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Leeds & Grenville Branch – June 2022 Presentation – Life On the Rideau Lakes In the Early Years

Join us on Monday, June 13th at 7:00 pm when local favourite Sue Warren will send us off into summer with Life on the Lakes in the Early Years – what daily life was like in the first two decades after the Rideau Canal was built.

Life around the Rideau lakes – a discussion of the Rideau Lakes area covering First Nations, European settlement, agriculture, architecture, religion, medicine – daily life in the first half of the 19th century!

Sue is a board member and past chair of the Chaffey’s Lock and Area Heritage Society, and a former Parks Canada historical interpreter.  After teaching for a number of years, Sue retired in 2016 as CEO of the Rideau Lakes Public Library system.  She is also an avid Facebook poster and genealogist!

Everyone is welcome, but registration is required.  You can register here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZModeyhqjsvGNE-zxmQIXwRkZAG4LZoM8gq.  After registering, you will receive an email with a link to join the presentation.

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Museum Hours Changes

The Brockville Museum will be closed from December 24th, 2021 through January 3rd, 2022 inclusive.  Beginning in January, 2022 the Museum will open Monday through Friday from 10 am until 4 pm, rather than the Tuesday – Saturday which has been the practice in 2021.

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Access to the Leeds & Grenville Branch Archives

Update Effective November, 2021

With the Proof of Vaccination policy:

• All Museum visitors will be asked if they pass screening (don’t have symptoms)
• Museum Front Desk volunteers will ask for and check Vaccine Certificate and government-issued ID for visitors (not for staff and volunteers). They will do this for Archives visitors as well.


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 leedsgrenville@ogs.on.ca, 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.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – May 2022 Presentation – Genealogy By Google

Join us on Monday, May 9th at 7:00 pm when well-known Canadian genealogist Dave Obee will introduce us to Genealogy by Google.

Dave Obee

Google is an invaluable tool for genealogists. It pays to know some tricks, including effective filtering and search strategies. Don’t forget Google Books, Google Maps, Google Images and the historic newspaper collection. You will quickly discover that a simple search simply scratches the surface of what is available to genealogists.

Everyone is welcome but registration is required.  To register for this presentation click https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwudOiupzsjE90l_Zf0AxWd1Qy8W4tCdmNX.  After registering, you will receive an email with a link to join the presentation.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – April 2022 Presentation – For a Better Life:  Post-War Dutch Immigration to Canada

Join us on Monday, April 11th at 7:00 pm for a presentation from author John Immerseel:  For a Better Life:  Post-War Dutch Immigration to Canada.  Those of us living in Leeds & Grenville Counties are very familiar with the many Dutch names that populate our farms, villages and towns.  John will give us a first-hand glimpse into how some of the half-million Dutch emigrants who left the Netherlands for a better life in the post-war era helped our Counties grow and thrive in the last half of the 20th Century.

For A Better Life by J.M. Van Immerseel
For A Better Life by J.M. Van Immerseel

Beginning in 1947, almost 500,000 Dutch emigrants left the Netherlands following the end of World War II. Of this number, almost 200,000 left for Canada. This presentation examines the situation in the Netherlands before and during the war years, the reasons for emigrating, and the challenges facing families as they set out to rebuild their lives in their new homeland.

John Immerseel was a biologist by training before becoming an author.  “I had a long career with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, during which I held several positions with the Ontario Provincial Parks and Protected Areas Branch. I retired as zone manager for southeastern Ontario in 2005. Since retiring, I have devoted myself to writing.”

Everyone is welcome but registration is required at:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAuc-2orDkvHNJ0l5nQgfioTf_e73xt31fy

Leeds & Grenville Branch – March 2022 Presentation – Need Help With Family History?

