November 28, 2020
Books, e-books, cemetery transcripts, census substitutes, militia records, land records, memberships, and more!
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Vivid-Pix BOGO Buy One/Gift One for Free – Great Gift for the Holidays

 You can take advantage of the Buy One/Gift One Promo for Vivid-Pix RESTORE photo and document restoration software by clicking the link below.  With the purchase of RESTORE Windows/Mac software at the OGS discounted price of USD $39.99, Vivid-Pix will send a free gift coupon of the software so you can send to a friend or family member and together you can share the gift of memories for the holidays. Who’s on your gift list? 


Don't forget to check out the new Gathering Traditions educational videos offered by Vivid-Pix!  They offer practical suggestions for celebrating the holidays in this pandemic year!

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?”
This week’s response comes from Director at Large Heather Oakley.
What makes genealogy fun for me?  As people may have gathered from some of my eWeekly articles, I really enjoy reading, especially social history about the places and times when my ancestors lived.  I want to understand what their life might have been like.  I also enjoy learning new things, whether it is a date about my great-great-grandparents’ marriage, what it cost to sail from London, how to use Evernote, or new sources on FamilySearch.  Finally, I really like connecting with other genealogists at in-person events like Conference and Gene-O-Rama (virtual is good but not as good!), listening to their great moments and brick walls.
Thank you, Heather, 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!
Durham Region Branch Presentation
Nancy Trimble, Chair, Durham Region Branch
Show and Tell / Bring & Brag – on Zoom!!
For many years it has been Durham Region Branch's tradition to get together at our December meeting to enjoy personal family history stories, along with tasty seasonal treats and hot apple cider. We have celebrated members' special stories, interesting documents or artifacts, and genealogical breakthroughs.
This year is different - requiring physical separation; yet this is an opportunity to gather together - with the aid of modern technology. Zoom is useful, but it has a drawback, in that holding items up to a web camera is often not clear enough for all participants.
So, if possible, when planning to show a web site, or document, or physical item, sending a link or photo to me, would be extremely helpful. My email is I will put your photo in my PowerPoint and ask you to unmute and tell us the story at the appropriate time.
Refreshments are optional - Bring your own!! Relax in a comfortable chair and prepare to be amazed at what your fellow genealogists have discovered about their families and online research during all their free time this year.
Join us at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, Dec. 1st, 2020.   Click this link to register:
Ontario Township Papers Now Available at FamilySearch
Through an agreement with the Archives of Ontario, FamilySearch is making Ontario's Township Papers available on their website for free. 
They are filed alphabetically, and can be found at the following links:
In order to access them, you must sign into or create a free account with FamilySearch.  Please note that these records have not yet been indexed or transcribed, but hold a wealth of information, so is worth it for any researcher to check them out!
They were previously only available at Family History Centres or affiliate libraries. 
Holiday Sales Have Started
It’s that time of year – when DNA kits get marked down and marketed as gift ideas!  John Reid posted a thorough list of the sales available – click this link to see his round-up.  Note that the MyHeritage deal was set to expire at midnight on Friday.
London-Middlesex Branch Presentation
Publicity, London-Middlesex County  Branch

Please join us on December 5th, 2020 at 10:00 am for an informative session where presenter Carol Small will introduce what the Middlesex Centre Archives has to offer for genealogists and researchers.

A graduate of UWO (M. Ed.), Carol has worked as a teacher and administrator. Born in England to a Canadian father, Carol grew up in Bruce County, later moving to Middlesex Centre where she farms with her husband Roy. She is the author of "Rain, Shine or Snow" - a history of the Ilderton Fair, and is the author of two genealogies on her and her husband's family.
Carol’s interest in education, history and rural life led her to pursue a wide range of activities. Carol was a founding member and past chair of the Lobo Township Historical Society. In this capacity, she was a co-ordinator, researcher, writer, photographer and co-editor of their local history entitled “The Heritage of Lobo 1820-1920”. She has served on the Board of Directors of Fanshawe Pioneer Village. She is a founding member of the Middlesex Centre Archives and currently is chair of the Board of directors and a volunteer. As well, Carol has worked within several rural and community organizations.
The presentation will be hosted by the branch virtually using Zoom. Registration is required. Please visit to register.  A confirmation email will be sent with the meeting link and details.
You can download Zoom to your computer or mobile device or join via web browser. (
BIFHSGO Workshop – Ontario Land Records Made Easy
Andrea Harding, BIFHSGO
Join Ken McKinlay on Saturday, December 5th, 10:00 am-noon, for a BIFHSGO Workshop: Ontario Land Records Made Easy. The workshop is free to attend but registration is required.
With so many of our European ancestors settling in Ontario and the recent closing to the public of the Ontario Land Registry Offices, many of us have been struggling to find the land records of our ancestors. Focusing primarily on rural lots, which many of our ancestors farmed, Ken McKinlay will explain how to meet the challenges involved in using the online records.
The first part of the session will show us how to figure out the lot and concession number using census and other records. The second part will show how to look for the property in the abstract books. The last part of the webinar will show how to search for the details of the transactions.
Throughout the webinar, after watching demonstrations of search techniques, participants will have the opportunity to explore the sources on their own, during short breaks, and ask questions on any problems they have encountered.
Click the following link to register
Sudbury District Branch Presentation
Join us!  Pre-registration is required at

