Saturday, December 18, 2021

Dave Obee Speaking About Migration in Canada at our January 4th Meeting


Speaker: Dave Obee

Topic: In Search of Home: Migration Into, Out of, and Within Canada

Date & Time: January 4th, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.

Virtually via Zoom

Noted genealogist, newspaper man, and storyteller Dave Obee will be our speaker in January.

Understanding the flow of people will help you understand how your family fits in the history of the country. In some cases, records are available in Canada and in other countries, but in other cases researchers will need to consider social history and traditional migration routes to understand the lives of their ancestors. Includes a look at the social history of the arrival of the railway, which helped bring massive development to the four western provinces. The railways brought settlers, and helped them get their goods to markets. The railway companies had a keen interest in bringing settlers, and ran colonization schemes designed to entice people to the West. Dave is the author of the book Destination Canada.

Dave Obee is a journalist and genealogical researcher who has written a dozen books and given more than 600 presentations at conferences and seminars in Canada, the United States and Australia since 1997. He is Editor and Publisher of the Times Colonist in Victoria, British Columbia. He has worked as a journalist in British Columbia and Alberta since 1972.

Dave’s extensive biography is at his website:

Kindly pre-register for this event at the following Zoom link:

Thursday, December 2, 2021

There’s Still Time! “Bring and Brag” at Durham's December Social


There’s Still Time! “Bring and Brag”

via Zoom on Tues., Dec. 7th at 7:30 pm.

Come and join Durham Region Branch as we celebrate with our virtual re-creation of 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 still requires physical separation, so this is an opportunity to gather together and share using Zoom.

Anything can be shown: photos, medals, heirlooms, a tricky piece of research or even a plea for help!

Zoom’s drawback, besides being about to eat the yummy treats, 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. 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 to turn on your microphone & camera and tell us all about your wonderful treasures or finds.

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

Monday, November 29, 2021

40 % off books and subscriptions at Moorshead Magazines Ltd. - the Internet Genealogy publishers!

Save 40% off your next purchase from Internet Genealogy's "Tracing Your Ancestors" Series! 

Save 40% off all Tracing Your Ancestors Books (print and PDF versions)

ALSO, Pay only $20 for a one year subscription (Internet Genealogy or History Magazine!

Valid from now until midnight December 3, 2021.

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Glenn Wright presents “Proudly They Served: Researching Canadian Men and Women in the Second World War, 1939-1945”


Glenn Wright

Durham Branch invites you to join on Zoom on Tuesday Nov. 2nd at 7:30 p.m. 

“Proudly They Served: Researching Canadian Men and Women in the Second World War, 1939-1945” - Glenn Wright 

 Our Annual General Meeting will begin the evening, quickly followed by the main presentation.

Researching the men and women who served in uniform during the Second World War can be a challenging, yet rewarding, experience for those interested in family history. It was an extraordinary six years in many ways, both overseas and at home, and by researching our own personal connections to the war, we can more fully appreciate the significance that the war had in the lives of our ancestors.

Following a brief overview of the war, the presentation will focus on the major sources of information and what we can learn from them, including a) service records and how to retrieve them; b) interpreting these records; c) researching unit war diaries (for the Canadian Army) and operations record books (for the RCAF); d) war dead; and e) essential websites and more. 

About Glenn Wright:

Glenn Wright was born and educated in Toronto, Ontario. Following graduation from the University of Toronto, he worked as a researcher for Pierre Berton before joining the Public Archives of Canada in 1975. During his public service career that spanned more than 30 years, Glenn worked as an archivist, historical research officer and, for many years, assistant historian with the RCMP. 

Retired since 2006, he is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially the OGS, with a special interest in Canada’s military history and the men and women who have served in uniform. Glenn has also been associated with television programs such as “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “Ancestors in the Attic” and “Engraved on a Nation”.

He has published widely in family history, genealogical and historical magazines and journals. Glenn is also the author of Canadians at War, 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War I Service Records (Global Genealogy, 2010) and Controversy, Compromise and Celebration: The History of Canada’s National Flag (Historical Society of Ottawa, 2017).

