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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.

Jan
28
Mon
The Spanish Flu
Jan 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Spanish Flu @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

THE SPANISH FLU, TORONTO’S – CANADA’S FORGOTTEN PANDEMIC

Speaker: Mike Clare
The story of the Spanish Flu epidemic in Canada and Toronto is a forgotten one. Why? It has been called the most documented epidemic and the least known; The Spanish Flu, a global epidemic that killed 50,000 Canadians in just over eighteen months and well over 50 million people globally. As we approach the 100th Anniversary of the Spanish Flu, the flu is like a peculiar, shunned old uncle, “we don’t talk about him”. This lecture will talk about him (The Spanish Flu) by looking at the impact of the Spanish Flu on Canada and Toronto. The lecture will look at where the Spanish Flu originated, how it spread across Canada, and how both Canada and Toronto responded. One in six Canadian households were impacted by the flu yet we have heard very little about their stories; why?

In the last 10 minutes of the lecture, attendees will be familiarized with The Defining Moments Canada national digital memorial website. The Spanish Flu memorial, sponsored by Heritage Canada, is a unique opportunity to crowd source history and to influence and share the narrative.

Mike Clare M. ED. is a well respected, innovative educator who has taught with the York Region District School Board, was seconded to Historica for five years, and trained teachers at The University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Mike has presented to teachers from coast to coast across Canada and in the United States. As the author of numerous conventional textbooks, Mike has also created a series of interactive textbooks on both American and Canadian History. The most recent interactive textbook The Spanish Flu Epidemic 1918 – 1919: “Stepping Out With the Spanish Lady” is an aggregator of information about the Flu and asks readers to determine why the Spanish Flu is virtually forgotten.

Mini-presentation: Michael Nettleton: What I Learned By Following The Monk From Buffalo.

Feb
25
Mon
Toronto’s Early Police Detectives
Feb 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Speaker: Ellen Maki
Visiting the haunts of felons and searching pawn shops for stolen goods were some of the duties of Toronto’s Victorian police detectives. Who were the policemen who became detectives, and was their work as thrilling and glamorous as that of Maureen Jenning’s fictional Ontario detective, William Murdoch? The talk will include a discussion of how Ellen first compiled a roster of detectives (since personnel records do not survive), and then used a range of easily accessible resources, such as census records, vital records, directories, and tax assessments, to flesh out the details of each man’s background, family, and career. She will also discuss where to find relevant records for Toronto police.

Ellen Maki holds a doctorate in statistics and works as a consultant in the health care industry. She has been researching her family history in England, Ireland, the U.S., and Canada for 30 years. Her passion for genealogy has led her to study in the University of Strathclyde’s genealogy, palaeography, and heraldry program, where she is currently completing a master’s degree. She has presented at Toronto Branch meetings and blogs about her genealogical discoveries at FindingFolk.org.

Mini-presentation: Melanie Parker: Kilgour House