Monday, February 21, 2011

OGS 50th Anniversary Events

With the 50th Anniversary of the Ontario Genealogical Society to be celebrated from the 13th to the 15th of May in beautiful downtown Hamilton, there are five areas of interest which you can read about, and in some cases, take a part of - Golden Anniversaries, Top 50 in 50, the Conference itself, the OGS Cruise, and TONI.

Links to the above can be found at, from which the following are found -

"Ontario Genealogical Society’s 50th Anniversary
In 2011, the OGS will be 50 years old. The OGS Board has approved the following celebrations and projects to commemorate the occasion.

Conference 2011
To be held in Hamilton on May 13 to 15, this will be our birthday party. Details can be found on the OGS website and through our blog. Don Hinchley, Past President, is Conference Chair.

We will hold a genealogical cruise of the east coast of North America in September 2011. This is a continuation of our birthday party. For information on the ‘ports of call’ and the dates and costs, please see the website. Mary Rossiter, Director of Region 10, and Cathy Blackburn, Director of Region 9, are leaders of this project.

Golden Anniversary Family Histories
For the 25th anniversary, OGS requested family histories and received 620 of them. We are seeking more family histories for our 50th, with a particular request for updates to the histories produced for the 25th. These family histories will join the 3 500 family histories now in our library and will go into our e-Library, ensuring that the histories are never lost and making them available worldwide. Paul McAlister, Director of Region 11, is leader of this project.

Top 50 in 50

We are asking the OGS Branches and Regions to name three or four OGS Members (current or past, including Family and Associate) who have made a significant contribution to Branch/Region/OGS, with a description of their accomplishments. From these proposals we will select the Top 50 as a way to honour those who have worked mostly in the Branches. Don Hinchley, is leader of this project.

TONI (The Ontario Name Index)
Indexes, particularly name indexes, are the most valuable thing a genealogical society can produce. We are going to create a single index of Ontario names, indicating where information about that person can be found. The index will go on the public part of the OGS website so that anyone can access it. TONI will show:
First name
Last name
Record type (birth, marriage, death, obit, tombstone, newspaper article, etc, etc)
Date of event, at least to the decade
Location of event, at least the county
Where the full information may be found

OGS currently has over two million names indexed online but not in one index. It will be straightforward to bring TONI to ten million entries and it has the potential to reach fifty million entries. Mike More, Director of Region 8, is leader of this project."

Just to take one feature (Golden Anniversary Family Histories), it is remembered that for their 25th anniversary, OGS requested family histories, and received 620 of them. This number of family histories has since increased to over 3,500 in number. These family histories are in the OGS Library located at the North York Library's Canadiana Section. located on the sixth floor. To celebrate our 50th Anniversary as a Society, we would like to have these histories updated, as well as seek more family histories to add to our library collection.

A number of the current family histories have already been digitized and will be added to our e-Library. This will ensure that the histories are never lost and to make them more accessible to researchers, both locally and worldwide.

In addition, there are a number of family histories located in the libraries of the OGS Branches across the Province that may not be part of the OGS's main library holdings. Where possible, the Branch should be contacted to have these histories updated, as well. It is hoped that a link can be established through their websites.

So as you can see, their is much activity being planned for the OGS' 50th anniversary celebrations. I hope you can join us and partake of these activities.

In case you were not aware, you do not have to be an OGS member to attend the conference. Go to their website for further details.

But if you do wish to join (and we would love to have you), please visit our membership page for membership details (and member advantages).

See you there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Book Review in Jan/Feb 2011 Family Chronicle Magazine

How delighted I was to open the latest issue of Moorshead Magazine's Family Chronicle and see the book review I did on Janice Nickerson's book, Crime and Punishment in Upper Canada, on page 29.

As I say at the end of the review, "One comes away with the impression that the author has thought long and hard about the importance of research, and has put together a first-rate research guide."

Janice can be reached at

In the May issue of Families, the journal of the Ontario Genealogical Society, and of which I am the editor, there will be an article by Janice on an aspect of crime, plus another review of her book.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Halton Digital Newspaper Archive

L-R: Walter Lewis, Halton Hills Public Library; Bob Crawford, Halton-Peel Branch OGS; Jane Watt, Halton-Peel Branch OGS; Bernie Bradner, Halton-Peel Branch OGS; Mike Payne, Halton-Peel Branch OGS

From Mr. Bob Crawford, Chair of the Halton-Peel Branch OGS, comes this big news -

"On Wednesday, January 19, 2011, the Halton Hills Library held the official launch of their segment of the Halton Digital Newspaper Archive. This project was completed using software technologies and hosting by Our Ontario as a service of Knowledge Ontario and the financial support of the Halton-Peel Branch OGS.

