Tag Archives: Genealogy

Leeds Heritage Day – May 25, 2024

The Leeds & Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will be open on Saturday, May 25th to celebrate Leeds Heritage Day.  Our Archives, located in the Brockville Museum, will welcome visitors with refreshments and a chance to see our collection of family histories, land abstract books, and much more about the history of Leeds & Grenville counties.  Come to visit us!

Other activities taking place for Leeds Heritage Day include:

•        The Athens Museum is celebrating 20 years and will also have a BBQ.  Athens Library has a book and plant sale and there is a community yard sale. Maple View Lodge Auxiliary has a pie and yard sale.

•        The Brick School in Elgin will host a display of photos by famed photographer Clifford Pennock, an early 20th century photographic pioneer.

•        Delta’s Old Stone Mill will be open and offers guided or self guided tours.

•        At Mallory Coach House in Mallorytown there will be a chance to visit the new Glassworks display as well as other exhibits.

•        The Thousand Islands History Museum in Gananoque will be hosting the last weekend for the fibre arts show, “From Away”.

•        The Brockville Museum is a member and offers many exhibits of local interest. 

•        The Rideau District Museum, located at 29 Bedford Street in Westport, has many unique and interesting artifacts.

•        The Brockville Museum is a member and offers many exhibits of local interest. 

•        The Rideau District Museum, located at 29 Bedford Street in Westport, has many unique and interesting artifacts.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – May 2024 Presentation – Poppies in a Field of Stones – With Jan Briggs-McGowan

Join us on Monday, May 6th at 7:00 pm via Zoom for our presentation Poppies in a Field of Stones with Jan Briggs-McGowan.  Jan is an OGS member and an active member of the Bruce County Genealogical Society and the Royal Canadian Legion.  Over the past decade she has been inspired to create a lasting recognition of Canada’s veterans with the Poppy Rocks project.  In recent years she has arranged for the creation and placement of more than 700 stones painted with poppies and placed on the graves of veterans in the Bruce County region.

Last November a group of grade 6 students in Kemptville painted their own poppy rocks for placement at the local cenotaph.  Jan is hoping to inspire us in Leeds & Grenville to build on this initiative and ensure that we pass on the act of remembrance to younger generations. To register for this presentation, click here.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – April 2024 Presentation: Brockville Newspapers From 1821 to 1917 – With Alice McMurtry From the Brockville Museum

Join us on Monday, April 1st at 7:00 pm via Zoom for our presentation about Brockville Newspapers from 1821 to 1917 with Alice McMurtry from the Brockville Museum.

This presentation chronicles the formation and development of Brockville’s leading newspapers. Power, politics, and technology all play a part in this story. This talk looks at familiar examples like the Recorder and the Times, along with stories of lesser-known papers like the Brockville Gazette and the Statesman. We’ll see how the politics of the day influenced the development of these papers and how they shaped the Brockville community.

Alice McMurtry is the Community Program Coordinator at the Brockville Museum, where she develops public and educational programming for a range of audiences.

To register for this presentation, click here.

The Leeds & Grenville Branch has digitized many of the Brockville papers up to 1901, and the digital files are available in the Members Library on the Branch website.  The microfilm reels are also available for viewing in the Branch Archives, by making an appointment for a visit.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – March 2024 Presentation: Loyal They Remained – With Jean Rae Baxter

Join us on Monday, March 4th at 7:00 pm via Zoom for our presentation entitled Loyal They Remained delivered by author Jean Rae Baxter.

This presentation tells the story of the American War of Independence from a “Canadian” point of view. Covering the period from 1777 to the settlement of the Loyalist refugees in what is now Canada, it will examine the effect of the conflict on those who opposed the Revolution.  It wasn’t just white colonists who became Loyalists!  The native people, especially Iroquois (Haudenosaunee), and thousands of enslaved black people, earned their freedom through their service to the British military. All these became Loyalists, too.  Join us as Jean ties it all together!

