household survey, suggests Elizabeth was alive and counted on 1 February 1841 (two girls – Lucy and Elizabeth – under age 5). The 1852 Census of Canada West list her as aged 11, in the 1861 Census she is 19, in the 1871 Census of Ontario she is 28. She is 39 in the 1881 Census and 49 in the 1891 Census.

The notes taken by a previous researcher from the Family Bible kept by the mother says Elizabeth was born 27 March 1842.

The headstone of Elizabeth the child is in the Ruthven Cemetery in Essex County and it says she was born 27 March 1844. She died 27 July 1923. She had married Upton Harwood on 12 September 1872.

I have baptism/birth records for all six of the first children, so it is fair to say Elizabeth too must have been baptised and the records made, the problem is where?

They came, according to family tradition, to Bronte Village at the mouth of the Bronte Creek where it drains into Lake Ontario. The 1842 Census does not identify the location of the property they live on except to say it was Lot 11 in Concession 1 and that they were not the owners of the lot. They did acquire a Lot 13 in Concession 3 close by the village Milton some 10 miles inland and north of Bronte village in May of 1842.

Following the tradition of this family, I suspect the baptism and the records may exist in the records of one of the following churches:

Location Church First

Year Records

Niagara-on-the-Lake St. Mark’s Anglican Church 1792 Baptisms, Marriages & Burials 1792

Burlington St. Luke’s Anglican Church 1835 Baptisms 1835, Marriages 1835, Burials 1836

Hornby St. Stephen’s Anglican Church 1836 Baptisms 1836, Marriages 1837, Burials 1849

Dundas St. James Anglican Church 1838 Baptisms 1838, Marriages 1839, Burials 1838

Hamilton Christ’s Church Cathedral 1838 Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1838

Oakville St. Jude’s Anglican Church 1842 Baptisms, Marriages & Burials, 1842

It seems to me that she was born on 27 March but that may be a baptism date.

I am asking for help in finding this record.

If you think you can assist Philip, he may be reached at:


Notice for Hamilton Branch Meeting

April 9th, 2014

Date: Thursday, April 17, 2014

Time: 7 pm

Location: Lincoln Alexander Elementary School, 50 Ravenbury Drive, Hamilton.

Speaker: Jane E. MacNamara

Topic: “Inheritance in Ontario: Estate Files and Beyond”

Brief Overview: Ontario researchers looking for records of inheritance usually stop once they’ve found the estate file. True, it is the richest single source, but the court register, minutes, and other documents that track the estate’s progress through the court can add valuable family history clues and help tell the whole story. The presentation will review how to find an estate file and how it can lead to other sources both inside and outside the court system.

Contact info: http://www.hamilton.ogs.on.ca/

Notice for Oxford County Branch Meeting

April 9th, 2014

Date: Monday, April 14, 2014

Time: 6:45 pm

Location: Woodstock Public Library, 445 Hunter St., Woodstock

Speaker: Laureen Harder-Gissing

Topic: “Mennonite Migration to Ontario and Resources available in the Mennonite Archives”

Brief Overview: Laureen is the Historian of the Mennonite Church of Eastern Canada and is currently Archivist at the Mennonite Archives at Conrad Grebel University College in Waterloo.

Contact Info: http://www.ogs.on.ca/oxford/index.html

Notice for Quinte Branch Meeting

April 9th, 2014

Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time: 1 pm – 3 pm

L0cation:  Quinte West Public Library, 7 Creswell Drive, Trenton, ON K8V 5R6

Speaker:  Nancy Cutway

Topic: Researching at Queen’s University

Brief Overview: Does a university library hold anything of interest to Genealogists? Family history transcends areas such as history, geography, sociology, political studies, religious studies … and it turns out that library holdings that support those academic topics are a treasure trove for genealogists.

Everyone Welcome, bring a friend

For more information visit http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canqbogs/index.htm

Update on Plans for the Fegan Boys’ Distribution Home at 295 George St., Toronto

April 5th, 2014

In September 2013, The Ontario Genealogical Society was made aware of the City of Toronto’s interest in for former Fegan Boy’s Distribution Home. Concern about the future of the home, and the many inscriptions on its exterior walls left by the boys passing through, prompted OGS President Shirley Sturdevant to send a letter to The City enquiring about their plans for this historic property.

