Ontario Genealogical Society  new logoDurham Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical SocietyDurham Region Branch 2018  logo
  ••• Everyone is Welcome! •••  

• Durham Region Branch Meetings [Location/Time] — [Future Speakers] [Past Speakers] [Members Only]- Next Meeting - Tuesday - November 7th., at 7:30 p.m.

Our usual general meeting location is Northminster United Church (676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, ON L1G 4V7 (nw corner of Simcoe Street North and Rossland Road West). Our meeting now have a Zoom component. Please, be sure to register ahead of time.

Please check out our Durham Region Branch Facebook Group and our Durham Region Branch blog, as well as this website for further updates.

• Next Meeting - Tuesday, November 7th at 7:30 p.m.

"DNA Clustering: Using the Leeds Method to Sort Your Matches" – Ben Dawson of “Family Tree Project”

Ben Dawson

After getting your DNA results, you were likely overwhelmed with the number of DNA matches and information presented. What should be your first steps? How do you get organized? What ancestral lines are each of the matches related to you? One of the most valuable tools that you can utilize to organize your DNA matches is called the Leeds Method. It is a systematic approach to sort your DNA matches into groups that usually result in clusters of matches that belong to each of your 4 grandparent lines. This talk explains the methodology behind the Leeds Method and how you can use it to narrow down your DNA match relationships so that when you reach out to them, you are more confident about the relationship. This will allow you to narrow your focus and limit the possible surnames involved. It also explains when the Leeds method is best applied and situations where it may not be suitable.

Ben Dawson is a life-time resident of London and has deep ancestral roots in the London & Westminster Township area as well as Huron and Bruce Counties dating back to the early 1800s. Ben took up genealogy in his 20s and has been a member of Ontario Ancestors for the last 8 years. He is currently the Co-Chair for the London & Middlesex Branch and has spoken at Ontario Ancestors branch meetings on topics such as cemetery transcription, genealogical software and genetic genealogy. Ben has been very involved in the social media side of Ontario Ancestors and helps run the Facebook page as well administrating two additional genetic genealogy Facebook groups. Ben serves as a director-at-large on the Board and several committees for the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Retired since 2006, he is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially the OGS, with a special interest in Canada’s military history and the men and women who have served in uniform. Glenn has also been associated with television programs such as “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “Ancestors in the Attic” and “Engraved on a Nation”.

Ben also has a professional genealogy business called “Family Tree Project”. It includes a blog which offers tips, tricks, and news for the avid genealogist which can be found at www.familytreeproject.ca.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, November 7 th via Zoom & In-Person. Our AGM will be held at the beginning of the meeting and will be brief.

Kindly register for the Zoom programme via the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0sf-isqjIpEt2kggzsncsf0hKVun6YixVC

"Our speaker will join us via Zoom."

In-person will be in our Branch library on the 3 rd floor at Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, ON (NW corner of Simcoe Street North and Rossland Road West). Parking can be limited.

Glenn Wright

Notice is given that the Durham Branch's Annual General Meeting will be held at our Nov. 7th General Meeting. If there is a position, job or project that you would like to be a part of, please contact me at [email protected]. All volunteers are welcome and greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Nancy Trimble, Chair

• Durham Branch Virtual Social Drop-In October 26 th • New Sign-Up


Are you missing the coffee time chat from our pre-COVID meetings? Need someone to bounce some research problems off of?
Join Durham Region Branch on the 4th Thursday at 11 am each month between Oct. 26th and the end of June 2024 [except Dec. 2023].
Anything goes - need a lookup done in our library, question about DNA matches, information on sources for an area you haven't researched before. We can even talk about the weather, but genealogy is much more interesting. Bring a coffee or tea and let's chat about "everything genealogy". Everyone is welcome!
Kindly pre-register at the following Zoom link:
You only need to register once - you can use the link you receive in your e-mail over and over, so keep it in a safe place!

• at our Oct. 3rd meeting we celebrated “Canadian Women’s History Month”. Our speaker, Glenn Wright, joined via Zoom.

Glenn Wright

During the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, a small group of nurses and nuns provided medical care for the wounded and sick. It was the beginning of a tradition that would see women serve in the South African War, 1898-1902, and the First and Second World Wars. In this presentation, we will look at the history of this contribution and explore the records that we can use to document Canadian women in uniform.

