British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
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Saturday, October 21, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, October 14, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, October 14, 2017
Untangling a Parish to Find Family
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
In the spring of 1852, the parish of Saint-Sylvestre was home to 3,733 people, including 1,059 Irish-born and 44 British-born immigrants. For the most part, these immigrants and their Canadian-born descendants got along well with each other and their 1,048 French-speaking neighbours. After 30 years of settlement, the parish located 70 kilometres south of Quebec City included two villages, a secret society, a peace-making priest and members of the Dougherty, Gormley, Doran and Shorten families.  
 
About the Speaker
Growing up, Susan Davis learned lots about her Protestant roots while visiting family in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. During one trip, she visited the two cemeteries in her father’s home town of East Angus. It turned out that while her great grandfather Edward John Henry Dearden was buried in the Protestant cemetery, her great grandmother Mary Ann Dougherty was buried in the Catholic cemetery. For the past year, Susan has been researching her Irish Catholic roots and recently found out through a DNA test that she is 31% Irish.


Saturday, October 14, 2017
The Drouin Collection – Research Strategies
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
While the Drouin Collection offers an invaluable source of vital records for those searching for ancestors in Quebec and some surrounding areas, it can be quite challenging to decipher what was recorded. From understanding the French terms to collecting signatures, researchers can improve the results of their efforts by using these and other simple research strategies.  
 
About the Speaker
Growing up, Susan Davis learned lots about her Protestant roots while visiting family in Quebec’s Eastern Townships. During one trip, she visited the two cemeteries in her father’s home town of East Angus. It turned out that while her great grandfather Edward John Henry Dearden was buried in the Protestant cemetery, her great grandmother Mary Ann Dougherty was buried in the Catholic cemetery. For the past year, Susan has been researching her Irish Catholic roots and recently found out through a DNA test that she is 31% Irish.


Saturday, October 7, 2017
DNA Special Interest Group
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 115, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Adoption Challenges
 
Marianne Rasmus and Mags Gaulden will each share their journeys with adoption challenges. Marianne will present That Empty Branch on the Genetic Family Tree, solving an almost 100-year-old adoption mystery. Mags’ presentation is entitled, Out of the Blue, the story of intense genetic research work over a couple of months’ time, and then out of the blue the answer just appeared.
 
Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit DNA Interest Group section for more information and links to online resources.



Friday, September 29, 2017 through Sunday, October 1, 2017
23rd Annual BIFHSGO Family History Conference
Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
This year's conference features two main themes — England and Wales Family History and Research Methodology. Visit Conference 2017 for program details and online registration.


Saturday, September 23, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, September 9, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, September 9, 2017
The Sinking of the SS Portsdown
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive Nepean, Ontario
John McConkey will talk about the sinking of the SS Portsdown. Many British ships were sunk by Hitler’s navy during World War II. Most of these sinkings occurred on the high seas far from land. No one thought that an inland ferry might be subject to danger so an explosion on the 20th September 1941 on a paddle steamer sailing from Portsmouth to Ryde was a devastating shock. The event had an overwhelming effect on several Isle of Wight families, but details and, in particular, the names of casualties were kept under wraps by the Government. As a 75th anniversary memorial to victims – in particular two family members – John McConkey recently took on the task of researching the disaster and documenting his findings in an article for the Isle of Wight Family History Society. The article won first prize in the 2016 best article competition. This talk gives details of the event, lists the victims and explains the research process John followed.
 
About the Speaker
John McConkey was born in the UK, on the Isle of Wight. He earned his B.Sc. at King's College London and worked for International Computers Ltd for five years. In 1971 he and his wife immigrated to Canada, with the intention of spending two years seeing the country and getting to know relatives – but that two-year period got extended! They both found computer work in Montreal and then moved the family to Ottawa in 1982 when John received an offer from Nortel. He stayed with Nortel for 17 years and then ran a small network consulting business for 10 years. Now retired, he and his wife spend a considerable amount of their time engaged in family history research. John has visited Northern Ireland three times and has had significant success with ancestral discoveries there. He organizes reunions for Canadian and British family, transcribes for Ancestry and the North of Ireland Family History Society and is volunteer technical coordinator at BIFHSGO meetings and conferences.


