Monday, December 3, 2018

Show & Tell and Christmas Treats Potluck on Tues. Dec. 4th

This coming Tuesday night at 7:30 will be our annual Christmas treats "Pot-Luck" get-together. This will be in our usual location in the basement meeting room of the Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa. Please bring a plate of goodies to share with the others. Drinks 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 p.m. 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 cider to wish all who attend on-line a "Happy Holidays".

Don't forget to renew your membership for 2019 at the Society webpage here before Dec. 31st [there is no  January grace period] and don't forget the savings you could receive using the "Growing Our Family" campaign before Dec. 15th at 5:00 p.m. Information here.

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

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Love Those DNA Sales

ALL these sales end November 22nd

Just 2 more days in’s early Christmas sale! Only $89 CAD + shipping costs
See the post on DNA Bargains at

Family Finder (autosomal) from FamilyTreeDNA is only $49 USD. Other tests are also on sale.

MyHeritage is only $79 CAD + free shipping if you order 2 kits.

Durham’s DNA Group to Meet This Tuesday

The DNA Group will be meeting Tuesday, November 20th at 7 p.m.

We will be meeting at:
The Oshawa Family History Centre,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
632 Rossland Rd North, Oshawa

Remember to park behind the church [off Rossland Rd] and go in the south-west door of the building. The Family History Centre will be on the right when you go in. 

Parking is free and all are welcome!

Monday, November 5, 2018

A World War I Journal Featured at our November Meeting

Tues., November 6th, at 7:30 p.m. at Northminster United Church Basement Auditorium (enter off Rossland)

Featuring Bryan Davies telling the tale of the World War 1 Soldier, Pte. Manuel, who kept a journal of all his experiences.

For more details, see our website.

This meeting will also include our Annual General Elections, also, details of the OGS 50% off membership and Early Bird renewal prizes.

Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

October Meeting Features Ted Barris, Author



Dam Busters:Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany by Ted Barris

It was a night that changed the Second World War. The secret raid against the hydro-electric dams of Germany’s Ruhr River took years to plan, involved an untried bomb, and included the best aircrews Allied Bomber Command could muster – many of them Canadian. The raid marked the first time the Allies tactically took the war inside Nazi Germany. It was a mission that became legendary.
On May 16, 1943, 133 airmen took off in 19 Lancaster bombers on a night sortie. The crews flew at treetop level from England to the heartland of Nazi Germany’s military industrial complex.
Of the nineteen bombers outbound, eight did not return. Based on personal accounts, flight logs, squadron war diaries, maps, and photographs of the Canadians involved, Dam Busters recounts the dramatic story of these young Commonwealth bomber crews tasked with the high-risk operation against an enemy prepared to defend the Fatherland to the death.

Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and his blog The BarrisBeat features commentary and narrative from his travels/experience. Among his eight previous bestselling non-fiction books: JunoBehind the GloryDeadlock in KoreaVictory at Vimy, and Breaking the Silence. In June 2014, his book The Great Escape: A Canadian Story won the Libris Non-Fiction Book Award of the Year

TUESDAY OCTOBER 2, 2018, 7:30 PM
 (Corner of Rossland Rd W. and Simcoe St. N.) 

Everybody is welcome. See for further information.

Parking is available on side streets behind the church and across the road in the school parking lot. 
We request that the church parking lot be reserved for those with Accessibility (Handicapped) Permits, please.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

World War 1 Medal Index Cards on Ancestry Free Until November's Medal Index Cards Free until November

As posted by Chris Paton on his "The Genes Blog", is opening up their record set

British Army WWI Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920

It will be free till November. This is to mark the centenary of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line. See more information here.

The collection is accessible at

Monday, September 17, 2018

DNA Special Interest Group to Meet Tuesday, Sep 18 at 7 pm.

