Friday, June 4, 2021

My Roots, Your Roots, Our Ontario Roots: The Keynote Lecture Tonight

 My Roots, Your Roots, Our Ontario Roots:

At the opening session for the virtual Ontario Ancestors Annual Conference, Janice Nickerson gave a very inspiring keynote speech about diversity, inclusion, marginalization and the imbalance of the lack of diversity of members involved in our hobby of genealogy in Ontario. It was an amazing talk which included many hints on what can be done to redress this imbalance. As soon as it finished, I felt the need to explore Durham Region's history and makeup of our population. Five minutes of Googling found the following links: - Land Acknowledgement from Durham College

I challenge other readers of this blog to find further links that explore Durham Region's diversity! Please post in the comments.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Durham Region Branch Hosts Thomas MacEntee June 1st


Successful Collateral and Cluster Searching
on Tuesday, June 1st at 7:30pm

While you may think you’ve hit a brick wall with your research, have you tried using cluster and collateral search strategies to look for an opening? Researching non-direct relations as well as those friends and neighbours in your ancestors’ network can pay off in ways you might not imagine.

Learn why researching those in-laws, “shirt-tail cousins” and others who may not be a direct-line ancestor as well as “friends, neighbours and associates” can help you break down your genealogy research brick walls.

Durham Region Branch, Ontario Ancestors is pleased to host professional genealogist and presenter extraordinaire Thomas MacEntee. He specializes in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community.

Please register at the link below:

Tuesday, June 1 at 7:30pm: Thomas MacEntee - Successful Collateral & Cluster Searching

Join us and bring a genealogy friend! All are welcome.

Friday, April 23, 2021

May 4th Meeting: Tracing 20th-Century Ontarians with Janice Nickerson


Title: Tracing 20th-Century Ontarians

Description: When tracing Ontario families we usually start with census records and civil registration. But these records are closed for most of the 20th century. So where do you start if your earliest known ancestor was born after 1921? Or maybe you've traced your ancestors, but now you want to find out what happened to their brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews? Don't despair, not all 20th Century records are closed. In fact, if you know where to look, you can learn a great deal about your recent ancestors and relatives. This lecture will walk you step-by-step through my research process, introducing you to the records and strategies you need to peek behind the "closed" curtains of 20th Century Ontario. Using these tips, you'll probably even learn something new about family members you thought you were done researching!

About Our Speaker: Professional genealogist Janice Nickerson loves a good challenge - whether it's identifying elusive ancestors, tracking disappearing descendants or telling richer family stories. Her specialties include early Ontario research, criminal justice records and fur trade history. Her website is

Everyone is welcome! Please pre-register for this Zoom meeting at:

Friday, April 9, 2021

Elise Cole to Speak at Leeds & Grenville Branch's May meeting!

Canadian Copyright and Images 

Leeds & Grenville Branch May Presentation

Join us on Monday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm on Zoom for a Branch presentation on Canadian Copyright and Images.

Many family historians struggle to understand the “do’s and don’ts of copyright” as it applies to their genealogy – photos, digital images, hand-drawn charts!  In this session, Elise Cole will discuss what images are, and how Canadian Copyright applies to them. She’ll take us through how to determine if copyright exists, how to apply fair dealing when appropriate, and provide ideas of how to properly use others’ images in our own works.

Elise C. Cole, BAH, MLIS, is the Local Collections Librarian at Oakville Public Library and volunteers as Ontario Ancestors’ Copyright Consultant. She holds multiple certifications in Canadian Copyright law and is a passionate advocate for local and family history.

Everyone is welcome to attend, but registration is required.  To register, you can locate the meeting registration link on their website: 

You will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the meeting.

This is a must if you are publishing your information - either paper or online! NT

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Special Joint Meeting with Uxbridge Genealogy Group!

 Introduction to Researching Your East European Ancestors

Thursday, April 15th, 2021 @ 7 p.m.

via Zoom

Hosted by: Uxbridge Genealogy Group & Durham Region Branch

At the date and time shown above, please join with this link.

There are 100 seats available on a first come, first served basis.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Ontario Ancestors' Yearly Conference's Registration is Open (June 4 - 6th)


Registration is open. Information on the Special Event Friday hosted by is now available. The Friday special event is an extra charge.

Monday, March 29, 2021

"Portable Genealogy - You Can Take It With You..." - Our April Meeting


Portable Genealogy - You Can Take It With You...

