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 - June 7th., at 7:30 p.m.

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

Regretfully, we have to postpone all of our face to face meetings.

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
A recording of the November 2021 General Meeting, including the elections and further announcements: - https://youtu.be/csUg2hL5EJw

UPDATED!! Durham Region Cemetery Maps!!!

Durham Branch’s Virtual Library Monthly Drop-In this Thursday June 23rd

drop-inWelcome! You are invited to join “Durham Branch's Library Drop-In”. We have a permanent day and time now: 4th Thursday at 11 am via Zoom. Drop-in and let’s talk genealogy!


We have booked Zoom meetings from June to October, it is one link and you can book all dates at the same time or pick and choose which meetings to attend.


After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.

Kindly register at:



• On June 25th. we held a DNA SIG meeting, open to the public.

Ancestry DNA

Exploring AncestryDNA™ at Ancestry.ca® with Nancy Trimble

Nancy Trimble, PLCGS, (team leader of the DNA Special Interest Group of the Durham Region Branch, Ontario Ancestors) guided us through an exploration of Ancestry.ca’s DNA portion of their website.

She explored the DNA Story, DNA Matches and the Thru-Lines areas of the website in detail, showing how you can glean hints from each as you explore what your DNA is telling you.

[Nancy Trimble is a graduate of the National Institute of Genealogical Studies and is currently the Chair of Durham Region Branch, Ontario Ancestors, as well as Co-Chair of the branch’s DNA SIG. Having a medical background, she has a keen interest in the application of DNA to furthering your genealogical goals.]

Now available for viewing on YouTube: - https://youtu.be/V2c_W1YjZiQ

• at our Durham Branch Zoom Meeting on June 7th., 2022.

virtual tour

An Introduction to GEDmatch, with Mags Gaulden

We will talk about all the things you need to know before your sign-up, terms of service and privacy updates (changes in the last month!) and the things you can do once you are registered. It's all about uploading your DNA data and using the tools and analysis available to discover new DNA cousins and hopefully make exciting discoveries in your family tree.

Mags Gaulden is a Professional Genealogist and the founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. She is an international Genetic Genealogy lecturer, blogger and social media maven. She serves as admin of various Facebook groups including the ISOGG Facebook group. Mags non-profit work includes Wiki-Tree and mito-YDNA.org

In lieu of a handout, Mags offers a shorter version of her slide presentation - GEDmatch IntroShort [5MB PDF]

A slightly editted version of the entire Zoom meeting, including Mag's presentation, is here: https://youtu.be/vR2rGS3VqAY

library opens

Durham Branch Library & Research Room Re-opens to the Public for research purposes! The Research Room at Northminster United Church will be open for visitors on the 2nd and 3rd Fridays of each month during June, July, and August, from 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Masks will be by choice.

The number of people will be limited to 2 (not including staff) and advance registration is required. Appointments by email to: durhamresearch@ogs.on.ca

Watch our (under 3 minute) tour of the library and office: -https://youtu.be/sHdO2sMYW0A

• at our Zoom Meeting on Tuesday, May 3rd., 2022

Bob Dawes Scotland


The video [link below] covers the main meeting, held on Zoom, including announcements, news, and a Mini-talk by president, Nancy Trimble, on a new feature available to those whose DNA is on Ancestry. Bob Dawes was the main speaker, on the topic, "Scotland from Abroad - the Next Level". He has made his presentation and handout available in the Members Only Area.


• at our Zoom Meeting on Tuesday, April 5th., 2022

Sher Leetooze

Sher Leetooze - Canadian Resource Review

Sometimes, when we are researching our families, one of them goes missing.  Before you jump to conclusions and check death records, why not check out other provincial archives.  Here in Ontario land was taken up at a rapid rate by the first wave of incomers, so when the sons and daughters were ready to take up land, there was precious little left.  In order to make a life for themselves they went farther afield.  I've found many Ontario people out west in the later 1800's. Manitoba has a wonderful online BMD site for researching the whereabouts of relatives.  And if you are researching in Quebec, Quebec Genealogy/Drouin is one of the best genealogy sites I've ever used. From coast to coast we have great archives - provincial archives, university archives, county /regional/district archives, libraries specializing in genealogical material, historical societies, genealogical societies...; the list goes on and on.

I will try to present a good cross-section to you - giving you url's &/or e-mail addresses. [https://sherleetooze.com/about/]

Sher's presentation is in Members Only.

Stephen Wood's mini talk featured the New General Registry Office (GRO) for England and Wales (1841-1861). President Nancy Trimble chaired the meeting and updated news regarding future genealogical events, including Conference 2022 in June... https://youtu.be/RZHbFdhYagc

• at our meeting on Tuesday, March 1st., 2022

Jennifer Debruin

Do you have a captive ancestor in your family tree?

