An organization of family historians, some with Toronto roots, others who live in Toronto, we have ancestors around the world.


DNA—How It Can Help Your Research
May 18 @ 7:30 pm – May 26 @ 7:30 pm
DNA—How It Can Help Your Research @ FOUR-PART ONLINE SERIES

Are you thinking about having your DNA tested to further your genealogical research but are not sure which company to use, how to get started, or even if it’s worth doing? Or maybe you’ve already tested and have a long list of matches but aren’t sure what to do with them?

We’re excited to announce, DNA—How It Can Help Your Research. This four-part lecture series will be presented via Zoom beginning May 18. The speakers are all members of Toronto Branch and will be sharing their knowledge of how DNA can help you with your genealogical research.

We know that there are a lot of resources available, on the internet and in print… perhaps too many? Where to start? Who has the best approach? Our aim is to access the experience of our “advanced” members. Think of it as spending four evenings getting advice from good friends.

They will introduce the basic concepts, approaches, best third-party tools and useful strategies open to DNA testers. This will not be a “how to” series, but instead will offer an introduction to the many aspects of genetic genealogy and where our experienced members recommend you go to find out more.

The lecture series is for beginners in genetic genealogy.

All sessions will be on Zoom beginning at 7:30 pm EDT. Each evening will include several presentations of between 10 and 20 minutes. The sessions will be recorded and available to paid registrants until about June 26.

Wednesday May 18: DNA—What is it and why to use it

  • Why use DNA? Host Beth Adams: case studies
  • Understanding some genetic principles and terminology can help you choose and interpret DNA Tests Presented by Elizabeth Kaegi
  • Is there anything I need to know before doing this? (Misconceptions & Ethics) Presented by Paul Jones
  • What to do while you wait for your results Presented by Matthew Benson

Thursday May 19: Which company to test with and what they give you to work with

  • Gob or swab? Which company to use for DNA testing? Presented by Michael Nettleton
  • Ethnicity estimates and your DNA search, the good, the bad, and the ??? Presented by Susan Reid
  • DNA Matches—a look at the tools 4 DNA companies give you to work with Hosts Debi Eatherley and Beth Adams
  • Finding & contacting matches Host Beth Adams

Wednesday May 25: What to do with all those matches

  • To cluster or not to cluster, that is the question Presented by June Corfield
  • Spreadsheets & Leeds Method Presented by Carol Nichols
  • Thinking with graphics Presented by Susan Reid
  • Shared AncestryDNA test results Presented by James F.S. Thomson
  • Research / Shadow / Mirror Trees Host Beth Adams

Thursday May 26: Third party tools and final thoughts

  • GedMatch Presented by Bill Whiteside
  • Segment triangulation Presented by Linda Reid
  • Chromosome painting on DNA Painter Presented by Linda Reid
  • Find an answer to your research question using DNA matches Presented by Georgie Kennedy
  • A ruling out case study (When DNA can prove your traditional paper genealogy is wrong) Host Debi Eatherley

Click here to register.

German Ancestors in Ontario
Jun 9 @ 7:30 pm – Jun 16 @ 7:30 pm
German Ancestors in Ontario @ TWO-PART ONLINE SERIES

In this two-part series, we will provide a broad overview of the historical context of German immigration to Ontario from 1790 to 1960. The first night we will focus on German migration to Ontario, discussing timing, origin and destinations. The second night will highlight growing up German in Ontario with a focus on school and language.

Each session will consist of an hour-long presentation and an opportunity to ask questions.

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

Part 1: June 9, 7:30 pm

German Immigration to Ontario, 1790–1960
German speakers were among the first European settlers in Ontario. After people of British and French heritage, Germans were consistently the largest ethnic group in the province. In the early nineteenth century, like other immigrants from the United States and Britain, they moved onto Indigenous-controlled lands and expanded the frontier of the nascent colony. This presentation gives a general picture of the timing, origin, and destination of German-speaking immigration to Ontario from the late-eighteenth century and until after the Second World War. In addition, it will discuss potential German-language sources available to carry out research in Canada and abroad on individual people or groups from a particular region.

Part 2: June 16, 7:30 pm

German Bilingual Schools in Ontario, 1880–1912
When Anglophones and Francophones debated bilingual education in Ontario from the 1880s to the eve of the First World, they often spoke of German schools. Beginning in the mid-nineteenth century, German stood alongside French and English as one of three possible languages of instruction in the public and Catholic separate schools of the province. Yet starting in the 1880s, a series of cultural policies aimed to ensure that all schools in Ontario taught English, even if it was alongside French or German. With these policies, government officials and politicians increasingly sought to merge cultural and political definitions of belonging, and they embraced the idea that all citizens should share a common language. This talk presents the history of German-language education in Canada’s largest province and its slow removal (long before the First World War) while also tracing some of the origins of Canadian multiculturalism and government attempts to manage that diversity.

Speaker: Benjamin Bryce is an Assistant Professor in the Department of History at UBC and received his PhD from York University in 2013. He is the author of The Boundaries of Ethnicity: German Immigration and the Language of Belonging in Ontario (forthcoming with McGill-Queen’s University Press) and To Belong in Buenos Aires: Germans, Argentines, and the Rise of a Pluralist Society (Stanford University Press, 2018). In Vancouver, he teaches courses about migration in the Americas as well as German and world history.

Click here to register.