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Meetings

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.

Mar
23
Mon
Records of Migration at the AO
Mar 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Records of Migration at the AO @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

RECORDS OF MIGRATION AND SETTLEMENT AT THE ARCHIVES OF ONTARIO:

Speaker: Jane E. MacNamara

Since its founding, Ontario has been involved in supporting and promoting settlement. This lecture will look at the major groups of records surrounding immigration, naturalization, and settlement generated by the province and earlier by Upper Canada and Canada West, as well as a selection of records at the county and municipal level, and in the fonds of organizations and individuals. These are rich sources which may provide clues to motivation and living conditions, as well as the basic immigration information for your ancestors.

Jane E. MacNamara, Toronto, is the author of Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and other Records for Family Historians (OGS/Dundurn) and writes about genealogy at wherethestorytakesme.ca. A long time member of OGS, Jane lectures about research methodology, Ontario, and English family history to genealogical and historical groups throughout southern Ontario. She teaches courses for Toronto Branch, most notably hands-on courses at the Archives of Ontario.

Mini-presentation: Michael Nettleton: Where’s Dorothy? 

Apr
27
Mon
Closing the Loop
Apr 27 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Closing the Loop @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

CLOSING THE LOOP: THE LONG JOURNEY TO RECONNECT WITH A UKRAINIAN FAMILY

Speaker: Terry Maurice

Researching Eastern European genealogy presents many daunting challenges to the family historian. Unfamiliarity with the languages, history and geography of the regions can present major stumbling blocks to advancing one’s research.

Terry’s own quest to find his father’s family, who left Hlyboka, Bukovina, Austria (Ukraine) in 1914 proved to be much more difficult than he had imagined. His research began in 1971, but political boundaries at that time made it very difficult to obtain information from the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic.

After the independence of Ukraine in 1991 and the subsequent microfilming of the Ukrainian records by FamilySearch, all that changed. It was then possible to search for and get the BMD records for family members. Studying the political history, geography and learning to read records in Church Slavonic, Romanian, Ukrainian, Latin and some German, proved to be very interesting. Over the period from 1970 to 2019 his paternal family tree grew from a few known Ukrainian relations to over 1600. Along with these genealogical discoveries, his knowledge of Austrian Empire and its colourful history provided a fascinating and rewarding backdrop to his research.

Although this presentation is focused on Ukrainian research, strategies and techniques for doing research in unfamiliar languages will be presented. The talk will be illustrated using records from FamilySearch.org, online geographical maps, cadastral maps, online translation tools, social media, professional researchers and Eastern European archives. Engaging in family research can be a great learning experience as this research certainly was. The talk will conclude with a brief overview of his trip to Ukraine in 2018 to meet his family, thus closing the family loop after a one hundred and three year break.

Terry Maurice, Guelph: Terry’s interest in family history began about 1970 and he worked largely on his mother’s Irish side of the family, but in 2017 began serious research on his father’s Ukrainian family. Although he had not been active in family research for over ten years, his interest in genealogy was rekindled with the advent of DNA genealogy. He now is very active in DNA testing and interpretation techniques and is presently the DNA Special Interest Group Coordinator for the Wellington County Branch of OGS. Over the past three years, Terry has presented over 20 workshops that have been designed to assist family historians in using DNA results to further their family research.

Mini-presentation: Romana Bahry: The Forgotten Pioneer of Probiotics