Toronto Branch monthly meetings are an opportunity to learn and to connect with fellow members. The format of meetings varies but there is always at least one main presentation by a guest speaker. Other offerings may include: short presentations by members about ‘great moments’ in their family history research, sessions where Branch expert researchers help solve members’ brick walls, other learning/sharing opportunities, ‘Discovery’ tables where items of interest to family historians are displayed or demonstrated, and ‘Rescue’ tables where donated gently-used publications are made available to other members.
Meetings are normally held the fourth Monday of the month at Lansing United Church, at the corner of Poyntz Avenue and Beecroft Road in Toronto (west of Yonge just south of Sheppard). Official proceedings are from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. However, all members are welcome to come early and join the informal Members Network meeting commencing at 6:15 p.m.
Since March 2020, Toronto Branch meetings have moved online as Zoom webinars. We anticipate that this arrangement will continue through 2021 to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our members safe. Our online meetings have been well attended by both members and non-members—and we’ve been very pleased to reach more of our long-distance members!
In keeping with our November, last-meeting-of-the-year tradition, ten Toronto Branch members will be sharing “great moments” in their family history research in a series of short, inspiring and frequently humorous presentations.
We look forward to this meeting all year. It should be a blockbuster of an evening!
Here are the speakers and topics:
Dawn Kelly: Edward Francis Kelly and the Champagne of Ginger Ales
Paul Jones: A Christmas Surprise
Melanie Parker: Thomas Urquhart, Former Mayor of Toronto
Debbie Hewitt: A Remarkable Story Connecting 5 Generations of my Maternal Line
Greg Marlatt: Four Sisters of Cork
Diana Thomson: Cooke Family Revelations
Janice Nickerson: The Most Respectable Ladies in this Land
Ann Brown: Francis Robert Aloysius Conway
Linda Reid: Proving and Disproving Family Stories
Beth Adams: A Colossal Collection of Coincidences
Dr. Darryl Leroux will discuss findings from his book Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity (University of Manitoba Press, 2019) that will be of particular interest to genealogists. An expert on French-Canadian genealogy, Dr. Leroux will focus on the genealogical mechanics that are leading an increasing number of white French-Canadians to identify as Indigenous. What he calls “practices of descent” explain how one must do something with certain ancestors to justify one’s nascent claims to an Indigenous identity. The three main practices of descent identified by Dr. Leroux are lineal descent, aspirational descent, and lateral descent, each of which provides amateur genealogists with the material to change certain ancestors’ identities to suit their own present-day interests.
Dr. Darryl Leroux is an associate professor in the Department of Social Justice and Community Studies at Saint Mary’s University. In 2019, he published Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity, which explores, in part, the genealogical mechanics at play in the phenomenon of self-indigenization. He has been researching the social and political dynamics of French-Canadian/Québécois genealogy for a decade, during which time he has published articles on the topic in academic journals such as Ethnic & Racial Studies, Journal of Critical Ethnic Studies, Social Studies of Science, and the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.