Monday, November 16, 2015

Family Tree DNA Year End Sale

Family Tree DNA's year end sale has been announced.

The Autosomal DNA test "Family Finder" is now $89 US instead of $99 US. There are savings on Y-DNA and mt-DNA as well.

Details are at

Friday, October 23, 2015

Durham Region Branch Elections - Nov. 3rd

Durham Region Branch Elections will be held at our regular meeting on Nov. 3rd.

Elections will be held for the following positions:


Please consider helping out your branch!

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bible Christian Connexion in Durham Region

We had a most entertaining talk last night at our October Meeting. Jim Bowen talked about the female itinerant preachers of the Bible Christian Connexion church, including his collateral ancestor Elizabeth Cory (nee Courtice - a very familiar family name in Darlington Township). Notably, in the mid-1800's, Durham Region was one of the premiere areas settled by this sect (about 21% of the inhabitants). The other areas with large numbers included Huron County & Northumberland Co.

In addition, he had great suggestions on where to find research resources if your ancestors were Bible Christian.

The whole presentation is posted on YouTube on the Durham Region Branch OGS Channel, and can be found HERE.

One link that Jim mentioned is a digitized publication, "A Jubilee Memorial", published in 1865 for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Bible Christian Connexion Church by Wiiliam (O'Bryan) Bryant. It gives a very good history of this sect.
The downloadable book can be found at:

Please go to our YouTube Channel and subscribe. Below the video window there is a red button that says "Subscribe". Click on that button. You will have to log into your Google Account (or Create one). This way, you will get e-mail notices each time we post a new presentation.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Female Preachers - the Hot Topic for Tuesday's Branch Meeting

We will be live steaming the meeting. Check back on our website for the link.

Jim Bowen will be speaking on "She was What??" - Early 19th Century Travelling Female Preachers - Dedication, Heroics, Scandal and Tragedy 

We think of travelling preachers as male in the early time frame, but this was not so. Jim will be talking about early female preachers, with an emphasis on the Bible Christian Connexion and their Early Female Itinerant Preachers - about 60 of them. Jim has a multitude of stories that will enrich our knowledge of these early travelling preachers and their trials and tribulations.

Time allowing, the meeting will include TONI Tidbits (w.r.t. the huge OGS name and resource index), and a Brick Wall Bomb (suggested solutions to a stubborn genealogical problem from an audience member).

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

FindMyPast Free Weekend!

It's time to explore British, Irish, US records on FindMyPast! Also includes newspapers and military records!

As announced on the FindMyPast newsletter:

If you are not a subscriber to FindMyPast, they have announced a free weekend 18 - 21 September. If you are a subscriber, they will extend your subscription by 3 days!

For more information, go to FindMyPast Free Weekend.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Durham Region Branch September Meeting - September 8th

 Tues., September 8th (2nd Tuesday this month only)

Topic: Solve Genealogical Problems by Creating a Timeline (recorded webinar)
Timelines are very useful ways of visualizing data. Timelines give you an order of and context for events, or to show what kinds of events were happening around your ancestors. Using Excel spreadsheets, this webinar will show how to solve different types of genealogical problems by using timelines.

Beth Foulk

Beth was born and raised in Wichita, Kansas, and currently lives in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, a suburb of Kansas City. She has been interested in family history since grade school. Her dad, who built a small family tree that Beth found fascinating, is credited with infecting her with the genealogy bug. Without the exposure to his interests and work, she would never have started down the genealogy road. Beth’s ascent into full-blown “junkie-dom” occurred in 1998 when she learned that genealogy software could build a family tree database.

Beth Foulk maintains a website, Genealogy Decoded.

Sample Timeline

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

That Camera Icon at FamilySearch

John Reid on his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections has posted the following article about the 2 different camera icons found on when you look at record collections:

Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections: That Camera Icon at FamilySearch

Who knew? I certainly found this to be a great tip!

An Example of Ontario Records at

Monday, August 10, 2015

20 % off Ancestry DNA Kits

Thomas MacEntee, who spoke at our OGS Conference in May, has pointed out a big savings in the Ancestry DNA Kit on his blog "Geneabloggers". This offer is through his affiliate program with, and hopefully will also work for those of us in Canada. It is in US dollars.

The offer can be found here. This offer expires August 17th.

If you remember our June speaker, Maurice Gleeson, mentioned that to fish in 2 of the biggest pools of DNA results, you need to test on Ancestry, then download your raw data from Ancestry, upload it to Family Tree DNA for a minimal cost ($39 USD when I last checked), and then you will see matches in both databases (the most economical way).