A number of years ago, Halton-Peel Branch received a financial bequest from a member with the condition that it be used to provide genealogical resources for people to use in their research. After searching for the best places to use this gift, we decided to support the digitization of the newspapers from the area that is now Halton Hills. This includes newspapers like the Acton Free Press, the Georgetown Herald, the Acton Tanner, the Georgetown Independent, and many others.

The collection is on-line now at There are a few areas that need fixing but it is essentially complete from ca. 1867 to 1967. You can now search this collection of newspapers by word or browse by year or day. Often there are images of the actual page from the newspaper so you can read the full text. The OCR software fails occasionally, but is very good, so there are not many search errors."

Congratulations to Bob, the Branch, and the Halton Hills Library for both the launch and for making this tool available to researchers everywhere. Thanks, also, to Our Ontario and to Knowledge Ontario for their assistance in the fruition of this project, and to the anonymous member, whose financial bequest made it possible.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Mi'kmaq Ancestry

A notice was received from the Halifax Public Library which may be of interest to people with Mi'kmaq (Micmac, formerly) ancestry.


Hi everyone,

Have a look at our new resource page on the Mi'kmaq, including images, a beginner guide to genealogy research, resources from our catalogue, digital collections, and a selection of articles from magazines and journals.

All the best,


Joanne McCarthy
Tantallon and JD Shatford Public Libraries
(902) 826-3333 (phone)
(902) 826-3328 (fax)

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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Clarification of OGS Fee Increase

January 13, 2011

Erroneous Publication of an OGS Fee Increase

Just after the holidays, there was an erroneous statement published on a private blog that is causing concern. It was claimed that there is discussion within the Society of a further fee increase and that there was a notion to require OGS members to also be a member of their local branch.

On behalf of the Board and the Executive, I would like to inform our members that neither of these ideas has been discussed at this time.

As one of the Board's responsibilities, fees are discussed at least once a year. Any fee increase recommended must then be approved by the membership. The Board is not recommending a change to the fee structure for 2011. The fee will remain the same as in 2010.

As to requiring members to be a member of their local branch, this has not been recommended nor discussed.

I hope that this explanation clarifies all concerns. If there are any further questions regarding this matter, please feel free to contact me ( or the Executive Director (


Nancy Trimble,
President, Ontario Genealogical Society

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Monday, January 10, 2011

Update – The Canada Gazette (1841-1997)

On Monday, the Library and Archives Canada (LAC) commemorated the 170th anniversary of The Canada Gazette by making accessible the digitized back issues on its website dedicated to this official publication. The website is

A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette is also available at

The press release says that it is often referred to as “the official newspaper of the Government of Canada.”

It goes on to say that "It has informed Canadians of the operations of government and encouraged them to participate in the legislative process".

The database is searched by keywords (for example – keywords such as divorce, immigration and naturalization), and not by a person's name.

For example, from 1867 to 1968, the website says that "a person wishing to obtain a divorce was first required to place a notice of intent to petition the government for an Act of Divorce in the Canada Gazette and in two newspapers in the district or county where the petitioner resided. It was to appear for a six-month period".

An explanation of the Divorce Laws in Canada is given at

Here is a sample of the divorce records found in the Canada Gazette - -

NOTICE is hereby given that Dame Beatrice Evelyn Tutill, housewife, of the City and District of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, wife of Walter Joseph Bobineky, taxi driver, of the City of Montreal and District of Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, will' apply to the Parliament of Canada, at the next or following session thereof, for a bill of divorce from her husband, the said
Walter Joseph Bobinsky, on the ground of adultery.
Dated at Montreal, in the Province of Quebec, this 9th day of July, 1947 .
Solicitor for the Applicant
Source: DA Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette, Library and Archives Canada. APPLICATIONS FOR DIVORCE Part I (1947-1997), volume 81, number 30, 26 July 1947, p. 7

A website about Citizenship and Naturalization at the Library and Archives Canada is at

An example from The Canada Gazette on naturalization is -
Vmldcroecn, Clarence-certification of naturalization No.72000, seriee A, granted at Ottawa, Ontario, on July 28, 1930.

Source: A Nation's Chronicle: The Canada Gazette, Library and Archives. Canada DEPARTMENT OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE OF CANADA,THE CANADIAN Citizenship ACT Part I (1947-1997), volume 83, number 29, 16 July 1949, p. 4