Genealogy in Toronto
A day-long workshop about researching local and distant ancestors in Toronto
Presented by the Ontario Genealogical Society, Toronto Branch and the Canadiana Department of North York Central Library
Saturday, February 24, 2007
North York Central Library Auditorium
5120 Yonge Street, Toronto
(North York Centre subway station)
A celebration of OGS Toronto Branch’s 40th anniversary
Whether your ancestors were Torontonians, or you’re looking for family further afield, come help us celebrate 40 years of genealogy in Toronto. This informal wintery workshop, suitable for both experienced and beginning family historians, will explore current research techniques and our city’s remarkable resources for genealogical research.
9:15–10:00 am Registration
Session A (plenary): Sources in the University of Toronto Libraries for Genealogical Research in North America and Europe
The University of Toronto Libraries, which include not just the Robarts Library, but also the federated college libraries, hold a substantial amount of information that is of great value to family historians. The materials with genealogical significance range from early works in paper through to licensed online resources. Some paper examples: bibliographic materials such as Richard J. Hayes’ Sources for the history of Irish civilization, genealogical materials in series publications of local societies, such as the Yorkshire Archaeological Society and the Devon and Cornwall Record Society, the many local histories and U.S. and Canadian family histories in the collection, such as Andrew Mills and his descendants with genealogies of related families, and the hundreds of biographical sources such as The Civil War roster of Davidson County, North Carolina. Some electronic examples: British Parliamentary Papers, Palmer’s Index to The Times 1790-1980, New York Times 1851-2002, North American Women’s Letters and Diaries, and Scottish Bibliographies Online. The presentation will cover types of resources; how to use the online catalogue, how to find and use the electronic resources; and how to physically gain access to the resources.
Speaker: Marian Press, MLS, MA, librarian at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, instructor for the National Genealogical Institute and OGS Toronto Branch, and frequent speaker at genealogical conferences and meetings in Canada and the USA.
Session B: Toronto Public Library's Best Bets
Discover unique and unusual published resources to research your family history from the collections of North York Central's Canadiana Department and the Toronto Reference Library's Special Collections Department. Find specialized directories (professional, ethnic, social, etc.), almanacs, yearbooks, and more surprising sources that will help you track that elusive ancestor.
Speakers: Diana Fink, Services Specialist, North York Central Library, Canadiana Department. Diana has spent more than two decades of her career in the Canadiana Collection. Canadiana, Lillian Mitchell, Librarian, Genealogy and Local History, Toronto Reference Library, Special Collections Department. Lillian has over 15 years experience with the Toronto Public Library.
Session C: Beyond the Death Certificate
This session will examine the wealth of documentary evidence of a death (and the person’s life) that may exist beyond a simple death certificate. Using several specific examples of people who lived and died in Toronto (although the same resources will work for people elsewhere in Ontario, and beyond) the following records will be highlighted: obituaries in dailies and community papers and other newspaper accounts, coroners’ reports, and wills and administrations.
Speaker: Paul McGrath, genealogical researcher, speaker and author, creator of OntarioRoots.com, and researcher for History Television’s Ancestors in the Attic.
12:15 pm Lunch
(There are several restaurants close to the Library and a food court in the building.)
12:15 pm OVERFLOW SESSION (NEW) Tour of North York Library’s Canadiana Department (limited to 20 participants)
Session D (plenary): Willowdale, Then and Now
The North York Central Library is located in what was the bustling rural community of Willowdale--just one of several villages centred on Yonge Street. Gibson House Museum, next door to the Library, stands as an elegant reminder of rural Willowdale, which was first known as Kummer's Settlement (with many spelling variations). Discover the neighbourhood of David Gibson, a 19th century farmer, surveyor, and one of the leaders of the 1837 Upper Canada Rebellion. This "armchair tour" will use photographs, drawings, maps and documents from the collection of the North York Historical Society, the TPL's North York Collection, and other sources.