Glenn Wright is one of our favourite speakers. He was born and educated in Toronto, Ontario. Following graduation from the University of Toronto, he worked as a researcher for Pierre Berton before joining the Public Archives of Canada in 1975. During his public service career that spanned more than 30 years, Glenn worked as an archivist, historical research officer and, for many years, assistant historian with the RCMP.

Retired since 2006, he is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially the OGS, with a special interest in Canada’s military history and the men and women who have served in uniform. Glenn has also been associated with television programs such as “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “Ancestors in the Attic” and “Engraved on a Nation”.

He has published widely in family history, genealogical and historical magazines and journals. Glenn is also the author of Canadians at War, 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War I Service Records (Global Genealogy, 2010) and Controversy, Compromise and Celebration: The History of Canada’s National Flag (Historical Society of Ottawa, 2017).

Glenn has been actively involved with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and served as the Society’s President from 2010 to 2014.

Glenn has given permission for this Zoom recording of the meeting, which includes his talk (at about the 12 minute mark) to e posted. https://youtu.be/E_nrg-LARSo

He inludes his handout in both Word and PDF formats.

• at our September 5, 2023 meeting -"Telling Family Stories in 15 Minutes a Day - Lianne Kruger of "iFamily History"

Lianne Kruger

Are you really going to write that 600-page family history? Stop kidding yourself! Join Durham Branch in September as Lianne Kruger shares how to record your family history as stories in only 15 minutes a day.

Trying to record your family stories can feel overwhelming. You might not be sure where to start, or what to record, how to record the history so that family and future generations will be interested in the stories. This session shares a variety of ways to record the history of family heirlooms as well as stories with items and short videos. Lianne Kruger is a professional genealogist and speaker specializing in Canadian records, U.S. and Canadian homesteading, video recording family history, and using technology such as Google Maps and Drive and Evernote. She has spoken for Ontario Ancestors, RootsTech, National Genealogical Society, Legacy FamilyTree Webinars and Ancestry and has published articles in many key journals.

Lianne teaches computer software courses. She also has a Bachelor degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho, which includea a Certificate & Associate Degree in Family History Research. Lianne is also a member of the Board for mitoYDNA.org, is on the Ancestry.ca advisory board and is heavily involved in many roles with the Alberta Genealogical Society.

She has a genealogy/technology related blog at iFamily History ( http://ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com/ ) where she shares the methodologies & technologies that she uses.

Lianne's talk, and her handout, have been posted in Members Only.

The business portion of this meeting is at: - https://youtu.be/ilh5_n5ppm0

• at our meeting on June 6, 2023 -"Four Proven Strategies for Overcoming Research Obstacles" - with Janice Nickerson, M.S., U.E.

Janice Nickerson

Are you stuck? Have you tried everything to solve your genealogical puzzle? Professional genealogist Janice Nickerson will share 4 proven strategies she uses every day to overcome her clients' research obstacles. These strategies apply to any family history problem, whether you're seeking living relatives or long-dead ancestors, in Whitby or Wuhan.

Professional genealogist Janice Nickerson loves a good challenge - whether it's identifying elusive ancestors, tracking disappearing descendants or telling richer family stories. Her specialties include early Ontario research, criminal justice records and fur trade history.

Janice’s website is UpperCanadaGenealogy.com

This was a hybrid meeting – both in-person and via Zoom. The business portion of the meeting is on YouTube at... https://youtu.be/PnIdd2jVk2I

In-person happens in our library, on the 3rd floor at Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, ON (NW corner of Simcoe Street North and Rossland Road West). Parking can be limited. Those requiring use of the lift need to arrange 1 day ahead of time to [email protected]

Janice accompanied her presentation with a handout, and she has agreed to making her presentation openly available for 30 days, and for the following six months the recording will be in Members Only.


• at our May 2nd 2023 meeting -"Old Brock Township: Origin and Key Events" - with Larry Doble

Larry Doble

This presentation describes the history behind the creation of the original Brock Township in historic Ontario County and the wars, battles, and events which determined who settled there.

Larry Doble has been the chairman of the Sunderland and District Historical Society for almost 20 years. His ancestors came to Brock Township from Mayo County, Ireland in 1822 and the Doble family has been here for 7 generations. His family tree computer data base has 62,000 names and it links many of the early families who settled in Brock Township which opened up in 1818.

