October 31, 2020
Books, e-books, cemetery transcripts, census substitutes, militia records, land records, memberships, and more!
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Happy Hallowe’en

Halloween (with or without the apostrophe) is celebrated each year on October 31st.
Although there may be ties to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, the early Christian calendar adopted it as “All Hallows’ Eve, the evening before All Saints Day, a day set aside to remember the dead, including Saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.” (Wikipedia).
Over time the holiday has evolved into a day filled with children’s activities, such as carving pumpkins, dressing in costumes and “trick-or-treating”.
In this year of COVID, celebrating Halloween has taken on some new guises and may introduce some new traditions.  As family historians, let’s celebrate it as an occasion to remember our ancestors!
Introducing Your Ontario Ancestors Board of Directors

We thought it would be fun to introduce you to our new Board of Directors by asking them each a simple question:  “What makes genealogy fun for you?”
Director at Large Vito Giovannetti tells us:
 “Discovering lost stories, often feels like discovering Treasured. I wish I had more time to explore my family tree.”
Thank you, Vito, for taking on the challenges of leading our family history family!  Don’t lose sight of the “fun” in genealogy!
To contact any member of our Board of Directors, check the Contacts page on our website here!

Cemetery Protection
Patti Mordasewicz, Editor, eWeekly Update
OGS member Stacy Goddard brought to our attention an opinion piece by Toronto City Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam concerning a legal challenge to protect public cemeteries.
Insert photo here As Ms. Wong-Tam states in her article, at the outset of the pandemic many Toronto residents sought relief through a walk in their local cemetery green spaces.  Entrance to these sites was suddenly refused by the Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries, an entity which manages ten public cemeteries in the GTA.
A civic group of residents, the Friends of Toronto Public Cemeteries, is waging a legal battle over the right of an organization created as a public trust to operate as a private company, especially in consideration of the fact that public funds were raised to create the cemetery.
The article outlines some of the evolution of governance of these sites, and the status to date of the legal challenge.  You can read the entire article here.  In the most recent step, a major law firm has asked the Supreme Court of Canada to hear an appeal of the case.
An internet search for “Mount Pleasant Group of Cemeteries” (MPG) provides some information about the Court of Appeal decision “on a dispute between a small group of residents in mid-town Toronto and MPG.”  They acknowledge that “this is a complicated matter involving interpretations of statutes that are nearly 200 years old”.
As family historians, we should all be concerned with the outcome.
Durham Branch Meeting and Presentation
Nancy Trimble, Chair, Durham Region Branch
Join Durham Region Branch on November 3rd at 7:30 pm as we explore the Ontario Land Registry Website with Marian Bellamy. Marian is a local genealogist and will explain how to search on this website that is replacing the Ontario Land Registry Offices.
In addition, the Branch will be holding their AGM and Elections.
Register for the Zoom meeting at this link:
41st IAJGS International Conference Call for Proposals
International Association of Jewish Genealogical Societies
The 41st edition of our conference, “from the past into the future” will be held in Philadelphia, PA from August 2-5, 2021 with a goal “to inform, instruct, and inspire attendees to explore and preserve their Jewish family history”.
You are invited to submit one or more proposals that will address one of the following themes:
  • Early Jewish Settlers of the Americas Track
  • Methodology Track
  • Keepers of the Shoah Memory Track
  • Beginners Track
  • DNA Insights for Genealogy Track
  • Heritage and Cultural Material Track
For all of the details, please visit our website Call for Proposals here.
Proposals must be submitted through the website, and the deadline for submission is November 19th, 2020.
Leeds & Grenville November Presentation
Kathy de Souza, Publicity, Leeds & Grenville Branch
Please join us on Monday, November 9th at 7:00 pm via Zoom to enjoy a presentation by Brockville Museum Public Program Coordinator Peggy Hause.  In keeping with a November Remembrance Day theme, Peggy’s program, On the Homefront, delves into what was happening on the local homefront when the soldiers were overseas. This talk will explore the hardships, changes, and sacrifices that the citizens of Brockville faced with a focus on World War Two.
To register for this free online presentation, click on this link:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the meeting.
Land Registry Office Closure Update

