Wednesday, December 14, 2016

DNA Special Interest Group meets Dec 21st!

The Durham Region Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society's DNA Special Interest Group meeting will be on Wednesday, December 21st at 7:30 p.m. It will be held in the Branch Office, found at the base of the NavCan tower, Stevenson Road, Oshawa (must come from Rossland Rd. There is no access from Taunton Rd). There is some construction occurring and part of our parking lot has been taken over, but there is still enough parking available.

Nancy will be live demonstrating how to take a file from FamilyTreeDNA and upload it to GEDmatch.

Hope to see you there. Everyone is welcome, bring a friend.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Family Tree Webinars 2017 Lineup Now Available

Registration is now open for the 2017 webinar season at They've got an AMAZING lineup
this coming year (76 classes). All the details are in the announcement here. Here's the link to sign up for multiple webinars at once.

If you attend live, the webinar is free, and for a few days afterwards!

If you have a subscription, then you can watch and re-watch the webinar at any time that you want to, as well as the 446 classes already in the archives. Many other benefits are mentioned in the announcement.

Here's an extra hint from me:
There are many archived webinars on this site that remain free for viewing forever. Several are sponsored by other companies like Genealogy Bank, FindMyPast, Scrapbooking,, Legacy Family Tree etc. To find these webinars, just click on the link at the top of the home page called "Webinar Library" and choose "View All - Free".

What a way to boost your education and learn more about many topics!

Monday, December 5, 2016

BREAKING NEWS! FREE Find My Past Starter subscription!

OGS is giving its 2017 members the Starter Package subscription at Findmypast - for FREE! That’s a value of US $34.95 (that's almost Cdn. $50!!) included with your individual membership fee, AND - If you join or renew before December 31st, the OGS individual member fee could be $31.50 - see 

To see some of the categories of records available on Findmypast in this offer, visit our website and click on the Grow our Family button or click here: !!

Members for 2017 will be sent an email with instructions for subscribing to Findmypast. Instructions will also be posted in the Members Only section of our website. SO JOIN OGS NOW for 2017 and get started exploring all of these records!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

December Meeting - Bring & Brag/Show & Tell

This coming Tuesday night at 7:30 will be our annual Christmas "Pot-Luck" get-together. This will be in our usual location in the Auditorium of the Oshawa Public Library on Bagot St., Oshawa. Please bring a plate of goodies to share with the others. Water, juices and hot chocolate will be supplied.

The programme will be composed of attendees bringing family items of significance to brag about, or they will tell of a pivotal genealogy "experience" they wish to share with everyone. If you wish to share your favourite website that would also add to this celebration of Genealogy and Christmas!

Our meetings are streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live . It is indeed unfortunate that we won't be able to share the cookies with you, but we can raise a virtual cup of hot chocolate to wish all who attend on-line a "Happy Holidays".

Don't forget to renew your membership for 2017 at and don't forget the savings you could receive using the "Growing Our Family" campaign!

All the best to you and yours at this time of year,
Nancy Trimble, Chair

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ancestry DNA Sale until Monday Nov. 28th

If you are interested in get an Ancestry DNA kit, here is a good sale reducing the cost to $79 each. This is for an autosomal DNA test. Ancestry DNA does not carry tests for Y-DNA or mt-DNA. Shipping is an extra $19.99.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Growing Our Family - Get 50% off!!

eAnnounce to OGS Members
REMINDER: Membership renewal season has begun, and you could take advantage of our Grow our Family promotion to save 50% off your OGS membership fee.  Details are on our website.  Don’t know any potential new members?  Send an email to and we’ll try to match you with a potential new member.

Want to be a member at the reduced rate, send your request to the above e-mail and hopefully they will match you! We had a successful pairing at our last Branch meeting - to the satisfaction of both people.
 Click Here

Also, the November editions of Newsleaf and Families are now available to read or download from the Members Only section of the OGS website.
Both publications contain stimulating and enlightening articles – enjoy!

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Last Chance to Sign up for the "British Isles Research From Afar" workshop

You're running out of time: Our British Isles Workshop is this coming Saturday! Sign up by the 25th and you will get your lunch included! Join us at Faith United Church in Courtice, just east of Oshawa. We start with coffee and check-in at 9 a.m. and our Opening Remarks will be at 9:30 a.m.