The business portion of this May 2 2023 meeting is on YouTube, at: https://youtu.be/FgWPbm_PF2s

The Handout provides several sites and resources related to the history of Old Brock Township.

Larry has kindly concented to our hosting his presentation, on YouTube at:https://youtu.be/e7L0_IOiv-I

• at our April 4th. 2023 meeting -"Breaking Down Brick Walls - Case Studies"

family search explore

Brick Walls - Stephen Wood

Zoom only, with a recording on YouTube of the entire meeting, here: - https://youtu.be/5GJlRXWwSMs

No idea on how to get past your brick wall? Need help cracking the case? Come to the Durham Region Branch’s April meeting and watch Stephen Wood, our Research coordinator, show how he has helped many people work on their brick walls.

Stephen Wood is a founding member of the Durham Region Branch. He has held many roles in our branch since 1982. He is the past-Chair and the current librarian, researcher and office manager for the branch. Stephen and his wife Lori have built our library catalogue which will be rolled out soon.

• at our March 2023 meeting -"Away to Canada - Barbara Dickson"

family search explore

Away to Canada - Barbara Dickson

Have you ever wondered what it was like to pioneer in Ontario pre-1850?

Come discover life in Canada during the first half of the 19th century as seen through the eyes of an English gentleman, David Cragg. A true-life account, David, born in 1769, lived through the Napoleonic wars, the death of his beloved Molly from a grand consumption, the Industrial Revolution, his immigration to Canada as a widower with eight children and the founding of Greenbank village in Reach Township (now in Durham Region). This fascinating presentation - a walk down memory lane as told through David's own writing - will intrigue and inspire Canadians, historians, and anyone who's interested in learning more about how people lived almost 200 years ago in Britain and Canada.

Barbara Dickson is a sought-after award-winning best-selling author, historian, public speaker, documentary film producer and writer who has entertained, educated, and enlightened audiences for twenty-five years. Dickson's speaking platform mirrors her passions: commemorating Canada's bomb girls, honouring the legacy of the Irish people in building Canada, challenges and triumphs of 19th century immigration life, living with multiple sclerosis, and heart transplantation in Canada.

Barbara's website can be found at https://www.barbaradickson.ca/

The business portion of this March General Meeting is on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/iOOTKARMr0g

Barbara's presentation is available in Members Only https://durhambranch.ogs.on.ca:

• at our Feb. 7th. Meeting

family search explore

Doing Family Tree Research in Your Pajamas – Ken McKinlay of “Family Tree Knots”

Date & Time: February 7th @ 7:30 pm EST via Zoom only

With the challenges resulting from the pandemic, we still have to contend with many restrictions when it comes to visiting our favourite archives and museums. Fortunately, we still have a vast array of resources available to us online with more coming out every week. In this presentation, Ken touched upon the various online resources and tools that permit us to continue researching the various branches of our family trees, all without leaving the comfort and safety of our homes.

Ken McKinlay's foray into his family tree research started with three simple family stories that he wanted to confirm or refute. He has now been researching his family tree for over 20 years and discoveries are still being made. He has given talks for branches of Ontario Ancestors, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, and the Ottawa Public Library. Ken's talks generally focus on methodologies and providing the skills needed to help solve those brick wall problems. He has a genealogy related blog at Family Tree Knots ( https://familytreeknots.blogspot.com/ ) where he shares the methodologies that he uses in his own research.

Ken's presentation is now in the Members Only Area, along with his handout.

The business portion of the Feb 07, 2023 General Meeting is on YouTube, at: -https://youtu.be/_vvshewNig4


• at our January 3rd., 2023 meeting -"Exploring Family Search.org"

family search explore

Michele Jeannotte

The business portion of our meeting, including announcements, is recorded here... https://youtu.be/rpcu0bOqYgg

Michele demonstrated some of the key features of the free FamilySearch.org website, specifically: - how to search the records, navigate the online catalogue and browse digitized films. She also talked about some of the ‘hidden extras’ offered. This wonderful free genealogy site is a must for all genealogists.

Michele Jeannotte became interested in family history as a teenager, growing up in North Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Discovering that her grandmother was born in Constantinople, Turkey ignited a life-long passion to find out more about her ancestors. Michele’s 24 years in various Information Technology roles (including Technical Writer) and an additional 20 years as a private tutor have given her a broad range of skills. In addition to her personal research, Michele runs a one-name study focusing on the RENTON surname. She also vlogs at “Genealogy: Ties to the Past” on YouTube.
 An 11-page pdf handout is aviable, HERE.
Michele has made this presentation, and many more, available to all on her YouTube Channel.

