President’s Welcome

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The Ontario Genealogical Society:
Marking 60 years of Service to the Genealogical Community

Heather McTavish Taylor

Welcome to The Ontario Genealogical Society.  We are a community of like-minded individuals who share a passion for family history and all things genealogically-related!  We are excited to be celebrating our 60th anniversary in 2021and have so many great things planned to mark the occasion throughout the year, with our members.   We have been actively operating at the provincial level since 1961 and have become a part of many local communities by establishing 34 Branches and 5 Special Interest Groups over the years.  Operating in Ontario, Canada we are the largest genealogical society in the country and we are thrilled to be able to continue to serve the genealogy community.

We are a primarily volunteer-run charitable organization, aimed at educating, advocating and preserving the genealogical heritage of Ontario.  Specifically:

  1. We educate – through presentations, webinars, technical support, creation of publications and teaching materials, delivery of workshops and conferences;
  2. We advocate – through discussions with governing bodies at all levels of government, speaking out when cemeteries or heritage buildings are threatened, advising lawmakers about the importance of protecting our shared heritage;
  3. We preserve – by collecting the stories of Ontario families, by protecting fragile materials from harm, by digitizing documents to make them available to current and future researchers.

But even more importantly, we are building a community where family historians from all over can participate in, and contribute to, our genealogy passion!  Anyone who is interested in their own family history can engage with us by signing up for our e-weekly newsletter, join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.  Attendance at our myriad of webinars is also available free of charge and access to many documents and research resources is also complimentary.  We want everyone to feel welcome and supported as they conduct their own research.  For our Members, we offer many additional benefits including the receipt of our Quarterly Journal Families, access to our library of past Families issues dating back to the 1960’s, access to all previously run webinars, 20 hours of Thomas McEntee’s DNA Boot Camp videos, discounts on genealogy-related services and products and much more.  And, as part of our 60th birthday, we will be gifting our Members with additional benefits every month through 2021!  If you are a Member, check out what you can access through the Member’s Corner section of the website and keep a look out for our special birthday announcements throughout the year.

We also offer opportunities for everyone to gather, whether that be virtually during the current pandemic or, in person when it becomes safe to do so.  As a community, it is important to share our triumphs and challenges and seek the support of others who may be going through the same things.  We offer an annual conference, which will be Virtual in June 2021 and we are adding several Symposium days in 2021, focusing on specific topics of interest to the group.  We will be adding others ways for our Members to engage with genealogy friends over the course of 2021so stay tuned for more information.

Our Branches and SIGs are also ready to welcome you into the fold.  We have branches across the Province who operate at a local or regional level for anyone who has particular geographic areas of interest.  And, we have 5 Special Interest Groups who are organized around a common interest that is not regionally focused in Ontario.  We encourage everyone to check out their websites and consider joining one or as many as you’d like to become even more engaged in your family history hobby.

As I said at the outset, we are a primarily volunteer-driven organization.  Our volunteers serve on Boards and Committees, transcribe documents, visit cemeteries, provide expertise and just generally, support the organization and our mandate unequivocally.  Without our volunteers, we would not have The Ontario Genealogical Society and we would not be able to celebrate our 60th Anniversary!  Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers that help us continue in our mission! I can only speak for myself, but I volunteer not just because I have a passion for family history but because I feel that I am part of something and I feel good giving back.  If you are looking for something that will fill you with the same sense of purpose, I invite you to volunteer with us. All volunteers are welcome, at any time!   

I would love to hear from you.  If you have any questions or wish to volunteer, please email me at president@ogs.on.ca.  Thank you!

Heather McTavish Taylor – President
The Ontario Genealogical Society

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