Sunday, December 27, 2020

"Researching Your Female Ancestors" with Linda Corupe, UE

 Durham's January Meeting will host "Researching Your Female Ancestors" 

Please join Durham Region Branch on Tues., January 5th at 7:30 pm as Linda Corupe, U.E. presents "Researching Your Female Ancestors".

    Trying to locate information on a female ancestor in early Upper Canadian records can be a daunting task for a genealogist, but there are many avenues to pursue that can help.  This presentation will highlight many of those pathways, and also discuss the resources made increasingly available as the fight for women's rights proceeded.

    Linda Corupe has been researching family history for over 40 years.  She started out with her own family, United Empire Loyalists from the Quinte area of Ontario, but as her interest and familiarity with genealogical resources grew, she began to self-publish resource books, including transcriptions of census or vital statistics, court registers, heir and devisee claims, and bastardy oaths.  Linda is a graduate of McMaster University, and a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society, the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, and the Ontario Historical Society.  One of her favourite places to be is at the Archives of Ontario, where she has spent countless hours over several years, working for both herself and clients.  She says she learns something new on almost every visit, and is really looking forward to being able to safely return when it is once again open.

    This meeting will be on-line using the Zoom platform. Please register at the following link:

Friday, December 4, 2020

"Gathering Traditions" Videos for Holiday Celebrations


As mentioned in the Nov. 28th Ontario Ancestors eWeekly Update:

Don't forget to check out the new Gathering Traditions educational videos offered by Vivid-Pix! They offer practical suggestions for celebrating the holidays in this pandemic year!

They have 9 videos, ranging from 4 - 13 minutes long, for feeling connected when we can't be face to face.

Zoom in 1905!

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Show and Tell / Bring & Brag – on Zoom!!


For many years it has been Durham Region Branch's tradition to get together at our December meeting to enjoy personal family history stories, along with tasty seasonal treats and hot apple cider. 

We have celebrated members' special stories, interesting documents or artifacts, and genealogical breakthroughs.

This year is different - requiring physical separation; yet this is an opportunity to gather together - with the aid of modern technology.

Zoom is useful, but it has a drawback, in that holding items up to a web camera is often not clear enough for all participants.

So, if possible, when planning to show a web site, or document, or physical item, sending a link or photo to me, would be extremely helpful. My email is: - . I will put your photo in my PowerPoint and ask you to unmute and tell us the story at the appropriate time.

Refreshments are optional - Bring your own!! Relax in a comfortable chair and prepare to be amazed at what your fellow genealogists have discovered about their families and online research during all their free time this year.

Register to join us at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020 by clicking this link:

Saturday, November 7, 2020

OnLand - an insider's guide on how to use it


OGS and Ministry officials will be hosting a webinar via Zoom on December 9th, 2020 at 7 pm EST.

This hour-long session is geared towards anyone interested in learning how to find and access documents through the ONLAND portal.  

Registration is mandatory at the following link:

Friday, November 6, 2020

Military Records Free at FindMyPast


FindMyPast has announced free access to their military records until Nov. 12th.

Please go to their website for details.

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Land Registry Website and AGM/ Elections

 Tuesday, Nov. 3rd at 7:30 p.m.

Join Durham Region Branch as we explore the Ontario Land Registry Website with Marian Bellamy. Marian is a local genealogist and will explain how to search on this website that is replacing the Ontario Land Registry Offices.

In addition, the Branch will be holding their AGM and Elections.

Register for the Zoom meeting at this link:

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Are you a Writer? Keffer Writing Competition

 There's still time to take part in this contest. Deadline is Nov. 1st. The link for the Submission form is found on the Ontario Ancestors Website here.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Habits of a Highly Organized Genealogist - October 6th Durham Region Branch Meeting

 Durham Region Branch's October 6th Meeting via Zoom

Habits of a Highly Organized Genealogist

Learn how to turn your scattered, disorganized files into a system that works for you. A few well thought out steps can help you control your clutter, keep consistent records, avoid duplication of effort and be able to communicate what you’ve accomplished in your research.

