British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa

Hall of Fame

The British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa Hall of Fame honours members for their contributions to family history research and genealogy.
Nominations to the Hall of Fame are accepted annually, and awards are made during BIFHSGO's Annual General Meeting in June. Current members of the Board are not eligible for nomination.
Criteria for the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame include:
  • The advancement of BIFHSGO objectives
  • The advancement of BIFHSGO projects or activities; e.g., publishing, educational programs
  • Outstanding service to the Society over a period of time
  • The advancement of genealogy and family history in general
The 2020 nominations period ends 30 April.
For more information and to submit a nomination, please use the form below: 

Jean Kitchen

Jean Kitchen
In appreciation of her long years and significant contributions to the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa as ACR Editor and Editor in general for almost everything BIFHSGO produced in writing.
Bertram Hayward
In recognition of his life-long interest in, and encouragement of, family history and genealogy. Bert was a volunteer for many events and projects during his time as a BIFSHGO member, usually in the background.
Jane Down

A BIFHSGO member since 1997, Jane has volunteered in many capacities, serving eight years as BIFHSGO program director and several years on the program committee for our annual conference. She has also been an active member of the Ontario Genealogical Society and served as the program chair for the OGS 2017 conference in Ottawa.
Jane has lectured on research organization and authored a Researchers Aid on the topic. Through the years, she has enthusiastically researched her family’s history and has presented her findings at monthly meetings, in Anglo-Celtic Roots, and in other journals. 
From her first award at Gene-O-Rama in 1994 for her book on her Bradford line to winning the Alan Neame Award from the Kent Family History Society in 2017, Jane has always striven for quality in her research and writing. 
Gail Dever
Gail has been instrumental in managing BIFHSGO's website for several years. Each year, she plays an important role in the success of our annual family history conference by maintaining its online presence, in addition to giving several talks at the event. 
Gail's tireless volunteer work for the society has resulted in annual donations through the CN Railroaders in the Community volunteer grant program, resulting in $3,000 in donations to the society. Through her blog, Genealogy à la carte, she contributes to the genealogy community at large and often promotes BIFHSGO.

Lesley Anderson
For more than a decade, Lesley has been actively involved in promoting the objectives of our Society. For several years she served as BIFHSGO’s education director and established the popular Before BIFHSGO educational sessions as a part of our monthly meetings. 
Lesley has also been involved in educational initiatives outside the Society, where she has encouraged family history research to the broader community.
To assist others with their family history, Lesley has willingly participated in educational initiatives.
Brian Glenn
If you were looking for the personification of volunteer, Brian would be the obvious candidate. For more than a decade, he has answered the call whenever assistance was needed. As a long-time board member, he was responsible for publications and research projects, promoting Society efforts to encourage interest in family history and genealogy.
Brian has been a frequent speaker at our monthly meetings and annual conferences, and has been particularly helpful with administrative and technological matters, especially in relation to our website and our online presence generally. His contribution to the overall success of the Society in the last decade, freely offered in true volunteer fashion, has been significant.    

Bill Arthurs
Bill was recognized for his contribution to family history through his advancement of genetic genealogy both within the society and globally.
Bill applied his personal scientific expertise to genetic genealogy when it was still in its infancy, and vigorously promoted it within BIFHSGO by chairing the DNA Special Interest Group from its inception in 2006 to the present. Bill continued to stimulate interest by giving meeting presentations, writing for Anglo-Celtic Roots, lending books, and personally advising members about the subject. He contributes to genetic genealogy globally through his management of the Titus one-name study on which he is frequently consulted internationally.
Thanks to Bill, genomic research is now an established tool for BIFHSGO members, holding enormous promise of more discovery as its science and technology evolve.

The Hall of Fame Award is not always granted annually. In June 2013 and June 2014, no one was nominated for this award. We did, however,  present several members with framed Certificates of Excellence.

Chris MacPhail
In appreciation of his contribution to family history through outstanding service to the Society for several years.
Chris, a member since 2000, first served as Director of Communications (2004-2006). Under his editorship between 2006 and 2011, the Society newsletter, Anglo-Celtic Roots (ACR), was awarded first place in the National Genealogical Society Newsletter Competition in 2009 and 2010 and was runner up in 2008.
As co-chair of the Fall  2009 conference, he organized the Scottish program.
Chris has been a regular contributor to ACR; most recently, he was a very active member of the team producing the BIFHSGO book British Home Children: Their Stories.


Willis and Margaret Burwell

BIFHSGO recognizes Willis and Margaret Burwell for their contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society and the advancement of its objectives. 

At the founding meeting of the Society in 1994, Margaret agreed to be the Internet Group Coordinator. By 2001, her position had evolved into the Associate Director (Webmaster) position. Willis joined the Society's Board in 2001, serving as Secretary for six years, then  President and Past President concluding his tenure in 2010. 

Both Willis and Margaret offered additional services as developers of the original Conference website. Margaret also took on the responsibility of Registrar for the 2007, 2008 and 2009 conferences, and publicity for the 2010 conference. She was involved with introducing and refining on-line conference registration in 2008-09. Willis served as the Conference Chair in 2007 and co-chair for the 2008, 09 and 10 conferences. 

