Archive for the ‘FYI’ Category

Announcing the 2014 Mike Brede Essay Prize Winner

Friday, May 16th, 2014

The Ontario Genealogical Society is pleased to announce Chelsea Meloche as the winner of 2014 Mike Brede Genealogical Essay Prize. In addition to the $500 prize, Chelsea’s essay will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Families.

Here is an article from covering the event:

Congratulations Chelsea!

Can You Help? Seeking Info on 6 RCAF Personnel Killed Over Northamptonshire in 1944

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

This was posted on the OGS facebook page by Genie Weather and I felt it should be included on the blog as well:

“The following appeared in the Winnipeg Sun today in the Letters to the Editor. I thought perhaps someone here can help this gentleman …”

In 1944, a Wellington bomber exploded over our small English village in Northamptonshire killing all six RCAF personnel on board. Roade Local History Society are concerned that few people in the village know of this event. They would like to erect a plaque honouring the six young Canadians who died so far from home. We do not want their sacrifice to be forgotten.

The Wellington HF641 of 22 OTU had taken off on a navigational exercise from Wellesbourne, Mountford, Warwickshire on Thursday June 29, 1944 at 13:35. Over Roade, the plane was struck by lightning and disintegrated. The men who died were:

• F/O Robert J. Andrews, 21 yrs. J27301 RCAF, Pilot, from Toronto, Ont.;

• P/O Charles E. Stephen, 30 yrs. J36296 RCAF; from Montreal, Que, and the only married man;

• F/O Paul W. Tokar, 22 yrs. J27116 RCAF from Fenwick, Ont.;

• Sgt. William H. Clark, 22 yrs. R193583 RCAF, from Washgo, Ont.;

• Sgt. Allan H. MacKimmie, 18 yrs. R260780 RCAF from Bentley, Alberta;

• Sgt. John B. Sollie, 23 yrs. R150594 RCAF from Port Coquitlam, B.C.

The all Canadian crew were interred at Brookwood Cemetery, near Pirbright, Surrey, England.

In addition to the plaque, we hope to keep a fuller account of this tragic incident in our archives giving more details about the men. We have their names and ages but would also like to know more about them. We would like to be able to trace relatives, friends or obtain other information that would help us remember them as people rather than just names on a plaque.

If you think you can help, please contact:



Contact www. or Or, by mail, Roade Local History Society, 23 Bailey Brooks Lane, Roade, Northampton, NN7 2PT, UK

FYI: SGGEE Conference – August 2014

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

The Society for German Genealogy in Eastern Europe (SGGEE) will hold their 2014 Convention in Calgary, Alberta August 22-24 at the Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre. “Gathering Our Ancestors” is the theme that guides presentations for people of German origin interested in the genealogy, culture and history of their ancestors who migrated through Poland, Volhynia, and the surrounding regions.

Information about SGGEE as an organization, a Convention registration form, and a detailed list of Speakers and Topics will be posted on the Convention link at  A discount is available for those registering before July 21. Links to registration with the hotel and a list of additional accommodations are available. Speakers and topics include the following:

Carol Hutchinson will provide tips starting family history research.

Earl Schultz will present on visits to Poland in 2008 and 2010.

Geoff Rasmussen will give two webcasts on using Legacy Family Tree, both basics and the new features

Gary Warner will discuss the SGGEE Databases and submitting data. In a second presentation he and Sigrid Pohl Perry will also discuss how to use the location gazetteers effectively to find villages and include the information properly

Brenda Smith will discuss documenting sources and citations, and how to analyze and interpret information effectively.

Kathleen Kufeldt will discuss the value of interviews and writing stories

Lorraine Yackulic will cover the history of German immigration in Alberta and the North West Territories.

Edie Adam will provide some of the reasons which drove the migration of Germans through Eastern Europe and to the New World.

