Ontario Genealogical Society  new logoDurham Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical SocietyDurham Region Branch 2018  logo
  ••• Everyone Welcome! •••  

• Durham Region Branch Meetings [Location/Time] — [Future Speakers] [Past Speakers] [Members Only]- Next Meeting - Tuesday - February 2nd, at 7:30 p.m.

Regretfully, we have to postpone all of our face to face meetings. Join the Durham Region Branch Tuesday, February 2nd, at 7:30 p.m. on the Society's virtual platform, Zoom.

Please check out our Durham Region Branch Facebook Group and our Durham Region Branch blog, as well as this 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

NEWish!! Durham Region Cemetery Maps!!!

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

Mags Gaulden

WikiTree: The Ins and Outs of a Global Family Tree, with Mags Gaulden
Date: Feb. 2, 2021 @ 7:30 p.m. via Zoom (hosted by Durham Region Branch)

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 specializing 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”, mitoYDNA.org.

• at our January 5th, 2021 Meeting

Linda Corupe

Durham's January Meeting will host "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. Linda's presentation is still available, for a short time, in the members only area.

• at our December 1st, 2020 Meeting

2020 Merry Christmas

Show and Tell / Bring & Brag on Zoom!!

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 Andy Brown's cranberry contribution. Here is last year's description...

"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"

A change for this year's event requires 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 image to President Nancy Trimble (for inclusion in her PowerPoint slides), would be extremely helpful. Her email is: - durhamchair@ogs.on.ca

And, here is theYouTube video recording of this meeting: - https://youtu.be/QhbvCGBkHbo

• at our November 3rd, 2020 Meeting.

Onland - Ontario Land Registry

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.

The Branch held the AGM and Elections, at this meeting.

The Zoom recording of this meeting is now on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/yk6HjfSoKS0

In addtion, here is Marian's printable form - an aid to Searching Ontario Land Records. APOLROD has created a highly useful pdf document, listing the final resting places for Ontario Land Records, should you need to locate surviving paper records.

W W Johnston - Ontario Land RecordsAnother item that came up at the meeting was a link to instructions by Wesley Johnson on how to use the Land Records in FamilySearch.org:  http://www.wwjohnston.net/famhist/canada-search-famsrch-ont-land.htm


OGS and Ministry officials will be hosting a webinar via Zoom on December 9th, 2020.  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:   https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMkcOuqqz8qGdZ-j8SYJDI92iLxhAsOMVYk

• at our - October 6th, 2020 Meeting

The Cruise of the Breeze book

Lynn  Palermo [Genealogy Educator.Writing Coach] - "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. It was then that she picked up the torch as the family genealogist. Lynn is now a freelance writer, genealogy educator, writing coach and family historian. Lynn manages 2 complementary websites: https://thearmchairgenealogist.com (highlighting her educational and research skills), and https://familyhistorywritingstudio.com (for sharing her storywriting magic)

This Zoom presentation will not be re-posted on our YouTube Channel.

• at our September 8th, 2020, Zoom Meeting

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 sub-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... during an internal war with potentially dangerous consequences for our ancestors. Henry Baines' 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.

A recording of Marc Seguin's (copyright) Zoom presentation has been uploaded to the Durham Region Branch's YouTube Channel [https://youtu.be/PDkP4RtCSwc]and on Vimeo [https://vimeo.com/456396974/01417da212].

• our June 2020 Zoom meeting

Nancy DNA next steps

"Nancy Trimble– DNA: Tools for the Next Steps" - a VIRTUAL Meeting!

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 and you can invite friends to join as well.

The recorded video of this ZOOM meeting is available on our YouTube Channel: - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG-G9YARS8Sg

Nancy's "DNA Tools Handout", as a PDF document, also contains a list of clickable resources.

Visit virtual2020.ogs.on.ca 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.



• at our May 5, 2020 Meeting


"Making English Connections" - our first VIRTUAL Meeting!

Bob Dawes showed how to use 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.

Bob is anexcellent speaker who has presented at several of the Ontario Ancestors Conferences in the past and also at many Durham Region Branch events.

A video of this May 5, 2020 meeting is on our YouTube Channel: - https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG-G9YARS8Sg

Bob’s handout is at http://tinyurl.com/EnglishConnections

• Did you know? Durham Region's cemeteries are on an 'interactive maps' web page, created by Anne Delong (many years ago).


Since cemeteries (those still open), allow for "social distancing", this may be a suitable time to feature these maps.

[Dots, marking the location of each cemetery, were placed on these web maps based on locations supplied by a much older hand drawn set of maps. Errors have been noticed by a few members.]

The Cemetery Committe has been developing a Google Maps alternative, which supplies accurate GPS coordinates to over 160 Durham Region Cemeteries.

