website security

Ancestors in Upper Canada?

Did you have ancestors living in Ontario when it was known as Canada West? Or perhaps even earlier, when it was Upper Canada? If so, you likely already know that researching your family history in that period can be quite a challenge.

That’s why we’re devoting a full day to finding out how to research pre-Confederation records and how to use them to piece together the stories of the men and women of early Ontario.

Watercolour painting

Registration is now open for our April 2015 workshop, Finding Your Upper Canada Ancestors. During the course of the day, we’ll explore the social and economic history of the province between the 1790s and the 1860s with the guidance of nine expert speakers. We’ll learn how to make the most of historical maps to understand how Upper Canada took shape and enhance our genealogy research. We’ll follow the development of the roads, rivers, canals and railways that connected families and communities. We’ll find out how to access and interpret land, church, justice, military and company records. And we’ll discover the treasures that can be found in papers of early surveyors-general and petitions of various kinds.

This workshop is co-sponsored by Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library, and will take place in the Library’s Auditorium on Saturday 11 April.

Early-bird rates apply until 14 March and OGS members enjoy additional discounts.

For full program and speaker details and to register online, follow this link.

Toronto Research Tip: Census Records

Census records are treasures to genealogists because they are snapshots in time – not only of individuals but of entire households and neighbourhoods. A census of the population of what is now Toronto was taken in 1842, 1848, 1852, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 and 1921. Depending on the year, a census return may hold not only the names and ages of family members, but a great deal of additional information that will help you flesh out the lives of your ancestors – street address, exact date and place of birth, year of immigration, occupation, religion, income, type of dwelling and more. And Toronto censuses are now easier than ever to access, because all of the surviving records for those years have been digitized and indexed and are available free of charge online. For a detailed guide to Toronto censuses and where to find them, visit our Census Records page. And if you’ve consulted our Census Records page in the past, be sure to check it out again – we’ve added more references and direct links to make your Toronto census research even more convenient!

Section of 1911 census return

Part of a return from Ward 2, Toronto East in 1911 showing two households on Seaton Street [full image on Library and Archives Canada website at]

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm Breaking the Silence
Breaking the Silence
Mar 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Breaking the Silence @ Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Speaker: Sandra Joyce Over 118,000 British children were sent to Canada from 1869 to 1939 to work as indentured farm workers and domestics in individual farms or households.  Some suffered horrifically in their placements, others did[...]
7:30 pm OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Imaging the ...
OUT OF THE SHADOWS: Imaging the ...
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Bonnie Bell This presentation is one’s women personal project to inspire members of her family to become interested in the history of their female ancestors.   Using photographs, personal documents, and family stories and memorabilia, from[...]
7:30 pm Dead and Buried
Dead and Buried
May 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Speaker: Sue de Groot Deaths produce many records—death registration, obituary, burial, cemetery, tombstone records, etc.This presentation demonstrates why to collect all records and what information they hold.  

View Calendar

Courses starting & Workshops

10:00 am Introduction to Genealogy and Fa...
Introduction to Genealogy and Fa...
Mar 28 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
A HALF-DAY COURSE ON SATURDAY MARCH 28 FROM 10AM TO 3PM INCLUDING A 1-HOUR LUNCH BREAK To register, click on the green “Tickets” button above. This fast-paced course introduces some of the types of records[...]
4:00 pm Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records
Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records
Mar 31 @ 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm
A THREE-WEEK COURSE ON TUESDAYS MARCH 31, APRIL 7 AND APRIL 14 This course is offered in partnership with the Archives of Ontario. An enormous amount of information about the people and families who lived[...]

View Calendar

Other Events

all-day OGS Conference 2015
OGS Conference 2015
May 29 – May 31 all-day
OGS Conference 2015 @ Georgian College | Barrie | Ontario | Canada
  The Ontario Genealogical Society is hosting its 2015 Conference, Tracks through Time, at Georgian College in beautiful Barrie, Ontario from May 29 to 31, 2015. Over the course of three days, there will be[...]
all-day OGS Conference 2016
OGS Conference 2016
Jun 3 – Jun 5 all-day
OGS Conference 2016 @ International Plaza Hotel | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Toronto Branch will welcome hundreds of family historians to the largest genealogical conference in Canada. The event will be based at the International Plaza Hotel and conference centre, close to Pearson International Airport, Highway 401,[...]

View Calendar

Did you know?

That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 600 members? That members get a discount on publications, and course and workshop registration fees? And that Toronto Branch belongs to the Federation of Genealogical Societies, which means our members can also subscribe to and purchase Dell computer products at special rates?