Morning and afternoon sessions will be scheduled August 22 and 23; August 24 includes morning presentations only. SGGEE members will hold their annual meeting on Friday, August 22. A German buffet banquet with a presentation has been scheduled for Saturday evening. Registration information and cost for some or all of these sessions is on the Convention page of the website.

Some of the SGGEE library’s resource materials and laptops with the SGGEE databases will be available in the Research Room from the evening of August 21st throughout the Convention. Experienced members will assist anyone with research problems, including translations of documents and parish records in German, Polish or Russian (a good photocopy is preferable to the precious original document or letter).


SGGEE Convention 2014

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

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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 

OGS Bids Goodbye to the Manager of our Digitization Division

Friday, March 28th, 2014

After 5 years as our in house and roving Digitization Manger, we bid Ruthann LaBlance a sad but fond farewell. We wish Ruthann every success in her future endeavors and to that end, we sent her off to a bright future fortified by cake!

Good luck Ruthann, you will be missed!

FYI: Upcoming Beach & East Toronto Historical Society Meeting

Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Kew Gardens in the Beach, August 7 1914

Kew Gardens in the Beach, August 7 1914

The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society and The Toronto Public Library are pleased to present award winning author and historian, Jean Cochrane.

Topic: 100 Years Ago in the Beach

Date: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Time: 7:00 – 8:15 pm

Location: The Beaches Library, 2161 Queen St. E. Toronto

Admission is Free. All are Welcome!

Photo courtesy of The Beach & East Toronto Historical Society

FYI: Upcoming Heritage Event

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

Heritage Toronto is pleased to present an exploration of the latest archaeological insights into the lives of Indigenous people in Southern Ontario prior to contact with Europeans.

Before Ontario: Archaeology and the Province’s First Peoples

Date: Wed Apr 02, 2014

Time: 6:30 p.m.8:00 p.m.

Location: Toronto Reference Library Atrium, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON, Phone: 416-395-5577

Join the editors and some of the contributors to Before Ontario: The Archaeology of a Province (2013) for a panel discussion. Panelists include:

  • Dr. Marit Munson
  • Dr. Susan Jamieson
  • Dr. Anne Keenleyside (Trent)
  • Dr. Ron Williamson of Archaeological Services Inc.
  • Chief Kris Nahrgang of the Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation
  • Dr. Neal Ferris (Western Ontario)
  • Dr. Andrew Stewart of Strata Consulting

The panel will be moderated by Shawn Micallef, a noted journalist and Toronto Public Library’s Writer-in-Residence in Fall 2013.

History Matters: Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples Past and Present

Presented in collaboration with and Heritage Toronto

URGENT:Province of Ontario Seeking Descendants of Those Buried in Barrack Hill Cemetery

Friday, March 7th, 2014

A forgotten burial site, The Barrack Hill Cemetery, located in Ottawa, has recently been unearthed, exposing human remains and some casket materials. The Province of Ontario is actively seeking the descendants of those buried here so that their remains may be relocated with respect and dignity.

Click here to read the full story from CBC News.

If you know or think you may have had ancestors in Ottawa between 1828 -1845, particularly Rideau Canal workers, that may have been buried in Barrack Hill Cemetery, then please contact the Ontario Registrar of Cemeteries, Michael D’Mello OR Corina Burnel, before March 21, 2014:

Ministry of Consumer Services

Registrar of Cemeteries

Toronto, Ontario

Tel: 416-326-8393

800-889-9768 ext 6-8393

Fax: 416-326-8406

Email: michael.d’


Free Conference: The Art of Biography

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

Fascinated by historical biography? If so, come on out to a free day-long conference on The Art of Biography. This conference is going to be an excellent opportunity to hear four prominent authors and historians discuss their approach to writing biography, with a focus on Canadian history.

The conference is taking place at the Jackman Humanities Building (corner of Bloor and St. George) in Toronto on Saturday March 22, 2014.

Please visit our Conference website or see the attached flyer for Program details:

If you would like further information about this event or would like to confirm your attendance, please contact Michael Wilcox at 416-946-8593 or by email at: