Sessions

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Presented by Ken McKinlay 60-Minute Presentation (All) Until relatively recently, looking for the land records in Ontario was a challenge since they weren’t readily available online. That has changed over the past few years. In this talk we will be learning about the various online resources available to help us …
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Presented by Pamela Vittorio 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate to Advanced) Though genealogists rely most heavily on original documents to prove family relationships or identities, using artifacts, though unusual, may help untangle a same-name mystery. Between 1780 and 1783, Oliver Graham’s name appeared on both Connecticut and Loyalist militia rosters. Were there …
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Presented by Ken McKinlay 2-Hour Workshop (Beginner to Intermediate) Description: By the time of this conference, it will be just over a year since the Seventh Census of Canada, 1931 was released to the public. In this hands-on workshop we will be taking a deep dive into this census to …
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Presented by Dave Obee 2-Hour Workshop (Intermediate) Researching in old newspapers no longer means sitting at a microfilm reader for hours on end, winding through a seemingly endless string of news stories and advertisements. Today, the results we seek could be a matter of minutes away, thanks to the many …
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Presented by Johanne Gervais 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) Everyone’s been talking about Artificial Intelligence lately, and there’s a good reason for that. Synthetic media is about to change the world as we know it — just like that, anyone can become a content creator and distributor. AI tools can now …
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Presented by R.H. Thomson Saturday Lunch and Learn Plenary Session This session is open to all Conference attendees Stories are essential. We often live by them but those from our past can entrap us. I grew up hearing the tales of my eight great uncles who fought in the First …
British Isles Panel Discussion
Join our experts for a fascinating panel discussion about topics of current interest respecting British Isles genealogy. The discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer period …
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Presented by Blaine Bettinger SOLD OUT 2-Hour Workshop (All) We have 1000s of matches, and so little time. In this workshop we will examine ways to organize our matches at each of the testing companies, including the colored dots at AncestryDNA, the labeling system at MyHeritage, and more. After this …
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Presented by Jonny Perl SOLD OUT 2-Hour Workshop (Intermediate to Advanced) DNA Painter is a popular website offering a number of tools for genealogists working with DNA. In this hands-on workshop, site creator Jonny Perl will demonstrate several different ways the site can be used to help figure out match …
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Presented by Janice Nickerson 2-Hour Workshop Genealogy timelines are both useful research tools and compelling visual tools you can use to tell your ancestor’s story. In this workshop participants will learn how to extract “facts” and “events” from their genealogy software or online family tree, find relevant historical event information …
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Presented by Mags Gaulden 60-Minute Presentation (All) For years researchers have been identifying family history using YDNA, especially those interested in where their specific line may originate. Upgrading to a Next Generation Sequence test (NGS) can help bring information that could be 200k years old into a more workable timeframe …
DNA Panel Discussion
Join our experts for a fascinating panel discussion about topics of current interest respecting genetic genealogy. The discussion will be followed by a question-and-answer period …
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Presented by Daniel Horowitz 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate) Decades ago, the late Dr. Henry Goldenberg, a physician in Toronto, asked his patients about their family histories and sketched out their family trees. Seeking to corroborate and verify information on the scrolls with external sources such as birth, marriage, death, census, passenger, …
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Presented by Dave Obee 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Intermediate) Without leaving your home, you can research your family’s origins in Eastern Europe. Plenty of resources are found online, but they are not necessarily on the usual family history sites. The case studies in this talk will provide ideas for pushing your …
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Presented by Mark Thompson 60-Minute Presentation (All) In the middle of a family zoom call, someone asked if anyone had seen the “trunk of letters” that Eleanor Thompson had saved throughout her long life. The people on the Zoom call had no idea how deeply down the rabbit hole this …
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Presented by Mark Thompson There is no substitute for Excel. Sometimes the problem is too big, too complicated, or has too many moving parts to be handled in any other tool. If only Excel could speak genealogy a bit better! This session will show you common genealogy challenges that are well …
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Presented by Sunny Morton 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) This presentation will explain how to research old family legends through three case studies followed by guided discussion: (1) The hero of the Johnstown flood; (2) The immigrant scoundrel: England to Utah; and (3) “Alan”: adoptee and the unexpected birth family. Participants …
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Presented by Dave Obee 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate) Research in Western Canada is not the same as in other parts of the country, as different sources can be used. Some are regional, and others apply to just one province. The four western provinces were settled later than other areas, so research …
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Presented by Stephen Young 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Beginner) FamilySearch is an international, nonprofit organization and website dedicated to helping all people discover their family story. It offers access to genealogical records, education, and software. Funded by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), it is the largest …
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Presented by Paul Milner 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) It’s time to go back to fill in the gaps in our family trees now that the cost of English birth and death certificates has come down. We will explore the government process of getting from birth-to-birth certificate and why that is …
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Presented by Lynn Palermo 2-Hour Workshop (Beginner) This three-part workshop aims to guide participants in transforming a mere collection of facts into a captivating narrative that resonates with family members and is a joy to share. An accompanying workbook will be provided to reinforce learning. Part 1 – Laying the …
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Presented by Arun Konanur 2-Hour Workshop (Advanced) Traditional methods of examining shared segments of DNA are typically useful among the top 3 to 5 per cent of an individual’s autosomal DNA matches. In this two-hour workshop, learn how to data-mine the entirety of your DNA matches, and those of your …
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Presented by Blaine Bettinger 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Intermediate to Advanced) Shared matching is the most powerful tool that the testing companies provide. It allows us to view connections between matches to provide clues about how we are related to these matches, and to generate clues about genealogical mysteries. In this …
