Join the OGS First World War Society

July 20th, 2014

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, OGS has launched a new Heritage Society. The First World War Society is a lineage Society open to anyone who can show descent from a person who served in a documented capacity on the Allied side of the First World War.

To qualify for this Society, your research must show that your named ancestor(s) fits in the category above, and then show the line of descent from that ancestor(s) to you or the person you wish named on the certificate.

For more information and an application form visit the Heritage Societies area on the OGS website:

Reminder: OGS Partial Year Membership Now Available

July 20th, 2014

If you, or someone you know is thinking of joining OGS for the first time, now is a perfect time to do it. Our partial year membership launched June 1st and we welcome new members to join us for the rest of 2014 for $35.70 rather than waiting till the New Year.

Partial year Members receive all the benefits of Individual membership including our quarterly mailing for August and November as well as access to our Genealogy Webinar Series. This offer is also available to those who have not been an OGS member since 2011 and would like to rejoin the OGS family.

Join now!

OGS Offers Plenty of Summer Reading for Genealogists

July 20th, 2014

Now that summer is here and the pace has slowed down, are you thinking of finally getting around to writing that family history? OGS has several books that might help.

For social history information that would add character to your narrative, try the Time Traveller’s Handbook; A Guide to the Past or perhaps A Better Place; Death and Burial in 19th Century Ontario.

To help locate a local history for a place of interest, OGS offers Local Histories of Ontario Municipalities 1997-2007; A Bibliography. Finally, if you want to make a book from your family history, Publish Your Family History will provide you with all the detail needed.

For more information about these publications, visit the e-store section of the Society’s website.

Ontario Genealogical Society 2015 Conference Call for Speakers – Get Involved

July 16th, 2014

Under the leadership of the OGS Conference Chair, Patti Mordasewicz the OGS Board, Volunteers and Staff, are in the midst of planning The Society’s next Conference – Tracks through Time – to be held at Georgian College, Barrie – May 29-31, 2015.

The Conference Program Committee would like to encourage returning as well as new presenters to submit proposals. Consider the possible related topics yourself or pass the information on to others you know who might be interested. We cannot reach everyone ourselves but with your help we can.

Please see the Call for Speakers at:


Shirley L. Sturdevant

OGS Conference 2015 Program Committee, Chair



Brickwalls: Seeking info on Sophia Thompson – of Markham Township, Ontario and Huron County, Michigan

July 14th, 2014

Sophia Thompson is my brick wall. I have been unable to find her parents or siblings. Sophia was born in Canada in 1820. She was likely born in Ontario with an outside possibility of New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. Sophia’s middle name may have been Wheelock. She married John Tomlinson in 1839 in Markham, Ontario. The marriage record listed her residence as Markham. John Tomlinson was the son of Joseph Tomlinson. Joseph Tomlinson was located at Con 8 Lot 5 in Markham Township in the 1837 Toronto and Home District Directory. The Tomlinson family was at Box Grove only a mile or two from Markham Village, they were also close to Pickering and Scarborough Townships. The 1837 Directory listed 2 Thomson families in Markham Township, Alexander at Con 6 Lot 18 and John at Con 3 Lot 12, 2 more Thomson families were in neighboring Pickering Township and 16 in Scarborough.

Sophia is not found in the 1851 census. Alexander Thomson is at Con 6 Lot 19 in 1851 with his second wife Susan and children George, Mary Archibald and Alexander. All were born in Canada. John Thomson is at Con 2 Lot 26 in 1851 with wife Hannah and children Mary, David, Stephen, Thomas, Joseph, Hannah, Elizabeth and George. It appears they left England about 1830. John and Sophia and family lived for a brief time and owned land in Adjala Township, Simcoe County. In 1861 Sophia is with her husband and family in Markham Township. Later in 1861 she is widowed. Her husband is buried in the Buttonville cemetery. The Buttonville Cemetery is 7 miles from Markham. Why wasn’t he buried with the other Tomlinson’s in the Box Grove Cemetery? Thomas Thomson (1835-1896), his wife Sarah Sutton and family are buried in Buttonville. Are they related to Sophia? This Thomas is likely the son of the above John and Hannah.

In 1871 and 1881 Sophia is in Markham Township with various of her 11 children. Her origin is listed as German in one census and Scotch in the other. The German reference could be to the Tomlinson family. Religion was given as Wesleyan Methodist, Congregational, Methodist, or Methodist Episcopal. Her 11 children, in order of birth, were Charlotte, Joseph W, Edmund, Edna, Simeon, William, John William, James, Thomas, Walter Scott and Elizabeth Ann. Charlotte, Edward, Edna, Thomas and Walter Scott do not appear to be Tomlinson names. Naming patterns would suggest that Sophia is more likely a child of John than Alexander but if she was born in Canada that would eliminate John as her father.

In the early 1880s Sophia moved to Huron County, Michigan following numerous of her children. In 1884 she married John Sibley. Sibley was born in Nova Scotia in 1802. I have been unable to find a death record for john Sibley. Sophia Tomlinson died in Huron Township, Huron County, Michigan in 1892. The death record listed her parents as unknown. No obituary has been found in the local newspaper or the Markham Economist.

If you think you can help Karl with his Brickwall, he may be reached at:karlkincade<at>

Brickwalls: Seeking info on Bridget Mulligan and Margaret Sharon

July 12th, 2014

I have brick walls re: 2 women:

My gg grandmother: Bridget Mulligan married John Reynolds
This family lived in Renfrew county, both in Bromley and Burdenell. Bridget appears in the 1851 to 1871 censuses, all of which indicate she was born in Canada in the late 1820s. The earliest record I have is their 1849 marriage. I can’t find a birth or baptism record and hence don’t know who her parents might have been.

