British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa
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Saturday, May 30
DNA Interest Group  (Special Interest Groups)
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Members meet quarterly to share experiences, information and ideas 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, June 13
2015 Annual General Meeting  (Annual General Meeting)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
The following documents for our AGM have been sent to our members and can also be downloaded from here.
  • Notice of Meeting
  • Minutes of 2014 Annual General Meeting
  • 2014 Financial Statements
  • Annual Directors' Reports


Saturday, June 13
Genealogy at the Ottawa Public Library  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
Patricia Barlosky, genealogy librarian at the Nepean Centrepoint Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, will share information about the print and microfilm resources available at the Ottawa Public Library for genealogy and history research.


Saturday, June 13
Field Name Map  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
Brenda Turner will share a map and documents related to an area of Northhamptonshire. The map is based on field names created by Parish Schoolchildren in 1932, which might show rumoured features of medieval occupation long gone.   


Saturday, June 13
William Pittman Lett - Ottawa's First City Clerk and Bard  (Discovery Tables)
9:30 am to 10:00 am
Atrium, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
William Pittman Lett's name is recognized by few today. In Ottawa, some may remember him as the city's first and longest-serving clerk for 36 years, from 1855 to 1891. He was the city’s manager in a time when the clerk held the power of the pen and wielded extraordinary influence behind the scenes to shape Canada’s capital. He witnessed and recorded the turbulent evolution of Canada throughout most of the 19th century.
 
Lett fought in prose, poetry, and oratory for the Methodist Church, for Temperance, for the British Connexion threatened by Fenians and Annexationists, and for the flag, monarchy, and Empire against the vogue of republicanism and the ambitions of German emperors and Russian czars.

Lett's biography, written and published by Bryan D. Cook, introduces a complex and charistmatic character, maturing from militiaman, radical journalist and theatre pioneer to a highly respected public personality, sportsman, patrio, and proud chronicler of his city's history.
 
Lett's marriage to his beloved Maria Hinton brought joy and tragedy on which he reflected in verse. The poetry column of the newspaper was his popular soapbox. More than 100 poems by Lett are presented in Cook's book, authentic to the original script and now framed in their historical contexts.
 
As the Poet Blogger of Confederation, Lett has been deservedly resurrected from archival oblivion.
 
Take this opportunity to meet the author.


Saturday, June 13
Great Moments in Genealogy  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
Join BIFHSGO members Tara Grant, Ken McKinlay, Lesley Anderson, and John Reid as they share some of their exciting discoveries in genealogy research.
 
Elizabeth White, Elizabeth Dwight or Elizabeth Jones? Mother of 39 and My 8x Great-Grandmother
When Tara Grant first started researching her family history, her grandmother told her that they were descended from the Greenhills. The Greenhill family had a famous ancestress who was reputed to have had 39 children, seven boys and 32 girls, all single births save one. Intrigued, Tara started researching in order to determine if the story was true. Magazine articles written in the 19th century identified her 8x great-grandmother as either Elizabeth White daughter of William White, Elizabeth Dwight daughter of William Dwight, or Elizabeth Jones daughter of John Jones. Elizabeth married William Greenhill of Abbots Langley, Hertford. While Tara was unable to confirm the births of 39 children, she was able to sort out the identity of Elizabeth Greenhill and some of her intriguing and complicated family lineage.
 
About the Speaker
Tara Grant works as an archaeological conservator for the Canadian Conservation Institute (Dept. of Canadian Heritage). She specializes in the conservation of freshly excavated Thule artifacts from the Arctic and waterlogged cedar baskets from BC. She has been researching her family history for about 20 years. A lover of jigsaw puzzles, she finds family history to be incredibly similar — connecting small fragments together to form a picture. She hopes her family jigsaw has all the pieces. Recent forays into DNA research shows 94% of her DNA comes from the British Isles so she has joined the correct family history society.
 