Subsequent emails with city administrators and a telephone conversation with Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam, left The Society with the understanding that the property had been designated a heritage property and that it and other heritage properties in the area would be integrated into the overall redevelopment of the street. The City planned to acquire the property and carry out a Heritage Impact Assessment to identify how that property and others were being appropriately conserved in keeping with the City’s Heritage Policies in the Official Plan.

Once the City acquired the property, they planned a stabilization and securement process to ‘mothball’ the heritage properties until the redevelopment began, expected no earlier than 2017. As part of that stabilization process, The City would be willing to consider additional measures to ensure the preservation of the bricks to which we referred. If it was determined that our organization could assist in any way we would be informed.

This week, the President sent a message to query where The City was in this process and received the following response:

“Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in preserving this important part of our history on George Street. The City of Toronto is purchasing that property, along with other heritage properties on that block, and will incorporate them into a redevelopment to create a new shelter, long-term care home and service hub, pending council approval in 2015.

After the City takes possession next week, we will issue an RFP for the stabilization of the heritage houses until the redevelopment begins. If all goes as planned, the stabilization will take place by early summer. Specs for stabilization include the installation of a frame around the inscription, with hoarding and sealant across the top. This will remain in place until the redevelopment begins, likely in 2018.

Within the next couple of weeks we will have a website in place where you will be able to follow the progress of the project. I will email you the URL when it is available.

Rudy Mumm

SSHA Project Lead, George Street Revitalization

General Manager’s Office

Shelter, Support and Housing Administration, City of Toronto”

We thank Mr. Mumm for this update and watch with interest the stages of development for this significant property. Our members stand at the ready to be of assistance if called upon.

Join OGS for Archives Awareness Week at the Archives of Ontario

April 5th, 2014

The Archives of Ontario is pleased to be celebrating Archives Awareness Week in partnership with the Archives Association of Ontario, the Ontario Genealogical Society, and York University’s Clara Thomas Archives and Special Collections. We’ve got a great day of on-site activities planned for Thursday, April 10th from 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Visit the Archives of Ontario where you can:

• learn about our collections and services
• explore our partners’ information tables
• attend presentations on archival research and preservation
• tour the building

Admission is free! You can register online at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/en/about/archives_week.aspx 

Count Down to OGS Conference 2014 is ON!

April 5th, 2014

Ontario Genealogical Society
Spring is finally here and that means there are only four more weeks until Conference 2014 at Brock University. Check out the Conference website for a slate of speakerstour information, and the terrific marketplace.

Those registrants wishing to order meals must register before APRIL 17th.

Register Now: http://www.ogs.on.ca/conference2014/register.php

Reminder for Wellington County OGS Region III Meeting: Ask the Experts

April 3rd, 2014

Date: Saturday, April 19, 2014

Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Location: Harriston Community Centre, 111 George Street South, Harriston, ON


$20/per person for preregistration or $25/per person at the door

$10 for Lunch

Come to the last ever Region III Meeting! The theme of this year’s meeting is Ask the Experts. The morning portion will feature three different genealogical professionals who will give presentations on their area of expertise. In the afternoon the experts will sit on a panel and answer your research questions. Come prepared to get solutions to your brick walls! To get your questions answered, please submit them ahead of time through the Wellington Branch Facebook page, the branch website or in person.

The Experts

  • Cindy Preece
    • Archives Administrator, Wilfrid Laurier University Archives & Special Collections
  • Karen Wagner
    • Archivist at the Wellington County Museum and Archives
  • Archives of Ontario
    • A special presentation on “Preserving Your Family Heirlooms”

Please click here for registration and more information.

Contact Info: http://www.ogs.on.ca/wellington/index.html

Notice for Simcoe County Branch Meeting

April 2nd, 2014

Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014

Time: 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 79 Ferris Lane, Barrie

Speaker: John Wright

Topic: Cemetery Transcriptions in Simcoe County

Contact Info: http://www.simcoebogs.com/index.htm