Ruth Blair

Researching your Irish Family History from this Side of the Pond

This lecture will show you what online resources are available to help you research your Irish family history. We will look at the available digital images and repositories that can further your research in Ireland. It is not only records relating to civil registration, church, census and land but other sources that could lead you to discover more about your Irish ancestors.

Scottish Research from Afar

The pay per view website ScotlandsPeople is usually the first stop for anyone researching their Scottish family history online. This lecture will take you through the process of using ScotlandsPeople and show how using other resources to help narrow down your search will enable you to use ScotlandsPeople in a more cost effective manner. Other online resources that can assist you with your Scottish research will also be examined. If you can’t go to Scotland to research your family, this lecture will help you find out what is available online for Scottish research.

John Boeren

How to Start Your Research in the Netherlands

Many Canadian families have Dutch roots. If you want to find your Dutch ancestors, you need to know how and where to search for their names. In this lecture you hear about the development of Dutch family names, the elements of a person’s name, the use of patronymics. This lecture also gives you an overview of the most important records and websites for genealogy in the Netherlands, and teaches you how to search for Dutch names in genealogical databases.

Michelle L. Chubenko

Post-WWII Immigration: Using the Digital Resources of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

For many who are interested in their family history, an immigrant ancestor is often no closer than a great-grandparent who chose to travel to a new homeland in the late 19th or early 20th centuries. However, a new generation is coming of age to seek their family history. Just 70 years ago, a new facet was added to traditional immigration patterns with the post-World War II exodus of Central and Eastern European peoples. As the designated repository for North America, the USHMM offers access to the International Tracing Services digital archives as well as many exclusive Holocaust related databases created from ghetto and camp lists, survivor testimony and many other resources. This lecture will introduce researchers to USHMM’s many digital collections to utilize when researching Holocaust and post-WWII immigrants.

WWII Displaced Persons: A Stateless People

How did they become displaced? Were they forced laborers? What documents did they create as Displaced Persons? Learn the answer to these questions and more to reconstruct the journey of WWII Displaced Persons using resources of the International Tracing Service (ITS).

(Re)Building Your Eastern European Ancestral Village

This lecture will help attendees to learn to use published materials to build the historical image of their ancestral village through the identification of available historical resources including 19th century gazetteers and cadastral maps. Participants will also learn how to effectively use schematisms to learn more about the churches in the local deanery and use Jewish Community Regulations to establish synagogue jurisdictions. Also, an introduction to the large variety of 19th and 20th century city, business and governmental directories will be given to show participants how to gather statistical data for ancestral towns in place of non-extant census records.

The lecture will include examples for locations across Eastern Europe which will demonstrate how to use the statistical data and incorporate visual details as well along with a detailed bibliography which will provide resources for Prussia, Austria-Hungary and Imperial Russia.

Elise C. Cole

“Genealogical Deeds Done Dirt Cheap” – No Apologies to AC/DC

Many genealogical researchers find their research daunting because of the costs involved. Personal subscriptions to the major databases are costly, purchasing books related to your research, and even the possibility of travel can add up. This lecture will demonstrate to participants how to breakdown genealogical barriers by lowering their research costs by taking advantage of the many resources available for free, learning how to find those resources, and making use of the multitude of resources held at their local public library. Although aimed at the beginning genealogist, this lecture will be of benefit to all family history researchers who want to research for a song!

Don’t Copy Wrong: Copyright!

Have you been avoiding learning the ins-and-outs of copyright even though you know you should? Is the subject too complicated, confusing or lawyerly for you to delve into? If you answered yes, then this lecture is for you!

In this lecture, you will learn:

  • What is Copyright and what do you need to know as a family historian?
  • What is covered by Copyright and what is not?
  • What constitutes fair dealing and when does it not apply?
  • When do you need to seek permission and when don’t you?
  • How do you protect my own research and/or photos?
  • What can you do if someone reproduces my work without my permission?

Elise will break down copyright and what you need to know as a family history researcher and explain things in easy-to-understand way that you can apply in your own research. The lecture will also touch on licensing, international Copyright laws and other intellectual property topics that the family history researcher might encounter.