•Durham Region Branch Drop-In & Social Hour

an ajax bomb girl

Missing the social time at one of our meetings? Feeling really isolated still? Missing browsing our library books? Not sure that you want to join our meetings in-person yet?

Come and join Durham Region Branch as we host a monthly Zoom Drop-In and Social Hour!

On the 4 th Thursday at 11 a.m. ET we will be meeting on Zoom, so grab your drink and bring your comments, questions and enjoy a social hour at our drop-in.

Register here for the monthly series from January 2023 - June 2023: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpcuispzMiGNBMssF-ccCX6h30a2ojyMOT

Everyone is welcome! Our first meeting is Thursday, January 26th.

• at our “Bring and Brag” Zoom Meeting on Tues., Dec. 6 th at 7:30 pm.

an ajax bomb girl

The Durham Region Branch celebrated with a hybrid meeting for our end-of-year Christmas social. For decades, our end-of-year highlight event has brought us together - in a real room - to enjoy personal family history stories, along with tasty seasonal treats, hot apple cider, and a very unstructured sharing evening.

Last year's virtual event was a great success followed by a wonderful sharing session. This year's event will be hybrid, so this is an opportunity to gather together in person or keep our distance using Zoom. Anything can be shown: photos, medals, heirlooms, a tricky piece of research or even a plea for help! The hybrid meeting drawback is that holding items up to a web camera is often not clear enough for all participants. Thank you to those who sent images to Chair Nancy Trimble ahead of time. Her email is [email protected]

A recording of the entire meeting is on YouTube... https://youtu.be/W3NeIRImG4Y

• at our November 1st., 2022 meeting...

“Bomb Girls: Life at the D.I.L. (Defence Industries Ltd.) Plant in Ajax”, one examination of life on the Home Front.

an ajax bomb girl

Our speaker is Elaine Lievaart of the Ajax Public Library.  

Prior to the Spring of 1940, Ajax did not exist. This all changed when two government surveyors arrived in Pickering Township, looking for land upon which to build the largest munitions plant in the British Commonwealth. We’ll take a tour of this plant, learn about what life was like on and off the production lines and how it eventually morphed into the Town of Ajax.

Elaine Lievaart has worked for the Ajax Public Library in various roles for the past 18 years. She is currently a Community Engagement Associate who works primarily with older adults where she organizes programs which are designed to educate, enlighten, enrich and, mostly, entertain. The other hat she wears is looking after the Local History and Genealogy collections at the Library. Elaine has a love of history and received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Toronto with a double major in Anthropology and History. She is never happier than chatting with people about the unusual story of the founding of Ajax or being let loose in the Town’s Archives to see what treasures she can find.

Elaine brought some artifacts from the munitions plant for us to see!

This presentation is available in the Members Only Area. Elaine's PDF handout will be avialble here, for a short time. The business portion of our meeting is on YouTube... https://youtu.be/KqWYHEHhFz0

cake cutting

Whitby-Oshawa Branch was formed in 1982 as the 22nd branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. We were assigned the area of the old Counties of Ontario and (part of) Durham. In 2005, our name was changed to better reflect that area of coverage: Durham Region Branch. First, we will be holding a very short AGM in order to present an update for the branch and welcome any new volunteers. Following our special speaker, we will be presenting certificates of appreciation, showing a slideshow of our activities through the years and, of course, celebrating our Ruby Anniversary with cake.

• at our October 4th 2022 Meeting...

Jennifer Weymark

Stop the Presses: Historic Newspaper Collections in and Around Durham Region

Newspapers are a treasure trove of information for all sorts of researchers. There are vital statistics such as births and deaths, there are articles highlighting the current events of the days and there are stories and advertisements that showcase social issues and community focus. Archives and libraries have worked to preserve their local newspapers so that they are available for researchers.  This talk will focus on where to access newspapers from collections in and around Durham Region, the challenges faced by those preserving these collections and by researchers accessing them and some of the interesting ways local newspapers have been used to help tell local history.  

