British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
Founded in 1994, BIFHSGO is located in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. We encourage family history research and its dissemination by people with ancestry in the British Isles.  Learn more in About Us

Great Moments: Saturday, June 13 

10:00 to 11:30 am 
Three members will speak about their “Eureka!” moments in genealogical research. Find out what they did, and just as important, how they did it.
Join us online for this virtual meeting. Registration for this webinar is required. Please register HERE.
The Elmer-Leonard James Brickwall: Were they related?
Brian Glenn spent his formative years growing up in Mechanicsville with two sets of James “cousins”. One family was definitely related through marriage to Brian’s father’s sister but the relationship of the other James family was not so clear. A Christmas conversation in 2018 with his cousin Susan James started his quest to solve the relationship between the two James families.
About the Speaker
Brian had the honour of becoming a BIFHSGO Hall of Fame member in 2016. He has been involved in many aspects of the Society including Education, Research, web support and Conference online registration. He continues his family research with recent explorations of ancestors that migrated from Pontiac County, Quebec to western Canada and South Dakota, USA.
What is small, antique and eventually only belongs to just one person?    
A postcard! Sally Doherty will share stories she unearthed through a collection of postcards her maternal grandfather, Alexander Yuill Laing, sent to his children while on the high seas (1903-1920).  It is her hope that this presentation will make people dream of far-away places which we cannot visit right now.
About the Speaker:
Sally (Carlisle) Doherty... is unlike her grandfather in that she has been afraid of large bodies of water since childhood.  However, sharing his passion for international travel, she enjoyed a wonderful 36-year career in the airline industry, in three countries and on three continents. Early retired, she volunteers with a bereavement support group for survivors of victims of homicide after her mother fell victim. Sally has tutored French, was a family counsellor for a funeral director, volunteered at the Info desk at YOW Airport, dabbles in genealogy and is an international cat-sitter. Her interest in postcards began when she found one postmarked Buenos Aires, written by her grandfather to his infant daughter Esther, Sally’s mother, living in Montreal; baby Esther was only 7 months old at the time.
A Battle of Wills
In 2008, Marianne Rasmus received from an extended family member a 1951 newspaper clipping about the death of her paternal grandfather.  Marianne will share how receiving that tiny piece of paper opened a door of possibilities: unearthing a passion and leading to discoveries about a family line she knew little about, including one particularly noteworthy conflict.
About the Speaker:
Born and raised in Vancouver, Marianne spent most of her life in BC, experiencing life on Vancouver Island, in BC’s north and in the Fraser Valley.  But when the opportunity for a mid-life adventure came, Marianne and her husband, Bill, took the plunge and moved to Ottawa in 2013. 
After reluctantly taking Canadian History as a “filler” course in college, Marianne discovered an interest in history she never expected. That interest took on new meaning, and some might say became an obsession, when she began her family history journey in 2008, and began to uncover long forgotten stories in both her, and her husband Bill’s family trees. Since becoming a member of BIFHSGO in 2014, Marianne has been active in the Society.  She has served on the Conference Planning Committee, is currently the Board Treasurer, and is a co-facilitator for the British Colonial America Special Interest Group.

Monthly Meetings: We've Gone Virtual

Due to the COVID-19 situation, we will not be holding in-person monthly meetings until it is safe to do so. 
Did you know that our Members Only area contains many previous monthly meeting presentations, conference presentations and handouts from 2011 – present? Now is your chance to get caught up, or get acquainted with the wonderful resources in the Members Only area.
Not a member? Join today.

BIFHSGO Conference 2020 – Postponed

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the uncertain situation over the coming months, BIFHSGO’s Board of Directors and Conference Planning Committee regret to announce the postponement of our annual family history conference which was scheduled to be held 25–27 September 2020.

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2020 Annual General Meeting (postponed)
13 Jun 2020
Great Moments in Genealogy
13 Jun 2020
Open to the public.  Please register HERE.   The Elmer-Leonard James Brickwall: Were they related?   Brian Glenn spent his formative years growing up in Mechanicsville with two ...
British Colonial America
17 Jun 2020
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!   Theme: The role of the church in the lives of our BCA ancestors   Join us for enthusiastic discussions on researching ...
British Colonial America
29 Jul 2020
Hear Ye! Hear Ye!   Join us for enthusiastic discussions on researching ancestors in British Colonial America's 13 colonies: Virginia, New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, ...
DNA Special Interest Group
29 Aug 2020
  Members meet to share experiences, information and ideas and learn about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Meeting may be ...
There's No Business Like Show Business: Using DNA and Traditional Docs to Find Maternal Grandfather
12 Sep 2020
  After a decade of diligent research, Brian Laurie-Beaumont's significant brick wall was his maternal grandfather - a total unknown. Turning to DNA was ...
BIFHSGO Writing Group
12 Sep 2020
  Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. ...

25+ years available online
Read about family histories, techniques, and resources in past issues of our quarterly journal.