Saturday, September 9, 2017
Question & Answer Session
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive Nepean, Ontario
Bring your questions and various experts from BIFHSGO will try to answer them during this session.


Saturday, September 2, 2017
DNA Special Interest Group
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 115, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
There will be a group viewing and discussion of The Science of Admixture Percentages, presented by Garrett Hellenthal at the WDYTYA 2017 conference in Birmingham, UK, followed by a round table if time allows.
 
Members meet to share experiences, information and ideas and learn about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit DNA Interest Group section for more information and links to online resources.



Saturday, July 29, 2017
DNA Special Interest Group
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 115, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Bill Arthurs will speak about “The High Points of Blaine T. Bettinger’s The Family Tree Guide to DNA Testing and Genetic Genealogy.” Shirley Monkhouse will present on Blaine T. Bettinger and Debbie Parker Wayne’s companion workbook, Genetic Genealogy in PracticeThere will be a round table discussion with remaining time.
 
Members meet to share experiences, information and ideas and learn about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit DNA Interest Group section for more information and links to online resources.



Saturday, June 24, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Thursday, June 15, 2017
Ontario Genealogical Society Conference Pub Night
6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Algonquin College, 1385 Woodroffe Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario
BIFHSGO is pleased to sponsor and host Pub Night — an evening reception for registrants at the Ontario Genealogical Society 2017 Conference.
 
This event is sold out! You must have pre-registered on the OGS Conference 2017 website to attend.
 


Saturday, June 10, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, June 10, 2017
Great Moments in Genealogy
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive Nepean, Ontario
Four BIFHSGO members will share their genealogy discoveries.
 
A Mystery at Boughton Castle
In late June of 2016, Brenda Turner visited Broughton Castle, not far from Banbury in Oxfordshire, and close to where she was living then. Broughton Castle is the home of Fiennes family, which includes the actors Joseph and Ralph Fiennes and the explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Despite claims in the castle’s guidebook and web site that a disastrous sale had taken place of the family’s property of the Castle’s contents in 1837, she did not believe it, and decided to find out if she could figure out what had really happened… and used her family history research skills to do it.
 
About the Speaker
Brenda Turner is a retired former public servant with a long history of family history research. She has been visiting the UK for many years pursuing her family’s stories.
 
A Big Surprise With YDNA Test Results
YDNA testing is an important vehicle for determining lineages for the relatively recent past. In his Titus family research Bill Arthurs has determined sets of modal YDNA markers for both the English and Dutch Titus lineages dating back to the late 1500s. The remaining German lineage has lacked a volunteer for testing. That is, until last October, when the test of a German volunteer produced unexpected results.
 
About the Speaker 
Bill Arthurs is a long time member of BIFHSGO and is the chairman of the BIFHSGO DNA Special Interest Group.
 
Despite What You Tell Your Children, More Than One Official Record Exists to Prove What Really Happened
Family lore relates that Robert Brydon and Margaret Armstrong married in Scotland before emigrating to Galt, Ontario in 1841 with their infant son Francis. Robert’s sudden death in 1866, without a will, changed the course of his family’s history and Margaret’s subsequent petition for guardianship of her younger children provided evidence to suggest that Robert was not Francis’ father. A subsequent hunt for evidence turned up a variety of documents which proved Robert lived in Canada, as a single man, during the 1830s, before Margaret’s reported arrival. This talk will lay out the evidence compiled to appease the skeptics.
 
About the speaker:
Dianne Brydon and her father James Brydon recently published their family history, The Stalwart Brydons:  From Scotland to Galt to Manitoba, One Hundred Years in Canada. Jim began the research over 30 years ago before the Internet or digitization made hunting down documents easy. When Dianne retired in 2013 from her job overseeing public outreach on Parliament Hill, Jim asked Dianne to put her MA in historical geography to use and help him finish his book. Dianne subsequently found documentary evidence that refuted many of the stories in family lore and fleshed out others that were unknown. 
 
