An organization of family historians, some with Toronto roots, others who live in Toronto, we have ancestors around the world.


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.

Since March 2020, Toronto Branch meetings have moved online as Zoom webinars. We anticipate that this option will continue—to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and keep our members safe—and to accommodate the much larger audience of distant members and non-members who have become regular attendees.

The October 24, 2022 meeting, will be our first “hybrid” meeting. You may join us at Lansing United Church or online. Click here for details.

City of Toronto Archives: Resources for the Genealogist
Feb 27 @ 7:30 pm
City of Toronto Archives: Resources for the Genealogist @ Attend in person or register for online webinar | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

Do you have family tree roots in Toronto? You can discover a lot about a person by researching where they lived. Jessica Algie, from the City of Toronto Archives, will demonstrate, step-by-step, how to find your ancestors in municipal archival records. We’ll start with online resources including maps, city directories and photos, before diving into local tax assessment rolls, which can be treasure troves of information.

Finally, archivist John Dirks, will give you a sneak peek at an exciting, newly processed collection, Fonds 602, First Unitarian Congregation of Toronto, now available for research at the City of Toronto Archives. This collection is of particular interest to genealogists as it includes vital statistics registers of marriages, child dedications and memorial services.

Speaker: Jessica Algie, Educator, City of Toronto Archives
Jessica Algie has worked in the Toronto history field for 16 years. She studied art history, classics and English literature at the University of Toronto, and began working for City of Toronto’s Spadina Museum in 2006. Jessica worked at Spadina Museum for 7 years, first as an arts camp counsellor, then interpreter and finally program officer. Jessica joined the City of Toronto Archives in 2013, where she works to help people access the City’s wonderful archival collections through creative education programs and exhibitions.

Speaker: John Dirks, Archivist, City of Toronto Archives
John Dirks is an experienced archivist and historian. With degrees from Queen’s University and the University of Toronto, including from the latter a Masters of Information Studies (2002) and a PhD in History (2014), John has worked at the City of Toronto Archives since August 2019. Previously he was an archivist for 17 years at the Archives of Ontario (1990-2007), followed by a number of years as a sessional instructor in the undergraduate International Relations program at Trinity College, University of Toronto. John mostly works on arranging and describing archival collections, particularly recent donations.


Maybe She is not Mine! Righting a Wrong
What happens when the obvious person is not really the right person! How can we re-write our family narrative and what process do we need to follow in order to decide on a change. We can and do evaluate records as to what MAY be correct and end up with our best guess. That’s all we can do… It is hard to change something you thought was the truth for decades.

Speaker: Gordon McBean is a retired Educational Technologist and has over 50 years experience researching his family. He enjoys sharing his knowledge and has presented in multiple provinces and the US. He has been active in the Manitoba Genealogical Society and developed MANI, their online database. He has been actively searching for years in Ontario because, for all of his lines,  “They Came Through Ontario”.

If the weather cooperates, this will be a hybrid meeting. You are welcome to join us in person at Lansing United Church. Masks are encouraged. (We’ll know you are smiling.)

Or watch the presentation live online. Click here to register for your Zoom link.

Writing Family History—Shaping Genealogy into Shareable Stories
Mar 27 @ 7:30 pm
Writing Family History—Shaping Genealogy into Shareable Stories @ Attend in person or register for online webinar | Toronto | Ontario | Canada

Here’s the problem; your family, they don’t want your stuff. No one is stepping forward to say I’ll take your endless boxes of genealogy files. There’s a couple of reasons for that. First, it appears at least on the surface, they’re not interested in your family history. They’ve rolled their eyes every time you attempted to show them new-found document. You see they’re not interested in another piece of data. They want stories. They want stories to come to them in an easily shareable manner. The next generation are minimalists. They’re trying to live with less and that includes your boxes of family history files. But a book with a collection of family stories they can put on their coffee table or display on a bookshelf is much more likely to appeal to them. It’s also more likely to get read and shared.

Lynn Palermo will take you on a storytelling journey demonstrating for you how to turn your research into entertaining and shareable stories. Leave this presentation armed with the first steps to starting a family history narrative and motivated to turn your boxes of documents into an expressive and lasting legacy for future generations.

Lynn Palermo, known to many as the Armchair Genealogist, is a genealogy educator, writing and accountability coach, speaker and author. She has been helping family historians transform their family history research through her signature writing programs in the Family History Writing Studio for the last 10 years.

MINI-PRESENTATION: Accessing Archives in Archeion
Join Kelli Babcock, Archeion Coordinator for the Archives Association of Ontario, to learn how to search, browse, and access archival records and archival institutions in Archeion. Archeion is Ontario’s Archival Information Network, an online research tool providing access to finding aid descriptions of archival records held by institutional members of the Archives Association of Ontario (AAO); it also provides contact information about the repositories that care for those archival records, biographical information about the creators and collectors of the records, and selected digitized archival records

If the weather cooperates, this will be a hybrid meeting. You are welcome to join us in person at Lansing United Church. Masks are encouraged. (We’ll know you are smiling.)

Or watch the presentation live online. Click here to register for your Zoom link.