Jennifer Weymark has been with the Oshawa Historical Society for 23 years, 22 of those years spent as the Archivist. This role has given Jennifer the opportunity to put to good use her undergraduate work in history and cultural anthropology, while also putting into practice the theories and skills learned while earning her Masters Degree in Museum Studies. In this position, Jennifer has not only devoted time to digitizing and reorganizing the archival collection, while maintaining the day-to-day collections management work, but she has also been focused on filling in gaps in the archival collection through focused collecting practices and original research. She has had the pleasure of sharing her work through presenting at conferences, developing and leading workshops for local students and speaking to various community groups. Handout with live links.

Jennifer has kindly permitted posting of her presentation, on our YouTube Channel, along with the entire meeting contents (Q&A, business portion, news and announcements)... https://youtu.be/o0_EfZPs7fw

• on September 6th at 7:30 p.m. we held our first hybrid meeting!

Jane MacNamara

Ontario's Records of Inheritance on Family Search

Are you ready to go beyond census and births, marriages, and deaths? Estate files are rich source for finding family connections and revealing our ancestor’s social and financial circumstances, maybe even personality. As court records, they tend to be very reliable—and even come with indexes.

Now that FamilySearch.org has digitized an extensive collection of Ontario surrogate court records—we can discover these treasures from home.

This session will give a brief overview of how the court system worked in Ontario and a step-by-step explanation of how to access the records. It will concentrate on records for Durham Region available through FamilySearch.

Speaker Jane E. MacNamara is the author of Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and other Records for Family Historians (OGS/Dundurn) and writes about genealogy at wherethestorytakesme.ca. A long time member of OGS, Jane lectures about research methodology, Ontario, and English family history to genealogical and historical groups throughout Ontario. She teaches courses for the OGS Toronto Branch, most notably hands-on courses about Ontario records—both onsite and online.

[This was be the branch’s first hybrid meeting, that is, both in-person and via Zoom. It was be held in the basement meeting room of the Northminster United Church, Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, Ontario (NW corner of Simcoe St. N. and Rossland Rd. W.)] Here is a recording of the business portion of our meeting, without Jane's presentation... https://youtu.be/yXocNE9je84

Jane has made her presentation available on YouTube; it will be available in the Members Only Area for a year.

Be sure to visit Jane's blog (linked above) for her posts related to the recently digitized/unlocked "Durham Region Surrogate Courts" records, or download Jane's PDF version of this presentation.

Durham Branch’s Virtual Library Monthly Drop-In -


Durham Branch’s Virtual Library Monthly Drop-In, Thursday, August 25th.

Nancy Trimble: Chair, Durham Region Branch

You are invited to join “Durham Branch's Library Drop-In”. We have a permanent day and time now: 4th Thursday at 11:00 am via Zoom. Drop-in and let’s talk genealogy!

We have booked Zoom meetings from June to October. It is one link and you can book all dates at the same time or pick and choose which “drop-ins” to attend.

All are Welcome!  Kindly register at:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.

Watch our (under 3 minute) tour of the library and office: -https://youtu.be/sHdO2sMYW0A

• On June 25th. we held a DNA SIG meeting, open to the public.

Ancestry DNA

Exploring AncestryDNA™ at Ancestry.ca® with Nancy Trimble

Nancy Trimble, PLCGS, (team leader of the DNA Special Interest Group of the Durham Region Branch, Ontario Ancestors) guided us through an exploration of Ancestry.ca’s DNA portion of their website.

She explored the DNA Story, DNA Matches and the Thru-Lines areas of the website in detail, showing how you can glean hints from each as you explore what your DNA is telling you.

[Nancy Trimble is a graduate of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and is currently the Chair of Durham Region Branch, Ontario Ancestors, as well as Co-Chair of the branch’s DNA SIG. Having a medical background, she has a keen interest in the application of DNA to furthering your genealogical goals.]

Now available for viewing on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/V2c_W1YjZiQ

• at our Durham Branch Zoom Meeting on June 7th., 2022.

virtual tour

An Introduction to GEDmatch, with Mags Gaulden

We will talk about all the things you need to know before your sign-up, terms of service and privacy updates (changes in the last month!) and the things you can do once you are registered. It's all about uploading your DNA data and using the tools and analysis available to discover new DNA cousins and hopefully make exciting discoveries in your family tree.

