Archive for the ‘General Posts’ Category

Advocate for Archives: Share your Story on the Usefulness of Archives

Saturday, December 8th, 2012

The Archives Association of Ontario has shared the following request with the research and archival community. As archives are a major source of information for genealogists, you may have a story you wish to share as well. If you do, please send an account of your experience to the President of the AAO at .

Here is their unabridged message:

“I have been contacted by the office of NDP MP Pierre Nantel, the Official Opposition Critic for Heritage, in order to gather evidence to advocate for a government commitment to archives. I have summarized the request I received from Mr. Nantel’s office below.

Quebec’s TVA network recently started reporting on the cuts to archives and are covering Mr. Nantel’s related questions in the House. Essentially they are looking to make the issues at hand as understandable as possible to the public. For example, he cites the following story from a TVA news report ” Library and Archive’s website shows internationally-renowned Quebec artists Luc Plamondon accepting a Juno, with a subtitle that says “an unidentified man with a Juno”! ( This is an easy-to-understand issue for the media and the public, and can be directly attached to the Harper Govt’s cuts.”

Mr. Nantel would like positive examples of historically significant items or documents that have been discovered by archivists or in archives. Things that would not have been discovered or celebrated if it wasn’t for archives/archivists (ie. if we’re all suffering cuts, there won’t be anyone to discover, interpret, or preserve this material). As a bonus, if you can provide an example of something related to the War of 1812 this would allow Mr. Nantel to “demonstrate that the Government’s interest in 1812 is all about show and no substance – and that real investment in our history has to involve the professionals that do the research.”

Please don’t limit yourselves to projects that were accomplished through NADP although these examples are still relevant. You can send me your examples by responding to this email ( There is some urgency to the matter as Mr. Nantel’s office wants to continue the wave of support generated from the TVA.”

Celebrate Hogmanay!

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Ring in the New Year Scottish style by attending one of the various Hogmanay events happening around the province.

Our first stop is at Gibson House in North York for a Hogmanay Dinner.

“Gather at the historic Gibson House for a special evening inspired by the traditions of Hogmanay. Share a scrumptious dinner with familiar and new friends. Be lulled by the fire, and moved by the music. Take an imagined journey through story and drama to a New Year of another time. As the evening closes, come together with us to welcome our First Footer, celebrate our 2012 season and bring luck and best wishes to Gibson House Museum for 2013.”

Pre-registration and pre-payment required. $44.25 plus tax per person.

Date: Saturday, December 29, & Sunday, December 30, 2012

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Gibson House, 5172 Yonge Street, just north of the North York Centre Subway Stop, North York

Click here for directions around the construction

Paid parking in the area

Contact Info:

Phone: 416-395-7432


Our next stop is at Mackenzie House in Toronto.

“Enjoy an evening of Scottish music and foods at this traditional celebration of the New Year. The decorated house will be illuminated by gas and candlelight. Musicians Gin Lane will perform.”

Pre-registration and pre-payment are required. Admission: $22.50 plus tax. Please call 416-392-6915 for further details.

Date: Friday, December 28, 2012

Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Location: Mackenzie House, 82 Bond Street, Toronto

Contact Info:

Phone: 416-392-6915


Scottish Society of Ottawa Inaugural Event and Hogmanay Celebration

Our final stop for this round is the nation’s capital for the biggest Hogmanay celebration and the official kick off of the Scottish Society of Ottawa. This inaugural event captures the spirit of the famous Edinburgh Hogmanay Celebrations, complete with fireworks, bagpipes, highland dancers, and of course, a wee bit of Scotch-tasting to ward off the evening chill. Being in Ottawa, this Hognamany celebration will also include a distinct Canadian flavour:

“Music will come from local folkies Ecosse, Celtic fusion Cape Breton-style from Sprag Session and surprise special guest headline act, whose identity we’ll release closer to the big night. We’ll also have the Sons of Scotland and Glengarry pipe bands, the McCulloch step dancers and the Katharine Robinson Dancers.”

Date: Monday, December 31, 2012

Time: 5:00 pm – 1:00 am

Location: Ottawa City Hall (Outside at Marion Dewar Park)

Contact Info:

Free Admission

Lang may your lum reek!

FYI: Upcoming Festive Heritage Events

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

So far we have covered plenty of historic and heritage sites that offer a glimpse into early settler, Victorian and even Edwardian Christmas traditions. Today’s festive heritage event covers the Regency period.

Discover how our Regency era ancestors celebrated the festive season at Todmorden Mills’ Regency Christmas in the Valley.

“Our early 19th-century historic homes are decorated traditionally for the season with real evergreen garlands as well as the “kissing bough” hanging in the Helliwell parlour, complete with apples, candles and mistletoe. Sample period festive desserts such as “Whim-Wham” and “Hedgehog Tipsy Cake.” Families can make Regency-style Christmas decorations as a take-home craft.”

Adults $5.31; Children $2; Youth/Seniors $3 (plus tax).

Dates & Times:

  • Sunday, December 9th, 16th, and 23rd, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Monday, December 24th, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Thursday, December 27th to Sunday, December 30th, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm
  • Monday, December 31st, from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm
  • Wednesday, January 2nd to Sunday, January 6th, from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm

Location: Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, 67 Pottery Road, Bottom of Pottery Road, East of the Bayview Extension, West of Broadview Avenue. (map)

Contact Info:

Phone: 416-396-2819


Holiday Treats from the Past

As part of their Cast Iron Chef historic workshop series, Todmorden Mills is giving you the opportunity to create some of your own Regency era Christmas goodies.

“Prepare and sample tasty Christmas treats on the open-hearth of our Regency Cottage. Based upon authentic 19th-century recipes, these treats will surprise and delight the contemporary palate!”