The Elusive George Mason Hales
Ten years ago, all that Gail Roger knew about George Mason Hales was that in 1791, he had an inn in the parish of St Ann’s Soho, Westminster, and that he might be related to her. She eventually found out that he is indeed a relative, and that almost everything she knew about him was wrong — except that inn in Soho. This will be an illustration of how, sometimes, a seemingly dead end can lead to multiple great moments in genealogy.
 
About the Speaker
Gail Roger will tell her family history stories to anyone who will listen. That’s why she joined BIFHSGO.
 


Saturday, June 10, 2017
2017 Annual General Meeting
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
The 23rd Annual General Meeting of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa will receive and conduct business in accordance with the bylaws.
 
Details about our 2017 AGM are available here.



Saturday, May 27, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, May 13, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, May 13, 2017
Was Your Ancestor at Vimy?: Making Sense of the Battle on the Ground
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive Nepean, Ontario
 
Dr Jonathan F. Vance will talk about Vimy Ridge and what the genealogist can do to locate an ancestor on that hill in April 1917. The digitization of records has been a great help, but there are still many mysteries to be solved in military records. As Canada's most famous battle, Vimy Ridge has been the subject of more history books than just about any other battle. But that one battle was made up of tens of thousands of individual stories.  
 
About the Speaker
Jonathan F. Vance is Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at Western University, where he teaches Canadian and military history and social memory. A native of Waterdown, Ontario, he holds degrees from McMaster University, Queen’s University, and York University. He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (1997), A Gallant Company: The True Story of “The Great Escape” (2003), and Building Canada: People and Projects that Shaped the Nation (2006). His most recent books are Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation (2008), A History of Canadian Culture (2009), and Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain and Two World Wars (2011).
 


Saturday, May 13, 2017
They Didn't Write Names on These!: Decoding the Postcard
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive Nepean, Ontario
The postcard was the most common means of written communication during the First World War, and photo studios regularly printed portraits on postcard paper so they could be mailed. But all too often, photo postcards that we find are unidentified. Using images from Dr Jonathan F. Vance’s own collection of 30,000 postcards, he will go through a few of the 'trade secrets' for getting information out of anonymous photos.
 
About the Speaker
Jonathan F. Vance is Distinguished University Professor and J.B. Smallman Chair in the Department of History at Western University, where he teaches Canadian and military history and social memory. A native of Waterdown, Ontario, he holds degrees from McMaster University, Queen’s University, and York University. He is the author of many books and articles, including Death So Noble: Memory, Meaning, and the First World War (1997), A Gallant Company: The True Story of “The Great Escape” (2003), and Building Canada: People and Projects that Shaped the Nation (2006). His most recent books are Unlikely Soldiers: How Two Canadians Fought the Secret War Against Nazi Occupation (2008), A History of Canadian Culture (2009), and Maple Leaf Empire: Canada, Britain and Two World Wars (2011).


Saturday, May 6, 2017
DNA Special Interest Group
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 115, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
DNA Great Moments and Technical Updates
Three of our group members will talk about their experience with DNA test results.
 
Bill Arthurs — “How YDNA test results have recently revolutionized the Titus One Name Study and opened up new great questions.”
 
Arthur Owen — "Visual Phasing for Grandparents using Cross-over Events."
Arthur will briefly discuss the theory behind the methodology, show the required steps to reconstruct a chromosome, how to use existing 2nd cousin matches to assign segments to the four grandparents, and discuss some of the problems you may encounter.   
 
John Reid — "Living DNA."
British company Living DNA offers a combined SNP test of mitochondrial (Motherline), Y-chromosome (Fatherline) and autosomal (Family Ancestry) DNA for $199. A selling point is 21 sub-regional resolution of autosomal genetic ancestry within the UK and Ireland in recent times (originally 4-5 generations, now 10 generations). How well does the service live up to the promise?
 
There will also be a draw for an AncestryDNA test. 
Proceeds will support sponsorship of a DNA session at the Ontario Genealogical Society's conference in Ottawa.
Tickets are a toonie each or three for $5.
 
Members of our DNA Special Interest Group meet to share experiences, information and ideas and learn about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees are required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit DNA Interest Group section for more information and links to online resources.