Mags Gaulden is a Professional Genealogist and the founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. She is an international Genetic Genealogy lecturer, blogger and social media maven. She serves as admin of various Facebook groups including the ISOGG Facebook group. Mags non-profit work includes Wiki-Tree and mito-YDNA.org

In lieu of a handout, Mags offers a shorter version of her slide presentation - GEDmatch IntroShort [5MB PDF]

A slightly editted version of the entire Zoom meeting, including Mag's presentation, is here: https://youtu.be/vR2rGS3VqAY

• at our Zoom Meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd., 2022

Bob Dawes Scotland


The video [link below] covers the main meeting, held on Zoom, including announcements, news, and a Mini-talk by president, Nancy Trimble, on a new feature available to those whose DNA is on Ancestry. Bob Dawes was the main speaker, on the topic, "Scotland from Abroad - the Next Level". He has made his presentation and handout available in the Members Only Area.


• at our Zoom Meeting on Tuesday, April 5th., 2022

Sher Leetooze

Sher Leetooze - Canadian Resource Review

Sometimes, when we are researching our families, one of them goes missing.  Before you jump to conclusions and check death records, why not check out other provincial archives.  Here in Ontario land was taken up at a rapid rate by the first wave of incomers, so when the sons and daughters were ready to take up land, there was precious little left.  In order to make a life for themselves they went farther afield.  I've found many Ontario people out west in the later 1800's. Manitoba has a wonderful online BMD site for researching the whereabouts of relatives.  And if you are researching in Quebec, Quebec Genealogy/Drouin is one of the best genealogy sites I've ever used. From coast to coast we have great archives - provincial archives, university archives, county /regional/district archives, libraries specializing in genealogical material, historical societies, genealogical societies...; the list goes on and on.

I will try to present a good cross-section to you - giving you url's &/or e-mail addresses. [https://sherleetooze.com/about/]

Sher's presentation is in Members Only.

Stephen Wood's mini talk featured the New General Registry Office (GRO) for England and Wales (1841-1861). President Nancy Trimble chaired the meeting and updated news regarding future genealogical events, including Conference 2022 in June... https://youtu.be/RZHbFdhYagc

• at our meeting on Tuesday, March 1st., 2022

Jennifer Debruin

Do you have a captive ancestor in your family tree?

In fact, many North Americans can count at least one captive ancestor!
Durham Region Branch invites you to join us as Jennifer DeBruin takes us back to the time of the French and Indian Wars on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Riveting, complex and heartbreaking, the captive story is one of tragedy and triumph. As the battle for continental supremacy over the colonies in North America raged over generations, people were swept up in its wake – many of them children. The audience will be taken on a treacherous journey, exploring the many complexities of life in ancient lands, and the result of French and English claims to its riches.
Time Period: Early-1600s – Mid-Late 1700s
Jennifer DeBruin Researcher | Author | Speaker
With deep ancestral roots in Quebec, Eastern Ontario, and Colonial America, Jennifer has a passion for researching and sharing the stories of ordinary people who experienced extraordinary history.
With a focus on North America from the 16th - 20th centuries, she seeks to expand the
understanding of our complex history from a variety of perspectives.  
Author of three fact-based historical fiction novels based on North American history, Jennifer is currently writing her first non-fiction book, based on her popular presentation, Loyalist Espionage, and will follow this with her fourth creative non-fiction. She also writes historical pieces, which have appeared in several publications.
In addition to her research and writing, Jennifer has been a professional speaker for over 20 years, is an active volunteer in the historical community, and her most recent venture is an historical podcast, the aWOKEning, which presents information that expands the historical narrative and our understanding of the past, present and future.


Jennifer's presentation was in Members Only, until Aprl 1st. 2022. The rest of the March meeting, including the Internet Archive min-talk, is here... https://youtu.be/m70HDp3jO-c

• at our meeting on Tuesday, February 1st., 2022

Claire Wilton by Michael Hudson

Claire Wilton spoke on Zoom... “Finding Your Ancestors in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto”.

photo credit - Michael Hudson

The Anglican Diocese of Toronto is quite large and holds records covering the areas of Halton-Peel, Toronto, York, Simcoe, Durham, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough and Haliburton. We expect this talk to be of interest to a wide number of researchers.