In fact, many North Americans can count at least one captive ancestor!
Durham Region Branch invites you to join us as Jennifer DeBruin takes us back to the time of the French and Indian Wars on Tuesday, March 1st at 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.
Riveting, complex and heartbreaking, the captive story is one of tragedy and triumph. As the battle for continental supremacy over the colonies in North America raged over generations, people were swept up in its wake – many of them children. The audience will be taken on a treacherous journey, exploring the many complexities of life in ancient lands, and the result of French and English claims to its riches.
Time Period: Early-1600s – Mid-Late 1700s
Jennifer DeBruin Researcher | Author | Speaker
With deep ancestral roots in Quebec, Eastern Ontario, and Colonial America, Jennifer has a passion for researching and sharing the stories of ordinary people who experienced extraordinary history.
With a focus on North America from the 16th - 20th centuries, she seeks to expand the
understanding of our complex history from a variety of perspectives.  
Author of three fact-based historical fiction novels based on North American history, Jennifer is currently writing her first non-fiction book, based on her popular presentation, Loyalist Espionage, and will follow this with her fourth creative non-fiction. She also writes historical pieces, which have appeared in several publications.
In addition to her research and writing, Jennifer has been a professional speaker for over 20 years, is an active volunteer in the historical community, and her most recent venture is an historical podcast, the aWOKEning, which presents information that expands the historical narrative and our understanding of the past, present and future.


Jennifer's presentation was in Members Only, until Aprl 1st. 2022. The rest of the March meeting, including the Internet Archive min-talk, is here... https://youtu.be/m70HDp3jO-c

• at our meeting on Tuesday, February 1st., 2022

Claire Wilton by Michael Hudson

Claire Wilton spoke on Zoom... “Finding Your Ancestors in the Anglican Diocese of Toronto”.

photo credit - Michael Hudson

The Anglican Diocese of Toronto is quite large and holds records covering the areas of Halton-Peel, Toronto, York, Simcoe, Durham, Northumberland, Kawartha Lakes, Peterborough and Haliburton. We expect this talk to be of interest to a wide number of researchers.

Claire will be covering the oldest records held, as well as the types of, access to and information found in the records. She will also highlight examples of searches they have done, as well as challenges with the records. The Archives is currently working on increasing their accessible information (fonds descriptions and finding aids).
Claire Wilton, MLIS, has worked at the Anglican Diocese of Toronto Archives for 11 years, first as Archives Assistant for 8 years and currently as Archivist and Privacy Officer since March 2019. A keen amateur genealogist herself, she has conducted research into her own ancestors (primarily in Bermuda and Scotland). She brings her enthusiasm to the challenge of the search for her own ancestors and to helping others in their genealogical searches of the Diocese of Toronto Archives. Claire is always happy to provide guidance and suggestions on search strategies for ancestors that lived within the Diocese of Toronto.
The 2022 February 01 meeting video is now viewable in the Members Only Area, along with a bonus mini-presentation by Stephen Wood - How to Find Lot and Concession Using Schedule 4 on the 1871 Canadian Census (works for rural locations).

• at our meeting on Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Dave Obee 2022

Dave Obee Spoke on "Migration"

Noted speaker, newspaper man and raconteur Dave Obee is a familiar speaker at OGS Conferences and Branch Zoom Webinars.

“In Search of Home: Migration into, out of and within Canada”

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 has written a dozen books and has given more than 700 presentations at genealogy and history conferences since 1997. His topics range from general genealogical information, to Canadian research, to technology and more.

Dave's presentation is now in Members Only: - https://durhambranch.ogs.on.ca

• at our December 7, 2021 Meeting

Christmas 2021

“Bring & Brag” Durham’s Christmas Event

This is your opportunity to show a discovery, a website, a family heirloom and tell us it’s story. Come and join Durham Region Branch, as we celebrate with our virtual re-creation of our end-of-year Christmas event.

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 was no exception.
A Zoom recording of the meeting is at the link below.


• at our November 2nd., 2021 Meeting

Glenn Wright

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

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.

This presentation focussed 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.

Glenn has kindly consented to re-run his Zoom presentation on our YouTube Channel: https://youtu.be/ont2epw62xY

Following graduation from the University of Toronto, Glenn 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.

A frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially the OGS, Glenn has a special interest in Canada’s military history. He has published widely in family history, genealogical and historical magazines and journals and has also published 2 books.

• at our meeting on Tuesday, October 5th., 2021

Leslie Anderson

Leslie Anderson

Search Tips – Researching Women on Ancestry

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.

Lesley Anderson has worked for Ancestry.ca 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.

Leslie's Zoom presentation will appear in the Members Only Area; find the Business Portion of this meeting and Nancy Trimble's "Finding Un-indexed Records on Family Search" here: - https://youtu.be/00fwd_ERctc