Durham Region Branch's  DNA Special Interest Group will be meeting on Tuesday Sep 18 at 7 pm at the:

Oshawa Family History Centre,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
632 Rossland Rd North, Oshawa

Remember to park behind the church [off Rossland Rd] and go in the south-west door of the building. The Family History Centre will be on the right when you go in. 

Parking is free and all are welcome!

Saturday, September 1, 2018

September Meeting Takes a New Look at Census Clues

Durham Region Branch's next meeting will be held in our NEW LOCATION!

Date: September 4th
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Place: Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa (NW corner of Simcoe & Rossland)
(see Parking Map here. The Church's parking lot is reserved for those with handicap permits.)

We will meet in the basement auditorium. Please enter by the side door facing Rossland Road. There is a lift for those with accessibility needs. This entrance is at the back of the church in the parking lot.

Using Census Clues to Build a Blended Family
by Cheryl Levy, PLCGS


Census records provide many clues to further our research. Each column contains valuable information. This is especially true when endeavouring to identify all of the members listed in a specific household on census night. Do all of the members actually belong to the same family? Are the recorded relationships accurate? Can we trust the surnames given for each person? Who are the additional people listed?

Using an interesting case study, we will learn to uncover the details needed for seeking additional documents to confirm their identities. Then follow the steps that were required to build these blended families by placing the household members in the correct family groups. By gleaning census clues, we begin to understand the story behind how they came to all be in the same households together on the census records.

Cheryl is a graduate of the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, with a focus on genealogical research and education. She is a member of Quinte Branch, OGS, where she holds the executive position of Social Media Coordinator.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

DNA Special Interest Group July 17th Meeting

Durham Region Branch's  DNA Special Interest Group will be meeting on Tuesday July 17 at 7 pm at the:

Oshawa Family History Centre,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
632 Rossland Rd North, Oshawa

We will start with basic questions for any newcomers and then move on to Intermediate questions for our seasoned members.

Remember to park behind the church [off Rossland Rd] and go in the south-west door of the building. The Family History Centre will be on the right when you go in. 

Parking is free and all are welcome!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

New Project for Missing Allied Soldiers from World War I

Press Release - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (June 25th 2018)

Do you have a missing soldier from World War I?
A new project aims to commemorate the 338,000 allied soldiers who are still missing from World War I. Of the 1.1 million allied soldiers who were killed in The Great War, only about half were ever identified and received a decent burial. The remaining soldiers lie where they fell, on the field of battle, whether it be Gallipoli, the Western front, or elsewhere. These soldiers in particular deserve to be commemorated.

Pick a Soldier, Plant a Tree
The new project encourages people to pick a soldier from a list of the known missing soldiers and build a family tree for that soldier going back several generations (using their own family knowledge or available genealogical records). The tree can then be “planted" on the EveryOneRemembered website ( by simply attaching a commemorative “story" to the soldier in question and posting it on the website.

The new project will be of particular interest to family historians and genealogists, but everyone is encouraged to participate, even school children. It is hoped that family trees will be planted for all 338,000 missing soldiers.

DNA Testing
The project is in two parts. The first part (described above) is simply called “Pick a Soldier, Plant a Tree”. The second part of the project encourages relatives of the soldier to do a DNA test in commemoration (using any of the commercially available tests), and leave the DNA kit number or contact details on the EveryOneRemembered website.

Why do DNA testing? Every year about 30 to 60 sets of remains are discovered during routine farm work or building activity in Northern France and Belgium. Previously, these unidentified soldiers would be buried in a grave with a headstone that simply stated “a soldier known unto God“. But in recent times, DNA has helped identify some of these soldiers. And more may be identified in time as DNA testing technology advances.

This second part of the project is called “One in a Million“ to emphasize that the chances that someone's DNA will help identify one of the missing soldiers is “One in a Million“. This helps manage the public's expectations of what DNA can and cannot do. However it also emphasizes that each one of those soldiers was “One in a Million“ to somebody, somewhere, sometime.