Saturday, April 22, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, April 8, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, April 8, 2017
Mostly at Sea: Captain Harry Grattidge
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Gail Roger’s mild obsession with the Titanic led her to the discovery of the closest thing to a celebrity in her family tree: Harry Grattidge — sailor, survivor, and a Commodore of the Cunard Line. No, she hadn’t heard of him either. We will meet some of the Grattidge ancestors that Harry and Gail have in common, ponder the blessings and drawbacks of a highly unusual surname, and discover how Harry came to be a consultant on a classic film by surviving Britain’s worst maritime disaster (not the Titanic).
 
About the speaker
Gail Roger has been a BIFHSGO member for over a dozen years, and it took her the first seven years to pluck up the courage to make her first BIFHSGO presentation. This is her fifth. Gail’s family will tell you that her obsession with the Titanic is not as mild as she claims. They are mistaken. They also say that her obsession with family history borders on the frightening. They may have a point.


Saturday, April 8, 2017
Four Soldiers of Vimy Ridge and Glass Plate Photographs
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
In June 2016, Brian Glenn gave us a Great Moments talk on the Stories Behind Glass Plate Photographs of The Great War. This month, he will bring in the glass plate photographs the talk was based on for us to view.


Saturday, April 8, 2017
Irish Research Success
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Anne Renwick has been helping a friend do some research of her Irish roots. While doing this detective work, she has so far gleaned some interesting artifacts and pictures which she is going to share with us. We will learn about Anne's success in an area where research is often difficult.


Saturday, April 8, 2017
Global Genealogy
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Rick and Sandy Roberts from Global Genealogy will bring some of their genealogy books and products to sell.


Saturday, April 8, 2017
Canadians on Vimy Ridge, 1917: A Short Guide to Resources and Research
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepoint Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Did you have an ancestor in the Canadian Expeditionary Force who participated in the battle for Vimy Ridge in April 1917? Glenn Wright's presentation will highlight the major sources of information: service documents, war diaries, unit records, useful websites, and published resources.
 
About the speaker
Glenn Wright is past-president of BIFHSGO and author of Canadians at War, 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War One Service Records.



Saturday, March 18, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, March 11, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, March 11, 2017
From Famine to Prosperity to the Longue Pointe Asylum: the Varied Life of John Patrick Cuddy
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Gillian Leitch will talk about John Patrick Cuddy’s life in Swinford, his migration, the network of family and friends in Montreal, his business, his wife and children, and the last months of his life which were marked with an arrest, committal, court case, and the ensuing unusual judgement. Cuddy immigrated to Canada from Swinford, Ireland, during the Famine migration of 1847-1851. Once in Montreal, he was able to create for himself a very successful business and a large family.  
 
About the speaker
Gillian Leitch’s PhD thesis about Montreal’s British population, “The Importance of Being English?: Identity and Social Organisation in British Montreal, 1800-1850,” was completed in 2007 at the Université de Montréal. After a year as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh, she joined CDCI Research in Ottawa as a historical researcher. In addition to her work and publishing on Canadian history, she has also published three academic books on popular culture (science fiction: time travel and Doctor Who).


Saturday, March 11, 2017
Searching Findmypast's Newspaper Archives
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Newspapers can be a treasure trove of details about families and events that aren't often found in the usual birth, marriage, death, and census records. The Findmypast world subscription includes newspapers from the UK, Ireland, Canada, US, and other countries. Ken McKinley will provide some tips for searching these often overlooked resources in our genealogy and family history research.
 
About the speaker
Ken McKinlay's foray into his family tree research started with three simple family stories that he wanted to confirm or refute. He has now been researching his family tree for over 18 years. He has given talks for serveral branches of the Ontario Genealogical Society, BIFHSGO, and the Ottawa Public Library. His talks generally focus on methodologies and providing the skills needed to help solve those brick wall problems.


Saturday, March 4, 2017
DNA Special Interest Group
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 115, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Errol Collins will deliver a presentation on "The Big Y,"  a Y-chromosome direct paternal lineage test designed to explore deep ancestral links on our common paternal tree.
 
Members of our DNA Special Interest Group meet to share experiences, information and ideas and learn about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees are required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit DNA Interest Group section for more information and links to online resources.