Land Registry Office Closure Update
Here is the latest regarding the land registry office closures:
Documents out for scanning
No documents were picked up this week, but the following are planned for next week:
  • LRO 1- Algoma (Sault Ste. Marie) is to be picked up Monday.
  • LRO 45- Peterborough (Peterborough), LRO 28- Leeds (Brockville), LRO 29- Lennox (Napanee)
We continue to await word on when all documents will be returned to the offices.
OnLand Maintenance
There is a notice online at OnLand System Maintenance that OnLand will be offline for maintenance on December 5, 2020.
“The OnLand application will be unavailable on the below date for system maintenance: December 5, 2020. You will be able to access OnLand the following day.”
Our contact at the Ministry gives us some further details:  "I know we are calling it maintenance, but this is actually the implementation of a huge online enhancement to enable our historical Registry Act and paper documents to be uploaded into OnLand and Teraview for registration. It will take the entire weekend to upload the technology so it is available to the public on December 7."
Teranet Insighters!
As part of Teranet's ongoing commitment to improving the customer experience, “we'd like to make an exciting announcement. Instead of assuming what's important to you, and which improvements you want to see, we thought we'd ask! After all, you're the industry expert with the insight we need!  Introducing Teranet Insighters: our insight community that allows members to provide regular feedback through monthly activities, such as short online surveys. The results from all activities will be shared back with the community, so you’re able to see what your peers are thinking – but don’t worry, anything you share with us will remain anonymous!”
We are excited that a few of our members have been invited to join in this initiative, and thank them for taking the time to do so for all of our benefit!
eWeekly Survey

On November 21st we asked for your ideas to help us build an exciting Conference 2021.  We received 112 responses – thank you!
Of those who attended last year’s virtual conference (22% of respondents) most attended three or more days.  Most of you felt that one hour was the preferred length of time for a session, but that varied dependent on in-person or online events.
The top three topics you would like to learn about were DNA, land records, and finding records before civil registration:  in Ontario, in the United Kingdom and Ireland, and in eastern European countries.  You had some great suggestions for format, topics and speakers and the 2021 Conference Committee is using that input to create an exciting conference to celebrate the 60th Anniversary of OGS (Ontario Ancestors).
You can see the full results of the survey here!

For the next couple of weeks we will focus on the holiday season.  This week we’re asking how your holiday celebrations may be changing in this “year of the pandemic”.  The Survey will be open until midnight, Wednesday, December 2ndCLICK HERE to start the Survey!
Updates from our Favourite Bloggers
Kenneth Marks at The Ancestor Hunt has updated lists of free online Canadian photo archives for Ontario and Nova Scotia.
At Olive Tree Genealogy, Lorine McGinnis Schulze posts about the UK Valuation Office Survey carried out between 1910 and 1915, and a project to index some 1910 Inland Revenue Maps by Hertfordshire Names Online.  I was interested to read another post on the same site, Ancient Manuscripts Sewn Into 17th Century Purses.
Dick Eastman in Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter posts about The Myth of Wearing White Gloves, and also You Can’t Believe the Census Records!
At Canada’s Anglo-Celtic Connections John D. Reid writes about The Most Popular Anglican Church Names in England and Wales.  He also noted British Newspaper Archive Meets Page Target.
Gail Dever of Genealogy à la carte posts about Quebec’s National Genealogy Week much quieter this year as a result of the pandemic.  She also tells us ScotlandsPeople adds mothers’ maiden names to 1 million death record indexes.
At Fortify Your Family Tree DiAnn Iamarino gives us advice in Don’t Let Latin Church Records Scare You
Legacy Tree Genealogists gives us some good advice in 5 Tips for Writing a Good Genealogy Report.
At Finding Your Canadian Story, Candice McDonald writes about Saskatchewan Archives:  The Greystone Yearbooks Online at the University of Saskatchewan Archives.
Read Any Good Books Lately?
Heather Oakley
This booklover has been reading the latest news on Ontario Land Registry offices and accessing their records (see  Land records are important for research (at least in Canada).  The books I mention today will be out of date, especially in relation to Ontario Land Records – and many of them you may be able to access through your local public library or through inter-library loan.
For a brief overview, there is Ontario Land Records:  A Beginner’s Guide by Fraser Dunford.  The ‘bible’ Genealogy in Ontario:  Searching the Records by Brenda Dougall Merriman has a chapter on Land and Property Ownership Records (for sale by OGS).  There is the book entitled Ontario Land Registry Records:  A Research Guide by Fawne Stratford-Devai and Ruth Burkholder (available from Global Genealogy). 
If you are searching for land records in early Ontario, you should read about the Heir and Devisee Commission at the Library & Archives Canada website.  If you are looking for land records in eastern Canada, check out Genealogist’s Handbook for Atlantic Canada Research edited by Terrence M. Punch.  You can get Dave Obee’s book Back to the Land:  A Genealogical Guide to Finding Farms on the Canadian Prairies as an e-book from OGS if you are researching in western Canada.  If you need information on Scottish or Irish land records, OGS offers e-books on both topics.  Since my research interests do not include USA, I do not have any books to recommend but you might want to check out the FamilySearch research wiki on United States Land and Property as a starting point.   