For further information on the project, visit the Commemorating the Missing website at

Monday, June 18, 2018

DNA Special Interest Group Meeting on Tuesday June 19th

The DNA Special Interest Group will be meeting on Tuesday June 19 at 7 pm at the:

Oshawa Family History Centre,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
632 Rossland Rd North, Oshawa

We will start with basic questions for any newcomers and then move on to Intermediate questions for our seasoned members.

Remember to park behind the church [off Rossland Rd] and go in the south-west door of the building. The Family History Centre will be on the right when you go in. 

Parking is free and all are welcome!

Also, don't forget that there is still time to sign up for our "Day of Learning" this coming Saturday, June 23rd. We are having 2 lectures on DNA given by 2 experts: Sherilyn Bell and Ellen Maki.

Thursday, June 14, 2018

9 Days Left Until Durham Region Branch's "Day of Learning"on June 23rd

We would like to reveal that our Door Prize Sponsor is Family Tree Maker and that they have donated a copy of the latest Family Tree Maker Softwareas our Door Prize! We are certainly indebted to them for their generosity.

Due to the vigorous registration last weekend, we have ordered a few extra lunches. These will be available on a first come basis. If you didn’t quite get registered by the food deadline, you still have a chance. Don’t wait!

Durham Region Branch’s Day of Learning will be held on Saturday, June 23, 2018 from 9 am – 3:45 pm at Faith United Church, 1778 Nash Road, Courtice. This year’s theme is: “From DNA Connections to Database Giants”

Registration and coffee is from 9:00 am to 9:30 am and parking is free and plentiful

Speakers and topics include:

Sherilyn Bell about “Ancestry in a Tube: Using DNA to Pick Up the Genealogical Trail” 

Nick Post presenting “The Ins and Outs of FamilySearch, and What’s New”

Ellen Maki talking about “Autosomal DNA: Next Steps”

Nancy Trimble + Panel on “The Genealogy Giants’ Databases” + Panel Discussion

Registration links and more information are at
Cost is only $35.00.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Durham Region Branch's June Meeting features Danielle Manning

Our usual general meeting will be held at the Bobby Orr Room of the Oshawa Civic Centre (99 Thornton Road South) on Tuesday, June 5th at 7:30 p.m.

Danielle Manning, an Outreach Officer at the Archives of Ontario, will give us a "tour" of the Archives via PowerPoint, in her presentation: 

An Introduction to the Archives of Ontario
Danielle Manning - archives of ontario
Learn what the archives has to offer genealogists and how to access the records. 

All are welcome and the parking is free.

Mini-Talk - OGS Conference 2018 highlights, from members who attended.

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live .

The DNA SIG (DNA Special Interest Group), within our branch, has been meeting monthly. The June meeting will be held at the Oshawa Family History Centre (LDS) on Tuesday, June 19th, at 7 p.m. (632 Thornton Rd N, Oshawa, Ontario).

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

NEW Meeting Location & Day for our DNA Special Interest Group

We have a new HOME  & a new DAY for the DNA Special Interest Group!

As announced at the May 1st general branch meeting, we will be meeting at 7 p.m.:

The Oshawa Family History Centre,
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,
632 Thornton Road North, Oshawa
(corner of Thornton and Rossland Roads)

We are booked there for the 3rd TUESDAY night of each month for our future meetings, thanks to our ViceChair Nick Post.

We will start with basic questions for any newcomers and then move on to Intermediate questions for our seasoned members.

Remember to park behind the church [off Rossland Rd] and go in the south-west door of the building. The Family History Centre will be on the right when you go in. 

Parking is free and all are welcome!

Monday, April 16, 2018

DNA Quest from MyHeritage DNA - Now Goes Global

I just got an e-mail from MyHeritage announcing that their DNA Quest program for reuniting adoptees with their biological families has now gone global. 