Saturday, February 18, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, February 11, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, February 11, 2017
The Queen’s Coachman — Our Only Claim to Fame
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Coming as she did from generations of agricultural labourers, Christine Jackson was happy to find that her Sussex-born great-grandmother’s brother provided her working class family with its only known claim to fame. For, so the story went, a certain Edwin Miller had been Queen Victoria's coachman! This nugget of information, backed up by some fading and undated photocopies of newspaper clippings, was all she had to begin illuminating the life of a man whose retirement was significant enough to be reported in newspapers around the world. Christine will relate how she used newspaper reports, census returns, parish and civil registrations, probate records, the royal archives and the Internet to piece together the story of a man whose life parallels the reign of Queen Victoria and proudly reflects the transportation business from a long-gone era.
 
About the speaker
Born and educated in the UK, Christine Jackson obtained a BA in geography from the University of London, where she developed a special interest in historical geography. She has made her home in Canada since 1968, and in Ottawa for over 40 years. She is a retired federal communications specialist (Elections Canada). A long-time family historian and active member of BIFHSGO since 2002, Christine has made presentations to BIFHSGO on her Sussex County family history and to other societies about the results of her three-year research project on the history of the Ottawa Valley’s Cowley family. She has contributed articles to BIFHSGO’s quarterly journal, Anglo-Celtic Roots,,and last year published a pamphlet in the Bytown Series of the Historical Society of Ottawa on her Cowley research.


Saturday, February 11, 2017 through Saturday, February 11, 2017
Global Genealogy - Huge Used Book Sale
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepoint Drive, Ottawa
Rick and Sandy Roberts from Global Genealogy will once again be joining us.  Sandy has told one of our members that she is planning to bring a huge number of used books for sale to this meeting.  You will not want to miss it.


Saturday, February 11, 2017
Introduction to WikiTree
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
WikiTree (www.wikitree.com) is a free online collaborative family tree. Leanne Cooper will discuss how and why she uses WikiTree to document her genealogy research. She will provide an overview of WikiTree and its key features, will discuss some pros and cons of using a collaborative tree, and will give some tips on using WikiTree.
 
About the speaker
Leanne Cooper is a federal public servant who has worked at the Canadian International Development Agency, Global Affairs Canada, and now Parks Canada. She's glad she likes her job, because it sure does cut into the genealogy time! Her roots are mostly in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, with English (and a few Scottish) ancestors. She has been researching her family history for about six years.



Saturday, January 21, 2017
Scottish Genealogy Group
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Rooms 226 and 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Are you interested in your Scottish roots? In discovering who your Scottish ancestors were and how they lived? The Scottish Genealogy Group is made up of people who share these interests. At our informal meetings we share information and resources and discuss our successes and our brick walls. All of us, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.


Saturday, January 14, 2017
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, January 14, 2017
Lanes, Trains & Parliament Hill
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
In the late 19th century, the Lane family was among the first to settle the community of Mission, BC which is located 80 km east of Vancouver on the north bank of the Fraser River. The Lanes loved to tell stories of these early times and had a great deal of pride in passing them down from one generation to the next. The family story that cemented Marianne Rasmus’s passion for family history research in the context of Canadian history is encapsulated in the story of Arthur Wellington Lane, who packed up his wife and three young children, left the familiarity of south-western Ontario, and headed west on the newly constructed CPR looking for new adventures and opportunities. It’s a story of perseverance and courage that has left a lasting legacy, and even includes a surprising discovery on Parliament Hill.
 
About the speaker
Marianne Rasmus is relatively new to Ottawa, and was thrilled to discover BIFHSGO after moving here in 2013. Born and raised in Vancouver, she spent most of her life in BC, experiencing life on Vancouver Island, in BC’s north and in the Fraser Valley. While her husband’s career moved them around the province, Marianne worked in a variety of professional environments, and volunteered with various organizations. After reluctantly taking Canadian History as a “filler” course in college, she discovered an interest and passion for history she never expected. That interest took on new meaning when she began her family history journey in 2008, and came to understand the hardships and contributions of the people in both her and her husband’s family trees. Marianne and her husband, Bill, have been married for almost 33 years and have two sons and two granddaughters.


