Toronto Branch monthly meetings are an opportunity to learn and to meet with fellow members. Most meetings have an hour-long presentation as well as a 10-minute presentation from one of our members. Meetings are normally held the fourth Monday of the month in the Burgundy Room, North York Memorial Hall, 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Speaker: Barbara J. Starmans Researching and Sharing Your Family’s Social History
As a genealogist, don’t you wish that you could draw up a chair by the fire at your ancestor’s house and have a cup of tea with them? Don’t you long to ask them not just the who, when or where questions, but the more important questions of how and why? By exploring the social history of their time and place, you will be able to research all the circumstances of your ancestors’ lives and to build their stories from the details you find.
Valerie Watt: Britain’s Genetic Map Reveals its Regional History
Mini-presentation: Sheelagh Hysenaj: It all started with My Great Uncle’s WW1 Helmet
Speaker: Susan Reid: (Mis)Adventures in Genealogy, Maze or Labyrinth?
Family history research is often fraught with missing or erroneous records, and findings that seem to conflict with oral family history. What’s a genealogist to do? Sometimes it’s a question of finding direction signs and guideposts. What lesser-used sources might help shed light? What value are DNA tests? Is there value in joining a Family History Society where an ancestor lived?
Mini-presentation: Richard Yeardye: From rags to riches – a Home Child success story
Speaker: Jane MacNamara: The Search for Alban Leaf
This presentation demonstrates the use of many English record types—in a period well before census and civil registration. The search for the subject of this case history, Londoner Alban Leaf (1681-1756), takes us from manorial records and parish registers in Yorkshire, to Faculty Office marriage license allegations at Lambeth Palace and an ancient church in Smithfield, to manors in rural Essex, and to intriguing records of inheritance in all locations. Special attention is paid to search techniques—understanding what records might exist, how their location may be influenced by geography and changes in custody, and casting a wider net to compensate for missing records. The presentation features several of the wonderful online finding aids and digitizing projects available to UK searchers, as well as on-the-cobbles research.
Speaker: Paul Jones I‘m not a Jones, but what am I?
The story of researching two successive generations of patrilineal illegitimacy to identify the hitherto unknown fathers and my “true” surname. This account involves a 25-year research odyssey and uses family oral history (and misinformation), all the usual and some not-so-usual documents, the patient advice of the late Ryan Taylor, a remarkable but puzzling Y-DNA test, and the power of autosomal DNA testing and segment matching.