Ontario Genealogical Society  new logoDurham Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical SocietyDurham Region Branch 2018  logo

• at the January 2018 Meeting•

brick wall person free image

Overcoming Brick Walls  - strategies and anecdotes for overcoming research dead-ends.


If, during your research, you have come across a particularly frustrating dead-end,our local panel of experts can help. See the results, in this editted copy of the meeting's video stream, at: https://youtu.be/dY1N1jmdwyo

• at our February 2018 meeting •
DNA biologist

DNA Basics for Genealogists by Nancy Trimble, PLCGS

Nancy discussed why you might want to test DNA, what tests are available and the factors that dictate which testing company to use. She also gave pointers on how to maximize results and find cousins, followedby a Q&A.

Short Presentation -by Karen Church -How DNA increased my family. See how Karen made an surprising connection about a "stray" who was informally adopted by her family.

A slightly edited version of this meeting is available here: https://youtu.be/OaBQI1HjRLA

• at our March 6, 2018 meeting •

Our usual general meeting location has changed, from the Main Branch of the Oshawa Library, to the Bobby Orr Room of the Oshawa Civic Centre (199 Thornton Road South).
Dave Clements at the Clarington Museum

Dave Clements spoke on the topic: "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."

Mini-Talk - Anne Delong - Gravestone sites - photos vs transcriptions

• at the April Meeting •

Jane MacNamara

Life on the farm: your ancestor’s place in Ontario agriculture - 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. http://wherethestorytakesme.ca/
Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live .

For an editted version of the March 6, 2018 general meeting: - https://youtu.be/YGTCqsjFPXU

• at the May meeting •

Marianne Press

Are You Really Finding It All When You Search? - Marian Press


Mini-Talk - "Are Your Ancestors Wikipedia Worthy?" - was given by Anne Delong

An editted version of this meeting is at: https://youtu.be/lPWLtSsGRDg

•at the June 2018 Meeting•

Danielle Manning - archives of ontario

 Introduction to the Archives of Ontario - Danielle Manning (Outreach Officer), gave us a "tour" of the Archives via Power Point. We learned that the archives has a lot to offer genealogists; she also explained how easy it is to access. https://youtu.be/Zn5vOhZZzSs


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

• at our September 2018 General Meeting •

A video of the business portion of the September 04 2018 General Meeting is here: - https://youtu.be/vB5RSSiFQ2Y

Cheryl LevyCheryl Levy (PLCGS)- Using Clues to build a Blended Family - 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.] 

• Our October 2, 2018 Meeting

Dambusters by Ted BarrisDam Busters: Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany - Ted Barris.
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.

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.

Dam Busters: Part 1 of 2 - Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany - Ted Barris.


Dam Busters Part 2 of 2 - Canadian Airmen and the Secret Raid against Nazi Germany - Ted Barris.

[Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. He regularly writes in the national media (National Post, Air Force magazine, Zoomer among many), and has hosted many CBC Radio network programs and shows on TV Ontario. His weekly blog The Barris Beat features commentary and narrative from his travels/experience. Among his eighteen previous bestselling non-fiction books: Juno, Behind the Glory, Deadlock in Korea, Victory 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.] 

• at our November 2018 Meeting •

Dambusters by Ted BarrisBryan Davies -- A Boy From Botwood [archived here: - https://youtu.be/KA-nlThRBD4]
Bryan Davies is the co-author of 'A Boy From Botwood'. It's Newfoundland soldier Arthur Manuel's account of his experiences in the First World War, including three major campaigns (Gallipoli, the Somme, and Passchendaele), his time as a German prisoner of war, his escape and his re-capture. Manuel died before he could turn it into a book. His story was discovered in 2011 by his grandson, hidden in the attic in a shoebox. Jan. 19, 2017. - Ryan Pfeiffer / Metroland

Private Arthur Manuel was a self-described “common soldier” in the First World War who did something uncommon: he set down his memories for posterity.

But the Royal Newfoundland Regiment member’s story would have been lost forever if his grandson, David Manuel, had not discovered the war veteran’s efforts. And David Manuel went a step further: he mentioned it to Whitby writer Bryan Davies when the two Durham men met by chance at Charley Ronick’s pub.

The result is A Boy From Botwood, a book by Davies and Andrew Traficante.

“(David Manuel) did something I think was amazing,” Davies says. “He comes across this find ... and he cared so much about his grandfather’s story, he thought, ‘I’ve got to preserve this’. We’re forever grateful to him.”

• at the December 4, 2018 Meeting

Dambusters by Ted Barris

Show and Tell / Bring & Brag

At this meeting we celebrated the season together, along with any genealogical breakthroughs, special stories, favourite websites, interesting documents or other artifacts brought to this gathering.

Members were invited share genealogy 'ah-ha's and edible holiday treats.

The slightly editted video for our December meeting is available here [https://youtu.be/TCN6lpC0hw8].