Hi, Nancy
Last month we launched DNA Quest, a new pro bono initiative to help adoptees and their birth families reunite through genetic testing. The initiative, initially launched in the USA only, received an amazing response. More than 10,000 applications were submitted so far to receive free DNA kits, from the quota of 15,000 free DNA kits pledged by MyHeritage, worth more than one million dollars.

Being that the deadline for submissions is the end of April 2018 and there are still about 3 more weeks to go, and in light of the many requests we received from the community to expand DNA Quest worldwide, we decided to increase the scope of the project, from USA-only to global. This means that people are now eligible to participate in DNA Quest regardless of their place of residence and regardless of where the adoption took place.

Please help us spread the word on social media, especially with the news about DNA Quest going global, and include a link to the website to make this dream a reality for families around the world. Read more here.


Sunday, April 1, 2018

April Meeting to Feature Jane MacNamara

Life on the Farm: Your Ancestor's Place in Ontario Agriculture

Speaker: Jane MacNamara

We often think of farming as a traditional occupation—something that hasn’t really changed much. But that is not and was never the case. Farmers had to react and adapt to changing conditions like climate, technology, economics, new markets and new competitors. Some farmers did more than adapt. They set out to be the most productive by innovating with new techniques and processes, products, and marketing. Farm journals and business records survive in many archives. Farmers may have had help and encouragement along the way from agricultural associations, community groups, government agencies, or private patrons. Digitization of many of the records of these pro-agriculture organizations has made them a viable source to help us understand the changes that were happening around our farming ancestors—and whether they were leading the way or following the pack. Jane's blog is "Where The Story Takes Me".

See our website for details about streaming our meetings.

April 3, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

Stephen Wood - "My April Fools - The Hillier Dilemma"

Free to all and free parking is on the east side of the building. Please come and bring a friend!

Sunday, March 18, 2018

March Meeting of the DNA Special Interest Group Wednesday Mar 21st

Our March Meeting of the Branch's DNA Special Interest Group will be held on Wednesday, March 21st at 7 pm. It will be held at the Durham Branch Office. See map here.

The new MyHeritage chromosome browser will be demonstrated by Stephen Wood, who will also be chairing the meeting. If time permits, there may also be a video.

All are welcome!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Barber, The Bishop and Lucy - Next Tuesday Night

Our March meeting is next Tuesday night, the 6th at 7:30 p.m. in the Bobby Orr Room at the Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex, 99 Thornton Rd. S., Oshawa.

I think the title of Dave Clements' presentation is very intriguing and I hope that you will come out to listen. We will also be streaming the session on YouTube. See our website for full details.

Dave Clements will talk about "The Barber, The Bishop and Lucy" - Uncovering the story of the African Canadian Smith family of Bowmanville in mid 19th century.
"At the Clarington Museums, we often receive requests for information on family histories. A request from Michigan has led to the uncovering of the Smith family story. Nehemiah Smith was born in the Niagara district. From about 1842, he lived and moved between Whitby, Colborne and Bowmanville. A barber by trade, he moved to Michigan in the mid 1860's. Dave will tell us the story of this local African Canadian barber and his descendants."

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

DNA Special Interest Group is POSTPONED until Thursday Feb.22


Due to unforeseen circumstances, the DNA Special Interest Group meeting will not be held tonight, Wed. Feb. 21st!

It is postponed 24 hrs to Thursday Feb. 22nd at 7 pm. at our Branch Office.

If you know of anyone who was planning on attending, please let them know!

Thanks and apologies!!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

FindMyPast Celebrates 100 years of Votes for Women

Celebrating 100 years of votes for women, there are free records from until Feb. 8th: access the full details here.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

DNA is the Theme of our February Meeting on Tuesday, February 6th

The Durham Region Branch is meeting this Tuesday, 6 February at 7:30 p.m. This is at our new location in the Bobby Orr Room, Oshawa Civic Recreation Complex, 99 Thornton Rd. S., Oshawa.

