Monday, March 27, 2023

Durham Branch April 4th Meeting - Breaking Down Brick Walls – Case Studies


Breaking Down Brick Walls – Case Studies

April 4, 2023 @ 7:30 pm via Zoom

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. 

Kindly pre-register at:

Monday, February 13, 2023

Durham Branch March 7th - Away to Canada (Pioneering in Ontario pre-1850)


Durham Branch’s March 7th Meeting

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

The meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, March 7th via Zoom only.

Kindly register for the Zoom programme via the following link:

Friday, January 20, 2023

Durham Branch’s February Meeting - Doing Family Tree Research in Your Pajamas


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

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 will touch 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 ( ) where he shares the methodologies that he uses in his own research.

The meeting will be held at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, February 7th via Zoom only.

Kindly register for the Zoom programme via the following link:

Monday, December 19, 2022

Durham Branch's January Meeting - Exploring


Exploring FamilySearch – Michele Jeannotte

Date & Time: January 3rd @ 7:30 pm EST via Zoom only

Join Michele as she demonstrates some of the key features of the free website. Find out how to search the records, navigate the online catalogue and browse digitized films. She’ll also talk 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.

Everyone is welcome!

Kindly register at the following zoom link:

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Durham Branch's Research Room Will be Open December 9th and 16th

 Our Research Room and Library, at Northminster United Church, will be open for researchers on the 2nd and 3rd Fridays of each month, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Northminster United Church is at 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, Ontario and our library is located in the "Boardroom" on the upper floor.

The number of people will be limited to 2 (not including staff) and advance registration is required. Masks will be by choice. 

Appointments by email to Stephen Wood at

Watch our (under 3 minute) tour of the library, research room and office: -

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Christmas Show & Tell/ Bring & Brag for Durham Region Branch on Tuesday Dec. 6th at 7:30 pm

There’s Still Time! “Show & Tell/ Bring & Brag”

Via Zoom on Tues., Dec. 6th at 7:30 pm.
OR In-Person at Northminster United Church (corner of Rossland Rd. W. & Simcoe St. N.)
Parking is off Rossland Rd. W.

Come and join Durham Region Branch as we celebrate 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. If you attend in person, please bring a few treats (drinks will be provided).

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.  So, please send your images to Chair Nancy Trimble ahead of time. 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, either in person or on Zoom, to tell us all about your wonderful treasures or finds.

Everyone is welcome!

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