• at our March 2020 Meeting

Dr Amy Barron

Dr. Amy Barron (Clarington Museums) -

Susan Nawigishkoke Goose Bolin and the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations
In researching the history of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nations for their exhibit, “Scugog’s First Peoples”, the Scugog Shores Museums needed to unravel a history that has often been lost. The history of Canada’s first peoples is
not well recorded and finding specifics about individal men and women is even rarer. However, one of these early remarkable women showed up in the records left to us by author Susanna Moodie, a 19 th century University of Toronto
researcher, and in the records of Indian Affairs. Her story, and that of the Mississaugas, helped to provide a window into the early history of northern Durham Region. Here is a slightly editted video of this meeting : - https://youtu.be/9lJOXcwpO_s

• at our February 4, 2020 Meeting

Christmas images

Jennifer Weymark, Archivist, Oshawa Museum
Letters from the Trenches: Oshawa’s WWI Soldiers

Will your ancestor be included in Jennifer's talk? Come and find out? Here is an editted version of the video stream (with some unavoidable audio static) - https://youtu.be/XByXRPS9hy0


• at our January 2020 Meeting

Christmas images

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.

At this meeting our panel of experts will solve, or attemtp to solve, some of the most difficult research problems faced by members. However, it is best to send problems, in advance, to durham@ogs.on.ca.

[Now that the meeting is over, here is the link to an editted version: - https://youtu.be/JQffEVGlcDM]

• at the December 2019 Meeting•

Christmas images

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.
An editted version of the Christmas Meeting video stream is here: - https://youtu.be/Pzk3bfHqldA It includes both meeting announcements and members' "show and tells".


Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live . Should the stream fail during the broadcast, try refreshing the browser or closing the connection and reconnecting. In any case, an editted version of the meeting will be posted here, on the same channel, about one week after the meeting.

• at the November 5, 2019 Meeting

Rush to Danger cover

NEW BOOK "Rush to Danger" — presented by author, Ted Barris

Two YouTube videos are available from this meeting: -

1. The business portion of the meeting, which includes the election and announcements: - https://youtu.be/yiHLgLMdY-0

2. Ted Barris, speaking about his latest book: - https://youtu.be/YK6rCtgdgl4

Thriftbooks offers up 12 of Ted's books on the site's first page: https://www.thriftbooks.com/a/ted-barris/413168.

Once again, member Robert T Bell has shared his Flickr Album photos of this meeting: - https://www.flickr.com/photos/roberttbell/albums/72157711759686087


• at the October 2019 meeting •

Ruth Burkholder

Finding Great-Grandma’s Grandchildren: How do you find people of your parent’s generation? —Ruth Burkholder

Whether they were of the immigrant generation, thus born elsewhere, or the family had been here forever, finding people in the 1900s is hard work. This discussion will present some ideas to use to find them. Ruth Burkholder has successfully educated family historians for many years. She is well known for her ability to explain both simple and complex research activities in an easy to understand way. Most of all, Ruth has a knack of keeping the fun in it while providing proper methods and advice that comply with accepted genealogical research and recording practices.

The Mini-talk and business portions of our meeting, along with a 'teaser' for Ruth's talk, are now on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/5SU6byHMCHA

Member, Bob Bell, has shared his Flickr photo of this meeting: - https://www.flickr.com/photos/roberttbell/sets/72157711241021711/

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live .

at the September Meeting

Happy Daisies - growing in polluted land

Attendees to the September 3rd Meeting (7:30 p.m., at Northminster United Church, in Oshawa), were encouraged to bring along a URL, or several URLs, of favourite genealogical websites. Here is a link to abbreviated video coverage of the September Meeting: - https://youtu.be/Mhwhwhbxt9U. Member, Bob Bell, shared his photos and slide images, hosted on Flickr.

Our usual general meeting location has changed, to Northminster United Church (676 Simcoe St. N., Oshawa, ON L1G 4V7 (nw corner of Simcoe Street North and Rossland Road West).

at the June 2019 Meeting

Easy-Do-OverBob Dawes - The Family History Reno Project (the easy do-over)

Why should a genealogist perform research again, on subjects already covered? Genealogy has changed considerably in the recent decade. Bob Dawes will show how doing so helped to improve his results, just as surely as it will do the same for you. Bob's handout: - Bobs Bytes The Easy Do-Over Click for Bob's presentation on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/xSMzlukLHNU Some of President Nancy Trimble's slides are shown at the end of the video, with announcements of upcoming dates and events. (The video recording had quit too soon for her all of her follow-up comments to appear here.)

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live .

The DNA SIG (DNA Special Interest Group) within our branch continues meeting monthly, on the 3rd. Wednesday of each month. Next mtg. - June 19th, in our new office at Northminster United Church.