Victor Corrales

¿Habla español? – Break Down the Language Barrier on Hispanic Research

Reading records in a foreign language could be intimidating, but that should not be the case for Spanish. This lecture will introduce the researcher to basic tools and techniques to bring the Español brick wall down. Learn about naming conventions, spelling traditions and basic techniques to extract information from vital records (civil and ecclesiastical). This lecture is ideal for people without previous knowledge of Spanish that would like to research ancestors in Spain, Mexico or South America.

Linda Corupe

The Doctor Is In

One area of research that is not commonly pursued are the records left behind related to the health issues of our ancestors. There are a great variety of these, many of which can be useful to the genealogist. For example, Dr. John Hutchison of Peterborough kept a register of the births which he attended, ranging from 1817-1846. Records of the prescriptions issued by several pharmacies in the 19th and early 20th centuries can be consulted at the Archives of Ontario. Prominent among surviving health records are those relating to mental issues. Patient records of several of the early asylums in the province have survived, and family members are often mentioned in the case histories of those unfortunate people. Other such afflicted individuals were sometimes housed in the local jails, where registers reveal their personal details. The rampage of cholera throughout our province in 1832 and again in 1834 left behind newspaper reports, sometimes with names given; there are also church records, hospital records and lists of orphans left behind by the epidemics. Another overlooked source is the multitude of advertisements for patent medicines, so popular in the 19th century newspapers. These advertisements often contain testimonials, showing the name and address of the satisfied customers, and in some cases, even sketches. The presence of poor health and disease were also sometimes successfully used as the basis for petitions requesting reductions in jail sentences. This workshop will discuss how to access these health records, and the types of information that can be found therein.

Making Her Presence Known

It’s often “a man’s world” when it comes to researching ancestors in Upper Canada. Legal limitations on the ability of women to own land or participate in elections eliminates most of them from some of the common areas of source material. But there are some records which yield surprising amounts of information, such as guardianship applications, jail registers, surrogate filings, apprenticeship and school records, newspaper articles and bastardy oaths. Women’s struggles to defend themselves against men in cases of marital abuse, breach of promise of marriage, or the burden of an illegitimate pregnancy have left behind valuable clues to the day to day existence and family life of these early 19th century women. Likewise, the problems encountered by those women who found themselves in the position of having to provide not only for themselves but also for a young family, generated paper trails which can often be helpful to a researcher. These can take the form of petitions for pensions, for land to which an absent or deceased husband was entitled, or possibly for a menial government position. Court records, such as judges’ bench books, reveal details of many aspects of the day to day life and issues faced by women of the day, and their attempts to overcome them.

This lecture will guide the audience through the records left behind in archives and libraries that researchers can use today to enhance their knowledge of female ancestors. The information which can be gleaned from each source will be discussed, as will the circumstances which led to each type of record being kept, and how the laws governing the access of females to the rights and privileges enjoyed by men changed throughout the years.

Mags Gaulden

An African-Canadian Family History Mystery

Researching an African-Canadian Family History Mystery. Adoption and a well-spun family story, the truth revealed through the use of traditional, forensic and genetic genealogy.

The ABC’s of Y-DNA

This lecture will provide a wonderful platform to learn about the world of the Y chromosome and how it can enhance your paternal genealogy.

Getting Your Results Is Just the Beginning

DNA results can be difficult to understand and apply. In this lecture, Jim will discuss what the data means when viewing it on the FamilyTreeDNA platform, as well as some of the tools available for applying this data to your genealogy.

Y Haplogroups and the Peopling of Europe

The earliest humans evolved in Africa tens of thousands of years ago. From here, they spread all across the globe in distinct migratory patterns that we call haplogroups. Several of these haplogroups entered Europe in successive waves. This lecture will cover the major haplogroups found in Europe and explain when and how they migrated there.

Kirsty Gray

Finding Your Ancestors in the Asylum (England & Wales)

Mental health hospital records are becoming more readily available across the UK. They are an indispensable source for family historians, particularly the admission and discharge registers and case books. They can indicate the nature of a patient’s illness and how that illness was treated, they can confirm important genealogical information such as family relationships and dates of birth, admission and discharge or death, and, perhaps most importantly of all, provide some historical background into an ancestor’s life and the circumstances surrounding their illness. Researching asylum records can open up Pandora’s Box. This lecture will highlight what life would have been like for asylum patients in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as providing case studies which will include primary source documentation.

