Posts Tagged ‘OGS projects’

An Open Letter to the City of Toronto: Please Ensure the Preservation of the Fegan Home

Saturday, October 5th, 2013

OGS, along with the broader genealogical and heritage community, has learned that the City of Toronto has a current interest in the site of the former Fegan Boys Distributing Home at 295 George St. in the City of Toronto. The structure was damaged by fire in 2012. Many of the boys passing through these walls left their mark by way of inscribing their names and the dates of their stays on the bricks. These names are still visible.

We have written a letter that requests that the City of Toronto seriously consider the historic significance of this treasure and find a way to preserve it. Click here to view the letter on the OGS website.

Profile: Current OGS Projects: The Ontario Name Index (TONI)

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Officially launched at the Ontario Genealogical Society’s Annual General Meeting on May 14, 2011, the Ontario Name Index (TONI) shows where information about a particular name can be found. The number of records in the TONI database currently stands at 2,401,406, and counting.

So, just what is TONI, what does it contain and what does it do?:

  • TONI is an indexing program and NOT a digitization program. Unlike some of our commercial and non-commercial colleagues, we are not limiting TONI to digitized sources and indexing them
  • The Ontario Name Index (TONI) is a mega-index of names with the goal of including every name found in any publication relating to Ontario
  • Indexes, particularly name indexes. These are the most valuable thing a genealogical society can produce
  • The index will point people to the location of the information about that name. The location may be a Branch document, a web site, a microfilm, a family history, an archive, etc
  • TONI will be on the public part of the OGS website so that anyone can access it

Working on TONI includes:

  • Converting and importing the existing electronic indices at both the Branch and Society level i.e., Ontario Cemetery Ancestor Index, Ottawa Branch Name Index
  • Digitizing and importing existing hard copy indices
  • Indexing existing electronic and hard-copy documents and importing them, e.g.,  family histories
  • Branch publications such as cemeteries, census, newspapers and other transcriptions that they have done
  • Indexes to digitized documents produced for other organizations as part of the scanning project, e.g., the Tweedsmuir Histories, could be included with permission of the owner

What do we want to include in TONI?

  • Any source that contains a name in Ontario. You know the type and range of documents that genealogists and family historians are seeking. Think about how an index would have helped you locate those documents faster and easier
  • All Branches and Special Interest Groups (SIGs) are invited to take part in the TONI project

If you have questions or want to get involved, contact the TONI Provincial Coordinator at:

Click here to search TONI.

Profile: Completed OGS Projects: Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Registers

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Beginning in 1843, Wesleyan Methodist ministers kept a book of entries for births and baptisms and submitted each year’s book to the Conference Office. Entries were then copied into the General Register, arranged by township, town, village and circuit. Records of the Wesleyan Methodist Church and its subsequent evolutions go from 1826 to 1910.

The Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Registers transcription project was initiated by Dorothy Martin and Sandra Moore and became a project of the Society in November 2000. Transcriptions of the microfilmed baptismal records have been compiled and submitted to the United Church of Canada Archives who hold copyright on these records. The United Church has allowed the Ontario Genealogical Society to transcribe and sell these records through its thirty Branches located throughout Ontario.

To obtain copies of these baptismal record indexes, contact the Branch in the area in which you are doing your family research.

Profile: Completed OGS Projects: Upper Canada Land Books Index

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

The Upper Canada Land Books record minutes of the meetings of the Land Board’s Executive Council, which were held between the years 1791 and 1847. During this period, the Executive Council had the authority over land granting or selling of crown lands in Upper Canada. Petitioners would have been settlers, military claimants, and Loyalists.

There are 24 Land Books with approximately 72,000 names of Ontario pioneers. The index includes every name located in the records as well as residence, petition number, the location of the land, the Land Book and page number.

The Upper Canada Land Books Indexes are available in CD format and may be purchased through the OGS eStore.

If you would like to view digitized images of the Upper Canada Land Books, they may be found on the website as part of their Héritage Collection. Please note that these images are not indexed.

Profile: Current OGS Projects: Keeping and Valuing Ontario’s Heritage

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013
The Keeping and Valuing Ontario’s Heritage project offers digitization services to heritage organizations throughout Ontario.

Through this project, digitized materials will be placed on the pay-per-view (PPV) section of the OGS website. This will allow web users to access documents from across Ontario in the comfort of their own homes. For a minimal fee, a user will be able to access documents such as vital statistic records, family history collections, church and school histories, and obituary collections. Other records that will be available include Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Histories, land grant records, and tax records like assessment and collector’s rolls.

Digitization is very important as it allows a second copy of the information to exist. While nothing can replace the paper copy of a document, the digital copy will preserve the information, should the original be lost in a fire or flood. Digitization also improves the accessibility of the records and the inclusion of the documents in the PPV site can help promote small heritage organizations.

The heritage organization retains all ownership of the digitized documents and receives a digital copy. OGS will also retain a copy of the documents, allowing for a backup to exist, which increases the security of the records. Anyone interested in more information about this project is welcome to contact the OGS Provincial Office at: provoffice[@]

Creating an Index to a Family History?

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

“Genealogists enter family histories through the back door, through the index. If a book has no index, that door is closed” – Patricia Law Hatcher in Producing a Quality Family History.

When you create and index to your family history, consider formatting it so it can be easily added to The Ontario Name Index (TONI). TONI is a project of the Ontario Genealogical Society to create a single index of all the names in Ontario genealogy. Family histories are an important resource for genealogy so we want to include indexes to as many as possible.

The essential requirement of TONI is that we be able to extract the last name and first name separately. To do this, ensure that your index contains three or more clear columns:

Last Name         First Name          the rest (e.g. page number)

 Brown                Samuel                          42

We can solve any other problems but if you want to make the conversion easier, contact for further hints.

On Our Website: OGSPI

Monday, June 28th, 2010
web address graphic

Image courtesy: Renjith krishnan, link below

One thing OGS has on its website that you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere else is our very own OGSPI which stands for the Ontario Genealogical Society Provincial Index.

This index is a massive, ongoing OGS volunteer project that attempts to index the names found in an unlimited range of publications that might help a genealogist search for their Ontario ancestors. Since 1997 the volunteers involved in this project have indexed everything to be found that contains genealogical information: OGS branch publications, census records, military records and obituaries from many different newspapers and they have compiled all the data in one place to make it easier for you to track down your ancestors.

You can search for a last name of your choice using the first two letters as a starting point. Check out the How to Use OGSPI page to find out how to make this resource work best for you.

P.S. If you’re looking for information that is less than 50 years old, this is not the best resource for you. We have made efforts to ensure that we only index data referring to dates more than 50 years ago to reduce the likelihood that a search will retrieve information about anyone who is still alive or recently deceased. We’ve done this out of consideration for issues of personal privacy and the risk of identity theft.

Image: renjith krishnan /