Posts Tagged ‘get involved’

Canadian Genealogy Survey Now Widely Available

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Check out this survey and contribute to research into how genealogists work and what they need:

 (East Margaree, N.S.) – Carleton University researchers are seeking family historians to complete an online survey detailing how they conduct their genealogy research. Originally pilot-tested in Nova Scotia, the Canadian Genealogy Survey is now looking to attract a wider audience. Canadians researching their family’s history in Canada or abroad are invited the complete the survey, available at The researchers are also inviting family historians who are researching their Canadian ancestry from outside the country to take part. 

Associate Professor of Marketing, Leighann Neilson revealed that over 400 people completed the survey during the first 10 days after it became available. “We’ve had a wonderful response from the genealogy community in Nova Scotia,” Neilson said, “Now we are trying to get the message out across the country.” While the majority of people completing the survey have been from Canada, responses have also come in from across the United States, the UK and as far away as South Africa.

 Del Muise, Emeritus Professor of History at Carleton, is collaborating with Neilson on the survey. “In addition to completing the survey, we’ve had a number of people send us their comments and suggestions via email or leave comments on our blog. It’s the chance to have this kind of interaction with people taking the survey that makes it really interesting for us.”

 As the survey moves across the country, the public can follow its progress at Family historians, librarians, archivists and others interested in genealogy are able to comment and offer their opinions. “As results become available, we’ll be posting them on the site and inviting the community to react,” Muise said.

 For more information:

Del Muise                                                                     Leighann Neilson
Emeritus Professor of History                            Associate Professor, Marketing
Carleton University                                                Carleton University                            

Get Involved: Branch Opportunities

Monday, November 15th, 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.

Last week I pointed you in the direction of provincial volunteer opportunities, but OGS also has 32 branches all across Ontario and they’ve always got projects on the go. You don’t have to look further than your local branch for ways to volunteer.

As listed on the Branch Opportunities page, branches are always looking for assistance in the following areas:

Research and Publishing
Cemeteries Transcriptions
Places of Worship
Electronic search
Research & inquiries
Program (monthly meetings) and Workshops
Summer Camp
Journal and Newsletter
Marketing and Administration
Publication Sales
Special Events
Web Site

Every Branch will have something that will excite your interest, utilize your skills, or help you develop new skills. Talk to your Branch. You will be glad you did.

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.

Making Sense of the 2011 Census controversy

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

The census is a major source of information for genealogists. In fact, it is one of the first places most of us go. It helps us track where our ancestors were and what they were doing at a given time.

 The news at the end of June that the Canadian government plans to make the long census form voluntary as of 2011 came as a bad shock to not only genealogists but many organizations which rely on census information to help them develop services and activities that meet the needs of their communities.

Here are some places you can go to inform yourself about the census and what these changes could mean for you.

The modern Canadian census is conducted every five years. The last one was in 2006. Here is some information on the questions that were asked in the long form for that census. It is the long form that the government is intending to make voluntary.

In his Statement on the 2011 Census Industry Minister, Tony Clement cites privacy concerns as the reason for the cancellation of the mandatory long forms. Some of the concerns he may be referring to are described in a speech by Privacy Commissioner Jennifer Stoddard whose 2004 address at the Tenth Annual National Conference Organized by Privacy & American Business in Washington D.C. discussed concerns over the use of the U.S. based company Lockheed Martin to process census information. She expressed concern over Canadians’ personal information crossing borders and how this information would be used particularly with regards to the Patriot Act in the United States. Similarly, Saskatoon’s Sandra Finlay, who went to court after refusing to fill out the 2006 census cites concerns over the use of Lockheed Martin to process the census  as a motivator for her decision not to comply with law and fill out the forms.

Many organizations are demanding that the government re-instate the mandatory long form. In a letter copied to the Canadian Press,  the Statistical Society expresses concerns about the bias of information gathered from a voluntary form, and of course, news writers all across the country are reporting their opinions and the opinions of individuals and organizations.  The Quebec Inter-university Centre for Social Statistic has assembled many of these articles for you to read.

As of Wednesday, our  Chief Statistician resigned over this issue.

 Inform yourself and decide where you stand.

Cooley Hatt Cemetery closure

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

OGS is heavily involved in the fight to protect and preserve Ontario cemeteries. The Cemetery Preservation Committee is currently working to prevent the closure of the Cooley- Hatt Cemetery and you can help!

The Cooley-Hatt Cemetery is an unapproved cemetery with approximately 99 burials. The property is located in the City of Hamilton on the Niagara Escarpment in the Greenbelt. It has been purchased by developers who have appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board for the approval of a plan of subdivision. The hearings will be held in October and November. 

Richard Hatt (1769-1819), and his wife Mary Cooley, along with some of her family and several of their nine children are buried there. Richard Hatt was a businessman, judge, politican and militia officer. He established mills in Ancaster and Dundas Mills. The latter complex had a distillery, potashery, general store, sawmills, a coopery and a blacksmith shop.

Richard Hatt served in the War of 1812 as a Major in the 5th Lincoln Militia and was severely wounded at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane. He was appointed Justice of the Peace in 1800 and a judge of the District and Surrogate Courts. He purchased Joseph Willcocks’ printing press and published the Upper Canada Phoenix.

 If Bill 149, The Inactive Cemeteries Protection Act 2009 had passed, it would have prevented the closure of the Cooley-Hatt Cemetery (Bill 149 died on the order papers when the provincial legislature was prorogued). There was tremendous support for Bill 149. Hopefully, we can help save this historic pioneer cemetery

Please download the following petition: Cooley-Hatt Cemetery Petition to Legislative Assembly

 Completed petitions should be sent either to:

The Ontario Genealogical Society
40 Orchard View Blvd, Suite 102
Toronto, ON M4R 1B9


The Ontario Historical Society
34 Parkview Avenue
Willowdale, ON M2N 3Y2  

Completed petitions will be delivered to the Legislature when it reconvenes.
The OMB Hearing is at the end of October/ beginning of November.

 Thank you for all your assistance

~OGS Cemetery Preservation Committee~