Starting in 1997, as presenters, both have given many genealogical talks at monthly meetings, annual conferences and educational events. As authors, both have produced several articles for Anglo-Celtic Roots. 

They are still keen on sharing their insights with BIFHSGO members in formal and informal ways.

Glenn Wright Glenn Wright
Glenn's contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society earned him a place BIFHSGO's Hall of Fame.
Glenn has served the Society for several years as the Director, Research and Projects, the Associate Director of Education, and a member of many BIFHSGO conference committees. He has been a presenter at several Society monthly meetings, “Great Moments” sessions, conferences, and educational events. He is an author of several books including “Winning the Second Battle: Canadian Veterans and the Return to Civilian Life, 1915-1930,” (with Desmond Morton), “The Caroline and Her Passengers: March-May 1932”, and several articles in Anglo-Celtic Roots. He is a contributor to the Canadian Encyclopaedia and the Oxford Dictionary of Canadian History and a genealogist and historical researcher working for History Television and the CBC. As well he is a team member for “The Ottawa Sharpshooters”.
Glenn was elected Society president June 2010. His most recent book, Canadians at War 1915-1919, a Research Guide to World War One Records, was published in 2010.
For further insight into Glenn's fascination with history, take a look at Cultivating a curiousity for the past, an article about Glenn, his curious mom and obliging dad taking a July roadtrip in a "57 Chevy with no air conditioning, following an Ontario highway strewn with historic plaques. It appeared on page 8 of the August 2011 issue of Forever Young Information. Thank you to the author, Brooke Broadbent for sharing it with us.

John D. ReidJohn D. Reid
John was named to the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame in view of his contribution not only to the Society but to much wider communities of genealogy and heritage.
An innovative leader, John has served the Society well as Past President, President and Director of Education, as well as co-chair for programming for the 2008 and 2011 Fall Conferences and Marketplace coordinator for the 2006 Fall Conference. He was the project leader for the Sharpshooters book published by BIFHSGO.
Beyond BIFHSGO, John served on the Library and Archives Canada Services Advisory Board and was Chair of the City of Ottawa’s Arts, Heritage and Cultural Advisory Committee. John also shared his knowledge by resurrecting the Beginner Genealogy Courses in partnership with OGS while serving frequently as an instructor for not only BIFHSGO but also other societies. He has organized county interest groups, initiated the BIFHSGO electronic newsletter, and established co-operative relations with other genealogy and heritage organizations.
John established and still operates an internet blog called Anglo-Celtic Connections. John continues to lecture and writes on a variety of genealogical topics in addition to authoring a book on researching Home Children.

Alison HareAlison Hare
Alison was recognized for her contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society. A certified genealogist, recognized as a consultant by Library and Archives Canada, Alison has inspired and entertained with her frequent presentations at BIFHSGO meetings.
Her long-time commitment to genealogy is shown not only in her own research and writing but also in her participation in the BIFHSGO/OGS Ottawa Branch beginner courses, her five years as editor of the OGS Ottawa Branch Newsletter, her advocacy for release of the 1911 Census and her service to the Ontario Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists.
Doug HoddinottDoug Hoddinott
Doug was recognized for his contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society during the past thirteen years, including five years as Membership Director and Vice-President and as an active member of the Conference Planning Committee.
He has assisted the Society and many of its members with his expertise in both computer hardware and software. At meetings, conferences and workshops Doug has provided leadership in ensuring the availability of audio-visual facilities. He has also made several presentations at Society meetings.
His organizational skills and attention to detail have been a major factor contributing to the success of the Society.

Gerry GlavinGerald Glavin
Gerry was recognized for his contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society during seven years on the Board of Directors: three years as Director of Programs and Conferences, two years as President and two years as Past President. He also chaired the Organizing Committee for the BIFHSGO Fall Conferences in 2000, 2001 and 2002. He has authored numerous articles for Anglo-Celtic Roots and has spoken at monthly meetings.
His organizational skills and attention to detail have been a major factor contributing to the success of the Society during this period.
Patricia Roberts-Pichette
Patricia Roberts-Pichette
Patricia was recognized for her outstanding service to the Society as Director, Research and Projects and also First Vice-President; as co-chairperson for the 2005 Annual Conference; as coordinator of the BIFHSGO Writing Group; and as a presenter at annual conferences and meetings. She also organized and lead the Middlemore Home Children project and wrote a series of 11 articles on the children for Anglo-Celtic Roots ..

