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• at our Oct. 3rd meeting we celebrated “Canadian Women’s History Month”. Our speaker, Glenn Wright, joined via Zoom.

Glenn Wright

During the 1885 Northwest Rebellion, a small group of nurses and nuns provided medical care for the wounded and sick. It was the beginning of a tradition that would see women serve in the South African War, 1898-1902, and the First and Second World Wars. In this presentation, we will look at the history of this contribution and explore the records that we can use to document Canadian women in uniform.

Glenn Wright is one of our favourite speakers. He 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.

Glenn has given permission for this Zoom recording of the meeting, which includes his talk (at about the 12 minute mark) to e posted. https://youtu.be/E_nrg-LARSo

He inludes his handout in both Word and PDF formats.

• at our September 5, 2023 meeting -"Telling Family Stories in 15 Minutes a Day - Lianne Kruger of "iFamily History"

Lianne Kruger

Are you really going to write that 600-page family history? Stop kidding yourself! Join Durham Branch in September as Lianne Kruger shares how to record your family history as stories in only 15 minutes a day.

Trying to record your family stories can feel overwhelming. You might not be sure where to start, or what to record, how to record the history so that family and future generations will be interested in the stories. This session shares a variety of ways to record the history of family heirlooms as well as stories with items and short videos. Lianne Kruger is a professional genealogist and speaker specializing in Canadian records, U.S. and Canadian homesteading, video recording family history, and using technology such as Google Maps and Drive and Evernote. She has spoken for Ontario Ancestors, RootsTech, National Genealogical Society, Legacy FamilyTree Webinars and Ancestry and has published articles in many key journals.

Lianne teaches computer software courses. She also has a Bachelor degree from Brigham Young University-Idaho, which includea a Certificate & Associate Degree in Family History Research. Lianne is also a member of the Board for mitoYDNA.org, is on the Ancestry.ca advisory board and is heavily involved in many roles with the Alberta Genealogical Society.

She has a genealogy/technology related blog at iFamily History ( http://ifamilyhistory.blogspot.com/ ) where she shares the methodologies & technologies that she uses.

Lianne's talk, and her handout, have been posted in Members Only.

The business portion of this meeting is at: - https://youtu.be/ilh5_n5ppm0

• at our meeting on June 6, 2023 -"Four Proven Strategies for Overcoming Research Obstacles" - with Janice Nickerson, M.S., U.E.

Janice Nickerson

Are you stuck? Have you tried everything to solve your genealogical puzzle? Professional genealogist Janice Nickerson will share 4 proven strategies she uses every day to overcome her clients' research obstacles. These strategies apply to any family history problem, whether you're seeking living relatives or long-dead ancestors, in Whitby or Wuhan.

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.

Janice’s website is UpperCanadaGenealogy.com

This was a hybrid meeting – both in-person and via Zoom. The business portion of the meeting is on YouTube at... https://youtu.be/PnIdd2jVk2I

In-person happens in our library, on the 3rd floor at Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, ON (NW corner of Simcoe Street North and Rossland Road West). Parking can be limited. Those requiring use of the lift need to arrange 1 day ahead of time to durhamchair@ogs.on.ca

Janice accompanied her presentation with a handout, and she has agreed to making her presentation openly available for 30 days, and for the following six months the recording will be in Members Only.


• at our May 2nd 2023 meeting -"Old Brock Township: Origin and Key Events" - with Larry Doble

Larry Doble

This presentation describes the history behind the creation of the original Brock Township in historic Ontario County and the wars, battles, and events which determined who settled there.

Larry Doble has been the chairman of the Sunderland and District Historical Society for almost 20 years. His ancestors came to Brock Township from Mayo County, Ireland in 1822 and the Doble family has been here for 7 generations. His family tree computer data base has 62,000 names and it links many of the early families who settled in Brock Township which opened up in 1818.

The business portion of this May 2 2023 meeting is on YouTube, at: https://youtu.be/FgWPbm_PF2s

The Handout provides several sites and resources related to the history of Old Brock Township.

