The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society is a not-for-profit organization of family historians founded in 1967, with over 500 members in Toronto and worldwide. Toronto Branch is run by enthusiastic, engaged volunteers, with leadership from an elected Executive.
We are a branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) which also uses the Ontario Ancestors brand. To join Toronto Branch, you must also join or already be a member of OGS. Membership fees are paid to OGS annually on the anniversary of your joining.
While the majority of our members are residents of the Toronto area, many live at considerable distance, maintaining an interest in Toronto roots, enjoying the benefits of membership wherever possible.
Here are some of our membership benefits:
- All benefits of membership in the Ontario Genealogical Society, Canada’s largest heritage organization.
- An opportunity to meet other members to share information and research experiences by joining the Members Network and/or Special Interest Groups.
- Nine meetings per year with speakers on topics of genealogical interest. Most in-person meetings are recorded and posted online for members who can’t attend in person. At the moment, all meetings are being held online via Zoom
- Members-only prices for courses, lecture series and workshops.
- Six issues of Toronto Tree, our award-winning newsletter.
- Twelve issues of our monthly update Toronto Twig.
- An opportunity to volunteer and participate in a wide range of activities that will benefit you and thousands of other genealogists, now and for years to come. Our volunteers find their involvement personally rewarding.
Toronto Branch has a valued partnership with the National Institute for Genealogical Studies, which provides web-based courses for both family historians and professional genealogists, leading to Certificates in Genealogical Studies with specialization in various countries. Any new member joining Toronto Branch is entitled to one free course through the National Institute, from a choice of three: “Connecting Family: Online and Virtually”, “Google for the Wise Genealogist”, and “Social Media Tools for the Wise Genealogist”. New members will find details of this offer in their initial membership package. For questions about the courses themselves, contact the National Institute at 1-800-580-0165 (toll-free) or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current members of Toronto Branch have free access to additional genealogical resources by logging in to the Members-Only pages with their OGS username and password.
Not sure of your OGS username and password? Please click here to reset it.
The Members Network is a group of new and experienced Branch members who want to share our enthusiasm for family history through fun social events, friendship and local excursions. Our purpose is to provide a more personalized experience to those actively pursuing genealogy. We consult on our research, offer tips and suggest resources. The Members Network is currently meeting online. Members: Please get in touch if you are interested in participating in this group.
Many Toronto Branch members share some very specific research interests. We actively encourage the formation of Special Interest Groups (SIGs) within Toronto Branch and provide support to these informal groups wherever feasible. Participants run the SIGs, meeting as mutually agreed. Belonging to a SIG can help you tap into the experience of others and collaborate on research, forging friendships in the process. All SIGs are presently meeting online.
Members: Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more about an existing Special Interest Group or if you have an idea for a new one.
CURRENT TORONTO BRANCH SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS:
Genetic Genealogy SIG facilitated by Beth Adams and Cathy Watson
SIG members are enhancing their knowledge of available DNA tests and research strategies. We study how to interpret and apply the data, learning from the experiences of each other with group participation from local experts to those starting the testing process.
Advanced Genetic Genealogy SIG facilitated by Jane Thompson
The Advanced Genetic Genealogy Special Interest Group (AGGSIG) is an enthusiastic group of Toronto Branch members who are actively involved in genetic genealogy research. We meet regularly to provide mutual support in using evolving analytic tools to examine DNA test results and we share techniques for comparing test data and determining genetic connections. Our individual research may involve careful examination and expansion of a family tree to identify strategic people to approach for DNA testing. All members of the AGGSIG are requested to contribute to meeting programs and to the successful operation of the group. Our members are happy to assist Toronto Branch members who are new to, or confused by, genetic testing, through individual coaching or participation in Branch workshops, courses or other programs.
Scottish SIG facilitated by Linda Reid
The Scottish SIG is comprised of members with a passion to explore Scottish family history. Many members have extensive experience with Scottish records, some gained in research travels to Scotland. We enjoy our member presentations, discussion and social interaction, learning from each other.
Irish SIG facilitated by Cathy Watson and Martha Courtright
This group is designed for Toronto Branch OGS members with an interest in Irish genealogy who want to discuss their research and help each other break down brick walls. The Irish SIG provides an environment where novices can learn about where and how to look in Irish records and members with higher levels of experience can share their knowledge and further their own research through discussions with others in the group. The group meets approximately six times a year.