Lynn Palermo began her family history journey ten years ago, spurred on by the passing of her in-laws. She picked up the torch as the family genealogist. Lynn is now a freelance writer, genealogy educator, writing coach and family historian.
Tuesday, Oct. 6th, 2020 @ 7:30 p.m.
via Zoom
You Must pre-register via this Zoom link: 

Saturday, September 5, 2020

FamilySearch Announces RootsTech Connect 2021: A Free Global Virtual Event

FamilySearch has announced that their 2021 RootsTech Conference will be a FREE virtual event.

It will be held on Feb. 25 - 27, 2021 and you can register for it now! The recorded sessions will be available for viewing after the event as well.

See the full details in their press release at

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

September 8th Virtual Meeting is a "Breeze"


Our Tuesday, September 8th,2020 Zoom meeting is at 7:30 p.m. [Please note the date change]

The Cruise of the Breeze book

Marc Seguin - "The Cruise of the Breeze: -

The Journal, Art and Life of a Victorian Soldier in Canada" is the title of Marc's book - about a British soldier, Henry Baines, sent to Canada to be one of the protectors of this 'almost' new nation, at a time of great strife in the United States... an internal war with potentially dangerous consequences for our ancestors. His 1863 summer voyage, circumnavigating Lake Ontario in a sailboat, yielded many insights into those times, and into significant shoreline communities in both countries, all gained from his drawings and journal writings.

Here is the registration link for the September 8th meeting:

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Genealogy 101: The Basics - Webinar from the Whitby Public Library

Genealogy 101: The Basics

Wednesday July 15, 2020
1:30 PM until 3:30 PM

Come learn the basic steps for launching your family history experience. Learn from Nancy Trimble as she gives you advice on interviewing your family, searching attics, recording & organizing what you find, Internet searching and offline help, and groups. Learn to avoid some common pitfalls in your quest, as she shares some hard-learned lessons. 
Nancy Trimble, PLCGS has been doing genealogy since she was a teenager. She earned her diploma in Canadian Records in 2004 and is currently the Chair of the Durham Region Branch, Ontario Ancestors. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Free Webinar Weekends for June - from Legacy Family Tree Webinars

They are bringing you both 1) brand new webinars and 2) unlocked webinars from the members-only library. You will have free access to these throughout each weekend. 

Each weekend they will bring to you a different track of classes:
  • Technology, June 12-14, 6 classes
  • Great Britain, June 19-21, 6 classes
  • African American, June 26-28, 6 classes
To participate, register for the live introductory webinar at which will give you instructions for viewing the classes.
Also, see their blogpost for further details.

DNA Talk was Very Successful!

Nancy's talk on DNA: Tools for the Next Steps was very well received. All our Zoom seats were filled and many people were too late to get in to the Zoom meeting. Demand far exceeded our expectations!

The handout and the link to the recording are now available on the Durham Region Branch's website . Just go to the June meeting write-up and the links are at the bottom of the description.

No-one has asked me about the illustration that I used for the DNA talk! 3 years ago at the Rootstech conference, I took a workshop about DNA tools. We actually extracted DNA from strawberries and hanging from the toothpick are my results! Did you know that strawberries have 8 strands of DNA! Humans only have 2 strands. It's humbling to know that we are less complicated than strawberries.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

June's Virtual Meeting is Coming Soon with DNA: Tools for Next Steps

“DNA: Tools for the Next Steps” with Nancy Trimble, PLCGS on June 2nd at 7:30 pm

You’ve had your autosomal DNA test done, but what are your next steps? This talk will focus on the tools available to you on Ancestry, Family Tree DNA, MyHeritage and DNA Painter. We will discuss Match Lists, centiMorgans (cM), chromosome browsers, and other useful tools. You will leave with enough information that you can easily implement some next steps in utilizing your DNA matches.

Come join the Durham Region Branch on Tues. Jun 2, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada) in a virtual meeting. This is open to the public. We have 100 seats, but the recorded meeting will be available afterwards on our YouTube channel.

Register in advance for this Zoom meeting:

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

Please note that we only have 100 seats for this particular meeting. You must register, but I advise you to join about 15 minutes early & wait in the "Waiting Room" in order to assure your seat.

