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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.


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!


Jan
25
Mon
Becoming a Genealogy N.I.N.J.A.
Jan 25 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Becoming a Genealogy N.I.N.J.A. @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
All genealogists have hit a brick wall at one point or another. For the new researcher this can be a painful and frustrating experience. Using sound genealogical research methodology is the first step in overcoming brick walls.
The lecture will introduce learners to the NINJA approach to doing genealogical research. NINJA is an acronym that stands for Needs, Investigation, Notation, Justification, and Assessment. This approach represents a fresh look at the Genealogical Proof Standard that is designed specifically to assist beginner and intermediate researchers with overcoming brick wall problems in their research faster than guess work or haphazard research. We’ll look at real-world examples to demonstrate how the presenter used the NINJA method to overcome brick walls in his own research.

Speaker: Daniel Earl is essentially a family man. His interest in genealogy was sparked at age 10 when he visited the grave of his great-grandfather with his own father which has led to a 25-year journey in family history. He has since taken his own five children to that same spot in hopes of inspiring interest in their own ancestors. He has a Masters degree in psychology and teaches at the collegiate level. He is a member of the Mid-Michigan Genealogical Society, President of the Michigan Chapter of the Hungarian Genealogical Society, helped found the Clinton County Michigan Genealogy group, and he is a member of the Genealogical Speakers Guild. 

After Daniel’s presentation, we’ll be moving into virtual “break-out rooms”. This will be an opportunity for you to connect and chat about family history with your fellow attendees in an informal small-group setting.
Feb
22
Mon
Using Evernote for Genealogy
Feb 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm

Are you afraid to close your browser for fear of losing something important? Ever filed something away carefully on your computer in a folder never to see it again? Is your desktop a mass of random documents you put there so you could find them again? Want a better way of handling the things you find?

Speaker Linda Yip uses a program so good you’d think it was made for genealogy. She’ll talk about the dos and don’ts of filing, and how Evernote has made her a better genealogist. She has been doing genealogy since the mid-90s and recently went pro. An ex-BigLaw executive legal assistant who’s seen and used every kind of filing style imaginable, Linda has developed techniques for using Evernote in genealogy that you might really enjoy.

Speaker: Linda Yip is a writer, a photographer, and a storyteller, as well as being a genealogist. Linda writes about her latest genealogy finds from tools to uncovered family stories on her blog Past-Presence.com. She’s an active member of the BC and SK genealogy societies and is also a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists. Her passions are the history of the Chinese in Canada, Force 136, her growing collection of 30K+ images, and keeping her finds organized! Most weekends you’ll find her curled up on the couch with her laptop, either researching or writing about genealogy.
Mar
22
Mon
HMS Speedy: Tragedy and Mystery
Mar 22 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
HMS Speedy: Tragedy and Mystery @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

The presentation “HMS Speedy: Tragedy and Mystery” will outline the true Canadian history story of the British gunboat, HMS Speedy, that disappeared in a storm near Presqu’ile Point in October 1804, with the loss of all 20 souls on board. Why did the Speedy sail to begin with? Who were the people on board and what were their family connections? What were the political conditions that changed Captain Paxton from a good civil servant into a tragic hero? Then, the discussion moves to the modern day and deals with the search for the remains of the ship, focused around the efforts of Ed Burtt, a professional diver from Belleville who was certain he had found remains of the Speedy during underwater survey work off Presqu’ile Point in the early 1990s. Why is it still a mystery? So many questions—all to be answered in this engaging talk that is based on Dan Buchanan’s recent book “The Wreck of HMS Speedy: The Tragedy That Shook Upper Canada”.

Speaker Dan Buchanan is a genealogist and historian. Known as a local “history guy,” Dan is involved in many organizations and projects in the Brighton area related to history and heritage.