Glenn has been actively involved with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and served as the Society’s President from 2010 to 2014. 

Pre-register at the following link:

A confirmation e-mail with the join link will be emailed to you.

Durham Region Branch Website:


Friday, October 8, 2021

Programme Ideas Needed!


The Programme Committee of Durham Branch would like your help in our 2022 program choices.

Please take the survey at: It only takes about 4 minutes!

I put some ideas together, but there are also comment fields that you can add your own ideas if you need to.

Thank you,
Durham Region Branch's Programme Committee

Survey will be closed on October 31st (Happy Halloweenđź‘»)

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Membership opens November 1st With "Grow Our Family" Campaign!

 The "Grow Our Family" Campaign is back starting on November 1st. If you haven't been a member of Ontario Ancestors for the last 2 years, then find a sponsoring current member and you will BOTH receive a 50% discount on your Ontario Ancestors' membership.

If you renew in November, your name will be entered in an Early Bird Draw!

Monday, September 27, 2021

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Urban Iskwew - Hawlii Pichette©

September 30th has been designated as the "National Day for Truth and Reconciliation". As we take this day to reflect on the legacy of residential schools, we wish to honour the survivors and their families.

Oshawa raised the Every Child Matters flag on Friday, September 24th in Civic Square. The best thing that we can do is to educate ourselves about indigenous matters. The following website from the City of Oshawa can help:

Check your own local area to see what is being done to recognise this holiday. Every child matters.

Sunday, September 26, 2021

FamilySearch Completes Digitization of Massive Microfilm Collection


On Tuesday, FamilySearch announces the completion of the their ambitious project to completely digitized their microfilm collection. This project started in 1998 with a projected timeline of 50 years. They finished 30 years early! This is absolutely amazing and due to technological advances that they themselves pioneered.

See their news release here.

Next step -  to digitize their massive microfiche collection.

Ongoing: to index these digital images. Take part here and sign up to be one of their massive team of volunteers!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

Lesley Anderson of Speaks at Durham Branch' October Meeting


Search Tips – Researching Women on Ancestry
Tuesday, October 5th @ 7:30 p.m.

This session will provide strategies for searching for women in the Ancestry databases, including methods to uncover females using name variations and other search techniques. Famous or interesting women will be highlighted wherever possible using the new Ancestry databases from around the world, as well as the core record groups. The presentation will appeal to new and experienced researchers alike.  

Everyone is welcome and bring a friend! Pre-registration is required:
Lesley Anderson has worked for for over 14 years as their Canadian Spokesperson and has done numerous presentations for genealogy societies and conferences across Canada as well as TV and Radio appearances.  
She has been involved in the personal research of her family tree for over 50 years specializing in Canadian, British and Irish records.  Her passion for genealogy has branched out to DNA genetic genealogy, teaching classes, speaking at seminars and conferences, consulting and doing research for others.  For years she was well known for her computer and genealogy classes offered through the Ottawa Catholic Board Continuing Ed and her “field trips” to various archives and libraries.
She was the Director of Education for BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) for many years and volunteered at the Ottawa Stake - LDS Family History Center.  She gets great enjoyment out of helping new and experienced genealogists with their research.  

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Join Us For More Eastern Europe Research Skill-Building


Durham Region Branch and the Uxbridge Genealogy Group announce a special joint presentation!

Topic: I Just Can't Get Enough of Eastern Europe with Eva Kujawa
Time: Tuesday, September 7th, 2021 @ 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time  **Note: earlier time**

In her intermediate level talk, Eva Kujawa will go more in depth with regards to Civil Registration records, how to locate places within the various countries that make up Eastern Europe, how to locate Church records as well as how to decipher and read the many languages and alphabets. Migration patterns, identify & research Clusters, newspapers, land, military and more records will also be covered.

Branch members will find Eva's introductory lecture from April 15th on the Durham Region OGS Members’ Only section of our website.

Eva Kujawa was born in South Africa and specializes in German, South African and Eastern European genealogy with 30 years of research and learning. Currently, she is a member of Ontario Ancestors' East European Special Interest Group and many other societies. 

You must pre-register at the following link:

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!