30 July 2014

Colonel By Day - Ottawa Brach will be there

Colonel By Day is a free, one-day, family-friendly heritage celebration which commemorates Lt-Colonel John By and the builders of the Rideau Canal. This fun-filled day boasts a wide variety of heritage-themed events and entertainment, including blacksmithing, lace making, and musketry demonstrations, interactive tabletop exhibits, costumed characters, free admission to the Bytown Museum, and more! The event has grown enormously since its inception in 1995, and since 2008 has attracted an average of over 5,000 visitors annually!

Colonel By Day is held on the August Civic Holiday Monday in order to commemorate the Colonel’s birth date of August 7th, 1779. The event runs Monday August 4, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM, at the entrance locks to the Rideau Canal in downtown Ottawa (beside the Bytown Museum, between and below Parliament Hill and the Fairmont Chateau Laurier).
Costumed characters at Colonel By Day
Live entertainment is presented throughout the day, including performances by local musicians, dancers and costumed characters. Games, crafts, and era-appropriate toys are available for children to experience. Visitors can take place in guided walking tours which explain the history of the site and neighbouring landmarks. At 2:00, visitors are invited to witness the re-dedication of the Celtic Cross, which commemorates the over 1000 workers who died helping to build the Rideau Canal. Colonel By Day also features a large exhibitors and vendor area, where local heritage organizations have the opportunity to provide interactive tabletop displays showing off their activities, programs, and heritage-related products. Almost 30 community heritage organizations participate in Colonel By Day annually, taking advantage of the opportunity to reach out to the general public and to promote Ottawa’s local heritage.

Colonel By Day is presented by the Council of Heritage Organizations in Ottawa (CHOO/COPO) in partnership with Parks Canada and the Bytown Museum. The event has been running continuously since 1995, and has attracted a dedicated following of volunteers, participants, and visitors, who return year after year.

Come to our table and talk genealogy!!

14 July 2014

Ontario Genealogical Society Monthly Webinar Series 2015 Call for Paper

The Ontario Genealogical Society is now accepting proposals for the OGS Monthly Webinar Series 2015. We are looking for interesting one-hour webinar presentations.
Topics of interest
We invite proposals on a wide range of topics, in particular:
    Ontario-specific topics (laws, records, land, history, etc.)
    Ethnic research (Scottish, Irish, English, African-Canadian, German, etc.)
    Canadian military research
    Loyalist research
    Ontario land research
    DNA/genetic genealogy
    Methodology and skill-building
    Technology and trends in genealogy
    Interesting case studies (Ontario specific)
    Organization and project/time management

Submission guidelines
Each submission should include:
    Speaker’s name, address, phone number, and email address
    Lecture title and a brief but comprehensive outline (single page maximum)
    Lecture summary for conference brochure (25 words or less)
    Suggested audience level: B, B/I, I, I/A, A, or All
    Brief speaker biography (50 words or less)
    Resume of prior speaking experience

Please submit proposals in PDF or Microsoft Word format.
Use your last name and shortened title as a file name. Speakers may submit up to four proposals for consideration. Submit each proposal via email to webinar@ogs.on.ca no later than August 15, 2014.
Selected speakers will be notified in September. Further information will be provided at that time.
Selected speakers receive an honorarium for each webinar presentation.
About the Ontario Genealogical Society
The Ontario Genealogical Society, founded in 1961, is the leading society in all aspects of Ontario related family history research, preservation and communication. Our mission is to encourage, bring together and assist those interested in the pursuit of family history and to preserve our Ontario genealogical heritage. The Ontario Genealogical Society is the largest genealogical society in Canada. Visit us at www.ogs.on.ca

29 May 2014

What's In It For Me?

Many of you are aware that one of my other hobbies is model railroading. I belong to the National Model Railroading Association (NMRA) and have found that they are experiencing a number of the same issues as we are in the genealogy hobby. Below is a message from a recent issue of the NMRA Magazine that I feel reflects the situation in the Ontario Genealogical Society and genealogy in general:

One of the unfortunate things about our current society is a "what's in it for me?"attitude. It's too bad, be­cause some of the first to feel the effects are non­profit organizations. Obviously, the NMRA is included in that group. Even PBS and NPR have to give away coffee mugs and DVDs just to get people to support their work.
Frankly, there's not a whole lot you can say to convince folks that support­ing the organization that supports the hobby that's given them so many hours of pleasure is worthwhile. If you talk to anyone who's an NMRA supporter, you quickly find out that they're the people who are giving back to the hobby rather than just taking from it. They're the people involved in Divisions and Regions, organizing events that everyone can enjoy, putting together clinics and presenta­tions that help everyone else, planning get-togethers. They're the people who are helping others get a lot out of model railroading. The folks who just suck it all in and don't pass it on are usually the first to leave, claiming they're not getting anything for their money.
The bottom line really is, if the folks who are leaving the NMRA don't see the value in the friendships they've made, in the informa­tion they've learned, in the good times they've had socializing with others in your Division, then nothing anyone can say will sway them. And even if we gave away free coffee mugs with memberships, I'm sure folks like that would complain that "all I get is this lousy coffee mug?"
Rest assured that after all the naysayers have gone, the group that will be left will be the people who really do care about the hobby and each other!
-Gerry Leone, MMR, HLM
NMRA Vice-President/Special Projects