 
Misplaced Twigs on a Branch
How many of you have inherited a hand-drawn family tree from a relative? What do you do when the facts you have discovered don't match up to the tree on that piece of paper? Well Ken McKinlay received several hand-written family trees when he was first starting out in his journey and after more than 15 years he is finally getting around to reviewing those other branches. This is the somewhat confusing tale of Louisa and Marjory and working through the records to uncover their parents to figure out how they really fit into the McKinnon-McDonald family tree.
 
About the Speaker
Ken McKinlay, a genealogy researcher with over 15 years experience, is a frequent speaker at Ottawa area events. Ken, popular for his practically-oriented talks on genealogy resources and research techniques, blogs at Family Tree Knots.
 
 
Digging Up the Bownes in My Family Tree
Could an electrical storm, pregnancy and even a man-made reservoir stop her from finding her 3rd great grandparents farm? Lesley Anderson has been tracing her family tree since she was a teenager and bolstered by her successful visit to find her Platts farm outside of Chesterfield, Derbyshire, she was determined to find her Crofts/Bowne's farm. After researching in the County Records Office she and her mother's friend go on a journey to find whether it was still standing.  
 
About the Speaker
Lesley Anderson has been involved in the personal research of her family tree for over 40 years and her passion for genealogy has branched out to teaching classes, speaking at seminars and conferences, consulting and doing research for others. She is well known for her computer and genealogy classes offered through the Ottawa Catholic Board Continuing Ed and her “field trips” to various archives and libraries. She was the Director of Education for BIFHSGO and volunteers at the Ottawa Stake - LDS Family History Center where she gets great enjoyment out of helping new and experienced genealogists with their research. Lesley has worked for Ancestry.ca for seven years in her role as Partnership Development and Content Specialist and has done numerous presentations at Ontario Genealogy Society branch meetings and conferences across Canada as well as TV and radio appearances.
 
 
Tragedy at Sea: How My Family History Nearly Ended Before It Began
Churchill called the second half of 1940 the darkest hour when the British Empire stood alone again Nazi Germany. All out fighting was raging, civilians were in harm’s way. At the beginning of August, the 825-ton Irish-registered steamer Kerry Head, captained by John Reid’s father's uncle, Charles Drummond, was bombed, but not sunk, in Irish territorial waters by a German plane. That's despite Ireland being neutral. In early September, the 16,700 ton RMS Rangitane, on which John’s father, Charles Reid, was ninth engineer, set sail from Liverpool for New Zealand. It was promptly recalled when the journey was considered too hazardous for children following the tragedy of the torpedoing of the City of Benares and the death of 77 child evacuees. This presentation relates how, before the year was through, both the Kerry Head and the Rangitane were at the bottom of the ocean due to enemy action.
 
About the Speaker
Following a career as a PhD research scientist, John Reid stepped up his interest in family and local history, joining the board of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa and serving as president from 2004 to 2006. His blog, Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, has had more than 6,000 postings since March 2006. In addition to numerous scientific publications, he is author of Researching Canada`s Home Children, editor of The Ottawa Sharpshooters, author of articles in several newsstand magazines, a regular columnist in BIFHSGO's quarterly chronicle, and speaker on various family history topics.
 


Saturday, June 13
BIFHSGO Writing Group  (Special Interest Groups)
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 with the exception of this meeting. 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 12
Proudly She Served: Researching Canadian Nurses in the Great War  (Before BIFHSGO Education Talks)
9:00 am to 9:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean
Glenn Wright will examine the major sources for researching Canadian nurses in the Great War, including an overview of less well-known archival records.
 
About the Speaker
Glenn Wright is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events, especially on Canadian men and women who served in the Great War; he is also immediate Past President of BIFHSGO.
 