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 Free until July 1st

John Reid in his blog Anglo-Celtic Connections has posted the following:

Free access to Canadian records at

Over the long Canada Day weekend there's FREE ACCESS to all Canadian records on
The records are open until July 1, 2015 at 11:59 p.m. ET. You will need to register for free with with your name and email address. Once registered a user name and password will be sent by email. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Supercharging Your Genealogy with DNA & DNA Kit - Missing Paperwork

NOTE: When Dr. Maurice Gleeson & I were packing up the DNA kits last night, we found a sheet from a DNA "takeaway" kit that someone is going to be missing!!

Since it was not filled out, the only identifier we have is the kit #  412883

IF you are missing the paperwork from your "Takeaway" kit, please contact me at


We had an absolutely GREAT TURNOUT for our meeting!! Thanks to everyone who came.

Our speaker was Dr. Maurice Gleeson and he made understanding and using DNA so very easy for us. He has obviously kissed the Blarney stone as well and charmed us all! We learned the pros and cons of the various DNA tests and testing companies. Using many examples, he led us through many scenarios for using DNA for adoption and brick wall cases. 

Afterwards, we had a mass "swabbing" session for those attendees who purchased one of the discounted DNA kits Dr. Gleeson brought with him.

Dr. Gleeson will be posting our meeting session on his YouTube channel when he gets back home. So be patient!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Supercharging Your Genealogy with DNA

Tuesday, June 2nd 7:30 p.m. in the Oshawa Public Library Auditorium, 65 Bagot St., Oshawa (just South of City Hall)  Location Map  Everyone is welcome! Parking is free. Plan to arrive after 7 p.m. since there is a parade starting from this location at 6 p.m. on that evening.

This meeting will be live-streamed as well. Join by clicking here at 7:30 p.m.

DNA testing is really easy to do, costs about $125 Canadian dollars, and is helping family history researchers break through Brick Walls that they never thought would come down. The technology behind DNA testing has been given a real boost by the Adoption Community who have developed tools and methodologies to facilitate the use of DNA to reconnect adoptees with their birth families. These same technologies have proven to be of real benefit to ordinary everyday genealogists too. Maurice will explain how DNA testing (and autosomal DNA in particular) can help you connect with genetic cousins and solve your own family mysteries. He will also explain how to focus the attack on your Brick Walls by testing several targeted family members. He will illustrate his talk with real life examples, including an adoption success story from his own family.

Brief Biography 
Dr Maurice Gleeson is a psychiatrist, pharmaceutical physician, some time actor, and genetic genealogy convert. He runs several DNA projects at FamilyTreeDNA, has several blogs, and has a YouTube channel devoted to videos on genetic genealogy with the aim of making the subject understandable and accessible to the widest audience possible. He was born and grew up in Dublin, is based in London (UK), and lectures on genetic genealogy worldwide. 

Dr. Gleeson has just given very successful and popular lectures and workshop at the OGS 2015 Conference in Barrie.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Hazardous WW1 Flight Training in Oshawa

During our discussion period, mention was made of the Royal Flying Corps and how hazardous flying was at that time.

Jane MacNamara, our speaker this past Tuesday night, has sent a link for us to view.

"This article might be of interest to some of your members, in view of some of the discussion the other night. " Sopwith Camel

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Our May Meeting Will be Streamed Live!

Our general meeting location is at the Main Branch of the Oshawa Library (basement auditorium), 65 Bagot Street, just south of City Hall, at 7:30 pm.

Jane Macnamara
Jane Macnamara - Inheritance Interrupted: WW1 reflected in Ontario Estate files The sudden deaths of so many young Canadian sons (and daughters) changed the normal patterns of inheritance. However, the accompanying records are extremly useful for genealogy.

Jane is a well-known genealogist and an entertaining speaker. She is the author of Inheritance in Ontario: Wills and Other Records for Family Historians, published by Dundurn and the Ontario Genealogical Society in 2013.