Claire will be covering the oldest records held, as well as the types of, access to and information found in the records. She will also highlight examples of searches they have done, as well as challenges with the records. The Archives is currently working on increasing their accessible information (fonds descriptions and finding aids).
Claire Wilton, MLIS, has worked at the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives for 11 years, first as Archives Assistant for 8 years and currently as Archivist and Privacy Officer since March 2019. A keen amateur genealogist herself, she has conducted research into her own ancestors (primarily in Bermuda and Scotland). She brings her enthusiasm to the challenge of the search for her own ancestors and to helping others in their genealogical searches of the Diocese of Toronto Archives. Claire is always happy to provide guidance and suggestions on search strategies for ancestors that lived within the Diocese of Toronto.
The 2022 February 01 meeting video is now viewable in the Members Only Area, along with a bonus mini-presentation by Stephen Wood - How to Find Lot and Concession Using Schedule 4 on the 1871 Canadian Census (works for rural locations).

• at our meeting on Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Dave Obee 2022

Dave Obee Spoke on "Migration"

Noted speaker, newspaper man and raconteur Dave Obee is a familiar speaker at OGS Conferences and Branch Zoom Webinars.

“In Search of Home: Migration into, out of and within Canada”

Understanding the flow of people will help you understand how your family fits in the history of the country. In some cases, records are available in Canada and in other countries, but in other cases researchers will need to consider social history and traditional migration routes to understand the lives of their ancestors. Includes a look at the social history of the arrival of the railway, which helped bring massive development to the four western provinces. The railways brought settlers, and helped them get their goods to markets. The railway companies had a keen interest in bringing settlers, and ran colonization schemes designed to entice people to the West. Dave is the author of the book, Destination Canada.
Dave Obee has written a dozen books and has given more than 700 presentations at genealogy and history conferences since 1997. His topics range from general genealogical information, to Canadian research, to technology and more.

Dave's presentation is now in Members Only: - https://durhambranch.ogs.on.ca

• at our December 7, 2021 Meeting

Christmas 2021

“Bring & Brag” Durham’s Christmas Event

This is your opportunity to show a discovery, a website, a family heirloom and tell us it’s story. Come and join Durham Region Branch, as we celebrate with our virtual re-creation of our end-of-year Christmas event.

For decades, our end-of-year highlight event has brought us together – in a real room – to enjoy personal family history stories, along with tasty seasonal treats, hot apple cider, and a very unstructured sharing evening.
Last year’s virtual event was a great success followed by a wonderful sharing session. This year was no exception.
A Zoom recording of the meeting is at the link below.


• at our November 2nd., 2021 Meeting

Glenn Wright

Glenn Wright presented “Proudly They Served: Researching Canadian Men and Women in the Second World War, 1939-1945”.

Researching the men and women who served in uniform during the Second World war can be a challenging, yet rewarding, experience for those interested in family history. It was an extraordinary six years in many ways, both overseas and at home, and by researching our own personal connections to the war, we can more fully appreciate the significance that the war had in the lives of our ancestors.

This presentation focussed on the major sources of information and what we can learn from them, including a) service records and how to retrieve them; b) interpreting these records; c) researching unit war diaries (for the Canadian Army) and operations record books (for the RCAF); d) war dead; and e) essential websites and more.

Glenn has kindly consented to re-run his Zoom presentation on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/ont2epw62xY

Following graduation from the University of Toronto, Glenn worked as a researcher for Pierre Berton before joining the Public Archives of Canada in 1975. During his public service career that spanned more than 30 years, Glenn worked as an archivist, historical research officer and, for many years, assistant historian with the RCMP.

A frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially the OGS, Glenn has a special interest in Canada’s military history. He has published widely in family history, genealogical and historical magazines and journals and has also published 2 books.

• at our meeting on Tuesday, October 5th., 2021

Leslie Anderson

Leslie Anderson

Search Tips – Researching Women on Ancestry

This session will provide strategies for searching for women in the Ancestry databases, including methods to uncover females using name variations and other search techniques. Famous or interesting women will be highlighted wherever possible using the new Ancestry databases from around the world, as well as the core record groups. The presentation will appeal to new and experienced researchers alike.

Lesley Anderson has worked for Ancestry.ca for over 14 years as their Canadian Spokesperson and has done numerous presentations for genealogy societies and conferences across Canada as well as TV and Radio appearances.

Leslie's Zoom presentation will appear in the Members Only Area; find the Business Portion of this meeting and Nancy Trimble's "Finding Un-indexed Records on Family Search" here: - https://youtu.be/00fwd_ERctc