Saturday, September 12
The Life and Times of Nursing Sister Laura Gamble, WWI  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
 
Fairbairn House Museum in Wakefield and Theatre Wakefield are collaborating to create content for museum displays. The same materials will be used for theatrical productions. A group of seniors was formed to research local history and with the help of professionals, scripts were written. Brooke Broadbent will explain his research into the life of Laura Gamble, a nursing sister from the First World War who came from Wakefield. He will discuss sources used and what he discovered about the Gamble family. He will examine the dramatic elements in her life that are being used for the museum displays and the theatrical production.  He will explain some of the resources that are available from the Gatineau Valley Historical Society.
 
About the Speaker
Brooke Broadbent studied and taught Canadian history. He has researched parts of his family history and with the help of the Trent Valley Archives in Peterborough Ontario he self-published a book which uses historical fiction to fill in the gaps about his ancestors who settled in the Peterborough area in the 1850s.
 
 


Saturday, September 19
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interest Groups)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, 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. We all, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.
 
Visit the links page to find information about Scottish research.



Saturday, October 10
Did DNA Prove the Skeleton under the Leicester Car Park was Richard III?  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
 
In 1485 the body of King Richard III, killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, was taken to nearby Leicester and, after public display, was hastily buried in the medieval church of Gray Friars. Over the years the exact grave location and fate of the remains were lost to history. An archaeological excavation in 2012 revealed a skeleton. Initially cautious in their conclusions, examination by the University of Leicester research team eventually led them to conclude that the evidence for the remains being those of Richard III is overwhelming. This presentation by John Reid reviews the forensic evidence examined by the team, focuses on their use of likelihood ratios for non-genetic and genetic data for making the case and draws out lessons for genealogists.
 
About the Speaker
Following a career as a PhD research scientist, John Reid stepped up his interest in family and local history joining the board of the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa (BIFHSGO), serving as President from 2004 to 2006. His blog, Canada's Anglo-Celtic Connections, has over 6,000 postings since March 2006. In addition to numerous scientific publications he is author of Researching Canada`s Home Children, editor of The Ottawa Sharpshooters, author of articles in several newsstand magazines, a regular columnist in BIFHSGO's quarterly chronicle and speaker on topics in family history.


Saturday, October 17
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interest Groups)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, 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. We all, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.
 
Visit the links page to find information about Scottish research.



Saturday, November 14
The George Gallie Nasmith World War I Letters-A Scavenger Hunt & a Not So Great Moment in Genealogy  (Monthly Meeting)
10:00 am to 11:30 am
The Chamber, Ben Franklin Place, 101 Centrepointe Drive, Nepean, Ontario
 
About 20 years ago, Patty McGregor’s mother bought a box of approximately 275 letters at an auction sale. The letters were to and from Lieutenant Colonel (later Colonel) George Gallie Nasmith of Toronto, who went overseas in 1914 with the First Canadian Contingent as the "Water Specialist." The collection includes letters to George from his siblings, his fiancée and his friends – and from him to them. This talk discusses the adventure of reading and transcribing all the letters and identifying and researching the letter writers and the events and people mentioned. Genealogical research involved BMD and census records as well as military files, maps, historical newspapers and estate files. The final challenge was in deciding how best to share the contents of the letters. Therein lies the rub.
 
About the Speaker
Patty McGregor retired from the federal government in 2013. She has been researching her family for over 25 years. She has spoken on several occasions at BIFHSGO Great Moments events and has had articles printed in Anglo-Celtic Roots and OGS’ Families. She is the author of Don’t Forget to Write – a look at the Canadian YMCA through historical postcards, and Researching Canadian Immigration Records. She and her husband have been involved in the antiques and collectibles business for 35 years and many of you will recognize her as a vendor at various genealogy conferences where she sells used and out of print books. 


Saturday, November 21
Scottish Genealogy Group  (Special Interest Groups)
10:00 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, 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. We all, beginners and experts alike, learn from and encourage each other.
 
Visit the links page to find information about Scottish research.


Saturday, November 28
DNA Interest  (Special Interest Groups)
9:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room 226, City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive, Ottawa, Ontario
Members meet quarterly to share experiences, information and ideas 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