Sunday, August 29, 2010

QFHS Office Closure

A recent notice from the QFHS -

Dear QFHS Members,
The Office and Heritage Centre of the Quebec Family History Society will be closed from Thursday, August 26, 2010 and will reopen Tuesday, September 7, 2010.
Jackie Billingham

Saturday, August 28, 2010

I'm Back!

Hello, Dear Readers!

I'm back from my sojourn, and what a trip it was!

But that's for later - I still have to write it.

For now, I have a press release from my good friend, Gwyneth Pearce of the Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, about an upcoming workshop on Scottish family history in June next year.

One thing to note is that Scottish genealogy expert, Dr. Chris Paton, will be coming to speak. The organizers are also looking for other presenters, so if Scotland is an area of interest of yours, you may wish to answer their call.

On a personal note, it's good to be back. I look forward to bringing you more news from the Canadian genealogy front.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.



Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Toronto Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library have joined together to sponsor "The Women in our Past: Strategies and Resources for Researching Female Ancestors", an all-day workshop to explore new and varied approaches to researching those often elusive women in our families. With expert speakers from across Ontario, this event will offer participants a deeper understanding of the circumstances that governed and shaped the lives of our female ancestors – from family relationships, domestic service and the justice system to the fur trade, migration and world war. Find out how and where to search for relevant records and learn about the latest developments in maternal-line DNA analysis. The workshop will be held in the Auditorium of the North York Central Library, 5120 Yonge Street, at the North York Centre subway station. Early registration rates are available until 30 September 2010. For program and registration details, visit To check availability, call 416-733-2608 (voice mail) or e-mail

Saturday, 18 June 2011

The Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of the North York Central Library will be co-hosting a one-day workshop on Scottish Family History. The principal speaker will be Chris Paton from Scotland who will give presentations on the Scottish church, Scottish land records/house history and the use of guild records (specifically the handloom weaving industry in Perth). A call has been issued for other speakers who would like to be part of this workshop. Proposals are invited for both full-length presentations on topics related to Scottish genealogy and shorter case study presentations. The submission deadline is 1 November 2010. For further information about the workshop program and the call for speakers, visit

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Dear Readers

As you have seen from my infrequent postings to this blog as of late, I have been busy doing other "genealogical" things, and I really haven't had the time to post on a regular basis.

Plus, I have just taken on another job.

John Becker, the editor of Families (the journal of the OGS) has taken ill, and is unable to complete the August issue. So I have taken over the editorship of the August issue as Guest Editor.

Those of you who have been involved with publications know that it is very intensive work, and since I am also the editor of NewsLeaf (the newsletter of the OGS), I don't imagine I will see too much of the summer from now until the middle of July, when the two publications go to the printer.

So if you will bear with me while I work on these three OGS publications (yes, I also edit e-NewsLeaf, the e-mail newsletter), I will be posting a bit less during the next few weeks.

Of course, you can always read me in NewsLeaf, e-NewsLeaf, or Families by simply joining the Ontario Genealogical Society at NewsLeaf and Families are issued four times a year (Feb, May, Aug, Nov), while e-NewsLeaf is issued eight times a year (Jan, Mar, Apr, June, Jul, Sept, Oct, Dec).

But I have more good news for my readers - if you were not aware, there are over 200 previously posted blogs in the archives to keep you company in this dry time - see the section marked "Blog Archive" at the right side of the page. You can search by date, or if a more direct approach is desired, use the custom search box for the site, powered by Google.

In any event, I look forward to getting back to the blog, and in the meantime, I wish to say -

"Thank you for your patience, and continued support!"



Sunday, May 2, 2010

Glenn Wright Interview

As some of you may have noticed, I have conducted an in-depth interview with a Canadian genealogist in the June 2010 issue of Family Chronicle that just came out the other day.

The person I interviewed was Ottawa's own Glenn Wright, who is retired from Library and Archives Canada (LAC), and has now taken up genealogy as his second career. He is the first of what I hope will be a regular feature for Moorshead Magazines (either Family Chronicle or Internet Genealogy). I interviewed him in October at the LAC just before a BIFHSGO meeting and found him to be an interesting fellow, full of genealogy tidbits - which he shares with everyone in the interview.

He is the first genealogist I have interviewed in this exciting and innovative new feature, and there will be others coming out in the near future. Notable genealogists I have interviewed include Boston's David Allen Lambert of NEHGS (the Online Genealogist), and Shelburne, Nova Scotia genealogist Eleanor Robertson Smith of the Shelburne County Archives and Genealogical Society, both of whom will appear in future issues.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

FamilySearch Adds 300M Records

Over the past week, I've been keeping an eye out for what's been happening in Salt Lake City at the NGS Conference, and I have been reading Dick Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter and Randy Seaver's Genea-Musings blogs, as well as Thomas MacEntee's Geneabloggers, the Mormon Times newspaper, and of course, the NGS blog.

A few Canadians (that I know of) have been down to the conference including Alison Hare (she gave two lectures there, and will appear at the upcoming OGS Conference 2010), Ed Zapletal and Rick Cree from Moorshead Magazines, and Louise St. Denis from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies.

As well, Chris McPhail from the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO) was there to pick up first prize in the Anglo-Saxon Connection newsletter category, for their newsletter, Anglo-Celtic Roots. Congratulations to BIFHSGO, and to Chris, as editor!

If I missed any fellow Canadians there, please send me an email, and I will mention you here.

One thing which we can check on at home is the new beta version of the FamilySearch website,

FamilySearch president, Jay Verkler, says that this is the result of the Worldwide Indexing Project, and that they will add about 300-million more names to it.

He said "the flow of names to the Web will continue as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seeks to index all of the approximately 3.5-billion names stored on microfilm in the Granite Mountain Records Vault. It will take about 10 years to index all the records, a task previously projected to take more than a century to complete."

I spent this afternoon putting in the names of my genealogy, and although nothing was added to my search, there are million of names left to go, so the BARCLAYs, HALEYs, WEBSTERs, MORTONs and so on will show up somewhere in time, I am sure.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hamilton Branch Newsletter

The Winter 2010 edition of the Hamilton Branch (OGS) newsletter contains various notes and articles, and one of the best articles is by Brian Pearson called, "What are the ODDS".

It seems as if Brian was born in Northern England in the middle 1940s, and in 1987, when he went back to visit his stepmother, she gave him some stuff that his father had owned. In amongst the papers he found his father's birth certificate.

Guess what? His father and his wife had been born in the same house - 60 years apart!

In addition to this story, there are book reviews, items that have been added to their library, queries, and an article on the National Burial Index for England and Wales, 1538-2003.

You can visit the Hamilton Branch online at or send them an email at hbogsadmin@mountaincable.ogs.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Discovering Family History Closed

Ed Zapletal, the publisher of Moorshead Magazines, has announced today that his newest magazine, Discovering Family History, is closing with the March/April 2010 release.

It had been in production over two years, but as he has put it in his news release, "Although DFH was selling very well on the newsstands, with the stores taking an increasing number of copies each issue, we weren't simply able to get the new subscribers numbers to increase at a fast enough rate".

It is always sad to see a publication end its run, but as Ed says, the numbers to keep it in existence were just not there.

However, Family Chronicle and Internet Genealogy are going along just fine, and expect them to be around for a long time.

This year, Family Chronicle is 15 years old, and Internet Genealogy is five years old.

Over the years, I have written a number of articles for Ed in all three publications, and appreciate the chance to have written for DFH, as well as the other magazines.

I wish Ed and Rick and the staff at Moorshead Magazines continued success.