Happy reading and researching!
Were Your Ancestors Involved in their Church Lives?
Then you won’t want to miss the December 3rd webinar Religious Newspapers – Not Just for Clergy, delivered by Janice Nickerson.
While involvement in church life has fallen off in recent decades, for many of our ancestors the local church was central not only to their faith, but to their social lives as well.  From teaching Sunday School to singing in the Choir, from counting collection monies to arranging flowers for Sunday and special services, our ancestors worked within their parishes and congregations to strengthen their places of worship.
On Wednesday, December 3rd at 7:00 pm Janice Nickerson will educate us about using Religious Newspapers as sources of information for everything from clergy postings and obituaries to church bazaars and Sunday school picnics.
Be sure to tune in to the last webinar of our 2020 series!
Register here:


News from Library and Archives Canada
Interruption of Computing Services of November 28th
We are updating some of our computer services on Saturday, November 28th, from 7:00 to 8:00 am (ET), during which Library and Archives Canada websites will not be available for a period of 15 minutes. We regret any inconvenience that these interruptions may cause.
The Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Signatures is here!
As a guardian of the past in a new era, Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is committed to fostering practices that preserve and highlight Canada’s rich documentary heritage through innovative methods for present and future generations. In this issue of Signatures, learn more about:
  • how LAC has been working to adapt its services during COVID-19
  • the acquisition of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Canadian Glacier Inventory records
  • LAC’s ongoing partnership with the Rwanda Archives and Library Services Authority
  • the Francophone Name Authority Program
  • the future state-of-the-art LAC–Ottawa Public Library joint facility
  • and more!
Signatures seeks to make known and interpret the living cultural, civic and historical record of Canada, as reflected in its documentary heritage. We hope that you find this latest issue both enlightening and entertaining!
COVID-19 — Temporary Closure of LAC’s Halifax Public Service Point
Starting on November 26th, 2020, Library and Archives Canada’s Halifax service point, located in the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, will be closed to the public for the next two weeks. We are following the new restrictions announced by Nova Scotia officials in light of the COVID 19 resurgence in the province.
Note that our Orientation, Reference and Genealogy teams will continue to help researchers navigate our website and advance their research within our collection. Visit our Reopening Library and Archives Canada web page and follow our social media accounts for the latest news and region-specific details.



Sat., Nov. 28th – 1:00 pm – Ottawa Branch Presentation
Tues., Dec. 1stWorld AIDS Day
Tues., Dec. 1st – 2:00 pm – Ottawa Branch Virtual Genealogy Drop-In
Tues., Dec. 1st – 7:30 pm – Durham Region Branch Presentation
Wed., Dec. 2ndInternational Day for the Abolition of Slavery
Wed., Dec. 2nd – 7:00 pm – Ottawa Branch British Colonial America SIG
Wed., Dec. 2nd – 7:30 pm – Huron County Branch Presentation
Thurs., Dec. 3rdInternational Day of Persons with Disabilities
Thurs., Dec. 3rd – 7:00 pm – Society Webinar Series
Fri., Dec. 4thInternational Day of Banks
Sat., Dec. 5thInternational Volunteer Day
Sat., Dec. 5th – 10:00 am – London-Middlesex Branch Presentation
FREE WEBINAR:  Janice Nickerson - Religious Newspapers - Not Just for Clergy

Thursday, December 3rd – 7:00 PM ET

The church played an enormous role in the lives of our ancestors, but we rarely give much thought to how we can learn about this aspect of their life histories, beyond locating their baptism, marriage and burial entries in church records. Religious newspapers to the rescue.

Did you know that religious newspapers published different versions of our ancestors’ obituaries? Or that they printed lists of subscribers, letters to the editor and news about Church Bazaars, Sunday School Festivals and Camp Meetings? Want to know what your ancestors’ denomination thought about dancing, Sunday streetcars and why young married couples shouldn’t live with their parents?

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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