Register now for our upcoming Webinars

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The Simcoe County Branch is pleased to announce that registration is now open for its series of online webinars featuring amazing speakers and genealogical topics. Visit the Branch Meetings page to register today.

2022 Dates

Sat. Dec. 10th – Welcome Back event (in person)
Location: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 79 Ferris Lane, Barrie, Ontario
Click here for details

* Please note the change in date from Dec. 3rd to Dec. 10th

2023 Dates

We are pleased to resume a schedule of Zoom and Hybrid webinars through 2023.
Until we finalize the 2023 schedule of speakers, please hold the following dates:

  • Jan 7th via Zoom
  • Feb 4th via Zoom
  • March 4th via Zoom
    Did you miss a live event?

    Check out the following recorded webinars in the Members Only section.
    Not a Simcoe County Branch member? Click here to join.

    April 2021 Thomas MacEntee ~ Smarter Search Strategies for Genealogy
    May 2021 Christine Woodcock ~ Navigating the ScotlandsPeople Website
    June 2021 Dave Obee ~ Squiggly Lines and Spit: How DNA is changing family history research
    July 2021 Ken McKinlay ~ Chipping Away at the Brickwall
    August 2021 Janice Nickerson ~ My Ancestors in the Hudson’s Bay Fur Trade
    Sept. 2021 Robin Bellamy ~ Google is your friend
    Oct. 2021 Mark Olsen ~ Family Tree Maker
    Nov. 2021 Mike Clare ~ Spanish Flu Epidemic
    Feb. 2022 Christine Woodcock ~ Researching Métis Ancestors
    March 2022 Carole Stuart ~ Collingwood: A History
    April 2022 Linda Corupe ~ Loyal Then, Loyal Now
    May 2022 Nancy Leveque ~ Starting your Research in Simcoe County
    June 2022 Jenn Huddleston ~ The Women who Recorded Simcoe County
    Sept. 2022 Janice Nickerson ~ Debt, Drunk & Disorderly, Vagrancy, Prostitution, Theft, Assault, Insanity: Are you sure your ancestors were never in jail?

    Family Tree Maker User Group

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    Family Tree Maker User Group

    The interest in Family Tree Maker software is very evident in the genealogy community thus OGS is pleased to introduce a new Family Tree Maker User Group. Whether you are new to Family Tree Maker software, have been using it for years, or are just curious and want to learn more, this user group is for you. The FTM User Group will consist of bi-monthly, drop-in, live chat style sessions beginning in January 2022. Sessions are open to everyone and will alternate between day and evening time frames to accommodate people’s busy schedules. This user group will be attendee driven so users of all skill levels are encouraged to attend. Registration is required and open to everyone. Register for one session or all, the registration links are below.

    Tuesday, November 29th – 7pm: Register


    Ask questions or join the conversation at the OGS Family Tree Maker User Group forum:


    Join the OGS Family Tree Maker FaceBook group:

    COVID-19 Update

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    At Ontario Ancestors the health and safety of our members and guests is our priority. Due to concerns regarding COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus) and in the best interest of our members and guests, all Simcoe County Branch, Ontario Ancestors public meetings and volunteer activities have been cancelled for the foreseeable future. Check out the Branch website, or Branch Facebook site for our 2022/23 schedule of online meetings and community events.

    OGS is also Ontario Ancestors

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    On Feb. 27th, the Ontario Genealogical Society announced that it is re-branding itself as Ontario Ancestors, with a new logo which will be rolled out throughout the Society and its publications and on-line presence in the coming months. The goal of the re-branding is to better connect with the family history user community throughout Canada, the United States and the world. The name Ontario Ancestors provides a more immediately recognizable name to the family history community.

    While continuing to serve the Ontario genealogical community, the Society is focused upon reaching new members in the United States, where by some conservative estimates, approximately 50 million to 75 million Americans have Canadian Ancestry. The name change will also assist to reduce confusion to which the widely used OGS acronym is susceptible when the Society is marketing itself, with the Ohio Genealogical Society, the Oklahoma Genealogical Society and the Oregon Genealogical Society, and others, all using the same acronym.

    The new name and logo will appear on the Society’s websites, correspondence, social media and other communications. The legal name of the society remains The Ontario Genealogical Society.

    Surviving the Famine: Tracing the Irish Famine Generation in Ontario

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    Surviving the Famine: Tracing the Irish Famine Generation in Ontario
    The story of the Great Irish Famine is well known. The population of Ireland was reduced by millions through starvation, disease, and outbound migration. While much of the emphasis and research has focused on those who did not survive the passage to Canada, or who died upon arrival, the Canada Ireland Foundation has launched a new project to celebrate the survivors of this tragedy and their success in Ontario, many of whom settled in Simcoe County. Dr. Laura Smith and Charmaine Lindsay, representatives of the Canada Ireland Foundation, explain their project and the documents they used to trace the migration of thousands of famine emigrants from Lake Ontario ports into the interior of the province in the summer of 1847. These documents, a group of little-known records at Library and Archives Canada called the Emigration Service Records, provided a vital missing link in tracing Irish famine migrants from an era where few passenger lists exist. In this presentation, the ladies outline how to access and use these records to trace your own Irish Ontario ancestors. They will also let you know how you can get involved and help with the Canada Ireland Foundation project.

    Recorded on Sat. Feb. 12th, 2022
    Watch recording
    Download the handout.
    Volunteer from the Canada Ireland Foundation website.

    Simcoe County Remembers

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    In time to help us remember, today the Simcoe County Archives launched a new database. The Simcoe County Remembers database is a a fully searchable database memorializing the service men and women from Simcoe County, who perished during the First World War.

    Information has been obtained from many sources, but as with all things, additions or corrections may be needed. The Archives ask you to contact them at 705-726-9331 or if you have any information to contribute to this project.

    Search their database here: Simcoe County Remembers

    Settlers Database back online

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    For all those who have missed the Simcoe County Branch Settlers database, I am pleased to let you know that it is now back online. Navigate the menu above (Resources -> Branch Resources -> Settlers Database) to search, or click on the button to the right.

    Search fields are located on the right of the screen. Depending on your device, you may have to scroll down the page a bit to find them. The “Columns” icon located to the left of the Print/Copy/PDF icons will allow you to select or deselect which columns you would like to view, and which ones to disregard. When you click on the icon, a drop down of column names appears. Click each column name to toggle (on or off) the columns you would like to see. You can choose how many entries you would like displayed on the page using the Show (#) Entries drop down box. The default value is set to 10, however, you can choose to view more if you prefer. Clicking on the arrow in the column title box will sort the column for you. As well, the Print/Copy/PDF icons allow you to print, copy, or save the list of entries for future research.

    When you find an entry

    Contact the Publications Chair with the Surname, Page Number (Set), and Source (Book Set) for information about how you can obtain the details for the entry. There is a small charge for this service, with proceeds being used to offset the cost of providing this service. Please use “Settlers Database Query” in the subject line of your message.

    The Settlers database is updated regularly so be sure to check back from time to time. You never know when you will find something really helpful.

    Happy searching …

    Welcome to the new Simcoe County Branch, OGS website

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    Welcome to the new Simcoe County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society web site. We hope that you will find information on this site that will help expand your family history project.

    If you are ever in the Barrie area consider joining us at one of our monthly meetings. Meetings start at 2 pm and we host a variety of speakers. The list of speakers and dates can be found here. We look forward to meeting you and hearing about your project.

    Should you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please feel free to email the Branch Chair or leave us a message at (416) 489-0734 Ext. 328 or toll free at 1-800-My Roots (1-800-697-6687) Ext. 328.