This week's update for Ontario Records includes:
  • Residual records have been or will be picked up this week in the following areas:  Cochrane, Parry Sound, Russell, Stormont, Dundas, Kenora, Dufferin, Simcoe and Sarnia.  These records will be scanned and then returned to the local offices.
  • OGS and Ministry officials will be hosting a webinar via Zoom on December 9th, 2020.  This hour-long session is geared towards anyone interested in learning how to find and access documents through the ONLAND portal.  Registration is mandatory at the following link:
  • It has been brought to our attention that some of the information and one of the links on our OGS site are incorrect.  Please bear with us as we update the information over the next few days.  We apologize for the inconvenience; we are a work in progress!
York Region Branch Presentation
Nanci M. Pattenden, York Region Branch
Please join us via Zoom on Wednesday, November 11th at 7:30 pm for our Remembrance Day virtual event with guest speaker Glenn Wright.
Canada’s participation in the two World Wars came at a horrible cost in fatal casualties: about 65,000 between 1914 and 1919, and another 45,000 between 1939 and 1945. Our war dead are well documented, and in this presentation Glenn will review in detail the major resources – archival, published and online – for both world wars, as well as many lesser known resources, where to find them and how to use them to research an ancestor who gave his or her life in the service of our country.
Registration is mandatory at
Free Family History Classes and Webinars for November 2020
The FamilySearch Family History Library's November 2020 line-up of free webinars feature
  • Latin Handwriting Seminars (five sessions)
  • classes emphasizing Scottish research, Swedish Genealogy, and Norwegian Emigration
  • a Spanish language seminar, "Registros Migratorios"  (Migratory Records)
  • Quebec Notarial Records
Other beginner classes include using the FamilySearch Catalog, and Family Search Mobile apps.
No registration is required for these online webinars. Click here to see the table of classes for more details.  Note that all class times are in Mountain Time (MT).
If you cannot attend a live event, most sessions are recorded and can be viewed later at your convenience at Family History Library classes and webinars.
eWeekly Survey
On October 24th we asked you about family memorabilia, obviously a topic that resonates with our readers because we had 312 responses!  Thank you!
On a scale of 1-10 we asked how important family heirlooms/memorabilia are to you, and the ranking was 8.65!
An overwhelming majority of 95% plan to pass their heirlooms on to the next generation, and explain the importance/significance of the items.  Unfortunately, 62% of respondents reported having family heirlooms lost or worn as time has passed.
Many of you sent along stories of your most important family heirloom and why it is important to you.  A couple that stand out are:
“As a member of the Veterans Guard my grandfather worked as a prison guard in a POW camp in northern Ontario at Monteith. He purchased a one-of-a-kind nativity scene in a bottle from German prisoner Paul Oswald. The Germans were great at crafts and sold their wares to the guards. For over 50 years it sat quietly in the bookcase without anyone knowing of its origin until I researched it. My daughter's interest pleases me.”
“Family pictures of previous generations which I used to teach my children when they were younger about why they are here in Canada and how lucky they are that they don't have to make those sacrifices.”
We’ll be sharing more of these in future editions.

You can see the full results of the survey here!

This week we’re asking you about preserving family history.  The Survey will be open until midnight, Wednesday, November 4thCLICK HERE to start the Survey.
Updates from our Favourite Bloggers
Gail Dever of Genealogy à la carte wrote about a Special memento for living Canadian WWII Veterans, provided through Veterans Affairs Canada.  She also told us about Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec consults public on new digital strategy.
At Finding Your Canadian Story, Candice McDonald wrote about Ontario Ancestors:  School and Teacher Directories on Internet Archive.
In Fortify Your Family Tree DiAnn Iamarino writes about the 4 Cornerstones of Genealogy Research.
John D. Reid of Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections laments 23andme Abandons Genealogy.  John also notes that the playing of The Last Post at Menin Gate will be done without observers in a post You Know It’s Serious When…
At Olive Tree Genealogy Lorine McGinnis Shulze asked us What is Your Oldest Ancestral Item?
At Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter Dick Eastman  highlights an article from Fast Company in a post titled This Incredible Google Experiment Lets You Time Travel to Your Ancestors’ Hometown 200 Years Ago.  On a very practical note is the post What to Do with Floppy Disks? 
At Scottish GENES Chris Paton blogged about delivering a session from his home in Ayrshire to the Belfast Branch of the North of Ireland Family History Society, and about the evolution of online society meetings and educational offerings due to COVID.  You can read the post here!  As he notes, using the Zoom and GotoWebinar technology platforms has broadened the reach of our societies and opened us up to a much larger audience.  He ends with “If you are a society still thinking about taking the plunge, do consider giving it a go….I don’t think I have come across a society yet that has regretted doing so!”
Lisa Louise Cooke talked about 10 Surprising Things You Can Find at Google Books in her video series Elevenses with Lisa.
Patricia Greber in My Genealogy Life asks What Did They Pack on the Yukon Expedition of 1898? and goes on to question the inclusion of “1 house wife” as part of the list!
Simcoe County Branch and Barrie Public Library Host Genealogy Meet-Ups
Nancy Leveque, Chair, Simcoe County Branch
This new joint initiative is intended to assist genealogists and family historians with their research questions and to bring awareness of the Library and Simcoe County Branch genealogical tools and collections. 
There is no cost but registration is required through the library's events calendar at: and navigating to the Nov. 14th or Dec. 8th dates. 2021 dates have not been entered into the Calendar as yet, but Meet-ups will occur the second Saturday or Tuesday of each month (alternating) online until such time as it is safe to resume in Library events.
Toronto Branch New Lecture Series – Wars and Rebels
Gwyneth Pearce, Publicity, Toronto Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society
Registration is now open for our third series of online lectures — this one with a military theme!
19th and 20th century Ontarians were involved in many conflicts, both international and domestic. Chances are that you have ancestors who were connected to the military, whether in the regular army, or militia, or perhaps as war brides.
Join us for Wars and Rebels: Lecture Series to learn about the background to these conflicts, the personalities involved, and the records that can help you trace your ancestors. Over the course of four evenings, beginning November 18th, our expert speakers will teach you about specialized records and Canadian military history, from the 1837 Rebellion to the Second World War:
November 18th: Exploring Military Records at Library and Archives Canada — Sophie Tellier, Jeannie Buchanan-Breit
November 19th: Researching Military Service in Canada, 1840-1902 — Glenn Wright
November 25th: 1837 Rebellion and Our Difficult Path to Democracy — Bruce Beaton
November 26th: Second World War Research: Are You Ready? — James F.S. Thomson
Handouts will be provided, and closed captioned recordings will be available to all registrants until December 31st.
The first lecture is free to everyone. All subsequent lectures are $10 each ($8 for OGS members). Choose the ones you’d like to attend. Or, for the best value, sign up for the full series for a package rate of just $25 ($20 for OGS members).

