January 19, 2019 – Graphologist Carol St. Clair presented a lively and informative talk Tales of the Script, showing how handwritten documents can provide clues about an ancestor’s personality. The brief educational session was presented by Mimi Merrill, the director of the Family History Centre in Glenburnie, which we were told will soon re-open to the public.
February 16, 2019 – Following our Annual General Meeting and brief business meeting we enjoyed an interesting talk and slideshow about Queen’s University Archives by its archivist, Paul Banfield. The brief educational session, by Kingston Branch Newsletter editor Nancy Cutway, focussed on access to hospital records at the Archives of Ontario and at Library and Archives Canada.
March 16, 2019 – Ruth Blair presented a very interesting talk about Irish genealogy resources, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. The title of her talk was “Calling All Irish Ancestors: Researching Irish Records.
April 21, 2019 – Randy Saylor spoke on “Searching Quaker Records”. He explained what sort of records Quakers created, particularly their Minute Books that dealt with many aspects of everyday life among their community. He provided links to several archives with transcriptions of records online. In the early educational session, Joyce Fingland provided a virtual tour of the newly renovated Central Branch of KFPL, including the new area for our holdings.
May 18, 2019 – John D. Reid talked about “Researching Early 20th Century British Immigrants to Canada.” One useful tip was the fact that there are no straight-line borders within the UK, so a person’s records may often be found in an adjacent parish or other jurisdiction. He used two case studies to demonstrate how to circumvent brick walls in tracking immigrants back from Canada to the UK.
September 21, 2019 – Judy Neville spoke on “Giving British Home Children A Voice.” We heard that over 100,000 children were went to Canada between 1869 and 1948. Judy’s brother Jim Brownell, a former MPP, was instrumental in having September 28th declared British Home Child Day in 2011 and going forward: the date their grandmother arrived in Halifax at age 13.
October 19, 2019 – Anne Levac gave us the history of Tweedsmuir History Books developed by branches of the Women’s Institute, and brought numerous interesting examples. These important scrapbooks of the history of towns and villages are now being digitized and will provide an excellent source of genealogical research in the future.
November 16, 2019 – Peter Gower spoke on “For Your Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today: Researching Military Records.” He discussed a number of repositories of military records and pointed out some idiosyncracies of each, and assumptions to avoid. He stressed the need to read every word in military records; even the pay records can provide vital information such as next of kin, or in one case, when a widow remarried.
Newsletters with more detailed meeting write-ups and clickable links can be found in the Members Only section of the website.