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WWI at the Archives

The Archives of Ontario is marking the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I with a new onsite exhibit, Dear Sadie: Love, Lives, and Remembrance from Ontario’s First World War, as well as a series of free talks on the stories archival records can reveal about the wartime experiences of ordinary Ontarians.

Dear Sadie exhibit posterWe’re pleased to report that our own Jane E. MacNamara will be presenting the first talk in the Archives WWI Speakers Series, on Thursday, 13 November 2014 at 6:30 pm, titled Inheritance Interrupted: WWI reflected in Ontario Estate Files. Jane is a popular Toronto Branch instructor and is frequently invited to speak to other genealogical and historical groups as well. She is the author of Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and other Records for Family Historians (OGS/Dundurn, 2013) and blogs about genealogy at In her talk at the Archives, Jane will draw on estate files from across the province to illustrate the devastating impact of the Great War and the legal and societal changes that resulted from it. She’ll also demonstrate how a sound understanding of the inheritance process and related records can enrich both family and local history research.

On Thursday, 5 February 2015, the Speaker Series will continue with a talk by the Archives’ Stewart Boden on the challenges of researching and curating the Dear Sadie exhibit. The Archives will be posting information about subsequent events in the WWI Speakers Series on its website as it becomes available.

October Meeting

The October 2014 meeting of Toronto Branch will take place on Monday 27 October starting at 7:30 in the evening at the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, 5110 Yonge Street in Toronto (convenient access from the North York subway station).

External view of Archives of OntarioLong-time Branch member and instructor Jane MacNamara will be speaking at this meeting on “Archives of Ontario: What’s in it for me?” Most family historians know that the AO is the place to go for records of birth, marriage, death, and divorce, land records, and estate files, but that’s just scratching the surface. Jane will show us how to get the most from the AO’s Archive Descriptive Database, and share “insider” tips for both new and seasoned researchers.

Our mid-meeting break is always a good time to drop by our information tables and find out about our Branch courses, workshops and other activities, or chat with fellow family history enthusiasts. After the break, we’ll close out the evening with a short presentation by Irena Lewycka and Dawn Connolly from the Toronto Reference Library on the Library’s new service that lets you design and publish your own family history, memoir or novel as a paperback book through Asquith Press.

Hope to see you there! If you’re planning ahead and would like to find out what’s in store for future Branch meetings, please visit our Meetings page or browse through our Calendar.

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm A Personal Journey through Canad...
A Personal Journey through Canad...
Jan 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
A Personal Journey through Canada's earliest mental health facilities @ Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Speaker: Victoria Fenner. Victoria made a remarkable and surprising discovery while tracking down her family tree.  She discovered that her great great grandmother was a patient in three of Canada’s earliest asylums.  She is digging[...]
7:30 pm “Redcoated Ploughboys”, a histor...
“Redcoated Ploughboys”, a histor...
Feb 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
“Redcoated Ploughboys”, a history of the Volunteer Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, 1813-1815 @ Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Speaker: Richard Feltoe “Redcoated Ploughboys”, a history of the Volunteer Battalion of Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, 1813-1815 Richard will discuss the recruitment, training and active service of the regiment in the various battles that[...]
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[...]

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Courses starting & Workshops

9:30 am Publish Before You Perish
Publish Before You Perish
Feb 21 @ 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
A HALF-DAY COURSE ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21 Registration will open in early December. This half-day course is intended for those who have already done a lot of family history research. It will outline the steps[...]
10:00 am Welcome to Our World: A Day with...
Welcome to Our World: A Day with...
Feb 21 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
A HALF-DAY FORUM ON SATURDAY FEBRUARY 21 FROM 10AM TO 3PM Registration will open in early December. This interactive forum is intended for people who are thinking of getting involved in genealogy or who are[...]
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 Registration will open in mid-December. Newspapers have always been a major, although under-used, source for family history, but it is only recently that so many[...]

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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
Join members of the Ontario Genealogical Society for the annual provincial conference. The 2015 theme is “Tracks through Time”. Details and registration will be available early in 2015.  
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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