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Toronto Research Tip: Biographical sources

When it comes to putting flesh on the bones of your genealogical research, a great place to start is by seeking out any accounts of your ancestor’s life that may already have been written. Toronto family historians are in luck because we have several sources of compiled biographies and biographical indexes to draw on. These include the Biographical Card Index at Toronto Reference Library as well as an extensive collection of obituaries compiled by Library staff.

Find out more about the resources available to help you on our Biographical Sources page.

Portrait of E.J. Lennox

Photo of Toronto architect Edward James Lennox, featured among the biographical sketches in Vol. 1, History of Toronto and the County of York, Ontario (2 vols.). C. Blackett Robinson: Toronto, 1885.

April 2018 meeting

NOTE: Due to the ongoing police investigation in the area of Yonge Street and Finch Avenue which is disrupting transit and causing road closures at this point, tonight’s Toronto Branch meeting has been cancelled.

Our next Toronto Branch meeting will take place on Monday, April 23 starting at 7:30 pm at Lansing United Church at Poyntz Avenue and Beecroft Road in North York.

Our main speaker at the April meeting will be the author of Driv’n by Fortune, a book about the 78th Fraser’s Highlanders — a Scots regiment that settled in Canada.  Sam Allison will discuss the sources used to trace these military migrants, and highlight some of the problems that both historians and genealogists may encounter in their research, including same names, false names, spellings, changing place names, false assumptions, statistical errors and historical myths. Please join us for Tracking an 18th Century Highland Regiment. After the break, we’ll enjoy a short presentation by Georgie Kennedy on The Search for Ruth.

If you can, come early and join the Members Network in advance of the main meeting, beginning at 6:15 p.m. — share your family history experiences and questions with fellow members in a friendly informal setting.

Lansing United Church is a short walk from the Sheppard-Yonge subway station (look for the exit to Poyntz Avenue). Parking on local streets is free after 6:00 p.m and there are pay parking options nearby. Please leave the few spaces in the church parking lot for members with accessibility needs.

Toronto Branch meetings are free to attend and open to all. Visit our Meetings page to find out more.

Book cover

Toronto Branch Meetings

May
28
Mon
7:30 pm From Storefront to Home Front
From Storefront to Home Front
May 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
From Storefront to Home Front @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
FROM STOREFRONT TO HOME FRONT: MEMORIES OF EATON’S AT WAR Speakers: Anthony Badame & Stephanie Sukhareva Join Museum Studies masters graduates Anthony and Stephanie as they discuss their process of turning original genealogical and archival research into[...]
Jun
25
Mon
7:30 pm Yes, There Was An Argument!
Yes, There Was An Argument!
Jun 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Yes, There Was An Argument! @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
YES, THERE WAS AN ARGUMENT! Speaker: Bonnie Bell Godfrey Addison Argument, known as Ed, was born in Toronto, August 28, 1921, and died in Belgium on September 17th, 1944 at the age of 23 after[...]

Courses starting & Workshops

May
3
Thu
6:15 pm Using Your iPad & iPhone for Gen...
Using Your iPad & iPhone for Gen...
May 3 @ 6:15 pm – 8:15 pm
Using Your iPad & iPhone for Genealogy @ Toronto Reference Library, Learning Centre 1 | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
The course consists of four classes:    Thursdays, May 3, 10 and 17, and Monday, June 4. This course is co-sponsored with the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at the Toronto Reference Library. Learn how to get the[...]
May
4
Fri
10:00 am TRL Genealogy Collection Tour
TRL Genealogy Collection Tour
May 4 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
TRL Genealogy Collection Tour @ Toronto Reference Library, 2nd Floor | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
The tour is now full.  To put your name on the waiting list, send an email to courses@torontofamilyhistory.org and you will be contacted if a spot becomes available. TOUR OF THE GENEALOGY COLLECTION AT THE[...]
Jun
4
Mon
8:30 am Genealogy Summer Camp
Genealogy Summer Camp
Jun 4 @ 8:30 am – Jun 8 @ 6:00 pm
Genealogy Summer Camp @ Various Toronto libraries and archives
Note: Genealogy Summer Camp 2018 is now fully booked. A five-day, hands-on program for family historians with Ontario roots. Designed mainly for out-of-towners, this unique program takes researchers to different archives and libraries each day.[...]

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?