The Ontario Genealogical Society Awards recognize and honour the outstanding achievements and commitments of individuals and organizations in the promotion and preservation of our heritage or related activities.  The Society recognizes the importance of volunteers in achieving its Mission and Objectives.

Deadline for all Society Awards is April 1st of any given year unless otherwise specified in the award or contest description.

All submissions and nominations can be submitted using the online form listed for each award or by emailing to using the same headings and required information.

The Awards Committee reserves the right not to present an award in any given year should suitable candidates not be nominated.

In all Awards and Contests, the decision of the Judges is final.

Citation of Recognition

Members and Branches are encouraged to submit the names of OGS members who:

  • have provided a minimum of five (5) years of service to the Society;
  • have shown leadership in the Society;
  • have shown tangible contributions to the Society beyond the local Branch;
  • have furthered the cause of genealogy in Ontario.

This award is normally restricted to five (5) or six (6) recipients per year.

Please submit your nomination and supporting documentation on the online nomination form or email to using the same headings and required information.

Award of Merit

Members in good standing may nominate a Branch, Special Interest Group or outside organization or institution for this award. This award is presented to:

  • a Branch or Special Interest Group of the Society which has taken leadership in a project that is useful to family historians outside their geographic scope, or contributed to a special project which lies beyond the Branch or Special Interest Group’s regular participation in Society activities, and is of interest to researchers across the province;
  • an organization or institution whose contributions have been of benefit to the whole of the Society by:
    • Digitizing and/or preserving a group of documents of interest to researchers outside their geographic location;
    • Making their records available online;
    • Creating a finding aid or index to a large group of records of interest to researchers outside their geographic location;
    • Or some other reason justified in their nomination
  • a new library or museum offering information of interest to researchers outside their geographic location.

The information from the Branch or Special Interest Group project, or from the outside organization or institution, MUST be accessible to the public either online or in a location accessible to the public.

Please submit your nomination and supporting documentation on the online nomination form or email to using the same headings and required information.

The Robert Crawford Community Service Award

The Robert Crawford Community Service Award recognizes Members who have served the various genealogical and heritage communities of which they are a part — whether they be geographic, organizational or any other construct the term Community might imply — reaching beyond the parameters of the Society’s Mission and Objectives. It is presented in honour and memory of Ontario Genealogical Society Past President Robert “Bob” Crawford, who exemplified the best of Community Service. The history of the award and Bob Crawford can be found here.

The Dr. Don Brearley Branch Newsletter Award ($500.00)

Branches and Special Interest Groups are asked to submit their best newsletter issue for the previous calendar year by  April 1  (for example – a 2017 newsletter would be submitted for the 2018 award). This may be in either print or electronic form. Newsletter nominations may be submitted using the online nomination form or be emailed to with the same identifying information.

Best Website Award

This award is presented on an annual basis to a Society Branch or Special Interest Group website, which is judged to be the “Best Society Website”. (Note: The Society home website is not considered for this award.)

No nomination is required. The criteria for judging may change from year to year based on technological advancements and comments received by the Awards Committee. At its inception, the judging criteria are:


  • aesthetically appealing
  • good readability (type face, font size)
  • contrast between text and background sufficient (colour choices)
  • links labeled with anchor text


  • number of clicks to reach a page
  • intuitive navigation
  • site map provided
  • links (internal and external) valid and active


  • website copy succinct but informative
  • “About” page included
  • contact information provided and readily located
  • text broken into small, readable chunks and highlighted using headings, sub-headings and emphasis features where appropriate to assist in skimming
  • significant/useful information or databases part of the website.

The award is restricted to one Branch or Special Interest Group website each year. No Branch or Special Interest Group website can win the Best Website Award two (2) years in a row. Additionally, the Awards Committee may award honourable mention to Branches or Special Interest Groups.

A certificate will be presented along with a graphic entitled “Best Society Website” including the year in which the award was given. The winning Branch/Special Interest Group will be encouraged to add the graphic to its website so that every visitor to their website will know of their achievement.