The Brockville Museum is now open for visitors to its exhibits by appointment only and with capacity limits. The Museum building, which houses the Archives of the Leeds & Grenville Branch, is open Tuesday through Saturday between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm.
The Leeds & Grenville Branch of OGS is working to re-open our Archives to visitors beginning Tuesday, September 14th, but only by appointment. Our space limitations are such that we can only accommodate two visitors at a time in order to maintain physical distancing. Masks must be worn to enter the Museum building, and while in our Archives space.
In order to book an appointment, please leave a message on our Voice Mail system (613-342-7773) or by email at email@example.com, telling us your name and contact information (email and telephone preferred), the date and time you would prefer to visit, and alternates if possible. We would also like to know the names or locations that you wish to research so that we can determine which resources we have available to assist. Our Archives appointments will begin at either 15 minutes before the hour, or 15 minutes after, to avoid arrivals of Museum visitors and Archives visitors at the front desk at the same time.
Once we receive your request we will reach out to our researchers to determine whether we can accommodate your request, and match up the request with a researcher. Any further instructions about on-site requirements will be given when we confirm your appointment. We will advise the Museum once we confirm your appointment. This process will take at least 48 hours to complete, so please be patient with us. We are all volunteers.
Please note that drop-ins CANNOT be accommodated at this time. If you have any questions, please either leave us a voice mail or send us an email and we will get back to you as soon as we can.
The village of Athens (formerly known as Farmersville) is in the centre of Leeds & Grenville Counties. Henry and Sally Smid’s presentation will include the story of Athens and Area Heritage Society Museum from its beginnings to its continued development. The Museum has provided a variety of exhibits, events, and presentations over the years and has experienced the challenges of being a small rural museum. Innovation and technology have been a part of the COVID years. The Museum has recently begun to upload its extensive archives and looks forward to future activities as pandemic regulations are lifted. To register for this free online presentation, click on this link:
Leeds & Grenville Branch Explores DNA Testing for Genealogy
Have you been wondering what a DNA test could do for your genealogy research? Have you tested but don’t know what to do next? The Leeds & Grenville Branch of Ontario Ancestors is hosting the presentation Genetic Genealogy: DNA Testing Tools & Tips on Monday, September 6th at 7:00 pm using the Zoom platform.
Genealogist Ben Dawson will give us a presentation geared to those new to consumer DNA testing or those who may have received their DNA test results and are looking for ways to analyze the wealth of information that they have been given. This talk will cover some DNA basics, beginner methodology and strategies for getting the most out of your results, using tools provided by both the testing company as well as other third party tools.
Ben Dawson is a life-time resident of London and has deep ancestral roots in the London & Westminster Township area as well as Huron and Bruce County dating back to the early 1800s. Ben took up genealogy in his 20s and has been a member of Ontario Ancestors for the last 4 years. He is currently the Co-Chair for the London & Middlesex branch and has spoken at Ontario Ancestors branch meetings on topics such as cemetery transcription, genealogical software and genetic genealogy. Ben has been very involved in the social media side of Ontario Ancestors and helps run the Facebook page as well as administrating two additional genetic genealogy Facebook groups. Ben serves as a director-at-large on the Board and several committees for the Ontario Genealogical Society.
Ben also has a professional genealogy website called “Family Tree Project”. It includes a blog which offers tips, tricks, and news for the avid genealogist which can be found at www.familytreeproject.ca.
Join the Leeds & Grenville Branch of Ontario Ancestors on Monday, June 7th at 7:00 pm as we hear from Dr. David Shanahan about the Indigenous peoples of what are now Leeds & Grenville Counties. He will help us understand the original peoples who cherished and protected our lands before the arrival of the settlers, and the ongoing relationships between the peoples, the lands, and the settlers. There is a long history, often unhappy, between indigenous peoples and the settler community; but the history of the first peoples goes back much further into the past than we might realize. The clash of cultures that began in the Sixteenth Century goes on today.
David Shanahan has spent more than 30 years working as an historian for indigenous communities across Canada, with particular focus on Ontario. As a native-born Irish person, he also sees the extensive parallels between North American and Celtic indigenous cultures, with a shared history of colonization and struggle.
Join us on Monday, May 3rd at 7:00 pm on Zoom for a Branch presentation on Canadian Copyright and Images.