DNA is the evening's theme:

Nancy Trimble is presenting "DNA Basics for Genealogists".
She will discuss why you might want to test DNA, what tests are available and the factors that dictate which testing company to use. She will also give you pointers on how to maximize your results and get your cousins to contact you or answer your questions.

The Short Presentation by Karen Church is "How DNA Increased My Family". See how Karen made an surprising connection about a "stray" in her family.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

DNA -SIG January Meeting

Durham Region Branch DNA-SIG meets Jan. 17
Nancy Trimble, Chair, Durham Region Branch OGS
The DNA Special Interest Group of the Durham Region Branch will be meeting at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 17th at their Branch Office at the Oshawa Airport.(see our website for a map)

Basic questions will be answered in the first half hour of the meeting and then more advanced questions will be addressed.

All are welcome!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Call for Speakers for the June 23rd, 2018 "Day of Learning"

Call for Papers – Durham Region Branch Day of Learning
Nancy Trimble, Chair, Durham Region Branch

Durham Region Branch will be holding their annual Day of Learning from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm on Saturday, June 23, 2018 at Faith United Church, Courtice.

The theme will be “Microcosm to Macrocosm”.

The call for proposals is now open, under the following sub-themes:

  • Beginner’s DNA
  • Intermediate DNA
  • Using the FamilySearch Website: What You Didn’t Know
  • Maximizing the Use of FindMyPast and MyHeritage Websites
Speakers who wish to submit lecture proposals may submit up to three proposals electronically at the e-mail address below.  Please include the following information for each submitted proposal: speaker's full name, address, telephone, and e-mail address; presentation title; and a brief, but comprehensive outline. The speaker compensation is at the usual OGS conference rate, but travel compensation is minimal.

The deadline is February 15th. Please send your submissions to:

Ontario Land Registry (OnLand) - New Website! (First Phase)

From the OGS e-Weekly of Jan. 13, 2018 comes some exciting news:

"Ontario Land Registry Access (OnLand) is Here!
The Ontario Genealogical Society
Our Facebook Groups lit up this week with the announcement that access to the Ontario Land Registry information was now available online!  The announcement, sent out from the new service, reads:  Teranet, in partnership with ServiceOntario, has built this web portal to deliver key statutory services relating to land and property ownership in Ontario to land registry professionals and the public.

The first phase of the web portal offers customers the opportunity to test out the historical land registration book search and view option only. Customers will still be required to visit a land registry office to print any records. For more information on Historical Books, please click here.

They went on to say that the organization would provide an update when full search capabilities are available on OnLand in late 2018.  When fully implemented, OnLand will allow users to search historical and current property records, anywhere in the province, from the convenience of their home or office, instead of visiting a land registry office."

I couldn't 
resist playing with the new site for a few minutes and very quickly was able to browse to my 2x gt-grandfather's land Lot 13, Concession 9 in Clarke Township. Here's a screenshot:

I don't think that I am exaggerating when I say that this access will revolutionize the way we do research in Ontario! May this site progress to it's full capability quickly!

Thursday, January 4, 2018

The Census War is now over!

Check out John D. Reid's information and comments at:

Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections: The Census War is now over!

So relieved that future censuses will NOT have the dreadful question of whether to permit access after 92 years! Genealogists and historians must celebrate.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Breaking Down Brick Walls - January Meeting

January meeting is tonight, January 2nd, 2018 at 7:30 p.m.

Our NEW general meeting location has changed, to the Bobby Orr Room of the Oshawa Civic Centre (99 Thornton Road South). Parking is free.

Overcoming Brick Walls  
We will be exploring strategies and anecdotes for overcoming research dead-ends.
DON'T GIVE UP!! Join us tonight as we brainstorm solutions or at least make suggestions on how to overcome those blocked avenues of research.

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is . 

All are WELCOME! See you there!