• at the May 2019 Meeting


Sandra McNamara -Two Topics: Researching Through Face Book and the Tricks and Trades of a Genealogy Sleuth

Sandra McNamara graduated from York University in 1983 as a Geophysicist. She oversaw digitization of African Airbourne Magnetic Maps and worked on the compilation of Ontario Aeromagnetic Maps. For the past twenty-five years she has been a stay at home mom, focusing her research on the genealogy of her father’s side of the family, keeping in mind her Grandmother saying, “I come from a strong Loyalist stock.” Her latest endeavour is researching into The Declaration of Dependence, for which she has started a closed Facebook group, “LD1776”, for descendents of those signers. She is an administrator for “Revolutionary War Research” and the initiator of “Loyalist in depth study." https://allthingsliberty.com/author/sandra-mcnamara/


• at our April 2, 2019 Meeting.

Sher Leetooze

Research experiences - On The Road Again.

Sher Leetooze has been researching her family for just over 40 years, but still has a long way to go.  In the process of doing research, Sher has gone right to the source in Great Britain and found some GREAT stuff!  Some of these things she will share with you on April 2nd.

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live .

Mini-talk - Stephen Wood, with a Brick Wall Update, concerning identifying a relative via the US 1850 census, even though she was born in Canada. A slightly editted version of the April 2019 meeting is available on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/NrFfmnNwx2k

• at the March 5, 2019 Meeting

Bob Dawes Step One

Bob was unable to speak, as the 401 became impassable that day. He has re-scheduled for the June meeting. Nancy pinch-hitted with a report about her recent, week-long visit, to ROOTS TECH, followed by Anne's "Organizing a Family Reunion". Here is a slightly editted recording of the March meeting: - https://youtu.be/KhKbsO_HB_w

 Bob Dawes: - The Family History Reno Project (the easy do-over) If you've ever wanted to clean up your family history file, this is the easy way to approach it.  Normally, a Do Over involves re-entering all of your family information from scratch while this approach allows you to continue using your file for research while cleaning it up. It also allows you to take advantage of everything you've learned over the years as well as new resources and tools. [Click on the image for Bob's handout summary.]

Bob Dawes is a past chair of Quinte Branch and currently responsible for database and computer maintenance.  Bob and his wife, Barbara, have traveled extensively throughout North America and the United Kingdom in search of their ancestors and enjoy using technology to enhance their research.

• at our February 5, 2019 Meeting

Jennifer Weymark

 Our Feb Meeting featured Jennifer Weymark from the Oshawa Museum. She took us on a virtual tour of the museum, with emphasis on records of interest to genealogists. Here is a slightly editted video of the meeting [https://youtu.be/of6aJJ1mN88 ], which also includes the business portion of the meeting, and a mini-talk, by Stephen Wood - "Using Signatures in Old Documents", to zero in on ancestors.

• at the January 8, 2019 Meeting

Crack in brick Wall

Durham Region Branch will be starting 2019 off in our newly renovated office and library! We’re not totally unpacked yet, but on Tuesday January 8th at 7:30 pm, for the very first time, we will be holding our meeting in our new location on the 3rd floor of Northminster United Church, Oshawa!
Our topic will be “Busting Down Brick Walls” through the brainstorming and crowd sourcing of our members.

An editted video of the January 08, 2019 meeting, with a tour of our new office, is at: https://youtu.be/n9HMgaylTlI .

• 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].

• 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.”

• 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 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.] 

•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 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

• Durham Region Branch Meetings [Location/Time] — [Future Speakers] [Past Speakers] [Members Only]- Next Meeting - Tuesday - April 3, at 7:30 p.m. •

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 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 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 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 the December 2017 Meeting •

Christmas collage

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.

A slightly editted video of our December meeting is available on YouTube - https://youtu.be/dYJrDnV8qO4.

• at the November Meeting •


Sher Leetooze and Robert Bell presented a most intersting history about many churches in Oshawa and Bowmanville. Through their extensive research we learned about the original appearance of most churches, and their locations. The presentation is archived here: https://youtu.be/FASamjO7fi0

The Min-talk - Janice Carter brought us up to date on the branch's Places of Worship Project.


• at the October meeting •


Durham Region Branch Anniversary & Meeting

It's our anniversary! We're 35 years young, proud of it!

Our speaker, the ever popular Ruth Burkholder, came with a brand new lecture on the "Prairie Provinces Land Records". Archived here.

