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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.

September Meeting
Sep 24 @ 7:00 pm

Note: We’re starting this information-packed meeting at 7:00 pm!

7:00 to 7:30 pm   SHOW & TELL.
7:30 to 8:40 pm   Chair’s remarks & keynote presentation.
8:40 to 9:30 pm   SHOW & TELL continued.

A number of members have volunteered to display and talk about the ways in which they have shared their family history—through books and other publications, scrapbooks, photobooks, posters, quilts, videos, blogs, memorabilia and much more!

PUSHING AUTOSOMAL DNA TO THE LIMITS: Back to 18th Century Scotland
Speaker: Linda Reid
This presentation shows that autosomal DNA tests can confirm ancestral lines back into the 18th century. It involves testing known cousins and then tracing forward on more distant collateral lines to identify and, if possible, test 2nd, 3rd and 4th cousins. With a pool of identified relatives to compare with, it is possible to make sense of other matches. We will look at data from different testing companies and see the importance of chromosome browsers that reveal matching segments. We will see how triangulation works. The examples are Scottish, but the techniques will apply anywhere.

Linda Reid has been researching her British roots for over 35 years and has been a keen genetic genealogist since 2011. In this presentation she puts her well-researched family tree to the DNA test. Linda has been active in Toronto Branch for many years and is presently the facilitator of the Advanced Genetic Genealogy SIG. She volunteered for over 20 years at the Toronto Family History Centre helping people with their genealogical research. She teaches courses for Toronto Branch and presents at conferences and workshops.

Sunflower at Don Valley Brickworks (photo by Jane E. MacNamara)


Welcoming Newcomers
Oct 22 @ 7:30 pm
Welcoming Newcomers @ Lansing United Church | Toronto | Ontario | Canada


Speaker: Jane E. MacNamara
Established in the 1830s and before, societies like St. Andrew’s, St. George’s, St. Patrick’s and many other ethnic-based benevolent organizations provided guidance, financial and social support for their countrymen and women arriving in Canada. This session will look at the activities and surviving records of these organizations, and how their presence may have influenced the way your ancestors settled into their new homes—yet stayed connected with the old.

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 OGS, most notably hands-on courses about Ontario records. As a trained graphic designer, Jane creates WordPress-based websites and helps clients with book projects.

Mini-presentation: Sherilyn Bell: The UCSC Database—A Handy Reference Source for Genetic Genealogists