Johanne Gervais

The French Canadian Disease

A genealogist’s passion is studying family history and tracing their lineage. If there happens to be an inherited disease anywhere in the link, they can trace from where it originated and by which route it passed down through the generations. Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD) is one of nine types of muscular dystrophy, a group of genetic, degenerative diseases primarily affecting voluntary muscles. Although named for the muscles it affects first – the eyelids (oculo) and throat (pharyngeal) – OPMD can affect facial and limb muscles. OPMD affects 1 in 1,000 people of French Canadian descent. How many have inherited OPMD and do not know it?

If you have French Canadian ancestry, this lecture will help you identify if you have OPMD but most importantly, it will show how genealogy played a major role in tracing the origins of the disease to three French sisters who came to New France in 1648. This lecture will also show how you can trace, through your ancestors, the disease to one of those three sisters.

Physical to Digital: The Birth of the Québec Genealogical eSociety

The availability of and distance to a genealogical society, and personal mobility are all factors that hinder researchers in their pursuit of family history information. Today’s digital world brings all sorts of services to us via the internet, so why not provide genealogists, wherever they are located, with access to services, features, and other like-minded genealogists, as they would have with a visit to a physical society?

The Québec Genealogical eSociety replicates the physical society experience for the Can’ts and the Won’ts. The Can’ts are those people who, because of time, distance, or other constraints can’t get to a genealogical society. The Won’ts are the device-driven people who won’t go to a society because their digital devices bring their virtual world to them, be it shopping, banking, socializing, or researching. The Québec Genealogical eSociety provides both the Can’ts and the Won’ts with tools to help in their genealogical research. Let Johanne show you how you can help break down your genealogical society’s physical barriers by moving to the digital age!

Lianne Kruger

How to Use YouTube to Share Your Family History

Where are you storing videos from ancestors, family reunions, family vacations, birthday parties or some fun time? How do you share them with other family members? YouTube is one way to store and share videos with your family with unlimited storage. Create an account and store your videos on YouTube and then you can share the videos with others and you have a backup copy as well. By the end of this lecture, you will understand why and how you can share and store your videos as a backup using YouTube.

The lecture will cover:

  • Creating an account
  • Sharing the account with your family
  • Uploading videos
  • Importing videos
  • Adding profile pictures
  • Using Video Manager
  • Creating videos from PowerPoint, Google Slides, Keynote We will discuss
  • Discussion on security choices
  • Limits to length/size of videos

Eva Kujawa

Introduction to Researching your East European Ancestors

This lecture will cover a historical overview of Eastern Europe, and how it morphed through divisions and border changes, from wars and battles into the countries that we have in today’s world. Eva will cover the majority of countries in East Europe and will share the impacts of the various cultures that share the borders of this magnificent area. She will guide people through various research resources, how to plan research and address potential challenges and solutions for this type of genealogical research.

The lecture will look at topics such as what’s in a name, naming traditions, languages, the various handwriting styles, as well as the various types of records and that can be located. Eva will also supply a list of websites and databases that hold a huge amount of information for research in this region.

Kathryn Lake Hogan

Before Ontario: Researching in Upper Canada and Canada West

Researching ancestors in Upper Canada before 1850 can be frustrating. It’s so hard to find any records. But is it really?

Discover the best places to find records in this early period of Ontario. Learn strategies for using indirect evidence in order to draw conclusions about your Upper Canada and Canada West ancestors.

Defending Canada

From the War of 1812 until the end of the Second World War, Canada’s borders have been invaded but never conquered. Who were the invaders, and what did they hope to accomplish? Learn about your ancestor’s service defending Canada, and what information might be revealed about them and their families.

David Allen Lambert

Before They Were Loyalists: Researching Colonial New England and New York Ancestors

This lecture will provide attendees with an opportunity to learn about the best resources to research Loyalist families from New England and New York from archival through online sources as well as understanding the local history of an ancestor’s community before they fled the colonies to learn the complete story of their life. Local, county and state resources to consider in your research will be discussed.