Saturday, January 14, 2017
Ottawa Public Library - Local History and Genealogy
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepoint Drive, Ottawa
Romaine Honey and Krista Woltman will host a table showcasing some of the local history and genealogical resources available to us at the Ottawa Public Library.  Romaine is holding a Before BIFHSGO talk for us on the same day, so this should be a real good chance to ask her some questions.


Saturday, January 14, 2017
Genealogy at Your Ottawa Public Library
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa Public Library's resources and services can help with your genealogy research. Romaine Honey speaker will discuss the print and online resources available for researching family history in Canada and the British Isles.
 
About the speaker
Romaine Honey is a Genealogy and Local History librarian at Ottawa Public Library. Helping library customers with their genealogy research is the best job ever. Outside of work, she researches her own British Isles roots.


Saturday, January 7, 2017
DNA Special Interest Group
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 115, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Shirley Monkhouse will present “I took a DNA test! Now what do I do?" Her presentation will focus on what to do while waiting for and upon arrival of DNA results, important things to know and understand, and her Top 10 Tips for Genetic DNA Genealogy
 
After Shirley's presentation, Grandma’s Genes will hold a Swab-A-Thon. This will be an informal gathering to discuss the hows and whys of DNA and to help you with your DNA sample(s). Kits will be available.
 
Members meet at the DNA Special Interest Group to share experiences, information and ideas and learn about the use of DNA evidence in exploring family history. Attendees will be required to sign in and out at the reception desk on the ground floor.
 
Visit the DNA Information, DNA Database Sites, and Special Interest Groups page for more information.



Saturday, December 10, 2016
BIFHSGO Writing Group
11:30 am to 4:00 pm
Room 228, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Open to BIFHSGO members who want feedback on writing their family history or memoirs, the Writing Group meets after the monthly BIFHSGO Saturday meetings. We bring extra copies of our writing to share with members. Most of us also bring a lunch to eat before we begin our readings. Our meetings usually end before 4:00 pm. For information, contact queries@bifhsgo.ca, attention Carol Annett.


Saturday, December 10, 2016
Great Moments in Genealogy
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
 
Four BIFHSGO members share their great moment in genealogy.
 
Mary Ann Flannery — From Ireland You Say
By Duncan Monkhouse
This Great Moment will explore Duncan Monkhouse’s search for the ancestors of Mary Ann Flannery. The talk will start out with an explanation of how Mary Ann fits into Duncan’s family tree, where she lived and what her life was like. We will define the brick wall that initially inhibited locating any information about Mary Ann ancestors, how the wall was broken down, and what was located behind the wall.
 
About the speaker
Duncan Monkhouse recently retired as an Investigator, Electronic Evidence Officer, for the Canadian Federal Government and in his spare time investigates his family’s history. Duncan’s interest in the family history was piqued in 2008 when his wife started researching her family. Fortunately, Duncan’s mother had worked on researching the family genealogy and had completed a large portion of the tree. By expanding the branches sideways and with the coming online of vast genealogical databases, Duncan was able to break down many brickwalls discovering new relatives and interesting lives.
 
The Drowning of Charles Dougherty
By Susan Davis
While perusing church records, Charles Dougherty’s name showed up as a witness to the baptism of one of Philip Thompson’s children. Within a few short years, the men’s name would show up again, this time for their funerals. The records indicated they both drowned 6 July 1901. Further research led to an article in The Sherbrooke Examiner. It reported that four men drown while crossing the St Francis River after a hard day’s work of log driving. Charles was 50 and left behind a large family in East Angus, Quebec, including Susan’s great grandmother.
 
About the speaker
As an adolescent, Susan Davis volunteered at her local library. When returning books to their shelves, her two favourite sections were biographies and mysteries. Family history research provides her with lots of life stories to read and puzzles to solve. As the daughter of an army cook, Susan grew up loving her parents’ Eastern Townships of Quebec roots. Her dad still has her looking for the pirates in the family.
 
