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Toronto History Lecture
Aug 3 @ 7:30 pm
Toronto History Lecture @ ONLINE LECTURE

Join us for the 10th Toronto History Lecture. This year’s lecture will be: Toronto Arts and Crafts Architect Eden Smith (1858–1949) and his influence upon Canada’s early architectural profession and domestic revival.

Speaker: Adrian Gamble, PhD

The lecture is free, but registration is required. Click here for more information and to reserve your space online.

Researching New York State Ancestors
Sep 15 @ 7:30 pm – Sep 22 @ 9:00 pm

Antique map of NY state showing proximity to Ontario

This September, we invite you to attend a special two-part series highlighting untapped resources in the Colonial and Loyalist Records at the New York State Archives. Unique resources and collections from various research repositories for Western New York will be explored.

The two sessions will begin at 7:30 pm EDT. Each session will consist of an hour-long presentation and an opportunity to ask questions.


Note: All lectures will be recorded, so that registrants who can’t attend all the live presentations may watch at a more convenient time.

Sept. 15, 7:30 pm: Part 1

The New York State Archives holds records of the colonial governments of New York. Tapping into the underutilized resources of the colonial Dutch and British governmental records, as well as Loyalist records, can jumpstart your New York research for these periods.

Sept. 22, 7:30 pm: Part 2

Explore unique resources and collections held by public libraries, county archives, town historians, historical and genealogical societies, universities, ethnic societies, museums, and online holdings for Western New York research.  Among those featured are the Genesee County History Department; the Western New York Genealogical Society and the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library; the University of Rochester; the Seneca-Iroquois National Museum in Cattaraugus County; the Erie Canal Museum in Onondaga County; State University of New York at Fredonia; and the online New York Historical Documents Inventory. Apply what you learn to any repository in New York or elsewhere.

Speaker: Jane E. Wilcox serves on the NY State Archives Advisory Committee and the NY Genealogical & Biographical Society’s NY Family History Advisory Committee. She is writing a book on the collections of the NY State Archives, published by the NYG&B. A former NYG&B Record editorial board member, Jane speaks at genealogy conferences and institutes. With her company, Forget-Me-Not Ancestry, in Albany, NY, Jane specializes in pre-Civil War NY research. She hosted The Forget-Me-Not Hour podcast, with archives at She has a master’s degree in journalism, a bachelor’s degree in history and English literature, as well as elementary school teacher’s certification.


Tips for a Terrific Presentation
Sep 26 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Tips for a Terrific Presentation @ WEBINAR

Thinking about making a genealogy presentation for the first time, but the idea makes you stressed? We can help! Learn how to set up a simple PowerPoint presentation, and some tricks to make it pop. Get expert speaking tips to keep your audience spellbound.


Dawn Kelly has been a radio newscaster for 36 years. For the past 23 she has worked as a national newscaster at The Canadian Press, winning national and international awards. Dawn embarked on a search for her Irish ancestors many years ago, only to discover she has deep French-Canadian and Acadian roots. She started spending her vacations visiting archives to find out more about her pioneer ancestors who settled in Nova Scotia and Quebec. Dawn is a direct descendant of 32 Filles à Marier and 50 Filles du Roi at last count and is fascinated by their stories.

Shari Read left behind a career in marketing and communications to spend more time tracking down her elusive ancestors.  She has made more PowerPoint presentions than she can count, on topics ranging from the Vikings to Viagra.  She has been a Toronto Branch member for several years and has served on the Education Committee for the last five.

Free for Toronto Branch members. Use promo code from the July/August Update (Toronto Twig) email.

1837 Rebellion: Rebels With a Cause
Sep 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
1837 Rebellion: Rebels With a Cause @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

William Lyon Mackenzie was the protagonist behind the 1837 Rebellion. Genealogists have a good grasp as to his reasons for inciting an armed revolt and the aftermath. But who were the rebels? What were their reasons for participating in the rebellion? What were the consequences of their participation? Were they successful in bringing about change?

A number of the rebels arrested were housed in the city jail on King Street in Toronto. During their incarceration some of them carved elaborate wooden Rebellion boxes. These boxes were addressed to family and friends with poignant messages carved into them.

Several prisoners were transferred to Fort Henry awaiting transportation to Van Diemen’s Land, the penal colony in Australia. Ten of them managed to escape from Fort Henry, making their way to safety in the United States.

As strange as it seems, a number of the Children of Peace participated in the Rebellion with two of them losing their lives in December 1837.

Join Patricia for her lecture on the rebellion and learn the interesting stories behind some of these rebels.

Speaker: Patricia Blackstock grew up in Toronto and inherited the genealogy bug from her mother as a young child. She is a retired teacher with a love for learning about the history of her family and the country in which they lived. She has completed all the advanced level Canadian courses from the National Institute for Genealogical Studies and is currently working on the Irish courses. She volunteers at the Royal Ontario Museum taking the public on walking tours of various areas in Toronto, talking about the architecture, history of the area and some of the people who lived there. Taking people on tours around Montgomery’s Inn and managing their library is one of her new ventures along with serving on Toronto Branch’s Education Committee. An avid interest in the 1837 Rebellion developed as a result of learning that she had one direct ancestor arrested as a rebel and numerous peripheral family members involved. Five of her family served in the militia as loyalists during the Rebellion. On the 175th anniversary of the rebellion, she volunteered to compile the names of York Region rebels for the York Region Branch OGS. She has amassed an extensive database of rebels and is delighted to have the opportunity to share this information with you.

Mini-presentation: Michael Nettleton presents “For the Bible tells me so”. Those of us with family Bibles and genealogies are grateful for these records. But are they gospel? Michael will share how he unravelled a unexpected dilemma.

Click here to register for the meeting and get your unique Zoom link.

Judge Grizzle: Civil Rights Activist
Oct 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Stanley George Sinclair Grizzle was a Canadian citizenship judge, a soldier, a political candidate and an activist. Born in Toronto to Jamaican immigrant parents at the end of WWI Stanley Grizzle became a railway porter at 22, founded the Railway Porter’s Trade Union Council and was active in the labour movement throughout his life, becoming the first African-Canadian member of a trade union. Mr. Grizzle was an associate editor and columnist for Contrast, a black community newspaper and penned the book My Name’s Not George: The Story of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters in Canada. In 1959, Mr. Grizzle and Jack White became the first African-Canadians to run in an Ontario election. Mr. Grizzle has also received the Order of Ontario, Order of Canada and the Order of Distinction from Jamaica for his valuable contributions to Canadian society.

Our speaker, Pancheta (Pat) Barnett

Speaker: In her work life, Pancheta (Pat) Barnett, PhD (Hon) has been an actor, writer, artist, empowering speaker, ordained minister and practitioner of holistic medicine. For 20 years she held the position of Director of Communications at North York General Hospital. Since 2013 Ms. Barnett has acted as President of The East York Historical Society. She has also held the role of Chair, Committee for Honourific and Ceremonial Street and Lane-Naming for the Toronto and East York Community Preservation Panel. In that capacity she was proud to champion the name “Stanley G. Grizzle Lane” for a public lane in the Danforth and Main area near Stanley G. Grizzle Park. The proposal was successful and the name was adopted in 2018.

Click here to register for the meeting and get your unique Zoom link.