Researching Canadian and American World War I Veterans

This lecture will offer genealogical and military research advice to understand the military service records of your Canadian and American WWI veterans as well as teaching you how to research their unit and “Adopt the Regiment” to understand more about their service. Furthermore, it will assist attendees to learn to utilize social media to create a reunion group, and locate fellow descendants of these veterans.

Ellen Maki

Get the Most out of Your DNA Matches with Network Graphing

One of the most exciting aspects of taking a DNA test is discovering that you share DNA with many cousins, close and distant. While figuring out how you are connected to all these people may seem daunting, there are tools that can help with this task. One of these is network graphing, an automated and user-friendly way of looking at the inter-connections between you and your shared matches. This is a visual method of highlighting clusters of related individuals that would be difficult to identify by manually sorting through matches. These graphs can be used for either shared (in-common-with) matches or triangulated segments.

This lecture will look at RootsFinder, a popular online software that uses triangulated segments, AncestryDNA circles, and other freely available software for creating network graphs of shared matches.

Jane MacNamara

Records of Migration and Settlement at the Archives of Ontario

Since its founding, Ontario has been involved in supporting and promoting settlement. This lecture will look at the major groups of records surrounding immigration, naturalization, and settlement generated by the province and earlier by Upper Canada and Canada West, as well as a selection of records at the county and municipal level, and in the fonds of organizations and individuals. These are rich sources which may provide clues to motivation and living conditions, as well as the basic immigration information for your ancestors.

One Book at a Time: Publishing Your Family History on Demand.

New digital presses and new online business models allow authors to self-publish their own books with no/very minimal upfront printing costs. Hardcover or softcover or e-book, various sizes and formats, many services offer design templates, and may even assist you to market your book. This lecture will look at a number of these companies and help you understand the options they offer. Which parts of the process should you take on yourself and when should you look for an expecrt to help to make your years of carefully researched work the best it can be? Plan ahead to keep your publishing options open. Have more fun and less frustration and be really proud of the result.

Lynn Palermo

Get with the Plan: 7 Simple Steps to a Research Strategy

Are your research methods unfocused? Do you find yourself jumping around with no clear strategy? This is a real sign that you’re not working with a research plan. In this lecture, Lynn will help you to reign in your scattered approach to your research and stop the aimless and disorganized researching. Get more precise in your approach to uncovering the lives of your ancestors by learning to develop a research plan.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go When You Get Out of Your Armchair

Sometimes the only way to move past a brick wall is to hit the road and travel to the home country and ancestral village of your ancestor. There are just some things you can’t do from behind a computer. In this lecture, we will look at how a family history trip can get you up close and personal with your ancestor. We will look at how to walk in your ancestor’s footsteps, how to find the back door to your ancestor’s community so you can get a real sense of their lives. From preplanning to packing, apps and websites, tour companies, guides and going it alone, we will give you the tools you need to plan your own “Who Do You Think You Are Experience?”

Marian Press

The Expanding World of Digital Newspapers: Where are We in 2019?

New types of digitized records may not be appearing as frequently as they once did, but many of what could now be called “traditional” online records are reaching critical mass and have become as essential to family history research as paper records still are. One of the most important of these is digital newspapers. Newspapers have always been a major source for genealogists, but are even more so now as they become easily available online. What is even more important for researchers is that now not only U.S., Canadian and British newspapers are widely available online (with some caveats for Canada), but other countries, which were important to our ancestors as they worked or emigrated there, are now becoming available: countries such as South Africa, Rhodesia, India, Singapore, Bermuda, Australia and New Zealand—all once British colonies—now have historical digitized newspapers available. A wide range of newspaper sites will be covered in this lecture with emphasis on countries that are likely to have direct relevance to Canadian researchers. There will also be discussion of how to find digital newspaper sources online using search engines and portals. Various ways of viewing digital newspapers will also be discussed, including the Revgenea app, which won the RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown.

Death Online: Beyond Parish Registers and Civil Registration

There are many more sources for death and burial beyond parish registers and civil registration. This lecture will cover many of these, including obituaries, wills and probate records, burial records, gravestone transcriptions and photographs. Particular attention will be paid to testamentary documents (especially those for the United Kingdom and Ireland), as recent developments in the digital world have made these much more accessible—from online indexes to Family History Library digital microfilm numbers to full digital images for major probate courts, as well as some smaller church courts; soldier’s wills and British India Office wills and probate records. These additional sources for death and its aftermath are migrating online; in fact, many are being born digital, especially photographic sources. The wide range of sources available, from those on commercial web sites, to libraries and archives, to volunteer projects online will be discussed. Just one example is the free Canadian Necrology Project at the University of Toronto Libraries.

