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Wars and Rebels: Lecture Series

November 18, 2020 @ 7:30 pm – November 26, 2020 @ 9:00 pm
Wars and Rebels: Lecture Series @ FOUR 1-HOUR ONLINE LECTURES | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

19th and 20th Century Ontarians were involved in many conflicts, both international and domestic. Learn the background to these conflicts, the personalities involved and the records that can help you trace your ancestors. Were they in the regular army, home militia, merchant navy or perhaps war brides? Or were they rebels looking to challenge the established order

All four sessions will include handouts. Attend them all or pick the sessions that suit you.

Each session will begin at 7:30 p.m and will consist of an hour-long presentation and opportunity to ask questions. For those who can’t attend the live session, a closed-captioned recording will be available to registrants until December 31.

The first lecture will be free to everyone. All subsequent sessions will be $8 each for OGS members and $10 for non-members. Or register for the Full Series for only $20 (OGS members) or $25 (non-members).

Includes access to all four lectures:
November 18: Exploring Military Records at Library and Archives Canada
November 19: Researching Military Service in Canada, 1840-1902
November 25: 1837 Rebellion and Our Difficult Path to Democracy
November 26: Second World War Research: Are You Ready?
$20 OGS members/ $25 non-members

Wednesday November 18: Exploring Military Records at Library and Archives Canada

With a focus on the First and Second World Wars, this session will review Library and Archives Canada’s online tools for military research, as well as how to access service files, identify an individual’s unit, and consult resources such as war diaries to learn more about the context of a person’s service. 

Presented by Sophie Tellier (Senior Archivist, Reference Services) and Jeannie Buchanan-Breit (Orientation and Archival Technician, Regional Services) from Library and Archives Canada.


Thursday November 19: Researching Military Service in Canada, 1840-1902 

Canadians participated in a series of military actions in the mid to late 19th century, including the Fenian Raids,  the Nile Expedition, the Northwest Resistance and the South African War. This presentation will explore the available resources for documenting the service of an ancestor in these events, including service in the Militia.  Learn where these resources can be found and how they can be used to document military service. We will also look at the extensive resources relating to British Army personnel in Canada until its departure and the creation of our own Permanent Force in 1871. 

Glenn Wright was born and educated in Toronto, Ontario. During his public service career that spanned more than 30 years, Glenn worked as an archivist, historical research officer and assistant historian with the RCMP.   He is the author of Canadians at War, 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War I Service Records (Global Genealogy, 2010) and Controversy, Compromise and Celebration: The History of Canada’s National Flag (Historical Society of Ottawa, 2017). He is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, a past president of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa, and a longtime member of Toronto Branch. Glenn has also been associated with television programs such as “Who Do You Think You Are?”, “Ancestors in the Attic”, and  “Engraved on a Nation”. 

$8 OGS members/ $10 non-members

Wednesday November 25: 1837 Rebellion and Our Difficult Path to Democracy 

In December of 1837 a bunch of farmers picked up weapons and gathered near the corner of Yonge and Eglinton Avenue, just north of the City of Toronto. Their plan was to march into town and take it over. Why did they do this? This talk will look at the Rebellions of 1837; the causes, the conflict, the outcomes and the personalities of some the people involved in this watershed moment of Canadian history.   

Bruce Beaton is a Toronto-based heritage practitioner, actor and writer. He works at Mackenzie House Museum. He created the exhibit Eaton’s Goes To War: Family, Memory & Meaning which was a Heritage Toronto 2018 Public History Award Nominee. He also developed and delivers an outreach education program for the City of Toronto called Hands On Inquiry: The Great War. Bruce sits on the board of directors for the Kensington Market Historical Society. He co-authored (with Shannon Todd) Reclaiming the Ruins: A Case Study of Graffiti Heritage Interpretation at the Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto which was published by Left Coast Press in 2015 in the anthology Understanding Graffiti.  

$8 OGS members/ $10 non-members

Thursday November 26: Second World War Research: Are You Ready? 

An information-packed introduction to a broad range of resources now widely available for Second World War research, or which (as with additional service records) are likely to become more accessible. Ideal for the distance researcher, our survey encompasses and compares Canadian and British military records and selected further sources relating to war brides, the merchant navy and the home front. 

James F.S. Thomson has designed and led many Toronto Branch courses, as well as giving presentations at workshops, conferences and meetings of the OGS, BIFHSGO and other groups. James is a University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies instructor, and is the current recipient of the School’s Excellence in Teaching award for Arts & Science courses. The courses which he teaches include Toronto and the Second World War and, online, Researching Canadian Local History. Drawing on decades of experience of family history research, James particularly enjoys promoting its close connection with local history research. 

$8 OGS members/ $10 non-members

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Did you know?

That Toronto Branch OGS has more than 500 members? That members get a discount on course and workshop registration fees?