Gary BagleyGary Bagley
A Hall of Fame award was presented In appreciation of Gary's contributions to family history through outstanding service to the Society as one of its founding members. In 1995 he compiled the appropriate details to persuade Revenue Canada to grant BIFHSGO charitable status. He served the Society as Treasurer during the period from September 1994 to December 1996 and as Auditor from 2001 to 2004.
Robert CampbellRobert Campbell
Robert was recognized for outstanding service to the Society as one of its founding members. He served the Society as First Vice-President responsible for Membership during the period from October 1994 to December 1996 and chaired several monthly meetings in the absence of the President. He also compiled lists of surnames for publication in Anglo-Celtic Roots.
Caroline HerbertCaroline Herbert
Caroline was recognized for outstanding service to the Society as Associate Director, Research and Projects; in the Middlemore and Ottawa Sharpshooter projects; in bringing information about the Society to members of the public, other genealogical organizations and Ottawa students; as co-chairperson for the 2005 Annual Conference; as presenter at two Annual Conferences; as refreshment hostess for monthly meetings; and as reliable help for numerous other essential behind-the-scenes BIFHSGO activities.

Bruce S. ElliottBruce S. Elliott
Bruce was the featured speaker at the Society's first annual conference. He is a professor of history at Carleton University and has published numerous articles and books related to immigration and family history.
James ShearonJames Shearon
James served on the Board of Directors of the Society for many years and as its president for two consecutive terms. He led the establishment of the Brian O'Regan Memorial Library and made contributions to Society education, research and publications.

Alan RayburnAlan Rayburn
Alan was the first secretary of BIFHSGO. He is a writer-specialist in place-name studies and has published eight books on geographical names in Canada. He has been a speaker at genealogical conferences in Canada and the United States and has also authored numerous articles for Anglo-Celtic Roots.
Fern SmallFern Small
Fern was recognized for her work in support of BIFHSGO in conference registration, mail distribution and member inquiries, and for contributing resource information to Anglo-Celtic Roots. She recorded cemetery and parish records of Wolfe Island and supported the indexing of other Ontario cemetery records.

Gordon TaylorGordon Taylor
Gordon was recognized for his leadership in the Society through his service as a Director, President, Past-President and his research and writing about genealogical subjects.
John TownesendJohn Townesend
John was recognized for setting and achieving high standards for BIFHSGO publications while a member of the Society Board of Directors from 1996 to 2002. The excellence of these standards has been recognized through three international awards received by the Society journal, Anglo-Celtic Roots, during the years of his leadership.

Mary NashMary Nash
Mary has been a regular contributor to Anglo-Celtic Roots and has spoken at monthly meetings and conferences. She was a member of the Board of Directors and had been in charge of registration for the annual conference.
Wayne WalkerWayne Walker
Wayne has been a frequent speaker at monthly meetings and annual conferences. As founding director of the Ottawa Family History Center (at the LDS Church), he opened the doors to family history research for hundreds of people who didn't know where to start.

Jim HealJim Heal
The Hall of Fame award was presented in recognition of Jim's role as a BIFHSGO founding Director, his tireless work as our first program chairman and generous assistance as a volunteer, helping others learn more about genealogy.
John SayersJohn Sayers
John was honoured in recognition of John's leadership in family history research, as a coordinator of BIFHSGO volunteers for the British Home Children Project, and for countless hours of generous help at the LDS Family History Center and Society monthly meetings.

Dave and Kay Lorente
BIFHSGO acknowledged the influence and encouragement of Dave and Kay Lorente in initiating the Society's indexation projects arising from their outstanding advocacy role on behalf of Home Children and their families in Canada.
As the 1991 founders of Home Children Canada, they have assisted countless Canadian Home Children families and/or their descendants to access their personal records. They have also been active in raising national and international consciousness through lectures, reunions, the placement of plaques, and the compiling of Canadian Home Children's family histories.
In June 2003, the Lorentes signed a memorandum of understanding agreeing that BIFHSGO would take over their work of responding to requests for locating Home Children.

Don WhitesideDon Whiteside
When nine BIFHSGO members applied for the Society's incorporation, there was one name missing from that application. Don Whiteside was the prime mover of the Society but he didn't live to see it become a reality. Don died on 22 November 1993, almost a year before BIFHSGO received its letters patent - but Don Whiteside was the inventor of this Society, and we recognize his role by naming him to the BIFHSGO Hall of Fame.
Brian O'ReganBrian O'Regan
That Don Whiteside's vision did not perish is largely due to the leadership of Brian O'Regan, the founding President of BIFHSGO. Brian took up the torch and held it high and others flocked to it, and more than 300 members joined the Society. Brian was the first editor of Anglo-Celtic Roots and he worked tirelessly to promote interest in family history in the public and in the media.
Jack MoodyJack Moody
Jack was a founding member of the Society and our first Director of Education and Queries. He organized the first Beginner's Course and persuaded Norm Crowder to be the course director. Jack's continued support included a donation of 11 boxes of books and journals to our library.
Norman CrowderNorman Crowder
At the time of his award, Norman had taught every one of the Beginner's Courses and been a speaker at meetings and conferences. He also published valuable research in family history, including the United Empire Loyalists.
Betty WarburtonBetty Warburton
In 1995, when Jim Heal asked for volunteers to help with the Fall Conference, the first hand that went up was Betty Warburton. Betty worked on the registration for each of the first five conferences. When we asked for volunteers for our Library, it was no surprise that Betty came forward.