Many family historians struggle to understand the “do’s and don’ts of copyright” as it applies to their genealogy – photos, digital images, hand-drawn charts! In this session, Elise Cole will discuss what images are, and how Canadian Copyright applies to them. She’ll take us through how to determine if copyright exists, how to apply fair dealing when appropriate, and provide ideas of how to properly use others’ images in our own works.
Elise C. Cole, BAH, MLIS, is the Local Collections Librarian at Oakville Public Library and volunteers as Ontario Ancestors’ Copyright Consultant. She holds multiple certifications in Canadian Copyright law and is a passionate advocate for local and family history.
Everyone is welcome to attend, but registration is required. To register, click this link.
You can also locate the meeting registration link on our website: leedsandgrenville.ogs.on.ca. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to join the meeting.
Please join us on Monday, April 5th at 7:00 pm as we enjoy a presentation by Sue Warren on The Sweeney Diary.
The diary of Peter Sweeney is the only personal record of a lockmaster on the Rideau Canal. From 1839 until 1850 he faithfully recorded his daily life in South Crosby Township. It remains a great record of life in Leeds County, as well as life in the early days of the canal.
Sue Warren, a graduate of University of Toronto and Queens University, is the retired head librarian of the Rideau Lakes Public Library, as well as the author of two books on Leeds County History. In the early 1980s she worked as a historical interpreter on the Rideau, where she had the opportunity to transcribe the Sweeney journal from the original source.
Please join us online on Monday, March 1st at 7:00 pm for a presentation from military historian Glenn Wright entitled Advance! Suggestions for Researching Our Military Ancestors in 19th Century Ontario.
Advance! is the motto of the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa and in this presentation, Glenn hopes that his suggestions for researching your military ancestor in the 19th century will lead you to new discoveries. We will look at the most important resources for military events such as the War of 1812-1815, the 1837 Rebellion, the Fenian Raids, 1866-1870, the Northwest Resistance, 1885 and finally, the South African War, 1899-1902. The role and the relevant records of the Militia, the British Army in Canada and Canada’s Permanent Force will also be described.
To register for this presentation, please click here!
Glenn Wright has given numerous presentations at OGS conferences, Gene-o-Rama, local genealogical and historical associations in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia. Subjects have varied from Mounted Police records, pre-1865 immigration sources, Ontario vital records and all aspects of our military history.
For the first half of 2021 we will be holding our meetings virtually using the Zoom platform provided by OGS. We will be meeting on the first Monday of each month beginning February 1st (no January meeting). We will post information about each meeting as it becomes available. Please check back here for links to register for our meetings.
February 2021 Meeting
Please join us on Monday, February 1st at 7:00 pm to learn about The GEDCOM Toolkit.
The GEDCOM format file is a largely misunderstood and underutilized genealogy tool, according to presenter Bob Dawes.
It can be used to migrate a genealogy family file into other genealogy software programs to take advantage of their unique features while keeping your own program. GEDCOM can be used for building on-line trees quickly or to transfer your file to a portable device like a tablet or smartphone. GEDCOM can also be used for matching with cousins much like DNA does by comparing your file to other GEDCOMs.
This presentation will explore the many benefits of using a GEDCOM for more than creating simple back up files.
To register for this presentation, please click here!
Bob Dawes is a retired technology industry executive who got turned onto genealogy in the early nineties. He enjoys combining technology and travel to research his family. Bob and his wife, Barbara also an avid genealogist, have traveled throughout North America and the United Kingdom in pursuit of their ancestors. Their most recent trip was to Scotland for thirty-five days in the fall of 2019 where they filled in for the staff at the Buchan Family History Centre, in Peterhead, for a week. Bob is a past chair of Quinte Branch – OGS and has given presentations to many societies, branches and conferences. He currently manages Quinte’s IT and research databases.
The Brockville Museum, home to the Archives of the Leeds & Grenville Branch, is undertaking a feasibility study to plan for a new Museum, and as part of that study is asking for input! If you use the Leeds & Grenville Branch Archives, or participate in our programming, we are asking you to take a few minutes to tell the consultants about your vision and needs for a new Museum space. You can find out more about the study at the Museum’s website here: www.brockvillemuseum.com/aboutus.
The community consultation process includes an online survey, open until the end of the year, which asks questions about usage, needs (and wants) for a new facility. Please take a few moments to share your thoughts on the Museum’s future by answering the survey questions
Our Branch’s vision for a new facility includes an integrated research space that would combine the Museum’s research materials with ours, and with resources from the City of Brockville. This would allow researchers to access the resources they need to build their family history, as well as meeting space and adequate safe storage space. What is YOUR vision.