Leeds & Grenville Branch Archives

We asked members of the Leeds & Grenville Branch to send us some requests for information on their family research in the Counties.  Branch researchers have researched in our Archives and online to see if we can answer their questions!  Join us on Monday, March 14th to hear what we’ve found!   Learn more about what we have in our files, and where the gaps are.  If you have questions about how to research in our Archives, we’ll be happy to answer them.  Everyone is welcome to join us on Monday, March 14th at 7:00 pm on Zoom.   To register visit this link:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYocu2grzwiH9KnwMLzCvaBHTfodqS6cHeR . You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the live presentation.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – February 2022 Presentation – The Rural Diary Archive: Transcribing Daily Life in Eastern Ontario

Rural Diary Archive Website

Join us on Monday, February 14th at 7:00 pm for a presentation on The Rural Diary Archive: Transcribing Daily Life in Eastern Ontario, presented by Catharine Wilson.

The Rural Diary Archive website brings together the work of over 200 diarists from across Ontario (1820-1960) and continues to grow. Visitors can learn about the authors, easily read and search fully transcribed diaries in the collection, and transcribe handwritten ones – all for free. This presentation explores several Eastern Ontario diaries in the collection, the nature of diary writing, and the ways one can use diaries for one’s research.

Catharine Wilson’s interest in rural and family history began while growing up in Grenville County where her Loyalist and Irish ancestors settled. Catharine holds the Redelmeier Professorship in Rural History at the University of Guelph. Her most recent book, “Beeing Neighbours,” the study of quilting and barn-raising bees, will soon be published by McGill Queen’s University Press. She is also the Founder and Director of the Rural Diary Archive, https://ruraldiaries.lib.uoguelph.ca/.

Everyone is welcome but registration is required. Please register here:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYtf-6prz8pEtwKK9ZvSdX923D-bXdD6dKI You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the live presentation.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – December 2021 Presentation – Ontario Records at FamilySearch

Join us on Monday, December 13th at 7:00 pm for a presentation on Ontario Records at FamilySearch by Stephen Young.

Stephen’s presentation will start with a short introduction about the history of FamilySearch and its products and services. He will then demonstrate how to access Historical Records on FamilySearch with specific attention to some of the basic indexed Ontario collections and how to use them:

· Vital records (births, marriage, and deaths), and cemetery records

· Census enumerations

· Tax assessment records (a new collection currently underway)

Stephen C. Young was born and raised in London, Ontario and now lives in Provo, Utah with his wife, Michelle. They are the parents of three sons and two daughters, and grandparents of six (so far). Much of Stephen’s earliest and ongoing research focuses on his Young family from Yorkshire, England who immigrated to the Toronto area in the 1830s and were amongst the earliest pioneers in Hibbert Twp., Perth County and West Wawanosh Twp., Huron County. An employee of the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 1988, he is currently a Deputy Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch International, with responsibilities involving Canadian and British records. Stephen has contributed seven articles to OGS Families, continues to write and lecture on family history topics, and will be retiring from a 33-year career with FamilySearch this coming March. Future plans include much more research and writing and travel back home in Ontario.

Everyone is welcome but registration is required. Use this link to register. You will receive a confirmation email with a link to the live presentation.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – November 2021 Presentation – Getting the Most Out of Researching on Ancestry

Want to learn the ins and outs of using Ancestry for your family history research?  Join us on Monday, November 8th at 7:00 pm for a Zoom presentation of Getting the Most Out of Researching on Ancestry.

Ancestry is the world’s largest genealogy services company, with record collections from across the globe, DNA testing products, and many more services.  This presentation is an overview of how to use and search effectively on Ancestry’s Canadian website, Ancestry.ca, but there are many useful tips and hints for anyone starting out on Ancestry no matter which country you are researching in.  A handout will be provided.

Our presenter will be Lesley Anderson, a face and voice well-known to Canadian family history researchers.  Lesley has worked for Ancestry for over 14 years as their Canadian Spokesperson, and has done numerous presentations for genealogy societies.

The presentation is free and open to everyone, but you will need to register to attend.  Use this registration link.  You will be sent a confirmation email with information on how to join the session.

We look forward to having you join us!