We have 2 great speakers for you: 

Ruth Blair of Oakville and Stephen Wood of Whitby

We have 4 great talks for you:

Researching Your English and Welsh Ancestors
Taking Your Irish Ancestors Back Over The Pond
Particulars and Peculiarities of Scottish Research
Researching Your Scots-Irish Ancestors: Canada and Beyond

or send us an e-mail to

November Meeting is on Nov. 8th

Just a quick reminder that, due to library scheduling, we are booked into the Auditorium on Tuesday November 8th, NOT Tuesday, Nov. 1st!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Introducing ... Our Workshop Speakers: Stephen Wood

Stephen Wood is a long-time genealogist, having been a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society for over 40 years. He is a founding member of the Durham Region Branch and has headed up the Research Committee for almost as long, as well as serving several terms as branch chair. Stephen has ancestral roots in Scotland, the Netherlands, England and also Quaker families from Pennsylvania. His own family research includes families in Perthshire and he will share his Scottish research expertise with us with his presentation on "Particulars & Peculiarities of Scottish Research"

For more information on our workshop, see

DNA Special Interest Group October Meeting

Our Special Interest Group for DNA will meet at our Office on Wednesday, October 19th at 7:30 pm.

Everyone is welcome to join in the discussions and demonstrations. There is plenty of free parking at our office.

Topic suggestions can be sent to

Monday, October 10, 2016

Introducing ... Our Workshop Speakers: Ruth Blair

Ruth Blair is one of our 2 speakers at our first "Day of Learning" - British Isles Research from Afar. She will be doing 3 talks for us on October 29th: 
  • Researching Your English and Welsh Ancestors
  • Taking Your Irish Ancestors Back Over the Pond
  • Researching Your Scots-Irish Ancestors: Canada and Beyond

Ruth Blair is a professional genealogist and lecturer based in Oakville, Ontario. She has been doing family history research for over 30 years. Ruth has researched her family history from Canada to Ireland, England, Scotland, the United States, Australia and New Zealand. She has her Professional Learning Certificate in Genealogical Studies for Canada, England and Ireland from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Ruth has written two books: Planning a Genealogical Trip to Ireland: the Research Trail in Dublin helps novice research travellers prepare for their trip and gives advice on using the various repositories in Dublin. Her second book, Remembering Trafalgar Township, commemorates the township’s 200th anniversary.
Ruth is the author of The Passionate Genealogist blog. She is a member of the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, Ontario Genealogical Society, Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society, Genealogical Society of Ireland, Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society and the National Genealogical Society. 

For more information on our workshop, see

A Day of Learning - temporary web page problem

During OGS's migration of our branch website, the page showing the Day of Learning Workshops information has reverted to an older version for some reason. This is what it should look like (and should again, in the near future), with an active link to the Paypal instructions:
Just to review, registration simply involves e-mailing your name and e-mail address to Anne Delong, will read your message and generate a Paypal invoice to be sent to your e-mail address. The invoice will have a link for making payment, either with a Paypal account (not necessary), or with a credit card. Or, mail your registration information, with a cheque, to the address shown on the form - still clickable, on the workshops main page.
In order to make lunch arrangements, she requests registration by October 18th.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Tip-Palooza! - An Extravagant Celebration of Ideas & Tips

Calling all genealogists! Send your tip(s) to Nancy Trimble at or 416-562-5879. You can present your tip or I can do it for you, but you must contact me ahead of time, so that I can prepare. Your tip can be a website or a particular portion of a website. Or, it can be a programme or an app for a phone or a tablet. Consider a productivity item or maybe you want to show your DNA Dashboard. In other words, we want an extravagant palooza of useful ideas, tips or tricks that we can share with our members and guests at our November 8th meeting!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

British Isles Research - A Day of Learning

The registration for the British Isles Workshop on October 29th is now open at 

1. On the left is a downloadable print form to (snail)mail to us with a cheque or money order.


2. You can click on the PayPal symbol in the middle of the page & follow our instructions on how to access that service. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to successfully programme a 1-click button, so we have to do a 2-step procedure. Once you sent us your information by e-mail to, we will generate a PayPal invoice back to your e-mail. Once you click on the Pay Now button in that invoice, choose the "Don't have a PayPal Account?" button at the bottom in order to use your credit card directly.

Monday, October 3, 2016

October 4th Meeting - The Irish Palatines

Carolyn Heald & Roger Shier (from OGS' Irish Palatine SIG) will be talking about the Irish Palatines of Ontario. The 2009 revised edition of Carolyn's book, shown above, contains many Palatine surnames, including those who settled in Durham townships. Roger Shier has included many useful resources here. Both have toured our local area during research outings.

