Archive for the ‘At the Library’ Category

At the Library: Family Medical History

Wednesday, July 28th, 2010

Genealogy helps us develop a greater sense of our own identity by showing how our ancestors and the lives they lived have shaped us and the life we now live. Some people are more passionate about these discoveries than others, but one way in which family history research has become important to everyone is where health is concerned.

Scientists focusing on genetics are demonstrating through more and more studies that health problems are hereditary and that knowing your family medical history, helps you prepare for what health issues you may face in your future.

OGS has some books to help you with this.

Family health trees : genetics & genealogy
By Luanne McNabb, Elizabeth B.J. Curtis and Kathleen R. Barclay-Bowley

This book is an OGS publication. It is available at the provincial library and the second edition (2005) can be purchased from our e-store. The book explains genetics and describes how to chart your family’s health history. 

The Genes in your Genealogy
By Sherilyn L. Bell & Constandina N. Arvanitis
This instructional book discusses the genetic components of genealogy including DNA testing and health trees 

We also have several articles on this topic in the June 1994  issue of the National Genealogical Society Quarterly which you can also access at the Provincial Library. 

To find more books about family medical history, you can search our catalogue
Here are some words to use in the SUBJECT field
-medical records

At The Library: Genealogy Books for Children

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

“I wish I’d started this when I was younger” is a fairly common refrain among genealogists.

We all wish we’d learned more about our family histories directly from family members who are no longer with us rather than having to research it and piece the stories together. We wish we had written down all those stories our great grandparents told us when we were little, and we’d like the children we know to start younger so as to avoid our mistakes.

One way to encourage children to be interested in genealogy is to read books that make family history come alive.

We don’t have any genealogy picture books at the provincial library, but check out your local library catalogue (or book store) for some of these titles to help you share your love of family history with the children in your lives.

One Tiny Twig
By: Dan Rhema
ISBN: 9780972983501

Fourteen year old Emily Twig receives a twig for a birthday present which sets her off on a time travelling detective mission to find out more about the many different Twigs who make up her family tree. She looks for clues in cemeteries and even Ellis Island.

The Keeping Quilt
By Patricia Polacco
ISBN: 9780689820908

This beautiful picture book tells the story of a quilt that was made from the dress the author’s Great Gramma-Anna wore when she immigrated to the United States. The quilt is passed down through the generations of the family and plays a great role in all of their lives. In telling the story of the quilt, Polacco tells the history of her family.

Your Family Tree
By Núria Roca
ISBN: 9780764135798

This book explains, through pictures, how family trees work. The book focuses on a young Japanese-American boy and his ancestors and asks questions that are designed to encourage a child to think about ther own ancestors: “Do you know a story about your owngreat-grandparents?” It is a book to help start the family history discussion with a child.

The Family Book
By Todd Parr
ISBN: 9780316738965

Todd Parr’s books are not exactly about genealogy but he does write about families. His other books include The Mommy Book, The Daddy Book, The Grandpa Book, and The Grandma Book. He’s also written a book about adoption.  In The Family Book, Parr describes the many different types of families that can be found today. These books can help start a conversation about all the relatives and the family history.

So check your local library or book store the next time you’re looking for something to read with the children in your life.

New at the Library – July

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

This month, the provincial library received several new additions to the Places of  Worship Vital Statistics series.

They include but are not limited to the following:

Regent Park United Church
(formerly Methodist and Presbyterian)
Baptisms 1880-1925,
Marriages 1897-1925,
Burials 1913-1925.

Halton County United Churches
(formerly Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian)
Baptisms 1838-1925,
Marriages 1858- 1925,
Burials 1901 – 1925


Davisville and Eglinton Communities Toronto United Churches (formerly Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian)
 Baptisms 1834-1925,
Marriages 1837 – 1925,
Burials 1836-1925


To find these books and more,
go to our library catalogue and search under
Places of worship registers inventory

Home Children at the library

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

The Canadian government has designated 2010 as the Year of the British Home Child in Canada. Many Canadians researching their family history will find that they are descended from one of the British orphans sent to the colonies.

 You can find information about Home Children at our library!

 When searching our Library Catalogue , here are some good words to use in our SUBJECT field:

  •  Home children
  • Foster children – England 
  • Immigrant children – England
  • Orphans – England
  • Indentured servants

Here are some books to start with:

 Nation Builders: Barnardo Children in Canada by Gail H. Corbett
This book uses archival materials and records of first hand accounts to tell the stories of the thousands of children who emigrated from Britain to become Canada’s Home Children

 The Golden Bridge: young immigrants to Canada, 1833-1939 by Marjorie Kohli
Considered to be a comprehensive resource for Home Child research, this book not only tells the stories of the children themselves but also offers background information on the many people and agencies involved in bringing the Home Children to Canada.

