Meetings

Family History Presentations

Essex County Branch, Ontario Ancestors meetings consist of speaker presentations and road trips, held eight times a year.  Generally, no meetings are scheduled for January, July, August, or December.  All meetings are open to everyone, not just members, and no preregistration is required.

Speaker presentations are hosted by the branch to provide speakers who share their knowledge and expertise on a wide variety of topics related to family history research in general or specific to Essex County and surrounding area.  Road trips are events where members and the public meet at other organization venues with historical, archival, or genealogical interests.  The organization may provide a tour or talk to highlight their organization.  See the list below for upcoming and past presentations and road trips to get an idea of the topics we cover.

Beginning with September 2019, EssexOA speaker presentations take place in Maryvale’s Community Room, Prince Road & College Avenue, Windsor.  Enter off College and look for signs.  Start time will be 6:30 but come early to meet and greet.

When possible, our presentations are video recorded for the benefit of anyone unable to attend in person.  Since we are all volunteers with varying technical skills, we work hard to offer a quality recording, however technology and equipment does not always cooperate. We do appreciate your patience and support.

Recording the presentations is done with the speakers’ permission and may not include archiving the video.

Visit our Essex Branch YouTube Channel to view available videos.

Upcoming Presentations

June 2019 – Road Trip:  Burton Collection

Saturday, June 1, 10:30am

Join us at the Detroit Public Library for a tour and presentation of the Burton Historical Collection and the Detroit Society of Genealogical Research.

Detroit Public Library
5201 Woodward Avenue
Detroit, Michigan
Visit their website to learn more:  https://detroitpubliclibrary.org/research/burton-historical-collection

Map to Detroit Public Library

Car pooling from Windsor may be available.  Email essex @ogs.on.ca for details.

September 2019 – Newspapers for Genealogy

Tuesday, September 10, 6:30pm

Art Rhino from the University of Windsor discusses using newspapers in your family history research.  Join us and bring a friend!  Everyone is welcome.

Past Presentations

Past presentations that were streamed or recorded are available to view here:  Essex Branch YouTube Channel

2019

May 2019 – Filles du Roi

Many French Canadian maternal lines lead back to a King’s Daughter. Agathe Vaillancourt from la Pionnière du Sud Ouest speaks about this program in New France and related research with their organization.

April 2019 – Tilbury & District Historical Society

Join us to hear about this historic organization and their resources for family history research in the Tilbury & surrounding area.

March 2019 – Italian Ancestry

Dan Fantore will share his expertise in Italian resources, naming practices, vocabulary, and delve into civil registrations, church records and sources for finding Italian ancestral home towns. Also, an overview of Windsor’s Italian Genealogy & Heraldry Society.

February 2019 – Exploring DNA

Speakers:  Linda Urquhart & David Hutchinson, Essex Branch members & family historians

Let’s explore how DNA can assist you in your family history research. Several Essex OGS Operating Committee members will provide information and share their experiences with DNA testing and results.

2018

October 2018 – French Perseverance in the Detroit River Region

Many early setters in Essex County have French connections. Dr. Guillaume Teasdale, historian and author, will share the research he completed for his newest book

September 2018 – Fur Trade in Essex County

Presented by Chris Carter. Local historian and author Chris Carter will discuss the impact of the fur trade in Essex County and our ancestors’ lives. Join us and bring a friend!

September 2018 – SPECIAL PRESENTATION:  Family Tree Maker

MacKiev software representative Mark Olsen covers the basics, tips, tricks, and answers questions about Family Tree Maker, the popular family history program that works with online genealogy sites Ancestry and Family Search.  Whether you’ve been using it for years, just started using it, or are just curious about it, this presentation is for every family historian.

April 2018 – Road Trip to ECHRS

Visit to the Essex and Community Historical Research Society to learn about their resources – 18 Gordon Ave, Essex, Ontario.

Visit ECHRS website.

March 2018 – Newspaper Websites for Genealogy

There are more and more newspaper websites that provide a wealth of information for genealogists to add to their family history stories. Presentation by Debra Honor.