The meeting will start at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Oct. 4th at the Oshawa Public Library Auditorium on Bagot Street, just south of the Oshawa City Hall. Parking is free after 6 pm. 

Everyone is welcome!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

September Meeting is on "Research at the Oshawa Family History Centre"

Christine Ferguson, the Director of the Family History Centre in Oshawa, will be speaking tonight about the services that are available online and at their facility, along with some major innovations.

When: 7:30 pm Tues. Sept. 6th
Where: Oshawa Public Library on Bagot St, just south of the Oshawa City Hall. We meet in the basement Auditorium.

Everyone is welcome, and parking is free after 6 pm.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Final Days for the BEST DNA Sale at Family Tree DNA!

I've never seen such low prices for a Family Finder kit - The prices are in US dollars and there is a $12US shipping charge as well.


As the kids and grandkids head back to school, summer is coming to an end...and so is Family Tree DNA's incredible Summer Sale! You have until midnight (CST) on Wednesday, August 31st, to get sizzling hot savings on our Family Finder test and special DNA bundles!

      Our lowest price ever...ends soon!           
Our signature autosomal DNA test is at our lowest price ever, so order now while there's still time to save big and discover, match and connect more dots on your family tree!      

 And don't miss out on our exclusive  
 Bundles that don't cost a bundle! 

Remember, this Wednesday at midnight (CST) is your last chance to get unheard of savings on Family Finder and our exclusive DNA testing bundles. So hurry and be sure to tell your family and friends to take advantage of this incredible offer before it's gone! With prices this hot, you can't afford to miss the final days of our Sizzling Summer Sale!

The Family Tree DNA Team

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

One World - One Family Conference August 20th

The venue of the LDS Conference "One World - One Family" to be held on August 20th has been moved from Brampton to Etobicoke. This is the 7th year that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon) has held this one day conference. They bring in excellent speakers from Salt Lake City and from Ontario as well.

For details of the lectures and a map showing the new location, find the information here.

The early bird pricing of $22.00 (includes box lunch) will end on July 16th. More details here.

This conference is very enjoyable, and the registration fee is nominal! I would recommend it for beginners through advanced genealogists.

Friday, July 8, 2016

DNA Group Will Meet Through The Summer

The DNA Special Interest Group (DNA-SIG) of the Durham Region Branch will continue to meet on the 3rd Wednesday evening of the month at 7:30 pm throughout the summer.

The next meeting will be on July 20th and everyone is welcome. Discussion will continue on GEDmatch and the dashboards on the testing companies' websites.

The meetings are held at our office at 1000 Stevenson Rd. N. in Oshawa.
get map here

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Toronto Branch Courses for the Fall now Open for Registration

Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

A great way to improve your research skills is to take courses, attend lectures and conferences.

Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has many members who are great lecturers and teachers. The Branch's education committee is a dedicated, knowledgeable group of people who put on great courses. In fact, the Toronto Branch has just hosted one of the best OGS Conferences to occur in many years.

Many courses are intended for beginners or those still learning the basic techniques of genealogy while some courses are aimed at people who have many years of experience who are looking to fine-tune a specific skill, enhance an area of knowledge, or just keep up-to-date. Each year Toronto Branch’s education committee plans a mixture of courses that will enable everyone to find something of interest.

The Fall courses have just been posted online and include:

Hands-on Library Edition
Hands-on Early Ontario Land Records
Introduction to Genetic Genealogy
Basic Genealogy and Family History
Putting Your Family Tree Online

I recommend you register early, since the courses fill up fast. For more information, or to sign up for a course, go to:

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Walking Tour of Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert on July 3rd

Photo by Chris Hall

If you are looking for something to do on the holiday weekend and will be near Port Perry or Prince Albert, you will enjoy listening to tales about the famous and infamous people buried in the Pine Grove Cemetery as you get some exercise!

Our June speaker, Paul Arculus, will be leading a guided walking tour of Pine Grove Cemetery in Prince Albert this coming weekend, in support of the Lake Scugog Historical Society

On Sunday, July 3rd at 2 pm., please meet Paul at the south end of the cemetery. The walking tour is free and will go ahead "rain or shine". Please dress for the weather and wear appropriate footgear.