Extra! Extra! Read All about It! Cousin Lyman and Power of the Press
By Glenn Wright
We all recognize that newspapers are an essential source for family history, but very few of us can claim a newspaper editor in the family tree and the implications that this has for research. From the mid-1850s to 1934, Erastus Jackson (1829-1919) and his son Lyman (1856-1934) published and edited the Newmarket (Ontario) Era newspaper. Although some Wright family members lived in Newmarket for several years, the Jacksons, related through Erastus’s wife, Sophia Wright, frequently reported on the extended Wright family. Better still, detailed social news and notes, published in every edition over the course of several decades, solved long-standing research mysteries, proving again that newspapers can be an invaluable source of family information.
 
About the speaker
Glenn Wright is Past President of the Society and has spoken on many occasions at our monthly meetings and at our annual conference. He has published widely in family history and genealogical magazines and journals and while his primary interest is Canadian participation in the Great War, he is determined to complete a history of his Wright and allied families. Glenn is a firm believer in the value of newspapers as a resource to assist us with our family history and with the social context in which our ancestors lived.
 
The Tender Tale of a First World War British War Baby with Canadian Roots, Discovered Almost a Century Later
By Suzanne Eakin
A short film (8.5 min.) documents the poignant story of Dave Travis, radio presenter for BBC, Essex, who finally found his paternal roots. In 2013, considering topics relevant to the upcoming centenary of the First World War, he casually suggested to Sarah Ensor, archivist at the Essex Record Office, that she try to uncover the identity of his paternal grandfather. All he knew was that he had been a Canadian airman, lost in action, prior to his father's birth in January 1917. To his utter astonishment and delight, Sarah promptly found his grandfather, announcing his name to Dave on his show, live, on air: Kenneth Mathewson, of Montreal. Sarah then tracked down the Mathewson family in Canada. A 100% DNA match ensued, as well as two trips to Canada by Dave and his wife Caroline to meet the Mathewson clan who have eagerly embraced this grandson of their family's beloved son, lost in the First World War a century ago.
 
About the speaker
Suzanne Eakin (nee Mathewson) is a new member of BIFHSGO. A sixth generation Montrealer, she has a BA and Masters of Applied Science in clinical psychology from McGill. She worked in that field for over three decades, relocating to Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1990 but then retiring in late 2009 to Ottawa where two of her three children and all four of her grandchildren reside. Her late father, Kenneth Black Mathewson, conducted family research for over 30 years, with great enthusiasm and persistence (as the pre-computer era of such pursuits required). Sue shares her father's love of family history, but takes particular pleasure in assembling historic family portraits and photographs, to supplement the 'who begat whom.' She looks forward to sharing the story of her family's newly discovered cousin Dave — the living legacy of their family's loss in the First World War.


Saturday, December 10, 2016
Genealogy Books, Magazines and CDs
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepoint Drive, Ottawa
Willis Burwell is in the process of downsizing and has a number of genealogy-related books, magazines and CDs he no longer needs. He wants to give them to someone who can make use of them. You may want to be there early, as who knows what gems you may find?


Saturday, December 10, 2016
Global Genealogy -- Christmas Shopping Opportunity
9:30 am to 10:00 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepoint Drive, Ottawa
Global Genealogy is providing us with an opportunity to do our Christmas shopping at this meeting. Sandra also wants to remind everyone that, in addition to a selection of their products, you can order anything from their website,  globalgenealogy.com ahead of time, and they will bring the item to this meeting for your pickup. Happy shopping.
 


Saturday, December 10, 2016
Copyright for Family History
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Marnie McCall’s talk will cover the basics of copyright, the meaning of “public domain,” copyright in your own work, using copyright material of others in your research or presentations, and copyright in family photos and letters.
 
About the speaker
Marnie McCall is a historian, newspaper reporter and lawyer by training and a life-long devotee of detective novels, which clearly fits her to be a genealogist! Her interest in genealogy began at a 1996 family reunion organized by two second cousins. She began seriously doing family research in 2006, when she joined BIFHSGO because that year’s conference theme was Scotland. Her Scottish grandfather was in WWI and she was going to go the Vimy Memorial rededication in April 2007 – she still has not found out where her grandfather fought! Her interest in copyright began in journalism school a very long time ago and she has tried to keep up with the constant changes ever since.