February 2018 – Webcast of “Land of Canaan: Researching Black Ancestors in Canada before Confederation”

Speaker:  Guylaine Petrin

Beginning in 1793, Upper Canada became a haven for African Americans seeking freedom and political rights. While this webinar uses examples from Black genealogy, many of the sources are useful for anyone who has ancestors who lived in Upper Canada during this period.  Guylaine Petrin will be available remotely to answer questions.

January 2018 – Family History 101

Jump start your family history research and join us to share and learn family history tips and techniques. We’ll have an open discussion about online research, favourite resources, ‘how-tos,’ latest genealogy tools, etc.

2017

November 2017 Road Trip to Kingsville Archives 

Join us on another Road Trip when we visit the Kingsville-Gosfield Heritage Society Archives at the Kingsville Public Library (rear entrance), 40A Main Street West, Kingsville to learn about their resources.

Visit their website.

October 2017 Precious Photos 

Join us to learn about the preservation and restoration of family photos.  Our speaker is Brad MacLaren of MacLaren’s Photo Lab.

September 2017 Local History Centre 

Join us for a presentation about The Windsor Public Libary’s Local History Centre with a tour by Tom Vajdik.  The library will also be presented with The Award of Merit from the Ontario Genealogical Society.  Windsor Mayor and the library board Chair, Drew Dilkens, will be in attendance.

June 2017 Serbian Ancestors 

Members of the Serbian Heritage Museum of Windsor will speak about their collection and resources which may assist those researching Serbian family history in Essex County.  Note earlier start time to accommodate library’s summer hours.

May 2017 – Road Trip to RFPO

Join us at La Pionniere du Sud-Ouest for a special visit to learn what resources they have available for French family history.

Their location:

Maryvale Convent for the Sister of the Good Shepherd
940 Prince Road
Windsor, Ontario

Not sure how to get there?  See this map provided by the RFPO: Map to RFPO

April 2017 Using Google for Family History

Speaker: Colleen L’Abbe

Join us to learn tips and tricks for using Google in your family history research.

February 2017 – Family History Open House

Celebrate Family Day with us by ‘climbing your family tree’ at the Windsor Public Library in the Local History Room.  Staff and Essex branch volunteers will be available to answer your family history questions and discuss our collection.

February 2017 Early African Canadian Communities in Essex County

Speaker: Irene Moore Davis

Join us in celebrating Black History Month and learning more about local area African Canadian heritage.

January 2017 Write Your Family History

Speakers: Jim McTavish & Betty Garrett, Essex Branch members and family historians

Join us to learn more about researching, compiling, writing, and publishing family histories and memoirs.  There will also be a short annual general meeting for branch members.

November 2016 Can GPS Prove My Lineage?

Speaker: Debra Honor, Essex Branch member and family historian

A GPS machine in your car helps you to find your destination. In genealogy, there is a direction to take to prove any descent back to an ancestor who may have been a part of a special group, eg. Loyalists, Mayflower Descendants, Royals, World War One, etc. In any specialized genealogy group, there must be proof between each generation to show the logical progression backwards to the original ancestor. This talk will discuss the way to approach your research, what documents are acceptable and how to prove a connection when the specific documents are not available. The GPS of genealogy (Genealogical Proof Standard) is useful not only for these special groups but for all family research.

October 2016 Early Essex

We’re back at the Windsor Public Library to hear local historian and author, Chris Carter, speak about early settlements in southern Essex County and finding family history information for this area.  Please join us–Everyone is welcome!

September 2016 – Road Trip:  Let’s Go to Comber!

EssexOGS members and guests are visited the Comber & District Historical Society Museum, 10405 HWy #77 (south of the 401 on the right side of #77).  Museum staff provided information on their resource material.

See their website for more information about the Comber & District Historical Society:

Comber Museum

Map to Comber & District Historical Museum

June  2016Sandra Joyce

British home children.  Sandra Joyce’s father was one of the more than 100,000 children from the British Isles brought here over several decades beginning in the late 19th century, a forced exodus of humanity known today as the British Home Children.

May 2016Debra Honor

Cross Border Families.  Family history research that transcends borders.

April  2016Cathy Knight

Join us to learn about ‘dit names’, frequently encountered and often confusing for many in french family history research.