• at the September 5 meeting. •

Lisa on left

"Canada 150, An Oshawa Perspective" (Lisa Terech, left, of the Oshawa Museums): - This year celebrates an important milestone in the history of Canada, marking 150 years since the British North America Act of 1867 came into effect, resulting in the creation of Canada. Our confederation was many years in the making, and our own Oshawa residents played important roles in the development and growth of our country. Lisa's talk is available in the branch members only area (on YouTube).
Stay connected with the Oshawa Museum:
Facebook   Twitter   Instagram   YouTube   Tumblr   Oshawa Museum Blog

Mini-Talk: - by Stephen Wood, about using the new indexes at the General Registry Office of the U.K.

• at the June 6 meeting •

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Sher Leetooze (author and historian) Using Other Visuals: - Ilustrating Your Family History with Substitute Sources for Family Photos
"If your family is anything like mine, there are few photos of anyone beyond grandparents or great grandparents.  How, then, do we illustrate a family history without them?  In this presentation, Sher provided some suggestions to solve this dilemma, including the use of personal items that may have been handed down in the family, maps of the ancestral area, and many more ideas easily accessible to most people.  Most of Sher's ideas have been used in her own family history book." A slightly editted video of this meeting is archived here: https://youtu.be/KHmUI_gjwhg (Apologies for the high volume level.)

Mini-talk: "Ancestry: Shaking Leaves" - is that all there is? - Nancy Trimble

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live .

• at the May 2 meeting •

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Trina Astor-Stewart, Executive Director for Whitby Historical Society at Lynde House Museum in Whitby, spoke about the importance of Lynde House from an historical viewpoint and the genealogical relationships of the Lynde family in this area as representational of some early settlers to Southern Ontario. One of the most loved homes in Durham Region, Lynde House has been moved twice in order to preserve it and its story for future generations. Thousands of people lined the streets for each of its moves, most recently in 2015 from Cullen Gardens. The stories surrounding Lynde House during the war of 1812 provide a romantic portrayal of the times and now that it is being operated as a museum housing thousands of artifacts, the tales this house can tell grow daily. Come and discover more and find out why this house and the lives of those who lived here make an impact on us even today.

Mini-talk: Deborah Wilbur - "The Princess Mary 1914 Christmas Gift" to WWI soldiers, with family artifacts.

An editted copy of the streamed presentation/meeting is here: https://youtu.be/9vlg9y30kRU

• at the April 4, 2017 Meeting •

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Paul Jones - "I am not a Jones, but what am I?" Paul related his saga about researching two generations of 'father unknowns' and his true surname, involving 25 years of research, and including family oral history (often proven wrong), along with some usual and not so usual documents. Finally, a puzzling Y-DNA test, and an autosomal DNA test yielded solutions. Paul had agreed to archive his talk (for a limited time), in the branch's 'members only' area.

Mini-talk: Methods for backing up records, by Anne Delong, is also archived after Paul's talk, in the same (above) 'members only' YouTube link.

• Durham Region Branch Meetings [Location/Time] — [Future Speakers] [Past Speakers] [Members Only]- Next Meeting - Tuesday - March 7, at 7:30 p.m. •

Our usual general meeting location is the Main Branch of the Oshawa Library (basement auditorium).

Ted Barris with Vimy cover

“Victory at Vimy” – Story of the birth of a nation What the world witnessed that Easter Monday morning – April 9, 1917 – was a near miracle of ingenuity, co-operation and courage among volunteers of the Canadian Corps. That day, 80,000 of them – fighting for the first time as a national army – swarmed up that strategic ridge in north-central France and in a matter of hours accomplished what no Allied army had, in nearly three years of blood-letting in Europe. They seized Vimy from an entrenched German army. Some say those young citizen soldiers also breathed life into a fledgling nation – Canada. In a talk/visual presentation, based on his book Victory At Vimy: Canada Comes of Age, April 9 – 12, 1917 Ted Barris reconstructs the blow-by-blow moments of that historic four-day operation, that some say changed the momentum of the war. It put Allied troops in control of the strategic Vimy heights for good. For the first time, it sent the most powerful army in Europe into full retreat. It also firmly established the four Canadian Infantry Divisions as the most effective fighting force on the Western Front.

Mini-talk: Two of our members bring mementos and memories of the Vimy Memorial opening in 1936.

Our meetings are often streamed on YouTube starting at 7:30. Our channel for streaming is http://www.youtube.com/ channel/UCiHiKL0pfzXzG- G9YARS8Sg/live . A slightly editted version of this meeting is archived here: https://youtu.be/T31S9Lfizuk

• at the February 7 meeting•

folding map

James Thomson - Using Maps in Genealogy - Maps, both print maps and digital maps,are an essential tool for family history research. James discussed theuse of such maps, and where to find them. James provided handouts to those in attendance, now posted in the members only area.

Archived here, the January 3, 2017 meeting. [https://youtu.be/LGKSe5ocSSg]

Thank You for visiting - the Durham Region Branch OGS.