If you can't get in, the recording of this session will be uploaded to our YouTube channel at several days afterwards. The handout will be available on our website after June 2nd.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

The May meeting video is now available for re-play!

Just a note to let you know that the recording of our May Meeting featuring Bob Dawes on "Connecting English Ancestors" is now available in our YouTube Channel.

Saturday, May 9, 2020 is Free Until Sunday May 10th

With thanks to Bob Dawes for this tip. Bob was our presenter for our first virtual meeting just this last Tues. and spoke on "Making English Connections"

Although there are no parties for the 75th anniversary of VE Day, family historians can celebrate with free access to all of Ancestry's UK records (at their UK site) until Sunday 10th May. To access the records you will need to register (or log-in if you have registered previously) but you will not need to provide credit card or bank details.

Tip: if you're asked to provide payment information it’s because you’re using the wrong site, accessing records that aren't included  in the offer, or else have clicked on the Free Trial icon by mistake.

Note: this weekend's free access to UK records is only available at Ancestry's UK site, but you should be able to log into the UK site wherever you are in the world."

The article goes on to give direct links to many of the best databases recommended by Peter Calver, the owner of Lost Cousins.

You must be logged in to to have the free access.

And if you have English ancestors and do not subscribe to the "Lost Cousins Newsletter", why not?? You can set up a free account.

"The best genealogy newsletter - and it's FREE!

As a LostCousins member you will be entitled to receive our newsletter, which is full of useful tips and articles to help you knock down 'brick walls' and take your research to a new level. Here's what members say about the newsletter:
"Your letters are so informative especially for those at a brick wall and not sure where to look next."

"Thanks again for the fabulous Lost Cousins newsletters - they are crammed with invaluable information."

"Many thanks for your informative and interesting newsletters. I really look forward to them and when I spot them in the inbox they are the first thing I scroll to."
To see the latest issue click here. "

In Honour of VE Day, Findmypast Opens Photo Collection for FREE until May15th

In today's e-Weekly, Findmypast made this announcement:

I got distracted by this "Bright, Shiny Object" and started searching for photos that could represent some of my father's experiences. F/Lt. D. S. Brown RCAF served with the 10 Squadron RAF based at Melbourne, Yorkshire. He flew Wellington and Halifax Bombers over Germany 1943-1945. While these photos are not of the actual planes he flew, they are of the Handley Page Halifax Mark III type that he did fly.

I spent about 2 hours looking at all sorts of war photos at Findmypast. Enjoy this fascinating collection!

Virtual Ontario Ancestors Conference Announced Today

Kudos to Dianna Fulton and the Conference Committee for their hard work in setting up this virtual conference! As announced in the Ontario Ancestors e-Weekly. Unfortunately the links in e-Weekly don't seem to work, so I have put the corrected link below:

Some of the links aren't connected yet (May 9th @ 1 pm), so once you are on the page, click on "Conference Info" since that seems to have the links all attached. "Conference Schedule" has the most information.

Friday, May 8, 2020

Ontario Ancestors opens up Some of Their Past Webinars for Free

As announced on the OGS Blog:

The link for non-members is at

All the webinars are listed, but only those where presenters have given permission will have live links. But keep checking back, since more permissions may come and more live links will appear.

Webinars happening in the Ontario Ancestors Branches!

Webinars happening in the Ontario Ancestors Branches!
Last night at the monthly OGS Webinar, Kim showed us a list of all the Branch meetings in May that are using the OGS Zoom platform. Go to the Branch website or Facebook page to register for any that you are interested in.

By the way, don't forget to go to the OGS (Ontario Ancestors) website and sign up for the monthly webinars that they host. First Thursday of every month at 7 pm.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

Scottish Conference Online May 1st

The following was announced in the Ontario Ancestors e-Weekly today!

Scottish Indexes Conference - 1 May 2020

After the success of our first conference on 9 April 2020, we are pleased to announce that our second virtual conference will be held on Friday 1 May 2020.

A detailed schedule will be posted shortly so you can plan your day. We will again start at 7 am BST and end after 10 pm BST, this should enable our genealogy friends around the globe to join us for part of the day. The day will be in two sessions, with the presentations being repeated to enable you to watch them from different time zones.