Reopening LAC – Reservations for Ottawa Can Be Booked Starting
November 2nd

​​​After implementing strict health and safety measures, we will be safely reopening our Ottawa public service point at 395 Wellington Street on November 17th, 2020, in a limited capacity.
Before visiting us, you will need to make a reservation using Eventbrite. Visitors without reservations will be turned away. We will start accepting reservations on Monday, November 2nd at 10 am EST​ for the week of November 17th to 20th (Tuesday to Friday only). You will be able to book up to four three-hour blocks of time.
Reservations can then be made in the same way, two weeks in advance. Every Monday at 10:00 am we will open new time slots for people who wish to visit us two weeks later.
The following rooms will be open:
  • the Textual Consultation Room
  • the Restricted Consultation Room
  • the Reference Room
  • the Genealogy Room
​The Special Collections, Microforms and DigiLab rooms remain closed until further notice.
To complete your booking, you will need your user card. If you do not already have one, please register for a user card.
Once you receive your confirmation email, you will have a maximum of 24 hours to order the material you need to consult during your visit. This will allow our reference specialists to prepare your requested material and enable us to respect health and safety measures. If you do not order any material, your reservation will be cancelled. All of the details on how to order your material, along with general as well as health and safety instructions, will be included in your confirmation email.
Links to register and all the details will be available November 2nd at 10:00 am. Rest assured that we are monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely and are ready to make any changes required by public health authorities. For all of the latest news, visit our Reopening Library and Archives Canada web page and follow our social media accounts.



Sat., Oct. 31st – 2:00 pm – Irish Palatine SIG Presentation

Sun., Nov. 1st – Daylight Savings Time ENDS - Turn Your Clocks Back and enjoy the extra hour’s sleep!
Tues., Nov. 3rd - 2:00 pm - Ottawa Branch Virtual Genealogy Drop-In
Wed., Nov. 4th - 1:00 pm - Ottawa Branch British Colonial America SIG
Wed., Nov. 4th - 7:30 pm - Huron County Branch presentation
Thurs., Nov. 5th - 7:00 pm - Ontario Ancestors Webinar
November 5-11 – Veterans’ Week
Sat., Nov. 7th - 10:00 am - London-Middlesex Branch Presentation

FREE WEBINAR:  Michael Strauss - Researching Your Canadian Ancestors in the First World War

Thursday, November 5, 2020 – 7:00 PM ET
Canada would go on to play a prominent role in the First World War. Then a part of the British Empire in 1914.When Great Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914 the war would automatically involve Canada. Records of the Canadian Expeditionary Forces (CEF); including personnel files, Commonwealth war graves, nominal rolls, Americans fighting for Canada, and records of the Royal Canadian Navy will be examined. Additionally, post-war records including soldier’s settlement board, pensions and Canada back home afterwards.
Check out our Global Events Calendar on the our website to see the meetings and events coming up soon. Many of our events are webcast so you do not have to live nearby in order to attend.
Some Branches also stream their monthly meetings and speakers’ presentations. Check out your favourite Branch/SIG website for further information, and if they offer this service, be sure to watch them from the comfort of your own computer! Branch or SIG events will appear in the Calendar on the Ontario Ancestors website if it is included on the events calendar of the Branch/SIG website.
Missed an issue of eWeekly? Click here to read previous editions of eWeekly.
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Copyright © 2020 Ontario Ancestors. All rights reserved.
eWeekly Update newsletter is distributed by email to all members of Ontario Ancestors (The Ontario Genealogical Society), and to others upon request. The newsletter includes information about us, our activities, updates on genealogical initiatives, event and meeting notices, resource opportunities, and heritage information from across the province and around the world. The opinions expressed by contributors to eWeekly Update are not necessarily those of the Society, its officers, Board of Directors or of the editors. We do not endorse the claims of any advertisements, commercial offers, or third-party products, however we may on occasion earn a fee or commission related to commercial offers advertised herein.
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