Wednesday, May 4, 2022

Durham Branch Library First Drop In!!

 Welcome! You are invited to join a meeting: Durham Branch Library Drop In. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.

General questions, specific questions, library book lookups - we have it all! Join Stephen Wood and Nancy Trimble for our first Durham Region Branch Library Drop-In!!

Here is the link for Thursday, May 19th at 11:30 am.

Sunday, April 24, 2022

May 3rd Meeting - Scotland From Abroad: The Next Level with Bob Dawes


Please register at the following link:
This is a presentation for moving beyond the basics of Scottish research. It covers some of the harder to find records and some new resources for locating those records. Specifically, this presentation drills down into the newly released kirk session records and land tax records. It also explains how to use maps to find the croft mentioned on your ancestors’ documents. Finally, it takes a new look at some basic Scottish research resources.

Bob Dawes Bio
Bob is a retired technology industry executive who got turned onto genealogy in the early nineties. He enjoys combining technology and travel to research his family. Bob and his wife, Barbara also an avid genealogist, have traveled throughout North America and the United Kingdom in pursuit of their ancestors. Their most recent trip was to Scotland for thirty-five days in 2019 where they filled in for the staff at the Buchan Family History Centre, in Peterhead, for a week. Bob is a past chair of Quinte Branch - OGS and has given presentations to many branches and conferences.

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Canadian Resources Review - April 5th Durham Branch Meeting

Come and join Durham Region Branch on Tues., Apr. 5th @7:30 pm when we host Sher Leetooze as she takes us on a tour of online Canadian Resources.

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. Sher has 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 Sher has ever used.
From coast to coast, we have great archives - provincial archives, university archives, county / regional / district archives, libraries who specialize in genealogical material, historical societies, genealogical societies - the list goes on and on and she will try to present a good cross-section to you - giving you url's &/or e-mail addresses.

Sher Leetooze started her genealogy when her children were small, so you can imagine that she didn’t find much time to put into it in those days. But nearly 50 years on she is still digging into the family’s past and finding great material that just wasn’t available 50 years ago. 
In 1994, Sher decided to write about the township in which she lives for the bicentennial celebrations. She went on to write the history of all the townships in the old Durham County. While doing her genealogy she discovered her ancestors were staunch Bible Christians, and so wrote a trilogy about the Bible Christians - the people, the chapels and the preachers.  From WW1 Nurses and Clarington Home Children, to gardening and the study of wild plants, and now a foray into fiction, Sher has continued to produce books about the things that interest her,
Today’s presentation is a culmination of her research experiences, both genealogical and historical.

Everyone is welcome!  Kindly pre-register at:

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Forged in the Flames of War: Captive Ancestors of North America - Tuesday, March 1st Meeting

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

About our Speaker:  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.

Kindly pre-register at the following Zoom link:

Everyone is welcome to attend.


Monday, January 10, 2022

Calling all Researchers with Ancestors in South-Central Ontario


 photo credit: Michael Hudson. 

At our February meeting, Durham Region Branch will host Claire Wilton, Archivist and Privacy Officer of the Anglican Diocese of Toronto, who will present “Finding Your Ancestors in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto”. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 1st at 7:30 p.m.

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

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’s first experience with Archives was as a summer student at the Bermuda National Archives in 1995. She went on to study accounting, but in 2004 decided to change career paths, graduating from Western University with an MLIS in 2006. She 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 loves the challenge of the search for her own ancestors and brings that same enthusiasm to helping countless patrons in their genealogical searches of the Archives. Claire is always happy to provide guidance and suggestions on search strategies for ancestors that lived within the Diocese of Toronto.

Please, pre-register with the Zoom link below & mention us to your friends. Our meetings are open to the public.

Claire Wilton – Finding your Ancestors in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto

Saturday, December 18, 2021

Dave Obee Speaking About Migration in Canada at our January 4th Meeting


Speaker: Dave Obee

Topic: In Search of Home: Migration Into, Out of, and Within Canada

Date & Time: January 4th, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Virtually via Zoom

Noted genealogist, newspaper man, and storyteller Dave Obee will be our speaker in January.

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 is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given more than 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997. He is Editor and Publisher of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972.

Dave’s extensive biography is at his website:

Kindly pre-register for this event at the following Zoom link:

Thursday, December 2, 2021

There’s Still Time! “Bring and Brag” at Durham's December Social


There’s Still Time! “Bring and Brag”

via Zoom on Tues., Dec. 7th at 7:30 pm.

Come and join Durham Region Branch as we celebrate with our virtual re-creation of 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 still requires physical separation, so this is an opportunity to gather together and share using Zoom.

Anything can be shown: photos, medals, heirlooms, a tricky piece of research or even a plea for help!

Zoom’s drawback, besides being about to eat the yummy treats, is that holding items up to a web camera is often not clear enough for all participants.  So, please send your images to Chair Nancy Trimble. Her email is :     Please include your name. 

Nancy will put your images or links into her PowerPoint presentation, so that she can call on you to turn on your microphone & camera and tell us all about your wonderful treasures or finds.

Get your hot cider and treats ready! We will have a great open session afterwards.