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January Meeting

Our first Toronto Branch meeting of 2015 will take place on Monday 26 January starting at 7:30 pm at the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street in Toronto (convenient access from the North York subway station).

Our featured speaker will be Victoria Fenner, a documentary producer and journalist. Victoria will tell us about her Personal Journey through Canada’s Earliest Mental Health Facilities. In the course of her family history research, she discovered to her surprise that her great-great-grandmother had been a patient in three of Canada’s earliest asylums. She is now digging through archives, old newspapers and other documents written in the latter half of the 19th century to flesh out her ancestor’s story and find out more about early mental health care in Ontario.

Also in store – Branch Education Committee Chair Jean McNulty will give us an inside look at the work of her Committee and the educational activities planned for this year, and we’ll close out the meeting with a short presentation by Branch member Donna Di Lello on Writing Your Memoirs: It’s Hard to Do After you are Dead.

We hope you’ll be able to join us! To find out more about the January meeting and what’s in store for future Branch meetings, please visit our Meetings page or browse through our Calendar.

2015 Courses Now Open

From all of us at Toronto Branch to all of you… happy new year!

2015 is shaping up to be another busy year for Toronto Branch – in just a few weeks, our educational programs will start up again.

On Saturday 21 February, we have two different events planned. Sign up for a half-day course called Publish Before You Perish – instructor Nancy Conn will walk you through the steps to getting your family history published as a printed book. Or join in an interactive forum called Welcome to Our World: A Day with Top Toronto Genealogists and Family Historians – a chance to get the inside scoop from some of our own Toronto experts on what being a genealogist is all about.

In March, we’re running a three-session course on Using Digital Newspapers for Genealogy Research – find out from Marian Press where to locate historical newspapers online and how they can help with your family history. And, on the last Saturday of the month, we’re offering a fast-paced Introduction to Genealogy and Family History with instructor Linda Reid – learn about key record types and the techniques that will help keep your research on a solid footing.

Looking ahead, we’ll be starting off our spring lineup with a three-session course in late March and early April at the Archives of Ontario called Hands-On Early Ontario Land Records, led by Jane MacNamara. Put your learning into practice by following actual case histories through the records.

Registration for all of the above courses is now open. Click on the title of any course to find out more and to sign up online. Discounts are available for OGS members.

And a special bonus for newbies and veterans alike… the Toronto Branch New Members Special Interest Group has teamed up with the Digital Innovation Hub at the Toronto Reference Library to present two free courses in February on the use of Photoshop. Visit our Courses page for further details.

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

6:15 pm Using Digital Newspapers for Gen...
Using Digital Newspapers for Gen...
Mar 4 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
A THREE-WEEK COURSE ON WEDNESDAYS MARCH 4, 11 and 18 This course is now full. If you would like to be on the waiting list, please send an e-mail message to to make that[...]
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[...]

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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,[...]

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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?