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

Fall learning: Images and the Irish

There are plenty of learning opportunities this fall at Toronto Branch, beginning with a very busy month of October. All the lectures described below will be online via Zoom, and all will be recorded, so registrants who can’t attend live will be able to access the recordings at their convenience at a later date.


On the evening of Thursday October 13, Senior Reference Archivist Sophie Teller will show us how to search the rich collection of digital images available through Library and Archives Canada—images of maps, architectural drawings, artwork, medals, stamps and, of course, people. You might even find a photo or illustration of one of your ancestors! Bonus: lecture attendees will enjoy a short tour of LAC’s new redesigned website.

Cost: $10 ($8 for members of the Ontario Genealogical Society)

Find out more and register now for this online lecture.

October 20 and 27—7:30 pm (EDT): TRACING IRISH IMMIGRANTS

On the following two Thursday evenings, we’ll explore Irish immigration to Canada, with a particular focus on the Famine period.

In part 1, The Irish Come to Toronto, award-winning author and university professor Mark G. McGowan will examine Irish migration to Toronto in the 19th century and the records that can be used to track Irish individuals and families. As part of this talk, we’ll learn about nearly 200 Irish orphans who were placed from the Widows and Orphans Asylum in Toronto in the late 1840s.

In part 2, Transporting Irish Famine Immigrants in the Canadas in the Summer of 1847, historian Laura J. Smith and retired librarian/archivist Charmaine Lindsay will team up to give us an overview of how the Canadian government managed destitute emigrants from Ireland in the 1840s. They’ll also tell us about a project drawing on a little known group of records to trace the journeys and fates of about 5,000 Irish emigrants who were transported into rural townships from Toronto and Cobourg, and explain how Toronto Branch members can get involved.

Cost: $20 ($15 for members of the Ontario Genealogical Society)

Find out more and register now for this two-part online lecture series.

Handwritten entries in register