This event is completely free and will be streamed live to our Facebook group which you can join here. The event will also be accessible on Zoom, click here to register.

We’re still finalising the exciting schedule, but here are some highlights to look forward to on the day. Chris Paton, Professional Genealogist and author of “Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet” will give the presentation, “Tracing the Irish in Scotland”.
Kirsty Wilkinson, Professional Genealogist and author of “Finding Your Scottish Ancestors: Techniques for Solving Genealogy Problems” will deliver an interesting talk, “Sources in Scotland for Tracing Scottish Emigrants”. The presentation “DNA Testing for Family History” is eagerly anticipated and will be delivered by DNA Detective Michelle Leonard.
We’re also pleased to announce that George MacKenzie, a former Keeper of the Records of Scotland, will be joining us to deliver a presentation with the intriguing theme, “...bread & cheese & kisses is not enough…”

Keep an eye on Facebook and here on our website for announcements of more subjects and the event schedule.

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Free Access to US Yearbooks Collection on My Heritage

From My Heritage newsletter: 
"I’m pleased to share that we’ve opened up access to our U.S. yearbook collection for FREE, through May 23, 2020! 
In addition, following the successful release of MyHeritage In Color™ (10 million photos were colorized in the first 3 months), one of the ideas raised by our team was to apply this technology also to records. We focused our attention on the huge U.S. Yearbook collection on MyHeritage, and I’m happy to announce that you can now view our entire collection of U.S. yearbooks in color!
We’re doing this because we want to help our community in these challenging times and give people a fun activity to do when they are isolated at home that is genealogical, enjoyable, and free.
We’ve made it easy to share the yearbook pages on social media. Anyone who shares a yearbook page on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram with the hashtags #LookingGood and #FreeYearbooks and tags @MyHeritage will enter a draw. Each week we’ll select one lucky winner who will receive a free MyHeritage Complete subscription! "

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Clarington Library also has Ancestry Library Edition

After Stephen Wood mentioned that the Whitby Library also has the Ancestry Library Edition and I attached that as a comment to the last post, I decided to check out my local library. Clarington Library also has the Ancestry Library Edition online.

They too will give you a temporary library card online.
Unfortunately, my computer firewall gave me some issues!

So, check out your local library's eResources - maybe your current library card will give you local access.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Oshawa Public Library Announces that Ancestry Library Edition is Online (also Whitby Library)

If you have a library card for the Oshawa Public Library, you are in luck. You can get the Ancestry Library Edition from your own home for the rest of April! [and maybe that will get extended?]

Check it out here.

FYI, The Whitby Library also has the Ancestry Library edition
available from home, as long as you have a library card, and they can
do new library cards if you need one. Tip from Stephen Wood

Durham Branch of Ontario Ancestors Announces Their May Meeting Will be VIRTUAL!

Durham Branch of Ontario Ancestors Announces Their May Meeting Will be VIRTUAL!

Join the Durham Region Branch Tuesday, May 5th at 7:30 p.m. on the Society's virtual platform, Zoom.

The topic will be "Making English Connections". It will be presented by Bob Dawes, an excellent speaker who has presented at several of the Ontario Ancestors Conferences in the past and has been a speaker at many Durham Region Branch events.

This presentation will demonstrate how to use the many free and paid websites to make connections with your English ancestors. Bob Dawes has traveled throughout the UK doing his family history and is experienced in using their many genealogical research sources.

Register in advance for this meeting:

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

Bob’s handout is at 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Caring for Photographs

I have started limiting the amount of time I watch the COVID-19 news. I am trying to limit it to once a day, in  the early evening, so that I can reduce the stress and worry that I feel.

I believe that genealogists and other solo hobbyists (like woodworkers, miniature railway enthusiasts, knitters, etc.) have a leg up on the general public in have a way to distract our whirling minds!

Maybe, you are looking at finally organizing all your family photos!

Here is a blog at "The National Archives" [UK] website with a downloadable guide for you:

Just another suggestion for a project to feel like you are accomplishing something worthwhile.
And, while you are at it, feel free to post a picture on our Facebook Group page and tell us all about it.