Event Details:

Paul Arculus hosts a walking tour of Pine Grove Cemetery, Prince Albert; in support of the Lake Scugog Historical Society.  Donatations accepted.  The walk takes place rain or shine, and copies of Paul's book about the cemetery will be available after the walk.
Meeting point is Jeffrey St. entrance, off Old Simcoe St. S. of Highway 7A


Books Galore & More



Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Free Access to FindMyPast's Military and Census Records This Week

On the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme, Findmypast want to give you the chance to remember the military heroes in your family. This week, all of their world military records plus all their UK and Irish censuses are free to search, so you can track your ancestor's journey both before, and during the war.
Explore FREE military & census records

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

DNA Special Interest Group Meeting Tonight

Tonight (Wednesday, June 15) at 7:30 will be the meeting of the DNA-SIG at the Branch Office.

We will be discussing members' experiences at the OGS Conference 2016. We will also decide whether we are holding meetings during the summer.

I hope to see you there!

Monday, June 6, 2016

Tales from Pine Grove Cemetery on Tuesday June 7th

Durham Region Branch will meet at 7:30pm Tuesday June 7th in the Auditorium of the Oshawa Public Library on Bagot Street (just south of City Hall).

Our next meeting features author & raconteur Paul Arculus as he brings to life "Tales from Pine Grove Cemetery". Paul has written a new book "Pine Grove Cemetery" which is a fundraiser for the Scugog Shores Historical Society. Not only has Paul written about 80 stories about notables who are buried in this Prince Albert Cemetery, he conducts themed tours of the cemetery twice a year.

Metroland's Chris Hall has written an article about Paul and his new book at the following link.
Scugog author Paul Arculus pens overview of who’s who in Prince Albert cemetery

Photo by Chris Hall

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Organizing Your DNA Matches

The May meeting for the Durham Region Branch's DNA Special Interest Group will take place on Wed. May 18th at 7:30 p.m. at the Durham Branch Office, 1000 Stevenson Rd. N., Oshawa (in the NavCanada building)
see Map Here

We will be discussing how to organize our DNA matches and how to contact them.

Heritage Plaques for 2 Pioneer Cemeteries in Columbus

The City of Oshawa and Heritage Oshawa will be unveiling 2 more pioneer cemeteries' heritage plaques. This will take place on Tuesday, May 17th in Columbus, just north of Oshawa.

At 11 a.m. the Bible Christian Cemetery at 46 Columbus Rd. W. (just ½ block west of Simcoe St.) will be commemorated.

At 10 a.m. the Methodist Cemetery at 65 Columbus Rd. E. (about 1 block east of Simcoe St.) will have it's heritage plaque unveiled.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Sign Up for OGS Conference 2016 by May 15th!

If you’re already registered for Conference, or if you sign up by May 15, you’ll be eligible to win a deluxe genealogy giveaway courtesy of our very generous sponsors. We can’t reveal the details just yet, but thinkAncestryMyHeritageGlobal Genealogy and the National Institute for Genealogical Studies. And that’s just a start.

Don’t delay, make the commitment and register onlinetoday.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Census Reminder!

You have only three days left to complete this year’s Census.  Its due on May 10th.  Remember to check the “Opt in” box to allow your descendants access to this important genealogical information source.  And ask your relatives, friends and neighbours to do the same!

Kudos to Oshawa & Heritage Oshawa!

 Pioneer Memorial Garden Cemetery recognized for reflecting the early history of Oshawa 

OSHAWA – Members of the media are invited to join Oshawa City Council and Heritage Oshawa to a plaque unveiling at the Pioneer Memorial Garden Cemetery, located at 185 - 201 Bond Street West, in recognition of its cultural heritage significance. The Pioneer Memorial Garden Cemetery reflects the early history of the City of Oshawa and holds the memorials of some of Oshawa’s earliest pioneer families. 

Date and Time: 
May 11, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. 


185 – 201 Bond Street West (south side of Bond Street West, across from Arena Street). On-street parking is available on Arena Street (see map). 

There will also be 2 cemeteries in Columbus receiving their heritage designations next week - details still to be announced.