March 2016Goldie Howes

After coming into possession of a 150-year-old manuscript, Goldie Howes set out to find descendants and discovered a Belgian spy!  Join us to hear all about it.

February 2016Author Jane Buttery

Join us to hear Jane Buttery speak about the history in her novel An Unexpected Friendship: Amherstburg 1846, the story of the friendship between the son of an escaped slave and the son of an Irish immigrant.

January 2016Presentation and Annual General Meeting

Join us to hear Michael Fish, City of Windsor Archivist speak about the resources available at Windsor Community Archives and how to access them.  Everyone welcome!

A short part of the evening’s program will be the Annual General Meeting for Essex Branch Members.

2015

November 2015 – “We Will Remember”

Speakers: Richard Herniman & Ted Steele from HEIRS

October  2015 – “Evaluating Genealogical Sources: Building a Solid Foundation”
Speaker:  Shirley Sturdevant, Past President Ontario Genealogical Society
September  2015 – “Where There’s a Will…”

Speaker:  Debra Honor UE

Wills can give us a wealth of information that usually comes straight from an ancestor near the end of their lives.
Have a look to find out where to find this type of treasure and what an ancestor might reveal.

June  2015 – “United Empire Loyalists in Essex County”

Speaker:  Linda Iler, President – Bicentennial Branch, UELAC Southwestern

Monday, May 11, 2015 – “How Newspapers Contribute to Family History Research”

Speaker:  Veronique Mandal, Head of Journalism – St Clair College

Monday April 13, 2015 – “Do You Know Your Family”

Join us to hear George Pitfield speak about his discovery in middle age of his aboriginal heritage.

Monday, March 9, 2015 – “How the Scots Built Windsor”

Join us in welcoming back Heather Colautti from Windsor’s Community Museum to speak about the Scottish involvement in Windsor’s history.

Monday, February 9, 2015 – “Researching From a Distance”

Join us for guest speaker, Danielle Manning from Archives of Ontario.

Also, bring your questions for an “Ask the Genealogist” session.

Monday, January 12, 2015 – “Stories From Old Sandwich Town”

Join us to hear these tales by Historical Researcher & Storyteller, Terrence Kennedy.

Also, for branch members attending, a very brief portion of the evening will be to hold our Annual General Meeting.

November  2014 – “Taking Flight”

A representative from The Canadian Historical Aircraft Association speaks about the Air Training Program at Windsor Airport during World War II.  Did you have relatives in this program?  Join us to learn more.

October 2014 -“The Enrolled Pensioners of Amherstburg”

Speaker:  Debra Honor

“During the 1850s the British government did not need as many soldiers to protect her empire. So the government came up with a plan to have old soldiers with good conduct be settled in areas of the colonies where they might be needed to defend the settlers. Some plans failed but the one in Amherstburg and Penetanguishene were successful.  Why?”  This presentation answers that question.

September  2014:  35th ANNIVERSARY OPEN HOUSE !

Whether you are new to family history or a seasoned researcher, we hope you will join us to discuss family history research, tour our library collection, hear about the branch history and our plans for the future, meet other members of our branch, other branches and other Essex County family history driven organizations, and of course enjoy some cake and good company!

NOTE:  Meetings are video recorded for the benefit of  members who are unable to attend meetings.  These videos are available for members to view from our Member’s Only Site.

Other Local Branches:

KENT BRANCH All meetings will be held at St. Andrews Residence, 99 Park Ave., Chatham at 7:00 P.M (Friday nights). www.kent.ogs.on.ca

LAMBTON BRANCH Please visit the Lambton website at http://www.lambton.ogs.on.ca/meetings.html All meetings are held at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 1400 Murphy Rd., Sarnia at 7:30 P.M.

Some branches stream meetings online so anyone can ‘attend’ from a distance.  Check the OGS Calendar for links to these meetings.

____________________

Other Association meetings: Harrow Early Immigrant Research Society, (HEIRS) Membership meets monthly, on the fourth Thursday, excluding June, July, August, and December. The meetings are held in the Community Room, Harrow and Colchester South Community Centre, Arena Building, at 7:30 p.m., unless otherwise stated. The public is welcome. http://www.heirs.ca/index.shtml