You're invited to our Tuesday, April 6th Zoom meeting at 7:30 pm as we enjoy another great presentation by one of our favourite presenters, Bob Dawes.

"Portable Genealogy - You Can Take It With You..." is for genealogists who want to take their family history with them when they travel or visit research repositories. It looks at synchonizing your file between computers using programmes that support Android and iOS devices and third-party options to use with GEDCOM copies of your file. A two-page handout covers many utilities which can move files from desktops to handheld devices.

Bob Dawes is a retired tech industry executive and avid family historian. 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 UK in pursuit of their ancestors. Their most recent trip was to Scotland for 35 days where they filled in for the staff at the Buchan Family History Centre, in Peterhead, for a week. Bob is a long-time Quinte Branch council member having held many executive positions, including Chair. He has given presentations to many branches and conferences.

Everyone is welcome! Register now for Tues., April 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Handouts for Nick Post's session on "Getting the Most From" Handouts for Nick Post's Session on "Getting the Most From"

Hi, everyone,

We had a great turnout for our session on Family! Nick gave us a whirlwind tour of the website and some of it's allied partners.

There wasn't an official handout for the session, but Nick referenced a couple of the handouts in the "Family History Library Classes & Webinars" page on the FamilySearch Wiki.

Here's the direct link on the FamilySearch Wiki:

Scroll down to the Upcoming March Webinars. Nick mentioned that the first couple of handouts in the chart for March webinars were the ones you will need.

If you are a member of the Durham Region Branch, the recorded presentation is in the Members' Only site. The link is near the top of the home page at Click on the button for Presenters once you are signed in.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Join Us at Our March Branch Meeting: Getting the Most Out of


Next Meeting - Tuesday - March 2nd, at 7:30 p.m.

Mags Gaulden

Getting the Most Out of - with Nick Post
Date: Jan. 2, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. via Zoom (hosted by Durham Region Branch)

Nick Post will be explaining the benefits of using FamilySearch and using the Family History Guide. He will guide us through the next steps of what to do once signed on. He will highlight the areas in which you need to focus for your family history, and the time to search.

Nick is 70 years old and retired from the City of Oshawa. He has been doing Family History for forty-five years and is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He is the co-ordinator of the FIVE Family History Centers in this part of Ontario. His interest lies in Ontario, United States, Ireland and of course Europe. Some of the names he is researching are Post, Kelly, Munro, Wease, Hubble, Lalonde, Jones and Gray. He is a member of Ontario Genealogical Society and associated with the Durham and Quinte Branches. [NOTE: In case viewers may not recognize Nick with his Covid beard, we have included two photos.] :)

Register here for this Zoom session:-

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Can't Wait for the "RootsTech Connect" Conference!


It's going to be the biggest RootsTech yet, and it's virtual and free! Watch this YouTube video to get a sneak peek at the all new website that will be opened up to us this coming Wednesday. They are going to show you all the links, expo hall, speakers (both recorded & keynote), other languages and the Relatives at RootsTech feature (you must be in the global family tree at They will also explain how logging into your FamilySearch account (register here for a free account) will increase your conference experience quite a bit.

The Expo Hall preview starts on Wed. Feb. 24th at 7 pm EST and the first Keynote speaker will be at 11 pm EST. This conference has over 314,000 registrants from 224 countries world-wide, so the conference will go 24 hrs a day for a full 3 days!!

Action Items:

1. Register for the conference at

2. Create your FamilySearch free account

3. Make sure that you are linked to the global Family Tree.

4. Sign in to your account and go to the Find New Relatives page and join in. You'll be able to chat with relatives once the conference starts.

It’s going to be like no event ever before, and I can’t wait!

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

My Heritage Offers Free Access to All Marriage Records Feb. 10 - 16


Daniel Horowitz is happy to announce that MyHeritage is offering free access to all marriage records for Valentine’s Day, from February 10–16! 

MyHeritage offers 158 collections marriage collections with 462,808,849. During this limited-time offer, you’ll be able to access these records for free even if you don’t have a MyHeritage plan. Please note that free registration to MyHeritage will be required for non-MyHeritage users.

Search the marriage records on MyHeritage and read more about these collections on our blog.


