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


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.

Since March 2020, Toronto Branch meetings have moved online as Zoom webinars. We anticipate that this option will continue—to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our members safe—and to accommodate the much larger audience of distant members and non-members who have become regular attendees.

The October 24, 2022 meeting, will be our first “hybrid” meeting. You may join us at Lansing United Church or online. Click here for details.

Ontario’s Records of Inheritance on Family Search
Jun 24 @ 7:30 pm
Ontario’s Records of Inheritance on Family Search @ Attend in person or register for online webinar.

Are you ready to go beyond census and births, marriages, and deaths? Estate files are rich source for finding family connections and revealing our ancestor’s social and financial circumstances, maybe even personality. As court records, they tend to be very reliable—and even come with indexes.

Now that has digitized an extensive collection of Ontario surrogate court and Court of Probate records—we can discover these treasures from home.

This session will give a brief overview of how the court system worked in Ontario and a step-by-step explanation of how to access the records. It will concentrate on York County records available through FamilySearch.

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 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.

Toronto Branch member Helen Billing will present Why did they go to Australia? What did they do there?
A box of documents and memorabilia given to Helen Billing and her husband spurred them to research why Frederick and Edward Billing went to Western Australia in 1896. Letters, photos, mining certificates and some artifacts provided them with a basis for searching newspapers and other contemporary records. A trip to Kalgourlie/Boulder Archives added more information.

This will be a hybrid presentation. No need to register if you are attending in person. To attend online, click here to register and get your unique Zoom link.