Please come out to this plaque unveiling and show our support of the heritage efforts being made by local government.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Family Tree DNA Sale for Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day!
Family Tree DNA is excited to begin their 3-day Mother's Day Sale!
"In honor of all of the Mothers around the world, we want to show our appreciation by celebrating this holiday with a special promotion on our Family Finder + mtFull Sequence (mtDNA) bundle – two genealogy DNA tests that focus on mom – for only $228!
Our Mother's Day Sale will continue through Sunday, May 8, 2016 (11:59 PM U.S. Central).
The Family Tree DNA Team"
Shop Sale Now

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Ontario Volunteer Service Awards for Durham Region Branch

I was really pleased to be able to present 3 volunteer service pins and certificates to 3 members at our branch meeting last night. Joyce Lintner (10 years), John Alford (5 years) and Janis Carter (5 years) were all present and we were able to celebrate their achievements with them.

Joyce does a stellar job with our programming and advertising.

Keeping track of our membership and delivering our newsletter to our members keeps John busy.

Janis devotes her time to the Places of Worship project, lends a hand with the Cemeteries Committee and adds valuable input into the committee planning our Fall Workshop.

Last, but not least, Colleen McNamara (5 years) was unable to attend our meeting last night, but deserves recognition for the wonderful work she puts into publishing our newsletter.

Thank you to all our volunteers - we wouldn't have a successful branch without everything that you do for us!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Devon and Cornwall Research - May 3rd Meeting

Sher Leetooze will be our speaker at our May 3rd meeting, which will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Basement Auditorium of the Oshawa Public Library, Bagot St., Oshawa (just south of City Hall).
Parking is free after 6 p.m.

Sher is a very entertaining speaker, as well as a local author and researcher with wide ranging interests, including overseas genealogy in Devon and Cornwall. She is a regular presenter at the Toronto Cornish Association, and presented at the International Gathering of Cornish Cousins in Milwaukee in 2014 (a biennial event).

Our short presentation will demonstrate how to access and use the Durham Region Branch's Members-Only Section of the Website.

This meeting will be streamed and the url for watching is on our website at

Everyone is welcome - come and bring a friend!

Monday, April 25, 2016

LostCousins is FREE next weekend

It's their 12th birthday, and next weekend the LostCousins site will be completely free - it's a great opportunity to contact the cousins you've already found, and to find new cousins. The offer runs from Friday 29th April to Monday 2nd May.

LostCousins identifies members who share the same ancestors by comparing the information each member has entered on their My Ancestors page. After all, if you and another member have both entered the same relative, the two of you must also be related to each other!
Once you've entered your information the rest is automatic - all you need to do is click the Search button whenever you want to search for new cousins! 
What makes all this possible? The fact that every LostCousins member is taking information from the same online censuses.
Where can you find the census data? Most of the censuses have been selected because they are available free online. Usually only the transcription is free, not the images of the handwritten census schedules - but where that's the case all the information you need will be available as part of the transcription.
There is a very good help page on the site.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Savings on DNA Tests from Family Tree DNA and Ancestry DNA!

FamilyTreeDNA has announced that their DNA tests are on sale for the period of April 21st to April 25th as their way of celebrating DNA Day. There are reductions on all their available tests: Y-DNA, mt-DNA and autosomal DNA.
NOTE: Prices are in US dollars.

The link is at

AncestryDNA has also announced a sale on their autosomal DNA test called Family Finder. There is a savings of $40 Canadian bringing the cost of the test down to $109 CDN.

The link is at

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy

Our DNA SIG (DNA Special Interest Group) will hold their next meeting on April 20th, at 7:30 p.m. We will be showing a video “Getting Started in Genetic Genealogy” by Diahan Southard to start the meeting. Then we will continue our discussions about GEDmatch.

Everyone is welcome. This meeting will be held at our Office in the NavCan Tower at 1000 Stevenson Rd. N in Oshawa. Map here.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Scotland from Abroad Tuesday April 5th

Our Tuesday, April 5th meeting location is the Main Branch of the Oshawa Library (basement auditorium) just south of the Oshawa City Hall, on Bagot St. Parking is free after 6 p.m.

Scotland from Abroad - Bob Dawes

Bob will describe his methods for discovering Scottish ancestors, using online resources, some of which require payment, but many of which do not. He is shown here during his talk at the Quinte Branch OGS. Our meetings are streamed on YouTube, starting at 7:30 p.m.

Bob is an excellent speaker and has a wealth of knowledge to share with us! Please join us for an exciting opportunity to learn about Scottish research.

Non-members are always welcome!

Our Branch's DNA SIG (DNA Special Interest Group), will hold it's next meeting on April 20th, at 7:30 at the Branch office. We explore DNA webinars and websites and learn from each other. Everyone is welcome.