What a year it has been – one that saw our ability to meet in-person curtailed and libraries/archives closed. But it’s also been a year of innovation for our Branch as we’ve moved our meetings online, until we can meet in-person again. We’ll be carrying on with our online meetings for the first half of 2021 too and welcome you to join us for our webinars on the 4th Sunday of January, February, March, April, May and June (for the first time in recent years!) And, of course, we maintain an active presence on Facebook and Twitter.
We’re a community of people who have a fascination of exploring our family trees, sharing what we’ve learned, helping others break down brick walls and preserving records that could help you discover your family’s roots in Halton or Peel Regions.
Our virtual meetings will replace our usual in-person sessions that alternatively take place at libraries in Oakville (Halton) and Brampton (Peel). Everyone is welcome to join us for the wide range of topics that are discussed between the months of January-May and September-November. Our meetings run from 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Meetings are free, virtual and open to everyone with a love of exploring the lives and mysteries of their ancestors.
Mark your Calendar! Our Spring meetings will be virtual and open to everyone
Sunday, April 18th at 2:00 p.m.: In Search of Home: Migration into, out of, and within Canada
To register for this free meeting: Halton-Peel webinar – April 18th
Understanding the flow of people will help you understand how your family fits in the history of the country. In some cases, records are available in Canada and in other countries, but in other cases researcher will need to consider social history and traditional migration routes to underst the lives of their ancestors. Includes a look at the social history of the arrival of the railway, which helped bring massive development to the four western provinces. The railways brought settlers, and helped them get their goods to markets. The railway companies had a keen interest in bringing settlers , and ran colonization schemes designed to entire people to the West.
Speaker: Dave Obee
Dave has been writing books and speaking on genealogy and local history for 20 years. From British Columbia, he is also Editor and Publisher of “The Times Colonist” in Victoria, British Columbia.
Sunday, May 16th at 2:00 p.m.: Ontario’s Township Papers for Halton-Peel
We’ll be talking about the Township Papers collection at the Archives of Ontario. The Township Papers are miscellaneous early land paperwork created as the province awarded individual lots to their initial occupiers and eventual owners. The presentation will focus on examples of Township Papers from Halton-Peel, and on clues in the Township Papers that can lead to other records in other collections.
The Township Papers have been digitized and are now available from home on the Family Search website, so these records can be explored while we’re stuck at home.
Speaker: Bev MacCulloch
Bev MacCulloch is the Membership Coordinator for Halton-Peel Branch of Ontario Ancestors. She began researching her Ontario ancestors in 1980. Bev has completed PLCGS certificates from the National Institute of Genealogical Studies in Canadian, American, Irish and English records.
Sunday, June 13th at 2:00 p.m.: DNA Explained
We’ll be looking at the different types of DNA used for genealogy and what results you can expect from your test. It will demonstrate the basic techniques used by family history researchers to analyze and find relationship matches with others. The differences between the various testing companies will be examined and explained. How to download and use your raw data on 3rd party sites is explained. This presentation is for anyone who hasn’t tested yet and is trying to decide on their best course of action and for those who have tested and are wondering what to do next.
Speaker: Bob Dawes
Bob is a retired technology industry executive who got turned onto genealogy in the early 90’s. He enjoys combining technology and travel to research his family. Bob and his wife, Barbara also an avid genealogist, have travelled throughout North America and the United Kingdom in pursuit of their ancestors. Their most recent trip was to Scotland for 35 days in 2019 where they filled in for the staff at the Buchan Family History Centre in Peterhead for a week. Bob is a past chair of Quinte Branch – Ontario Ancestors and has given presentations to many branches and conferences.
Genealogy Happenings in Halton-Peel
Due to COVID-19, in-person Genealogy Meet-Ups have been moved online. Please visit their websites for more details.
We are fortunate to be in an area where our local libraries are truly supportive of genealogical pursuits and regularly schedule courses to upgrade our skills and broaden our horizons.
Oakville Public Library: For more information, please see their Family and Local History page for details about the ‘Genealogy Meetup‘ sessions and new Genealogy Workshops.
Burlington Public Library has a comprehensive Local History page, and also runs a popular Genealogy Club on the 2nd Monday of every month between 6:00 p.m.-7:30 p.m.
The Genealogy Club is led by Ontario Ancestors Past-President Steve Fulton. This free session is a fun, 90-minute session for beginners and seasoned pro’s alike and really acts as a forum to raise questions, share ideas and get some inspiration.
Brampton Library offers a Genealogy and Local History page.
Milton Library also has a Genealogy and Local History section
For Branch members: If you have been having problems accessing our Branch Members Only (BMO) Page, please take note of the following change in the access procedure. After clicking on Members Only on the header above, you will see a new Log In box on the right-hand side. Sign in here with your Ontario Ancestors email and password credentials then a simple click on “Visit Branch Members Only” will take you right to our BMO page.
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