Larry has kindly concented to our hosting his presentation, on YouTube at:https://youtu.be/e7L0_IOiv-I

• at our April 4th. 2023 meeting -"Breaking Down Brick Walls - Case Studies"

family search explore

Brick Walls - Stephen Wood

Zoom only, with a recording on YouTube of the entire meeting, here: - https://youtu.be/5GJlRXWwSMs

No idea on how to get past your brick wall? Need help cracking the case? Come to the Durham Region Branch’s April meeting and watch Stephen Wood, our Research coordinator, show how he has helped many people work on their brick walls.

Stephen Wood is a founding member of the Durham Region Branch. He has held many roles in our branch since 1982. He is the past-Chair and the current librarian, researcher and office manager for the branch. Stephen and his wife Lori have built our library catalogue which will be rolled out soon.

• at our March 2023 meeting -"Away to Canada - Barbara Dickson"

family search explore

Away to Canada - Barbara Dickson

Have you ever wondered what it was like to pioneer in Ontario pre-1850?

Come discover life in Canada during the first half of the 19th century as seen through the eyes of an English gentleman, David Cragg. A true-life account, David, born in 1769, lived through the Napoleonic wars, the death of his beloved Molly from a grand consumption, the Industrial Revolution, his immigration to Canada as a widower with eight children and the founding of Greenbank village in Reach Township (now in Durham Region). This fascinating presentation - a walk down memory lane as told through David's own writing - will intrigue and inspire Canadians, historians, and anyone who's interested in learning more about how people lived almost 200 years ago in Britain and Canada.

Barbara Dickson is a sought-after award-winning best-selling author, historian, public speaker, documentary film producer and writer who has entertained, educated, and enlightened audiences for twenty-five years. Dickson's speaking platform mirrors her passions: commemorating Canada's bomb girls, honouring the legacy of the Irish people in building Canada, challenges and triumphs of 19th century immigration life, living with multiple sclerosis, and heart transplantation in Canada.

Barbara's website can be found at https://www.barbaradickson.ca/

The business portion of this March General Meeting is on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/iOOTKARMr0g

Barbara's presentation is available in Members Only https://durhambranch.ogs.on.ca:

• at our Feb. 7th. Meeting

family search explore

Doing Family Tree Research in Your Pajamas – Ken McKinlay of “Family Tree Knots”

Date & Time: February 7th @ 7:30 pm EST via Zoom only

With the challenges resulting from the pandemic, we still have to contend with many restrictions when it comes to visiting our favourite archives and museums. Fortunately, we still have a vast array of resources available to us online with more coming out every week. In this presentation, Ken touched upon the various online resources and tools that permit us to continue researching the various branches of our family trees, all without leaving the comfort and safety of our homes.

Ken McKinlay's foray into his family tree research started with three simple family stories that he wanted to confirm or refute. He has now been researching his family tree for over 20 years and discoveries are still being made. He has given talks for branches of Ontario Ancestors, the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, and the Ottawa Public Library. Ken's talks generally focus on methodologies and providing the skills needed to help solve those brick wall problems. He has a genealogy related blog at Family Tree Knots ( https://familytreeknots.blogspot.com/ ) where he shares the methodologies that he uses in his own research.

Ken's presentation is now in the Members Only Area, along with his handout.

The business portion of the Feb 07, 2023 General Meeting is on YouTube, at: -https://youtu.be/_vvshewNig4


• at our January 3rd., 2023 meeting -"Exploring Family Search.org"

family search explore

Michele Jeannotte

The business portion of our meeting, including announcements, is recorded here... https://youtu.be/rpcu0bOqYgg

Michele demonstrated some of the key features of the free FamilySearch.org website, specifically: - how to search the records, navigate the online catalogue and browse digitized films. She also talked about some of the ‘hidden extras’ offered. This wonderful free genealogy site is a must for all genealogists.

Michele Jeannotte became interested in family history as a teenager, growing up in North Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). Discovering that her grandmother was born in Constantinople, Turkey ignited a life-long passion to find out more about her ancestors. Michele’s 24 years in various Information Technology roles (including Technical Writer) and an additional 20 years as a private tutor have given her a broad range of skills. In addition to her personal research, Michele runs a one-name study focusing on the RENTON surname. She also vlogs at “Genealogy: Ties to the Past” on YouTube.
 An 11-page pdf handout is aviable, HERE.
Michele has made this presentation, and many more, available to all on her YouTube Channel.
Genealogy: Ties to the Past - YouTube