Also, at this meeting we will have the following items:
Brick Wall Bomb - a 10 minute brainstorming session on a problem from the audience 
Mini-Talk (10 minutes) - free software for auto creation of citations

Jane has graciously given permission for her session to be live streamed. The link will be posted on our website (just above the notice of the meeting) shortly before the meeting begins. The session will not be recorded.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

ScotlandsPeople Credits

With special thanks to both the Scottish Special Interest Group & the Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, whose e-mails pointed me to the following post at ScotlandNow:

SCOTLAND NOW, the website for Scots everywhere, has teamed up with ScotlandsPeople to give you the chance to help you trace your Scottish ancestry for free.
With this great offer you will receive 20 Free credits worth £4.50. It costs five credits to view an image, and one credit to view a page of search results so there will be plenty to search this offer.
With images of over 100 million indexed births, marriages, deaths, censuses, wills and other documents, including records of some of Scotland’s most famous figures such as Rob Roy, Robert Burns and Robert Louis Stevenson, contains the most comprehensive official online set of family history information for any country in the world. As one of the largest single information resources online, ScotlandsPeople provides an easily accessible route to the unrivalled store of official Scottish records.
The ScotlandsPeople website is a partnership between the National Records of Scotland, a non-ministerial department of the Scottish Government, and the Lyon Office, enabled by Findmypast.
How to redeem the offer.
Register at if you are new user, or log in using your username and password if you already have an account.
• New users will be required to complete a registration form.
• Once logged in, click on Buy more credits on the top right hand side of the page.
• You will be taken to a page where you should enter the promotion code. The promotional code is: scotlandnow. You will then be allocated 20 FREE credits worth £4.50
• It costs five credits to view an image, and one credit to view a page of search results.
• Your 20 FREE credits voucher must be redeemed by April 30, 2015. Your 20 FREE credits will then be valid for one year after you redeem the voucher.
For further help with redeeming a voucher code, please see the Voucher Help page.
Terms and conditions.
You must register at in order to take up the offer and in so doing you agree to the terms and conditions of use for the ScotlandsPeople website. The free credit offer is restricted to one offer per individual. The offer codes must be validated at before or on April 30, 2015. Your free credits will be added to your account, which will expire after one year or when they have been used up, whichever is the sooner. Credits are required to view the indexes and images on the website. The cost of viewing each different type of record can vary.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Live Streaming of Our April 7th Meeting

For all of our members who cannot make it to our April Meeting, we will be trialling broadcasting our meeting live!

Go to this LINK just before 7:30 pm EDT. This presentation will not be recorded.

This particular service is supposed to pace itself to match the bandwidth of both the send and receiving devices. It should create a viewing window sized appropriately for the device and connection speed.

Feedback is CRITICAL! Please send your comments-- complaints and compliments to
Please comment on both picture, & sound and what computer and browser you used. I would really appreciate if someone with a Mac computer would comment on how the live streaming worked on that platform.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Free Genealogy Websites - April 7th Meeting

There are more genealogy websites out there besides the subscription databases - and quite a few of them are free!

Come to our meeting as some of our members demonstrate a few of their favourites. A list of some of these sites has been uploaded to our Facebook Group in our member Stacy's post.

The meeting is held at 7:30 pm in the Oshawa Public Library Auditorium (basement), 65 Bagot Street, Oshawa, 1 block south of the City Hall.

Our meetings are free and visitors are always welcome. Come and bring a friend!

Join Our Facebook Group!

Did you know that the Durham Region Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society now has a Facebook Group? This allows our members more ability to communicate with each other, as well as with the Branch leadership.

There are many areas to explore in the Group once you have been added to the members: Check out the links to Files, Photos, Events and Members.

Announcements of meetings, handouts, surnames list and many other items are posted to the Group.

This join button is found in the lower right corner of the Facebook group's cover picture.
Once you have been added to the group, you have more options in that area, including the ability to get notifications of new postings.

Don't delay - Click the Join button now at the Durham Region Branch Facebook Group

Free Weekend at Ancestry UK

FREE ACCESS EASTER WEEKEND! Free access to starting today through Monday, April 6th. For those of you who don’t have a World subscription, this might be a good way to access those UK records. Visit for more information.

Hope you find some of your British relatives!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

What IS TONI All About?! (Saturday March 21st)

We are holding a TONI (The Ontario Name Index) Indexing Workshop this weekend! This provincial project is needing help at the local Durham Region level. (Indexing can be done from home, so our distance members can certainly participate - contact to find out how)

Some items we will cover:

  • What is the hype all about?
  • Who should do the indexing? (everyone, we hope!!)
  • Why should I care about indexing for TONI?
  • How can I do this from home in my PJ's?
  • What's in it for me? (we'll feed you!!)
  • I don't think I have the skills, so how can I help? (come to our workshop & we'll show you how easy it can be)

Stacy & Nancy will be at the Durham Region Branch Office this Saturday March 21st from 10am till 2 pm (or longer if needed) to help you learn how easy the indexing is with hands-on training. The office address is 1000 Stevenson Rd North, Oshawa. Access from Rossland Road, not from Taunton. We are in the building at the base of the NAVCAN control tower. Lots of parking is available. Here is a map.