 Fegan index of Home Children Database by Catherine Gollinger-Lorente from Fegan records provided by Doug Fry.
JWC Fegan opened a series of homes and camps for young boys in England in the latter half of the 19th century. In 1884 he started sending many of these boys and young men to Canada where a Fegan Home was opened in Toronto. This is an index of the records of this home. It contains information about more than 3000 boys.

 On the Web:
Some websites to visit for more information were mentioned on the June 18th, blog post

Here are a few more:

 The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa  is working with Library and Archives Canada to index the Home children found on Passenger Lists as well as other groups of Home Children. You can find more information about this project on their website.

 Library and Archives Canada also has a site dedicated to the Home Children The Canadian Museum of Civilization’s Trunks and Travel page exhibits some examples of the types of luggage that would have been used by Home Children on their journey to Canada. It is at the bottom of the page.

At the Library: Magazines and Journals

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

Looking for information about new ideas in genealogy?
Looking for reviews of genealogy books and tools?
Looking for something shorter than a book?

The magazines and journals in our Periodicals collection might just be exactly what you’re looking for.

The OGS Provincial Library collects genealogy magazines, journals and newsletters from around the world to bring the genealogy news to you.

Some of them are commercial magazines. They tend to address the latest genealogical news and trends, review books and genealogy tools, and share tips as well as interesting feature stories about the genealogical community.

Some of them are society journals and newsletters. Like the OGS journal Families, many other genealogical societies publish quarterly journals and newsletters full of research, reviews and society news. We collect journals and newsletters from genealogical societies and family associations from across Canada and around the world.

So the next time you’re looking for a resource, pay a visit to our Periodicals catalogue and find a journal or magazine to read. It just might have the information you need.

At the Library: Family Histories and Family Charts

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Genealogy is a collaborative process. Research may sound like a solitary activity and it may conjure up the image of an individual reading microfiche in a darkened room,  but many genealogists learn a lot from discussing their research with others and from reading the work other genealogists have already done.

Our Family History collection and  our collection of Family Charts are designed to help you benefit from the research of others.

We love it when people turn their research into a book and OGS strives to collect any and all family histories relating to Ontario. If you’ve written your family history and wish to donate a copy to us, contact us, and let us know. We have about 3500 such books in our library. They are in our catalogue and can be searched for by family name.

A Family Chart or pedigree is similar to a family history in that it shows the generations of a family. We have over 2000 family charts (family trees) that genealogists have constructed based on  their research. We have indexed them and the database is searchable on our website. Once you’ve found names you are interested in, visit our provincial library and request them.

Take a look at these resources. You never know who you may find.

At the Library: our catalogues

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Libraries are essential to genealogy. Even with all of the online databases and resources available these days, most genealogists will eventually find themselves walking into a library in order to track down some information necessary to firmly attach another limb to their family tree.

Many public libraries have a genealogical section and have one or more librarians on staff who have received special training in order to assist you in conducting your family history research in their library with their resources.

The Ontario Genealogical Society has libraries as well. Our Provincial Library is in Toronto, housed in the Canadiana dept, on the sixth floor of the North York Central Branch of Toronto Public Library.  It is a special collection within their own local history and genealogy department, and the librarians are experts at helping you navigate the records.

You can use our Online Catalogue to look for books, magazines and journals, cemetery transcriptions, or family charts. When you find something you’d like to take a closer look at, you can simply request the item from the librarians who will retrieve it for you to use in your research.

OGS doesn’t just have one library though, we have many. Most of our Branches have a library collection: some are housed in local libraries like the Provincial Library, other branches make their library materials available to members at the monthly branch meeting, and still other branches have their own library as part of their branch office.

Several of our branches have their own online catalogue to help you discover the resources they have for you.

Brant County - Our Brant County Branch has a series of Resource Guides on their website which are organized by genealogical subject area and list the materials they have for each subject area.

Halton-Peel - The Halton – Peel Branch Library is part of the Brampton Public Library, Four Corners Branch and their library catalogue is integrated with that of Brampton Public Library.

Kingston - Like in Halton – Peel, the Kingston Branch library is part of the Kingston Public library and the collection is housed in their local history section at the central branch of the library. Their books can be accessed through the public library catalogue.

Nipissing – The Nipissing Library is part of the Joan Duquette room in the North Bay Public Library. Branch volunteers staff it as often as possible to assist researchers. They have an excel spreadsheet listing their books.

Ottawa -  The Ottawa Branch has an online catalogue and their collection is in the City of Ottawa Archives. 

Quinte  -  The Quinte Branch has their library in the Quinte Genealogical Centre which is located in Quinte West Public Library. A list of the books in their collection is published in a pdf document available on their website.

York Region – The York Region Branch library is in the Richmond Hill Public Library. Their holdings are listed on their website and can also be found by searching the catalogue at the library.