In addition, we invite your readers to enter our Valentine’s Day competition by sharing their colorized, enhanced, or color-restored wedding photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with the hashtag #LoveInFullColor and tagging @MyHeritage for a chance to win! Three lucky winners will be awarded their choice of a Complete plan or a MyHeritage DNA kit! Alternatively, they can share their photos and stories by sending them to with #LoveInFullColor in the subject line. 

Please share this news with your audience and encourage them to search the marriage records and submit their entries. The competition closes on February 14, 2021, so hurry up and share those photos!



Daniel Horowitz

Genealogy Expert

Saturday, February 6, 2021

Ontario Ancestors Branches Open Access to Databases for Family Day

Never Done Before: A Special Opportunity from Several Ontario Ancestors Branches

As Family Day in Ontario draws closer, some of the Branches of the Society have developed an opportunity to further promote membership within the Society. The idea is to share the resources of their Branches through the Members’ Only Sections of their WordPress Websites. These Branches have invested a great deal of time in their Members Only and are prepared to be involved in this process.  We are hoping that by giving people a “sneak peek” into the amazing resources at six of our branches, that we can show non members the value of membership; and members can see the opportunities to join more branches.

To be honest, this has never been done before as Branches take the lead in promoting and encourage those seeking their past to join the Society and it Branches/SIGs to further gain access to documents and educational resources. This Boots on the Ground approach is how we as a Society as a whole bear responsibility for membership and promotion of the great work we do.


The Branches that are involved: Kent, Essex, Toronto, Niagara Peninsula, Huron and Lambton.


To be honest, we don’t know if this is even going to work, but we would rather fail than not do anything at all. So we mark this as a test and we will report back to you all on its success.


These are the parameters:


All Society Members receive free access with their membership.


All Non Society Members will have to purchase a Weekend Pass to view the Members Only Sections.


If they choose to join, Non Members will receive a $10 Credit towards their new Society membership and any Branches that they join as well.


This program will run from Friday February 12th at 5 pm to Monday February 15th at 5 pm.


Google Analytics will be used to monitor the success of this program.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We would encourage you to promote this as well.




Steve Fulton UE


Past President/I.T. Administrator

Ontario Ancestors

Thursday, February 4, 2021

WikiTree Presentation Recording is on YouTube


Mags Gaulden, our presenter at our February Meeting, has given permission for the recording of her lecture be posted on the Durham Region Branch OGS YouTube channel.

On, type "durham region branch ogs" into the Search field. Click on the choice with the tombstone picture. Many of our branch meeting videos over the last 5 years are posted here.

While you are there, click the "Subscribe Button" and the "bell" icon in order to receive notice of any new videos. Click on the "thumbs up" icon below the video if you liked it.

Whitevale Cemetery & Construction


If anyone is trying to get the Whitevale Cemetery in Pickering Township, it is currently surrounded with construction. 

If you need access, take Taunton Rd to Whites Road North (formerly Sideline 26). Go north to some barriers across the new bridge that is going over the Highway 407. Make a U-turn at the barriers, and the ramp to Whitevale Rd is on your right.

If anyone knows more about this construction, I'd like to hear from you. 

Nancy Trimble,

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Feb. 2nd Meeting "WikiTree: The Ins and Outs of a Global Family Tree" with Mags Gaulden


"WikiTree: The Ins and Outs of a Global Family" 

- with Mags Gaulden

Date: Feb. 2, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. via Zoom

WikiTree is a single global family tree. This means there is only one profile per person who ever lived. You and your cousins would bring together your research and work your shared profiles together. How can this be? Collaboration. Got DNA? Got family Photos? What about colourful Family stories? WikiTree has incredible tools for working our limbs and for collaborating with cousins. We will look at how to add your limbs to our big ole shared tree as well as how to use WikiTree's plethora of tools to move your family research forward.

Mags is a Professional Genealogist specialising in Genetic Genealogy as the founder of Grandma's Genes in Ottawa. After earning her Bachelors Degree from Columbia College, she began her own Genealogy as a "hobby". This 30-year "hobby"eventually led her to a Leader role with WikiTree.

Mags is an international Genetic Genealogy Lecturer, Blogger and a Social Media Maven. She serves as Admin for Facebook groups including the ISOGG Facebook Group. She is a former member of the Canadian Casualty Identification Team.

Through her non-Profit work with mitoYDNA,org, Mags and other genetic genealogists are providing a free and accessible YDNA and mtDNA database for the Genealogy Community.
"Doing DNA Right" at

Please join us!