Archive for November, 2010

New at the e-store: Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada
By: Janice Nickerson

New in the E-store

This is the latest book in the Genealogists Reference Shelf collection: an OGS and Dundurn Press joint publication project.

Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada provides genealogists and social historians with context and tools to understand the criminal justice system and locate sources on criminal activity and its consequences for the Upper Canada period (1791-1841) of Ontario’s history

2010 242p illustrated

Buy the book in our E-store

A branch memorial project

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Today’s first post talked about the provincial memorial database project. Toronto Branch has a memorial project as well, focused on schools.

Toronto Branch of OGS launches new database of war memorials


Image: Tina Phillips, link at bottom

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is honoured to mark Remembrance Day 2010 with the launch of For King and Country, a new on-line database of war memorials in Toronto schools.

 Many Toronto schools display lists of former students and teachers who volunteered for active service during the two world wars. A much smaller number of memorials exist for other conflicts. Some name only those who died, but most include all who enlisted.

 The Toronto Branch of the OGS has taken on the ambitious project of transcribing and indexing these memorials. The product of this work is a searchable database, For King and Country, which will be a valuable resource for students of local, social, military, educational and family history.

 The Toronto school memorials take a wide variety of forms, including books of remembrance, bronze plaques, photo displays, sculptures, stained glass, bronze bells and special plantings, but most are hand-lettered lists, framed under glass. Many of these lists were designed by Group of Seven artist A.J. Casson and are headed “For King and Country”. This heading inspired the title of the Toronto Branch project.

 While other records exist to document military service, school memorials connect the young men and women who volunteered to their family and friends, and show us the impact of war on their communities. For King and Country also offers a new source of information about the history of the schools themselves, with links to other useful school and community websites.

 For King and Country is a work in progress. The database now includes just over 20,000 names, drawn from memorials in 50 elementary and secondary schools, and those numbers will continue to grow. At the moment, the focus of the project is on the nearly 600 schools of the Toronto District School Board, but memorials from Catholic schools, private schools and post-secondary institutions will be added in the future. Users can search the database by surname, forename, school and/or keywords and access a full transcription for each entry.

 To explore this new database, visit

 For more information about the For King and Country project and how to contribute, contact: Martha Jackson at

 For more information about the Toronto Branch and how to become a member, e-mail or leave a message at 416-733-2608.

If your branch also has a war memorial project, let OGS blog know so we can share it:

Image: Tina Phillips /

Remembrance Day

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

It’s Remembrance Day and there are ceremonies all across the province to remember and commemorate the sacrifices made by Canadian soldiers in wars all around the world.

Image shared under Creative Commons Attribution-noncommercial-sharealike license, attribution link below

If you can, you may wish to attend one of the services.

As genealogists, we are drawn to the past. We seek it out when we try to learn who our ancestors were and we preserve it when we collect the information and write it down.

Communities across Canada have shown a similar desire to preserve the memories of their fallen soldiers by memorializing them on plaques and monuments. OGS is collecting a database full of these war memorials (along with memorials to fallen police officers and firefighters) to honour those who have served our country and make it easier for the genealogists to find their ancestors among them.

The database includes descriptions, locations and images of memorial monuments around the province and a list of the names and any other information shared on the monument.

The Memorial Database is on our website, accessible to members of OGS only.

Image by:

Get Involved: Provincial Volunteer Opportunities

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Image: Salvatore Vuono, link below

As those of you following our Interview with a Volunteer series likely know, volunteers are the backbone of OGS. We are always on the lookout for members who want to get involved and we post opportunities on the website for all to see.

Check out Our Provincial Opportunities page for current volunteer positions at the provincial level.  We usually have a few “official” posted positions open, usually as co-ordinator of one of our activities. These positions are associated with the OGS provincial office. Many of them can be done from a distance so you do not need to live near Toronto to get involved.
If none of the postings interest you, we are always looking for volunteers to help with all sorts of things. All of the chairs and leaders described in the postings need volunteers to help them, so read the descriptions to see if something sparks your interest, even if you are not interested in being the leader.
Contact Provincial Office and let us know what you’re interested in doing.

Interview with a Volunteer: Jacquie Norris

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Without the hard work of volunteers all across the province, OGS would simply cease to exist. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization. This feature is designed to introduce you to some of them and let you know about the work they’ve been doing.

Jacqueline (Jacquie) Norris, U.E.  OGS #673 has been a member of OGS since 1968/69 and is presently a member of Waterloo, Perth and Wellington Branches.  She was a member of Hamilton Branch for over 20 years.

What hats do you wear / have you worn?
Branch Volunteer

I am co-founder of Waterloo-Wellington Branch 1972/73 and 1st Treasurer and 2Nd Chair, 1974, 1975, 1976.  Over the years I have been a branch vice chair several times.  I was the 1st co-coordinator for the Wellington Group (1981) and then worked on separating the two branches (1990 – 2001).

 I was a founding member of the Wellington County Branch and Co-chair in 2001 and vice chair several years, and member at large for many years.   I am presently Chair of the Wellington Co. Branch, as well as co-coordinator of The Golden Anniversary History Collection.

 1984 – 1988 I co-ordinated the recording of all monuments in Woodlawn Memorial Park, Guelph.


1974 – Chairman of Public Relations Committee
1978 – Director of OGS
1979 – 1982 –  Treasurer
1983 – 1987 – Member of the OGS Library Committee
1984 – 1986 – Chairman of the Silver Anniversay Committee
1987 – 1989 – Member of the Awards Committee
1990 – 1992 – Chairman of the Awards Committee
 Seminar ’76 – Chairman of Local Arrangements at Wilfred Laurier
Seminar ’82 – Handled all the preliminary arrangements and member at large at             University of Guelph
Seminar ’89 – Co-Treasurer at University of Waterloo
Seminar 2001 – Treasurer at University of Waterloo

What project or event has been a highlight of your work with OGS?
1985  – received one of the first “Citation of Recognition” in appreciation of my contributions to the study of Genealogy from OGS

Would you like to share a favourite genealogical adventure you have had or tell us about a part of your family history that you particularly enjoyed learning?

1984 received my U.E. designation

Many thanks to Jacquie for her years of hard work and the role she has played in shaping OGS!


New Cemeteries Bill

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Inactive Cemeteries Protection Act, 2010 Bill 126

 Jim Brownell, MPP for Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry introduced Bill 126 for first reading in the Ontario Legislature on 2 November 2010. First reading was agreed to. As soon as the Bill has second reading we will advise OGS members how best to advocate for adoption of this Bill. At that time we will ask that all our members, their families and friends be prepared to act quickly. There will be an election in Ontario in October 2011 and the Legislature will be prorogued prior to the campaign period. Therefore time is of the essence if Bill 126 is to be passed.

You may read the bill and download a copy of it  from the website of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario