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Toronto Branch monthly meetings are an opportunity to learn and to connect with fellow members. The format of meetings varies but there is always at least one main presentation by a guest speaker. Other offerings may include: short presentations by members about ‘great moments’ in their family history research, sessions where Branch expert researchers help solve members’ brick walls, other learning/sharing opportunities, ‘Discovery’ tables where items of interest to family historians are displayed or demonstrated, and ‘Rescue’ tables where donated gently-used publications are made available to other members.

Meetings are normally held the fourth Monday of the month at Lansing United Church, at the corner of Poyntz Avenue and Beecroft Road in Toronto  (west of Yonge just south of Sheppard). Official proceedings are from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. However, all members are welcome to come early and join the informal Members Network meeting commencing at 6:15 p.m.

Since March 2020, Toronto Branch meetings have moved online as Zoom webinars. We anticipate that this arrangement will continue well into 2021 to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our members safe. Our online meetings have been well attended by both members and non-members—and we’ve been very pleased to reach more of our long-distance members!

Stories of Plymouth Plantation
Apr 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Stories of Plymouth Plantation @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

The surviving information about Plymouth Plantation was not produced to help us understand family life: those records (whether publications describing early Plymouth like Good Newes from New England or court records or letters that are peppered through Bradford’s “Of Plimoth Plantation”) do not attend to the details of family life. But they can reveal some of those details inadvertently, and this talk will explore a few aspects of life in Plymouth that can be seen from the archive. Based on research for the recent book, The World of Plymouth Plantation, this talk will discuss family life in Plymouth as filtered through the archives.

Speaker: Dr. Carla Pestana is a distinguished professor of American history at UCLA. Her specialties include the 17th and 18th century Atlantic worlds, especially the English Atlantic; the Caribbean; and U.S. religious history. Her publications include Quakers and Baptists in Colonial Massachusetts, which considered illegal religious communities in New England’s less tolerant colony, The English Atlantic in an Age of Revolution, 1640-1661 (2004), a study of the effects of revolutionary upheaval in England, Ireland, and Scotland on England’s nascent empire, and The English Conquest of Jamaica: Oliver Cromwell’s Bid for Empire (2017). Her latest book is The World of Plymouth Plantation (2020).

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

Hiding Out in the Open
Jun 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Hiding Out in the Open @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

You may have heard family stories about an relative who was “different” or perhaps you’ve discovered someone who simply “disappeared.” Have you considered the possibility that you could have a gay or lesbian relative in your family tree? LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered) people can be found when researching genealogy, but the search syntax, keywords and strategies are very different. By understanding the basics of “gay history” as well as how LGBT folk lived, worked and socialized, you’ll not only locate these relatives, but realize the importance of preserving their stories.

Speaker: Thomas MacEntee is a professional genealogist specializing in the use of technology and social media to improve genealogical research and as a means of interacting with others in the family history community.

Mini presentation: Extra! Extra! Read All About It! Cousin Lyman and the Power of the Press by Glenn Wright

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