Coffee and Timbits will start our day, and lunch will be provided. Extra bonus - Stephen & Deb will be there to show off our office resources.

Bring your LAPTOP or TABLET and we will show you how to get started on a very exciting way to give back to the genealogical community. (We have some computers at the office if you don't have a portable one.)

Monday, February 23, 2015

Explore Hudson's Bay Company at our March Meeting!

Ruth Burkholder is our speaker for this meeting. Her topic is "The Hudson's Bay Company" just a chain of stores? Hudson Bay Company records are some of the earliest documents recording native peoples and overseas immigrants, particularly those from Scotland. There is much history in this company which has been in continuous operation for over 344 years. Started by two Frenchmen in 1670 under an English Royal Charter, it is now owned by an American Equity firm....truly a multinational history of a multifacted entity. 

New to our meetings - TONI Tidbits from this huge database of over 3 million genealogical entries

Brick Wall Bomb - a 15 minute brainstorming session on a problem from the audience

Friday, February 6, 2015

Free UK Records at This Weekend

No subscription? Don't worry, because this weekend are offering free access to all their UK records! It's a great opportunity to extend your tree by researching your collateral lines - the descendants of your ancestors' brothers and sisters.

You've got three days to plunder Ancestry's UK records - the offer ends at midnight (London time) on Sunday 8th February. You may need to log-in or register in order to view the records, but you shouldn't be asked to provide credit card details or make any commitment.

Download the images you find to your computer. If you attach the images to your Ancestry On-line Tree, you won't have access after the free weekend ends!

Lost Cousins Website Free for the Weekend

LostCousins is free this weekend, and the good news is that you've got an extra 48 hours, because my offer doesn't end until midnight on Tuesday 10th February. 

As you find relatives on the 1841, 1881, and 1911 censuses it makes sense to enter them on your My Ancestors page straightaway, so that I can link you with the other members - your 'lost cousins' - who have already entered them. Simply click the Search button and the LostCousins computer will automatically check every entry you've made against the millions of entries made by other members.

Tip: it doesn't matter if your new-found cousins don't reply before midnight on Tuesday - as long as you have initiated contact during the offer period (by clicking 'Make contact' on your My Cousins page), you'll be OK.

Of course, you won't always get an instant match - somebody has to be the first person to enter a particular relative - but once you've entered your relatives your cousins will be able to find you (and you only have to click the Search button to look for matches all over again). 

Tip: the 1881 census is the one that's most likely to link you to your 'lost cousins', and you'll get most matches when you enter the members of your ancestors' extended families - their brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, and cousins. 

Peter Calver
Founder, LostCousins

Read about this unique website here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Branch Meeting Tonight - WW1 Nurses

The February meeting of the Durham Region Branch will be held tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of the Oshawa Public Library (Main Branch) on Bagot Street (just south of the City Hall)

Topic: WW1 Nurses of Durham County and Oshawa  
Presenter: Sher Leetooze

Sher Leetooze names 36 WWI Nursing  Sisters who hailed from Old Durham County. Through her research Sher has discovered fascinating accounts of the difficult working conditions nurses found themselves having to deal with near battlefields, and the resultant hair-raising experiences foisted upon some nurses while performing their duties. Sher will likely bring copies of her book to the meeting. An alternate source is - Global Genealogy

Mini-talk: Brick Wall Follow-Up - The Graham Family
Created by: Stephen Wood & Presented by: Nancy Trimble 

NEW! to our meetings:

TONI Tidbit - showcasing findings in The Ontario Name Index, which now has over 3 million entries!
Brickwall Bomb - a 15-minute brainstorming session on a problem from the audience.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Celebrate Irish Family History Day with a Special Offer from FindMyPast

FindMyPast has invited us to celebrate Irish Family History Day with a Special Offer!

FindMyPast has an excellent collection of Irish records just waiting for you to discover, including the following:
Birth, Marriage & Death Records 1845 - 1958
Irish Court & Prison Records
Millions of historic Newspaper Articles
Census & Land Records

And, they have a Special Offer for you: a 1 month World Subscription for ONLY $5.00 USD. Click here.

Hurry, this offer expires at midnight Jan. 27th!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Genealogy Education on the Internet

Here are the links from last night's Mini-presentation on "Genealogy Education - Videos"

Family Search Learning Center

Key Words: Ancestry, WDYTYA, Genealogy Gems, Maurice Gleeson, Genetic Genealogy, DearMyrtle, Legacy Family Tree, Roots Magic, any other interests you have.

Southern California Genealogical Society
Legacy Family Tree Webinars
Recorded Webinars for OGS Members only (best if signed in first)