Jean Rae Baxter UE holds a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.Ed. from Queen’s. Before becoming a fulltime writer, she taught Secondary School English in Lennox & Addington County.  Although she was born in Toronto and grew up in Hamilton, “down home” was Essex and Kent Counties, where her ancestors had settled, some as Loyalists in the 1780s following the American Revolution, and some a century earlier, in the days of New France.

To register for this presentation, click here.

Do You Have Ancestors from Leeds & Grenville?

One of the earliest books about the history of Leeds and Grenville Counties is History of Leeds & Grenville, covering the period from1749 to 1879, written by Thaddeus Leavitt.  If you’ve ever wondered about the origins of some of those stories, so has Canadian author and genealogist Robbie Gorr.  Over the past several years he has delved deeper into the tales told by Leavitt, and shared his research in News & Views, the newsletter of the Leeds & Grenville Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. 

The Branch has just published the essays in The Things That Thaddeus Told Us, A Supplement to Leavitt’s History of Leeds & Grenville, complete with an Index.  This book is now available through the OGS Marketplace as a digital download for $15.00, or through the Branch as a print publication for $35.00 plus shipping costs. To order a digital copy, visit the OGS Marketplace here, or for a paper version contact the Branch at [email protected].

Leeds & Grenville Branch – February 2024 – Presentation: History of Slavery along the St. Lawrence River

Join us on Monday, February 5th at 7:00 pm via Zoom for our first presentation of 2024!  February is Black History Month, and we have scheduled a timely presentation.  Author and speaker Jennifer de Bruin will provide a History of Slavery along the St. Lawrence River.

This presentation explores the connection of this region to the history of slavery in North America. While information on the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, and a brief history of slavery in Canada and the US will provide an understanding of the magnitude of this tragic institution, it most importantly gives a voice to those who were enslaved. Together we’ll journey through time to discover the harrowing experiences of the thousands of enslaved men, women and children who fought for freedom in the courts, fled from enslavement on the Underground Railroad (routes that crossed through Quebec/Eastern Ontario), and eventually settled in Ontario.  An environment of learning and openness, this presentation provides an excellent opportunity to ask questions and get answers or more resources for learning. To register for this presentation, click here or visit our Branch website [email protected] for more details.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – December 2023 – Presentation: Managing Photos

Are you dealing with the proverbial shoebox of photos?  Would you like to bring some organization to your photo collections?  Join us on Monday, December 4th at 7:00 pm via Zoom when Rob Donald, President of the Lanark County Camera Club, will share his knowledge of scanning and managing photos and importing images into a genealogy program.  Rob has found a way to bring his passion for photography to his latest pastime, family history.  The presentation will last about 40-45 minutes.

So join us on Monday, December 4th at 7:00 pm on Zoom and learn some tricks for managing the shoebox!  To register for this presentation, click here.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – November 2023 Presentation – Informal Discussion

The Leeds & Grenville Branch will host an informal discussion on Monday, November 6th at 7:00 pm online using Zoom.  This is a chance to ask questions about genealogy, to brag about recent family history discoveries or to tell the story of a veteran in your ancestry.  If you are new to genealogy, or are interested in getting started, join us to talk about the hobby.  If you’re a veteran genealogist, give us some tips on research strategies for success. To register for our discussion, click here or visit our Branch website [email protected] for more details.

We are Going on a Road Trip! – June 16, 2023

The Lost Villages Archive and Museum, Friday June 16th

“loss of communities which formerly existed along the St. Lawrence River prior to the building of the St. Lawrence Seaway & Power Project in the late 1950s.”

The Lost Villages, Alt Park, Long Sault, ON (approx.. 1 hr east of Brockville)


This is a self-drive trip, however carpooling from Brockville or Prescott can be arranged.

Would you like to join us?  Contact Mary Anne McAllister  [email protected]

before June 9th.

Leeds & Grenville Branch – June 2023 Presentation – Cornwall Community Museum with Brent Whitford

Join us on Monday, June 5th at 7 PM as we welcome Brent Whitford, Senior Curator from the Cornwall Community Museum. He will give us a presentation about the resources of the Museum, and their recent involvement with the United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada in housing the UELAC Archives.

To register for this presentation, click here.