Speaker: Betty McQuillan, life-long resident of North York, active member of OGS Toronto Branch, North York Historical Society, and the Ontario Historical Society
Session E: Tour of North York Library’s Canadiana Department (limited to 20 participants) (NOW FULL. PLEASE SEE 12:15 PM SESSION.)
Session F: Hidden Gems in the Baldwin Room
The Toronto area has some of the province’s most valuable collections of genealogical records. One of these collections is the Baldwin Room’s manuscript collection, at the Toronto Reference Library. In this presentation, you’ll learn about some of the most valuable and interesting records housed in the Baldwin Room, including old cookbooks, personal papers, militia records, account books, correspondence, diaries, ephemera, and photographs.
Speaker: Janice Nickerson, professional genealogist specializing in the Upper Canada period, author, speaker, and former Chair of the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Session G: Quaker Records of Early Upper Canada
The Quakers played a significant role in the settlement of Upper Canada up to about 1830, and numerous records exist from the various meetings. They provide insight into the social history as well as extensive genealogical information hidden away in the business of the meeting. Most records are held at the Quaker Archives in Newmarket. This presentation will provide background information about the Quaker migration into various parts of Ontario, and show you how to locate and understand the records, with an emphasis on the key meetings, including the Yonge Street Meeting.
Speaker: Randy Saylor, retired high school principal, and a Quaker descendant, who spearheaded the transcription of over 2,700 pages of Quaker minute books from the West Lake Meeting in the Bay of Quinte area.
Session H: Using the Toronto Public Library System to Research your Family in England
How much English Research can you do without leaving town? What books, microfiche, microfilm and Internet sites are available in Toronto public libraries to help you with your research in England? Records that will be discussed include census, civil registration, probate and city directories, as well as a brief look at references relating to the military, newspapers and history.
Speaker: Ruth Blair, Oakville, professional genealogist and author, member of the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and the Ontario Genealogical Society.
Session I: A Million Images: Photography Collections at the City of Toronto Archives
The presentation will provide an overview of the City of Toronto Archives' photography collections from 1856 to the 1990s. More than 60 images will be shown and the following topics will be addressed: the size and scope of the collections, the City of Toronto Archives' mandate; the process of acquiring photographic records; the characteristics that give a photograph archival value; and some of the challenges inherent in acquiring and preserving photographic records.
Speaker: Steve Mackinnon, Archivist at the City of Toronto Archives for more than 20 years, with a keen interest and considerable expertise in the photography collections.
Tour of Gibson House Museum: Tour fee: $6.00 (limited to 50 participants)
Step back in time and join us for a special tour of this elegant Georgian farmhouse built by the Gibson family in 1851. Scottish immigrant David Gibson, a land surveyor, mapped early Toronto and helped prepare Ontario's wilderness for settlement. A participant in the Upper Canada Rebellion of 1837, Gibson was forced to flee to the United States where he and his family remained for 11 years. On their return to York County, the Gibsons built a beautiful new home and were once again active members of their rural community. (Gibson House is a very short walk from the Library.)
How to get to the workshop:
By public transit: North York Central Library is connected directly to the North York Centre subway station, on the Yonge line. Inter-city trains and buses link with the subway at Union, Dundas, or York Mills stations. Allow at least 35 minutes from Union or Dundas, or 15 minutes from York Mills, to get to North York Centre.
By car: North York Central Library is at 5120 Yonge Street, Toronto M2N 5N9, on the west side at Park Home Avenue (about halfway between Sheppard and Finch). From Highway 401, exit northbound at Yonge Street; proceed north to Park Home Avenue (6th or 7th traffic light) and turn left.
Accommodation: The Novotel North York is part of the North York Centre complex. For more information, visit: www.novotel.com.
HOW TO REGISTER
FEE: $30 (postmarked before January 22, 2007)
$35 (after January 22, IF SPACE ALLOWS)
$6 fee for optional Gibson House Museum tour
Please complete the registration form and send it (before January 22, 2007) to:
Please, do not, under any circumstances, include a credit card number in your e-mail.
Registrations after January 22 will be accepted if space allows.