Thank you and keep well,
Nancy Trimble, Chair

Sunday, March 22, 2020

April Face to Face Events Postponed

Dear friends,

Regretfully, we have to postpone all of our April face to face meetings. We are looking at virtual solutions for our meetings. Please check out our Durham Region Branch Facebook Group and our Durham Region Branch blog, as well as the Durham Region Branch website for further updates, and also suggestions on what is online to keep you occupied during this era of social distancing.

Keep safe and be kind to yourself,
Nancy Trimble, Chair

e-books in the OGS Marketplace (e-Store)

Stressed? Need something to take your mind off social distancing? Try looking for a new genealogical read!

1. Go to the OGS website and log-in. If you are not an OGS member, you can create a free account in order to access the OGS Marketplace (e-Store) in the upper right corner.

2. Click on the "Marketplace" tab.

3. Click on the "Books, CDs and More" tab, then choose "eBooks".

4. There are 39 eBooks that you can buy from an assortment of authors (e.g. Thomas MacEntee, Lorine Mcginnis Schultze, Ken Cox, Janice Nickerson and more).

5. Enjoy some downtime!

Friday, March 20, 2020

FamilySearch Comes to the Rescue for [Grand]Parents

FamilySearch is offering some suggestions to keep families busy during the pandemic:

Dear Friends, 

Many people around the world are staying home and at a safe distance from each other to slow the spread of COVID-19. This is a crucial time to combine our efforts to build and strengthen meaningful connections. We have an opportunity to provide comfort and healing to those who may feel vulnerable or alone. 

Sharing common experiences with others can bring us closer. FamilySearch provides a number of simple activities for all ages that are designed to bridge the distance between loved ones. These activities can be done with those closest to us at home or through social media.

We will continue to add new activities to help inspire you and those you love. I invite you to check regularly to see what’s new. 

We wish you peace and joy as you connect with those closest to you. 

Warmest Regards, 

Steve Rockwood 
FamilySearch CEO

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Coronavirus Poster

Washing your hands with soap for 20 seconds is very important. 
Scrubbing your hands with alcohol disinfectant comes in a close second when washing is not possible. 
Shop for necessities, but keep the 2 meter distance. Consider ordering online for home delivery. 
Talk to others using telephone, email, social media.
Go for walks to prevent depression, but keep the 2 meter distance. 
Disinfect your phones, computers, door handles and other areas you touch frequently.
Take advantage of genealogy webinars & podcasts - there are many free ones.
Get caught up on your genealogy magazines and books.
Take this time to update your online genealogy tree, contact your cousins, scan photos and documents: all those things you put off till you had time!!
I'll stop preaching now!!

I am still monitoring the situation, but it is very likely that the April 7th meeting will be cancelled.

Stay safe,

Saturday, March 14, 2020

COVID-19 update for Durham Region Branch

Regretfully, due to the current public health concerns of COVID-19, our branch will have to postpone our events occurring between Mar. 14th and April 5th. 
This means that our DNA group will not be meeting on Wed. Mar. 18th and our Library Open Houses of Fri. March 20th and Fri. Mar. 27th will also be cancelled.
As the situation progresses, we will let you know if the General Meeting of April 7th will be affected.
Thank you for your understanding and patience at this time.

Keep healthy and safe,
Nancy Trimble, Chair

Friday, February 21, 2020

Early Bird Deadline for OGS Conference 2020 is Near!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the OGS Conference committee has extended the Early Bird Pricing to April 30th!

Don't miss out on the Early Bird Pricing for the 2020 Ontario Ancestors (Ontario Genealogical Society) Conference in Hamilton from June 5 - 7!
Check out the Conference Website here .

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Oshawa's WW1 Soldiers

Jennifer Weymark, Archivist, Oshawa Museum will be presenting
"Letters from the Trenches: Oshawa’s WWI Soldiers"
at the Durham Region Branch's meeting Tuesday, Feb. 4th at 7:30 pm.

Come join us at Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, ON L1G 4V7 (NW corner of Simcoe Street North and Rossland Road West)