John Reid & Glenn Wright

Great Expectations: A Tale of Two Countries

As a British colony since the 18th century to a member of the British Empire by the 1930s, Canada attracted hundreds of thousands of men, women and children from Britain expecting a better life and helping build the country. The numbers are impressive. There is no typical immigrant and, in this presentation, based on case studies, we will look at several different types of immigrant. Who are these people, what are their stories and what does their experience tell us about British immigration to Canada? From well-to-do families came some, known as “remittance” men, who were essentially exiled to Canada with the promise of a monthly allowance and a reciprocal promise not to come home again. Some flourished, some did not.

While many immigrants saw Canada as a place to settle into a community and raise a family others arrived with an interest in the military, policing or adventure. The Mounted Police, for example, included several titled members, the son of a famous novelist and at least two members who escaped from unhappy marriages, in one case, with deadly results. And well known is the story of Archie Belaney who left Hastings, England, arrived in Canada, and transformed himself into Grey Owl.

At the other end of the social scale were more than 100,000 young British boys and girls – orphaned, neglected, abused or considered “surplus” who were taken in by charitable organizations with the promise of a better life in Canada. The names Rye, Barnardo, Middlemore, Fegan and others are writ large across the history of these young immigrants.

The individual stories in this lecture are nothing more than a quick flash of light on the British immigrant experience, but what about our own ancestors? What were their motives for leaving home, what was their experience in a new land, what can we learn from the stories of individual and some very untypical immigrants?

Terry Schwan

Using the National Registration of 1940 to Breakdown Genealogical Barriers

Do you have a hard time finding extended family members living during the Second World War? The National Registration of 1940 provides an alternative to census records. The Registration resulted from the compulsory registration of all adults in Canada from 1940 to 1946. This information was originally obtained to permit the mobilization of all the human and material resources for the purpose of the defence and security of Canada. The records are in the custody of Statistics Canada so they are subject to the Privacy Act. When a person has been dead for more than twenty years, the information is no longer considered to be personal and can be disclosed. A proof that the individual has been deceased for more than twenty years is requested. If 110 years have passed since the date of birth evidence of this is sufficient. The Registration included all persons who were sixteen years of age or older, except for members of the armed forces and religious orders, or those confined to an institution. The questionnaires include many personal details as well as immigration information, racial origin, languages, education, general health, occupation, employment status, farming or mechanical skills, and previous military service. A fee is required for each successful search.

Terry will explain how to use the Registration and what information is collected. He will also describe his personal experience using the Registration to move forward successfully in his genealogical research.

Glenn Wright

Library and Archives Canada: Overlooked Treasures for Family History and Genealogy

Accessing some archival records is not always easy – descriptions can be vague and mean little or nothing to most researchers. How can we overcome this? How can we uncover the full potential of our documentary heritage as found in archives, large and small, all across Canada and even beyond our borders? Our own national archives is a case in point.

In spite of a much improved website, easier access and detailed archival descriptions, there are treasures to be found. This lecture is in the form of stories based on little known or little used records in the archives – life insurance, military pensions, railways and immigrants, missing prairie settlers, a 1917 census, a vengeful mother and more. The stories are meant to entertain and inform, and suggest that we all have a great deal to learn from archives and the records held there. As dedicated researchers, it is incumbent upon us to be informed and let our curiosity lead us, so that we understand the full potential of any archival resource. To turn a common phrase on its head, it is time we think inside the box.

Stephen Young

The Disguised Origin of George R. Young

This lecture is based on an article published in the November 2015 issue of Families. Using vital records, census records (both Canadian and U.S.), and city directories, Stephen will reconstruct the true story of a man whose death registration provided completely false information about his origin, age, parentage, etc. In reality, the man was probably hiding the fact from his second wife and two daughters in Kalamazoo, Michigan that he had a previous marriage and two other daughters living in Toronto. The sources will reveal the facts!