Pre-registration is required. Adult: $20; Children over 8 years: $15 (plus tax).

Date: Saturday, December 15, 2012

Time: 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Location: Todmorden Mills Heritage Site, 67 Pottery Road, Bottom of Pottery Road, East of the Bayview Extension, West of Broadview Avenue. (map)

Contact Info:

Phone: 416-396-2819


A Heritage Certificate for Christmas

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

If you’re a member of the OGS Centenary Club and you’re looking for a last-minute holiday gift (or just starting your shopping like some of us), consider a supplemental Centenary Club certificate for your relatives. They can be members of the Centenary Club because you’ve already proved that you are.

Supplemental certificates are only $10 each for OGS Members ($20 for non members) and make a great stocking stuffer.

To purchase one, simply download the application form and fill out Section 1 indicating your name and contact information, the number of certificates you are ordering and the names of the relatives you are buying for. No need to provide evidence, it is already on file here.

Please make sure your request reaches us by December 7th so that we can make sure your certificates reach you in time for the 25th.

Questions? Contact or call the Provincial Office at 416-489-0734.

The Awards Committee Needs You!

Friday, November 30th, 2012

95% of OGS activities around the province are managed by volunteers and we are grateful to all volunteers for sharing their time and talents with the Society and researchers everywhere.

Over the years, we have developed different ways of honouring volunteers and branches and SIGs for their achievements, but, in order to ensure this recognition continues, we need assistance on the OGS Awards Committee.

Members of the Awards Committee do not have to judge who will receive an award, but we need a few OGS members to help in ensuring that the awards are given out when they need to be, so that all the hard work of our dedicated volunteers and the achievements of our branches and SIGs do not get forgotten.

If you’re interested in helping with this committee, please contact the Provincial Office.


Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Congratulations to long time OGS member and professional Genealogist Alison Hare on her re-election as a Trustee on the Board for Certification of Genealogists.  Alison is the only Canadian representative on the Washington based  BCG!

Poll #5

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

As Genealogists we love sharing information, and this week’s poll is all about sharing. DNA testing for genealogical purposes has been gathering a lot of steam over the past several years. If you have followed recent TV shows such as Who Do You Think You Are? or Finding your Roots, then you will have seen how DNA testing has been employed in making ancestral connections and building family trees. However, while the thought of finding your ancestral roots, both geographically and spiritually is certainly appealing, for many of us, taking this step can be quite daunting. So, this week’s poll gives you the opportunity to share your experiences and thoughts regarding the use of DNA testing in family history research:

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As we prepare for Fall, and the return to school, work, etc., we are going to take a short break from the Polls. This will also give those of us who have been otherwise engaged over the summer a chance to catch up. You can easily access all 5 polls by going to the category section on the right hand side of the page and clicking on polls.

See you in a few weeks!

Canadian Post War Military & Dependant Graves

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Those seeking more recent War & Military Veterans in their family tree may find the following site useful. Click on the red tab located on the top right of the page to access the Table of Contents.  You can search by Name or search by Country of burial.


Poll #4

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Thanks to all who voted in last week’s poll. Judging from the results thus far, more than a few of you have managed to go back 7+ generations in your family tree. A lot of work indeed! We are going to switch our focus a bit for poll #4 as this week’s question is going to be about webinars.

As you know, we have been testing out the member webinars, ironing out the kinks, etc. We are now at the stage where we can move away from the more technical aspects of webinars and focus on issues that we, as genealogists, are more concerned with.

If you need a refresher on just what a webinar is and how to access one, then sign into the members section of the OGS website and click on the following links: What is a Webinar, Watch a recorded Webinar. You do need to be an active member of the Ontario Genealogical Society to access this service.  Details on the benefits of membership and how to join can be found here.

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Is your topic of interest not listed?  Want to suggest one? Leave your suggestion in the comment area or email us at: blog AT

1st Anniversary British Home Child Day in Ontario Event planned for Friday September 28, 2012 at Upper Canada Village.

Friday, August 17th, 2012


British Home Child Day Pin

Ontario East British Home Child Family, an organization dedicated to the promotion of the British Home Children story in Canadian History, is pleased to present the 1st Anniversary British Home Child Day In Ontario on September 28, 2012 at Upper Canada Village. While some records show that young British children were sent to North American colonies as early as the middle 1700’s, the vast majority of the British Home Children came to Canada beginning in the 1860’s and ending during the 1930’s. Sometimes referred to as “The Little Immigrants” British Home Children were often orphans or impoverished children who came under the care of a number of different philanthropic organizations such as Barnardo’s, the Catholic Emigration Service or Quarrier’s. This year the event at Upper Canada Village will look at the role of William Quarrier who created a “Children’s Village” in Renfrewshire Scotland to assist orphans and destitute young people. In addition to displays, exhibits, speakers, vignettes and the popular story-telling in Christ Church at the Village there are a number of authors who will be present at the 1st Anniversary British Home Child Day In Ontario. These include Penny Draper author of “Day of the Cyclone”, Sandra Joyce, author of “Street Arab – A British Home Child Story” and Beryl Young who wrote the book “Charlie” which was based on her father’s experience as a British Home Child who was placed in Inkerman, Ontario. As was the case last year, the day will end with a British Home Child Day Dinner at Willard’s Hotel which will be by advance reservation only.

New this year will be a British Home Child Day in Ontario Symposium/Information Session which will be held on September 29, 2012 at the South Stormont Township Hall in Long Sault. This event will begin at 9:30 am with registration and coffee followed by a day full of exhibits, displays, speakers and research information. Cost for attendance at this event is $10.00 which includes refreshments and attendance at the event.

For further information on the events of September 28 and September 29, please do not hesitate to contact Carolyn Goddard at 613 938 2455 or by email at, Jim Brownell at or Tom Brownell at,