The Ontario Genealogical Society was formed in 1961 to encourage, bring together, and assist those interested in the pursuit of Ontario family history and to preserve our Ontario genealogical heritage, we seek to be recognized as the authority and leader in all aspects of Ontario-related family history research, preservation, and communication. We have 29 Branches as well as six Special Interest Groups (SIGs) representing both geographic and research areas that shape Ontario. In 2019, we introduced a new brand name and logo to help differentiate us from other genealogical societies. The name Ontario Ancestors provides a more immediately recognizable name to the family history community, while the logo itself incorporates our legal and historical identity as The Ontario Genealogical Society. You will see both of these names used in connection with our organization from time to time.
eWeekly: The eWeekly newsletter provides information about upcoming events and genealogical news from both The Ontario Genealogical Society and beyond. It is available to members and non-members. The newsletter will be sent to your inbox on Saturday mornings. Please subscribe today by filling out the Subscribe form at the bottom left side of the home page.
Social Media: Our Facebook page Ontario Ancestors and our Twitter page @OntGenSociety are great places to ask questions and network with people across the globe. Many of our Branches and Special Interest Groups also have Facebook and/or Twitter pages where you can connect with others researching a specific geographical or special interest area. You can find links to their pages on the Branch and SIG’s websites
Families: Our quarterly Journal is packed with stories, articles and other items that share breakthroughs, and resources from fellow genealogists. The content of each issue is unique and can include narrative family histories, book reviews, resource overviews and more. We are always looking for submissions. Please contact us for more information and submission guidelines.
Newsleaf: This monthly member’s only newsletter highlights the activities of the Society including member only events, new member advantages, and more. It is sent by email mid-month, for those members who do not have an email address we will be sending it out by mail every other month, so you will get two issues at a time.
Annual Report: This is issued in May of each year. The report is a summary of the events, projects and other activities undertaken by the Society and its’ Branches and Special Interest Groups for the previous year. It also includes our audited financial statement for the previous year. It is distributed by email to those who have emails and by mail to all members without an email.
TONI (The Ontario Name Index): TONI is an ever-growing mega-index for locating information on persons of interest in Ontario. The location may be a branch document, a website, a microfilm, a family history, an archive, etc. TONI is an indexing platform and NOT a digitization project. It is available to the general public as well as Society members. Our Pay-Per-View option allows for the purchase of snippets from some of our digital records. For more information about how to get the most out of TONI, please see the information page https://ogs.on.ca/databases/toni/toni-explained
Members’ Corner: This section of the website can be found under the Resource Tab. This is where you will find all the members’ only content, offers, and resources. Some of the resources are explained below.
IOOF Papers: Between 1875 and 1929, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows operated a life insurance program. Approximately 60,000 men from all across Canada applied. The program was eventually operated by Empire Life, who held all the application forms and these applications forms were transferred to the Society. Volunteers spent nearly four years indexing these forms. We have indexed the following: check public link and see where it goes
- applicant’s last and first names,
- date of birth,
- community in which the applicant resided at the time of application,
- province, and
- policy number
The index can be found in the Members’ Corner Section of the Resource Tab under IOOF Insurance Papers Database. We have scanned approximately 50% of these applications to date. If a scan exists, Members may download the image at no cost by clicking the Download File link. If no link is available, a scan of that application can be requested from the Society Office by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other Society Resources : The Society has other resources that may help you with your research. They can be found in the Society Section of the Society and Branch index page and at Ontario Family History website .
Branch Resources: Our Branches and Special Interest groups have a wealth of knowledge. Many have Members’ Only sections on their websites that have local records and resources. You can add a branch to your membership anytime during the year. Their fees go directly to them to help support their events and projects. There is a partial list is Branch Resources under the Resource Tab then under Society and Branch Indexes.
Families Journal Archives: Members have access to our archive of past issues of Families. The first Issue was in 1962 when it was known as the Bulletin. There is an index for 1962- 2007 on the website and there is a link to the PERSI index which includes issues up to 2017. Articles about your family, their hometown or occupation and more are waiting to be discovered
Newsleaf Archive: Contains editions of Newsleaf from February of 2012 to May of 2017 when it was combined with Families.
OGS Library: The library is located at the Humanities and Social Sciences Division at the Toronto Reference Library. The holdings are kept in climate controlled and fire protected storage. All materials do not circulate and must be requested at the Humanities and Social Sciences Reference desk. All materials are available to OGS members and the community at large. Humanities and Social Sciences Department—Toronto Reference Library; 789 Yonge Street – Toronto Ontario M4W 2G8 (TorontoPublicLibrary.ca) The Society has added a Master Library Catalogue to our website. This catalogue has the society library collection as well as many branches with more to be added as they become available
MyHeritage Library Edition: Members have free access to the MyHeritage Library Edition through the portal found in Members’ Corner for the calendar year 2021. You will need the 9-digit access code that you received on your order confirmation. There is a video on how to get the most out of this resource under the Lunch and Learn Tab in the Members’s Corner. you cannot find your code please contact email@example.com for assistance.
Branch Meetings: Many of our branches have monthly meetings. Currently due to Covid19, in person meetings are cancelled. Some branches have switched to online meetings so that they can continue to provide opportunities to learn from speakers on a variety of topics. Guests can attend – so please check for meeting announcements in our eWeekly or on our social media.
Webinar Series: Join us the 1st Thursday of each month at 7:00pm ET for our latest webinar. Register via The Society website for any and all webinars of your choice. You will receive an e-mail confirmation with your own personal link to join the webinar. Automated reminder e-mails are set for 3 days prior, and 1 hour prior to the live presentation. Register today! Members and Non-members can attend the presentations live but only Members can watch the webinar recordings of all of our webinars at their own convenience.
Conference: Our annual conference is held in May or June of each year. More information can be found on the Conference website conference.ogs.on.ca
Marketplace: We have a large selection of publications in our e-store called Marketplace. They include books, indexes, cemetery publications and more. Please see our Marketplace section for more information at the following link: marketplace.ogs.on.ca
Discounts: We offer discounts to a variety of partners for education, travel, and other items of interest to our community. Check the Member Advantage Code section of our website to see the all of the opportunities.
Heritage Societies: The Ontario Genealogical Society has seven Heritage Societies and/or Groups that you can join. These include the Centenary Club, Honouring our Heroes, First World War Society, War of 1812 Society, Fathers of Confederation Society, Rebellion of 1867 Society, and the Upper Canada Society. More information and applications can be found on the website by using the Search feature from the home page.
Ongoing Projects: The Society takes on projects both large and small that will be of value to genealogists and family researchers. Some are realized by the coordinated efforts of Branches; some are done by a group of volunteers. All provide information needed by genealogists that is unlikely to be found elsewhere. The Society and its dedicated volunteers are one of the major suppliers of Ontario genealogical information. Volunteers make these results occur, and we are always seeking more volunteers. Many of these projects can be done at a distance. If one of the current projects interests you, please contact the Society Office to find out how you might be able to help.
Society Administrative Office Information:
Located at Suite 202—2100 Steeles Avenue West, Concord, ON L4K 2V1
Toll-Free: 855-MY-ROOTS | firstname.lastname@example.org | ogs.on.ca
Free parking is available on-site. Take the subway to the Finch station on the Yonge-University line. Then take the 60 C, D, or N buses to Petrolia/Tandem. We are one block East of Keele Street on the North-East corner – located on the second floor.
Google Map Link