And another gg grandmother, Margaret Sharon married Abner Mapes in 1854. <>
She was probably born in Ireland in the mid 1820s, but I have even less info about her than I do about Bridget. I have census records and the info from her tombstone. The surname could be a variant of Sheeran.

More information about these two mystery women is available at the links above. They are frustrating, as their parents are the only ggg grandparents I haven’t been able to find.

To contact me please use my email address as shown on the webpages cited above.

Many thanks,
Sharon Haggerty

New OGS Heritage Society – First World War

July 11th, 2014

To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War, OGS has launched a new Heritage Society.The First World War Society is a lineage Society open to anyone who can show direct descent from a person who served in a documented capacity on the Allied side of the First World War.

To qualify for this Society, your research must show that your named ancestor(s) fits in the category above, and then show the line of descent from that ancestor(s) to you or the person you wish named on the certificate.

For more information and an application form visit the Heritage Societies area on the OGS website:

Reminder: New Blog Category – Brickwalls

July 11th, 2014

Welcome to a new category for the OGS Blog: Brickwalls. The intent behind this is to offer the genealogical community a place to seek and offer assistance to those who have hit that inevitable and much dreaded brickwall. Please keep in mind that this is not intended – nor can it – function as a research service. If you require the services of a professional genealogist, your best bet is to visit the website for the Association of Professional Genealogists: The APG also has an Ontario chapter:

Here’s how it works – aka, The House Rules:

  • If you have hit a brickwall, you may send a detailed, but brief, i.e. no more than 4 paragraphs, query to: blog<at> – please use Brickwall Query in the subject line of your message.
  • Once your query has been posted, anyone who believes they can offer assistance may contact you in one of two ways:
    • Indicate and Include contact information in your query – Keep in mind though – this is a public site!!
    • Not comfortable with putting your info out there? No problem – folks can simply leave any info they may have in the comments sections of your post – you just have to remember to check the blog regularly to see if any comments have been left for you.

Please note: Submissions may be edited for length and the protection of personal information.

All comments are moderated before being made public

Call for Presenters: OGS Conference 2015 – “Tracks Through Time”

July 11th, 2014

Deadline for Proposal Submissions: September 12, 2014

The Ontario Genealogical Society will host the Society’s annual conference on 29-31 May 2015 at Georgian College Campus, Barrie, ON, Canada. The conference theme — “Tracks through Time” – originates from the 130th Anniversary of the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway across Canada.

Many family historians have their roots in the immigrant laborers who built this railway across our vast country. Other ancestors were tempted by the transportation routes and migration opportunities allowed by its completion. Still others worked for the railway company itself over the years to follow. As researchers, we track our family history through time in many ways, always attempting to ensure we are tracking the right people from the right line. The variations on “Tracks through Time” are endless.

The subject of presentations should preferably fall within one of the following categories:

1. Impact of the development of the railway in Canada
2. Tracking various cultural and ethnic ancestor groups to and within Canada (e.g., Aboriginal, African American, Chinese,   Scandinavian, Quaker, Polish, Jewish, etc.)
3. Tracking ancestors through various record groups (land, company, religious, civil, etc.)
4. Tracking the right people (sorting out same-name research, One-Name Studies, etc.)
5. Technological advancements in tracking our ancestors

Saturday and Sunday lectures will be one hour long, including time for questions. Friday workshops offering a more in-depth exploration should be 2.5 to 3 hours in length, including time for questions. Consideration will also be given to distance presentations – “streamed in” from a presenter’s location and/or “streamed out” to a distance audience.

Each one-page proposal should include:
• Presentation Title
• Abstract – no more than 200 words
• Presentation Description – one or two sentences for program brochure
• Full Contact Information – name, postal address, telephone number, e-mail address, and website (if applicable)
• Brief Biography
• Target Audience – beginner, intermediate or advanced level family historians; general or specialist audience.

If your proposal is accepted, you will be requested to provide a 2- to 4-page summary of your lecture or workshop for our Conference Syllabus. This may include a brief overview, references and web addresses mentioned, sample screen shots, etc. It will be submitted electronically no later than 1 March 2015 as a word processing file or in rich text for ease of formatting our Program Syllabus. Speakers should also bear in mind that PowerPoint presentations must be clearly readable from a minimum distance of 20 metres/65 feet and should employ fonts no smaller than 32 points.

Please include your approximate travel costs, economy class, to Barrie, Ontario, Canada. Remuneration will normally include reimbursement of transportation expenses, free conference registration, free accommodation, meals on the day(s) of your talk(s), free social activities, plus honorarium. Workshop fees may be negotiated.

Contact Info:

Conference 2015 website:

email address:

Reminder for the July OGS Member’s Webinar

June 28th, 2014

Wednesday July 2, 2014 @ 7:00 p.m.
Speaker: Daniel Horowitz

Meet Your Match: How MyHeritage Smart Matches and Record Matches can help you overcome brick walls MyHeritage top-of-the-line technology tools help you find relatives effortlessly: Smart Matching can extend your family tree and reunite with long lost relatives; Record Matching looks in multiple sources to match the people in your family tree automatically and bring you the actual records.

Up to 100 people can access this webinar at one time. The room will open 10 minutes before the session is scheduled to start. Follow the link in the OGS Members Only area to attend.