Archive for October, 2013

Notice for Norfolk County Branch Meeting

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Date: Nov. 19, 2013

Time: 7:30 p.m.

Location: 418 Queen Street, Delhi, ON

Topic: Masonic History of Norfolk County

Speaker: Dale Smout

Contact Info:

OGS Members Only Resource: IOOF Insurance Papers Database

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Between 1875 and 1929, the Independent Order of Oddfellows (IOOF) operated a life insurance program. Approximately 60,000 men from all across Canada applied. The program was eventually operated by Empire Life, who held all the application forms. A few years ago Empire Life gave these application forms to the OGS. We have spent nearly four years indexing these forms.

The information on the applications varies depending on the individual applying and the year of the application. Furthermore many men took out a second policy at a later date, and that form may say simply “See policy # …” or it may contain more up-to-date information. If you find several policies for one person, we suggest you purchase at least the one with the earliest policy date.

Each policy consists of a four page 8.5 x 11” document. Information you may expect to find on the application includes the following:

  • Health information
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Beneficiary (generally wife, parent, sibling)
  • Number of siblings and their health information
  • Parents
  • Grandparents (often including age at death but not names)
  • Applicant’s signature
  • Some applications have extra materials as well.

The actual application form contains a great deal more information about the applicant including health information, marital status, occupation, beneficiary of the policy, number of siblings, and a health status of siblings, parents, and grandparents. It also includes the signature of the applicant and may include interesting attachments.

This information could be very useful to someone researching their family history. As a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society, you can search the index to these forms.  Requests to purchase copies of the IOOF papers may be sent to the OGS Membership Coordinator at:  Each form requested costs $10.00 (taxes included).

For more information about this and other OGS Members only databases, please visit the Members Only section on the OGS website.

Please note: The presence of medical information in the application forms and the associated privacy concerns with regards to medical information mean that we cannot make available any forms that were created less than 100 years ago. These forms will become available as the 100 year mark is passed.

Reminder for Ottawa Branch Special Event: Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Ryan Taylor Memorial Lecture and joint sessions sponsored by Ottawa Public Library and BIFHSGO

Date: Saturday, October 26, 2013,

Time: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Location: Ben Franklin Place (former Nepean City Hall), 101 Centrepointe Drive, in the Council Chambers

Speakers: Glenn Wright, Ken McKinlay, Andrew Godefroy

Brief Overview: This full-day event which is jointly sponsored by the Ottawa Public Library, Ottawa Branch OGS and BIFHSGO, will include sessions on “Researching your Military Ancestors at LAC,” “Case studies of Military research,” and “Canada’s contribution to the Great War”. Attendees are also invited to bring World War I artifacts for identification by experts.

Contact Info:

Notice for Durham Region Branch Meeting

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Oshawa Public Library, Bagot and Centre Streets, Oshawa

Topic: The Great Escape – The True Story

Speaker: Ted Barris

Brief Overview: Mr. Barris is a well known author from Uxbridge Ont. He specializes in WW2 and tells the true story of the Canadian’s role in the battles. He will be speaking about his latest book “The Great Escape” and the Canadians who took part in it.

Contact Info:

Reminder for Elgin County Branch Meeting

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Date: Monday October 28, 2013

Time: 7:30 pm

Location: Carnegie Room, St. Thomas Public Library, 153 Curtis Street, St. Thomas

Topic: The Life of a British Officer in the War of 1812

Speaker: Captain Bob Tordiff

Contact info:

OGS/Dundurn Publications:The Genealogist’s Reference Shelf Series

Monday, October 21st, 2013

acalltocoloursA Call to Colours: Tracing Your Canadian Military Ancestors

Kenneth G. Cox


Beginning in Canada’s earliest days, our ancestors were required to perform some form of military service, often as militia. The discovery that an ancestor served during one of the major conflicts in our history is exciting. When you find a family name on a Loyalist muster roll, a Canada General Service Medal with an ancestor’s name engraved on it, a set of First World War attestation papers, or a box of Second World War medals, you realize that one of your ancestors faced challenging events beyond the scope of ordinary living. There are ways to trace their journeys and thus flesh out a more complete story of the history of your family.

A Call to Colours provides the archival, library, and computer resources that can be employed to explore your family’s military history, using items such as old photographs, documents, uniforms, medals, and other militaria to guide the search. The book is generously illustrated with examples of the sorts of artifacts and documents you can find.

Click here to purchase this book from the OGS eStore

Mystery Photo for the Week of October 21, 2013

Monday, October 21st, 2013

An interesting pose from our mystery couple in Photo #11:

Mystery Photo #11











Donor, Judith Harris

OGSoldphotos flickr page:

Attention OGS Members: Want to help OGS spread knowledge and cultivate future members?

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

We are seeking OGS Members from across Ontario to join the Education and Youth Committee. Help propose and develop initiatives to assist genealogists in building skills and to encourage young people to explore their family history.


Please contact OGS Executive Director Sarah Newitt at: to share your background and ideas.

FYI: Milton Public Library Announces Launch of New Digitial Newspaper Archive

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Cultural and historical information about Milton and its people will soon be more accessible.

The Milton Digital Newspaper Archive will launch at the Milton Public Library Thursday, Oct. 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. Mayor Gord Krantz will be there to welcome everyone.The new resource enables people to fully access digitized copies of The Canadian Champion newspaper dating back to 1862. It makes the paper, previously available on microfilm only, accessible from anywhere at any time. This includes announcements, news, photographs, obituaries and other ancestry-related information from the local area.

The launch event falls on the heels of National Newspaper Week (October 6 to 12), which serves as a reminder of how much newspapers continue to matter in people’s lives.

For more information about the launch of this exciting new resource, visit the Milton Public Library website at:

Notice for Sudbury District Branch Meeting

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Date: Monday, November 18, 2013

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Location: Parkside Ctr, Sudbury YMCA, 140 Durham S., Sudbury

Topic: “Ancestors in WW I”

Speaker: Nancy Vaillancourt

Brief Overview: Nancy will discuss and demonstrate how she brought together an outline of her grandfather’s World War I experience, details family members had never heard of.

Contact Info: