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1,500 more names from school war lists

As this year’s students and teachers headed back to their classrooms, Toronto Branch volunteers were busy deciphering, transcribing and recording more than 1,500 new names of students and teachers from the past, from war memorials in the city’s schools.

Our growing For King and Country database now contains almost 46,000 names of individuals who volunteered for active service during World Wars I and II, and other conflicts, as well as details about the memorials themselves and the history of the schools where they are or were found. The database is online and available to search free of charge — by surname, first name, keyword, school or memorial code.

bronze war memorial

First World War memorial for members of the Aura Lee Club

The latest schools to be added are Duke of Connaught School, or “Duke”, on Woodfield Avenue north of Queen Street East, which opened in 1912; Palmerston Avenue Public School, near Bathurst and Bloor Streets, which opened in 1889; and Forest Hill Village Schools, east of Spadina Road between Eglinton and St. Clair Avenues, which opened in 1924. All three grand old elementary schools are still in operation.

We’ve also added the first non-school organization to our database – the Aura Lee Club, a social and sports group active from 1887 to 1925. To find out why, and learn more about the work our volunteers have been doing, visit the For King and Country website.

Toronto Branch—50 years young!

This is a special anniversary year for Toronto Branch. It has been a full 50 years since we became the very first Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society.

Thirty people joined the Branch in 1967, its inaugural year. We now have hundreds of members in Canada and countries around the world.

Over the decades, our volunteers have transcribed and indexed many thousands of gravestones, burial registers, war memorials, census records and tax assessment rolls; rallied to preserve heritage cemeteries and land records; offered top-notch learning and training for family historians; hosted cutting-edge genealogy conferences… and much much more.

We think that’s reason for a party!

Exterior of Osgoode Hall, Toronto

Members and guests are invited to an Anniversary Reception on Monday 25 September at historic Osgoode Hall. This will be an evening of fellowship and celebration of the achievements of Toronto Branch over the past 50 years, featuring a keynote address by Patty McGregor on her genealogical adventures after the discovery of a box of WWI letters at an auction sale. Attendees will enjoy an array of savoury finger food, a cash bar, a sweet table with coffee and tea to cap off the festivities… and a chance to win some fabulous door prizes!

Tickets must be purchased before 19 September – there will be no sales at the door. Buy your tickets now!

Please note that the Branch will not be meeting in September because of our golden anniversary event. Our first regular fall meeting will take place on Monday 23 October.

50th Anniversary Reception

Toronto Branch Meetings

7:30 pm Toronto’s Massey Family
Toronto’s Massey Family
Oct 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Toronto's Massey Family @ Eglinton St. George's United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Toronto’s Massey Family: A Story Told Through Postal History Speaker: Kathy Hartley Kathy Hartley spent decades researching her own family history before becoming a reference librarian at a philatelic research foundation in Toronto. Once there her[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

10:00 am TRL Genealogy Collection Tour
TRL Genealogy Collection Tour
Sep 30 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
TRL Genealogy Collection Tour @ Toronto Reference Library, 2nd Floor | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
THIS TOUR IS NOW FULL. If you would like to add your name to a waiting list, please contact us at: This tour is jointly sponsored by the Toronto Public Library and the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical[...]
6:15 pm Basic Genealogy and Family History
Basic Genealogy and Family History
Oct 3 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Basic Genealogy and Family History @ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
This course is jointly sponsored by the Humanities and Social Science Department at the Toronto Reference Library and the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. This evening course is on 8 Tuesdays: October 3, 10, 17, 24,[...]
9:00 am Scottish Family History from the...
Scottish Family History from the...
Oct 28 @ 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Scottish Family History from the GTA:  New Directions @ Toronto Reference Library, Beeton Hall | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
A FULL DAY WORKSHOP Jointly sponsored by Toronto Branch OGS and the Toronto Public Library Designed for those who have some experience of Scottish genealogy, this one-day event will show you newly available and soon-to-be-released resources[...]
6:15 pm Introduction to Genetic Genealogy
Introduction to Genetic Genealogy
Nov 10 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Introduction to Genetic Genealogy @ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
This course is jointly sponsored by the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library, and the Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society. The course will be on three Fridays: November 10, 17, & 24,[...]

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 at special rates?