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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 until the end of 2020 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!


Sep
28
Mon
Debt, Drunk & Disorderly: Ontario Jail Records
Sep 28 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Debt, Drunk & Disorderly: Ontario Jail Records @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada
Debt, Drunk & Disorderly, Vagrancy, Prostitution, Theft, Assault, Insanity: Are You Sure Your Ancestors Were Never in Jail?
No one wants a criminal at the dinner table, but finding one in your family tree can add pizzazz to an otherwise boring list of names and dates! Did you know that 19th Century Ontario jails were also full of people who just couldn’t pay their debts? Or got caught in public drinking too much? Or got in one too many fights? Did you know that most people spent only a few days in jail? Or that Irish people were overrepresented? Or that women were most often incarcerated for “moral” offences? Or that jail records are one of the few types of 19th Century records that provide physical descriptions? This lecture will introduce you to wonder of jail records, and what they can tell you about your ancestors.
Janice Nickerson is a professional genealogist based in Toronto. Her expertise includes Upper Canadian history, criminal justice records, turning bare bones genealogies into shareable family stories, and using genealogy gifts and games to create a legacy. In addition to helping her private clients discover the richness of their ancestral heritage, Janice does heir searching for provincial Public Trustees, writes and lectures on a variety of genealogical topics. Her books, Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada: A Researcher’s Guide (2010), and York’s Sacrifice: Militia Casualties of the War of 1812 (2012) were both published by the joint imprint of the Ontario Genealogical Society and Dundurn Press.
Janice is a proud 8th-generation Canadian, with English, German, Irish, Welsh and Aboriginal ancestry.
Oct
26
Mon
Researching Imperial Soldiers
Oct 26 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Researching Imperial Soldiers @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

Researching Imperial Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the First World War

When the First World War broke out in August 1914, Canada was immediately involved as a Dominion of the British Empire. Tracing the history of Canadians in the war can be a fairly simple matter if your ancestor joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force as a solider. Those files have been scanned and are available online. But the men and women who went to war, many of whom were born in the UK, saw themselves as members of the Empire and may have gone into service with an arm of the British forces, especially the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service, which were the only options for would-be pilots at the time. Tracing the history of Imperial military ancestors can be more challenging but also more rewarding. This talk will look at the different paths Canadians could take in an Imperial military career and how to trace them in the archives.

David Fuller is a historian and former journalist who has been researching the stories of soldiers, sailors, and airmen for many years. He is editor of The Maple Leaf, the magazine of the Central Ontario Branch of the Western Front Association, the UK’s foremost organization of First World War enthusiasts.

Nov
23
Mon
Great Moments in Genealogy
Nov 23 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Great Moments in Genealogy @ WEBINAR | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

In keeping with tradition, a number Toronto Branch members will be sharing “great moments” in their family history research in a series of short presentations. This year because of the global pandemic we are reaching out to our more distant members to share their great moments. It should be a blockbuster of an evening!

Keep an eye here for updates in the coming months.