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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.

Sep
23
Mon
The Spanish Flu
Sep 23 @ 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 mark 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: “Finding Mr. Smith—The Search for Toronto’s Mr. Baseball” by speaker David Fuller

Oct
28
Mon
Searching for Benedict Arnold
Oct 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Searching for Benedict Arnold @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

SEARCHING FOR BENEDICT ARNOLD AND FINDING A DIFFERENT LOYALIST ARNOLD SPY

Speaker: Beth Adams
Wouldn’t it be great to prove Grover Cleveland was related to Benedict Arnold?  Sadly, Beth has yet to make that magical connection, but with the help of her Mother and some cousins, she is now a bona fide United Empire Loyalist descendant through her Cleveland and Arnold lines.

Many families have family lore about their United Empire Loyalist ancestors that is found to be more lore than fact when the search for those elusive “proofs” is begun.  Finding all the proven links between Beth and her Loyalist 5 times great-grandfather took many, many years of searching censuses, land records, wills and tax records everywhere from southwestern Ontario to Digby Nova Scotia to the coast of New Jersey and Long Island, NY.  There were many interesting road trips, new cousins to meet, and in the end—another Loyalist to start all over with!  Beth will outline the processes and her discoveries along the way to UEL status, with lots of pictures and stories to go with them.

Beth Adams has been a Toronto Branch member since 1990 and has, over that time, volunteered in many ways.  She is also a member of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada.  She retired from teaching middle school after 30 years last winter and moved to Pembroke last spring, where she joined the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group, volunteers with the Ottawa Valley Historical Society and helps with the Pembroke Legion’s museum.  Beth has been deeply involved in the Scouting in the past and has three sons who apparently will give her a “cool” when she finds something interesting about their ancestors.

Mini Presentation:
Members of the Toronto and Governor Simcoe Branches of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada will join us during and after the break.  There will be a short presentation on the Association, after which OGS Toronto Branch members will be invited to visit various displays and speak with UEL members about their activities and work.  Displays will include forms for “proving” UEL status, books and maps from the UEL Toronto Branch’s library, period costumes, re-enacting opportunities, etc.  Refreshments will also be available.