Ontario Ancestors to host six virtual presentations this week

Canada’s largest genealogical society, Ontario Ancestors, four of its branches and one of its special interest groups will host virtual presentations this week — and that’s not an April Fool’s joke. Five presentations are free, one is $10, two are hybrid, and all are open to those who register.

The following times are in Eastern time.

Monday, April 1, 7:00 p.m. — Leeds & Grenville Branch
Brockville Newspapers from 1821 to 1917 by Alice McMurtry

This presentation chronicles the formation and development of Brockville’s leading newspapers. Power, politics, and technology all play a part in this story. This talk looks at familiar examples like the Recorder and the Times, along with stories of lesser-known papers like the Brockville Gazette and the Statesman. We’ll see how the politics of the day influenced the development of these papers and how they shaped the Brockville community. Register to watch online.

The Leeds & Grenville Branch has digitized many of the Brockville papers up to 1901, and the digital files are available in the Members Library on the branch website.  The microfilm reels are also available for viewing in the branch archives, by making an appointment for a visit.

Tuesday, April 2, 7:30 p.m. — Durham Branch
They Sure Moved Around by Sher Leetooze

Sometimes we lose our ancestors – not because they die, or we’re not doing a very good search – but because they moved away. Most of the time we don’t know why they moved, and we may never know why they moved. Doing a recent genealogical search for a man from the US, I followed his family from Darlington Township down to Kent County and environs, and in doing so blew some family myths out the window! Ontario isn’t really all that big, so let’s look at some of the resources in other parts of the province that you can call on to dispel some of our ancestral fog! This is a hybrid meeting. Attend in person at Northminster United Church, 676 Simcoe Street North in Oshawa or register to watch online.

Wednesday, April 3, 10:00 a.m. — Scottish SIG
Crew Agreements for British Empire Merchant Vessels, 1863-1938 and 1951-1976, Held at the Maritime History Archive by David Bradley

Archivist David Bradley of the Maritime History Archive in St. John’s, Newfoundland will share this rich resource with us and help us to understand the information contained within these records. Register to watch online.

Wednesday, April 3, 7:30 p.m. — Huron County Branch
Canada Company by David Yates

The Canada Company was a private British land development company established to aid in the colonization of a large part of Upper Canada. Founded by John Galt, who became its first Superintendent, the company was successful in populating an area, called The Huron Tract – an achievement called “the most important single attempt at settlement in Canadian history.” Register to watch online.

Thursday, April 4, 7:00 p.m. — Ontario Ancestors
How at-DNA and Big Y-DNA lead to the Big Surprise! by Edward Swierczewski Jr.

The journey started with at-DNA results of distant cousin matches and admixture estimates that evolved over time and began converging on a narrow yet unknown ancestral path, followed by more at-DNA testing and then the Big Y-DNA test, which uncovered a patrilineal MPE. A detailed review of the discovery timeline and of the documentary, methodological, and identity issues raised in this case. A review of the advantages and disadvantages of at-DNA will be conducted, as well as using the WATO tool. Free for members. $10 for non-members. Register to watch online.

Saturday, April 6, 2:00 p.m. — Simcoe County Branch
Orillia Spirit by David Town

Author of 22 books and a chiropractor by trade, historian Dr. David Town has spent many years documenting various aspects of Orillia’s history. Join us while he shares a bit of his knowledge with us. He will also have a selection of his books for sale. This is a hybrid meeting. Attend in person at Northwest Barrie United Church, 464 Ferndale Drive North in Barrie  or register to watch online.

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