20 May 2014

Latest acquisitions at the OGS Ottawa Branch library

Over fifty books were added to the OGS Ottawa Branch library in May. Some new titles to look for include:
  • The Plague of the Spanish Flu: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918 in Ottawa
  • Ottawa's Military History
  • The Rising of the Princess Patricia's Light Infantry in Ottawa
  • Rideau Canal & Bytown: Memoranda by Dr. A.J. Christie, Physician to the Rideau Canal Works
  • Ottawa School Gardens in the early 1900s
  • Manotick, Then and Now: Reflections and Memories (Second Edition)
  • Ottawa: A Pictorial Record (donated by Anne Cardinal, 2014)
  • The Pioneer Farmer and Backwoodsman, vol. 1 (donated by Jim Neelin, 2014)
  • Might Directories : 1920 Official Street Guide of the City of Ottawa (donated by Jim Neelin, 2014)

06 May 2014

OGS Conference 2017

OGS Conference 2014 just finished in St Catharines and it's time to look ahead. The OGS Conference will be returning to Ottawa again in 2017. This will be the sixth time that we have hosted the event (1972, 1977, 1988, 2000 and 2007 as well as co-hosting 2012 in Kingston).
2017 is the 150th anniversary of Confederation and it will be a busy time in Ottawa. We normally don’t advertise until the previous Conference is underway but I am putting out a call for volunteers to help organize the event. Three years may seem like a long time but we need to start getting ready before very much longer.

We already have a small group of volunteers but if you would like to be involved in this event, please let us know at conference2017@ogsottawa.on.ca. We particularly need a Treasurer with financial expertise.

25 April 2014

Scenic View Bicycle Races

There are two bicycle races which tour thru Ireland and England this summer as follows.
Data is available at   http://www.steephill.tv
Tour of Italy.  Giro d'Italia  TV channel to view, TBA, as well as our time here in down town Ottawa
Starts Thurs 8 May 2014  17:30  Belfast City Hall.
Stage 1.  Fri. 9 May 2014  17:45-20:00
               Team Time Trial.  Belfast  to  Belfast.  Starts  Titanic Belfast  21.7K long
                Each team of 9 Cyclists race around the Course. Team time is taken when the 5th cyclist
                crosses the finish line. As these races last 3 weeks their time accumulates with each
                days race.
Stage 2. Sat 10 May 2014.  10:50-15:25 Belfast to Belfast via north Coast 
              Starts Titanic, Belfast.  Finishes Belfast City Hall   219.0K
              The races can be filmed from a motor cycle or a Helicopter, the later provides some
               great scenery.
Stage 3. Sunday 11 May 2014.  11:45-16:00.  Armagh to Dublin
              Starts the Mall, Armagh.  Finishes Upper Merrion St Dublin.
             On Monday the race shifts to southern Italy and resumes on Tuesday,
             and finishes in Trieste on 1 June

FYI, there is another race, The Tour d'France which starts in England [Leeds to London]
on 5-7 July 2014 and also lasts for 3 weeks, ends in Paris 27 July 2014.
More info later

10 April 2014

New Direction for Ottawa Branch Publications

The Ottawa Branch of OGS is pleased to announce the launch of its latest publication as well as a new direction for its publishing endeavours.

The new publication is Renfrew County United Churches, formerly Methodist and Presbyterian: Baptisms 1841-1899; Marriages 1851-1899 [Pub No. 14-01], the second volume in the new “Places of Worship” cooperative project of the United Church of Canada Archives and OGS to be published by the Ottawa Branch. The first volume, Lanark County United Churches, formerly Congregational, Methodist and Presbyterian [Pub No. 13-01] was released last year.  The new publication contains a transcription of the baptismal (1841-1899) and marriage (1851-1899) records of former Methodist and Presbyterian churches in Renfrew County. The relevant fonds are for the current Trinity United Church in the Town of Renfrew, Melville United Church in Eganville and the Admaston Pastoral Charge. The publication includes baptisms and marriages in Horton-MacNab, Beachburg, Eganville, Admaston, White Lake, Douglas, Haleys Station, Renfrew and Rockingham. The publication is fully indexed and each entry references the archival fonds and location. Both volumes are available for $30.00 on the Branch Publications List at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/publication-price-list/, which has been significantly redesigned for ease of access.

To mark the occasion, the Branch has re-published the five volumes of the Wesleyan Methodist Baptismal Registers Project, for Carleton, Lanark, Prescott, Renfrew and Russell Counties. These were originally published in 2001. They are also available on the Branch Publications List.

The new direction is the move to place all of our publications, current and past, on the OGS e-Store. This means that over the next while the great majority of our publications will be available simply by accessing our Branch Publications List at http://ogsottawa.on.ca/publication-price-list/ and clicking on the “BUY NOW” button which connects directly to the OGS e-store order form and procedure where the publication may be purchased in whatever form it was produced—CD or hard copy. This is not only a more efficient means of obtaining a publication but it also ensures that it is never out of stock. In the meantime, publications which are still in stock will be available by mail order as in the past.