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Presented by Sunny Morton 60-Minute Presentation (All) Learning from the past can take us to new places as communities and individuals. Hear how experts use genealogical learning to tackle public health, personal resilience, and societal change. The presenter will illustrate the principles of personal narrative and intergenerational identity through three …
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Presented by Kelli Bergheimer 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Beginner to Intermediate) Wouldn’t you like to leave clear instructions for your family and friends on how to save your accumulated family history? You have spent thousands of hours organizing, digitizing, searching, compiling, and archiving your family story. Don’t let that effort be …
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Presented by Jonny Perl 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Intermediate to Advanced) The process of figuring out how we connect with our DNA matches can be frustrating and time-consuming. This doesn’t stop us trying, though! The potential to extend our family trees and make new connections provides a clear reward. Success can …
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Presented by Gwyneth Pearce 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate) Legislation and court judgments are staples of traditional legal research. But they can also provide valuable social and legal context for family historians, explain puzzling references in family documents, and offer valuable leads as to where to look for relevant records. Fortunately, ongoing …
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Presented by James F.S. Thomson 2-Hour Workshop (Intermediate to Advanced) Built around significantly updated elements of previous courses and workshops given by the presenter, this workshop will explore sophisticated ways in which mapping tools, including Google My Maps and Google Earth, can be used creatively and effectively in genealogical projects, …
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Presented by Lynn Palermo 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) Do you ever wish you had a personal research assistant to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your genealogy research? Look no further! In this hands-on presentation, we’ll introduce you to Zotero, a FREE and easy-to-use reference manager that can revolutionize …
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Presented by Paul Milner 2-Hour Workshop (All) You have family members of the right age to have served in World War I, but you don’t know if they did serve or not. You search but there are too many people of the same name in the army, or even the …
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Presented by Drew von Hasselbach 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) Drew von Hasselbach’s great-great-granduncle bought a property in Ontario for 17 pounds and 10 shillings in 1837. But how much is that in today’s money? Drew was a reporter at the Financial Post for 20 years, and he’ll show you how …
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Presented by Pamela Vittorio 60-Minute Presentation (All) In this case study, the presenter traces a mysterious black dagger, once possessed by one of three great-grand uncles who had served in the Canadian Army during WWI. The story entails the actions of a brave soldier and perhaps, his unavoidable emotional reaction …
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Presented by Dennis Scott 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate) Dennis is a representative of eight generations of Black Canadians, born and raised in Owen Sound, Ontario, the most northerly retreat of the Underground Railroad. Through presentation and PowerPoint, Dennis will represent Owen Sound’s Black history, evolving into the city’s recognition as a …
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Presented by Linda Corupe 60-Minute Presentation (All) Enticed by our province’s government to take up free lots along colonization roads and in the Canadian Shield, many new emigrants had their hopes dashed. The governments of our province, and of Canada at times, offered free land grants to settlers to entice …
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Presented by Mark Thompson 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) Old family photographs connect you with your family history, offering invaluable insights into your ancestors’ lives. However, identifying and deciphering the clues hidden within them can be frustratingly difficult at times. This session will guide you through a methodical approach to unravelling …
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Presented by Chris Paton Plenary Session This session is open to all Conference attendees Genealogists need to reconnect with each other, as we are doing at Conference, but also reconnect with the records, not just the limited presentations of them through various online sites. We should also take the opportunity …
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Presented by Stephen Young 60-Minute Case Study (Intermediate) During the pandemic Stephen commenced an in-depth study reconstructing the development of Elm Street in Toronto from the 1850s through 1900. His interest is based on research of his direct ancestor, John Young, who rented one of the first frame houses built …
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Presented by Gwyneth Pearce 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate) People living in poverty face marginalization and discrimination, and have a greater risk of health issues and legal problems, despite our modern “social safety net”. Single people, sole-support mothers and their children, recent immigrants, and people with disabilities are more likely to experience …
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Presented by David Bruce McCowan 2-Hour Workshop (All) This interactive session will show how Robert Burns became the worldwide hero of common folk and will help us appreciate that Canada’s heritage is the sum of the histories of its diverse native and immigrant peoples. In spite of Burns’ humble beginnings, …
Seeking Perfection One Mistake at a Time
Banquet Plenary Session Presented by Paul Jones Paul Jones took his first baby missteps in family-history research in 1989. He then studied at the former National Institute for Genealogical Studies, where his errors were corrected by, among others, the late, great Ryan Taylor. For the past dozen years, he has …
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Plenary Session Presented by Ron Arons Sex, Lies, and Genealogical Tape Most beginner genealogists begin their journey by collecting names, dates, and places to build out their family tree. This is only natural. However, a completely different experience can be had by researching one ancestor in as much depth as …
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Presented by Chris Paton 2-Hour Workshop (All) In this session, Chris Paton will explore the many ways in which we can encourage collaboration online, detailing organisations and social media applications that can permit co-operation, and software platforms on which we can collate and publish our stories. He will also explore …
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Presented by Michael Nettleton 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Intermediate) Some of us have brick walls — others are missing major bricks. Michael has an impressive record of finding records that other researchers have missed. His presentation will share strategies for finding records that just don’t surface from typical searches — and …
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Presented by Michael Nettleton 60-Minute Presentation (All) Do any of us really load ALL our records, photos, artifact information AND their sources into our genealogy software? Our tiger of documents has become digital — with sources expanding exponentially. Michael will illustrate his simple, expandable structure and process for capturing research …
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Presented by Jane MacNamara 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (Beginner) If your ancestors lived near the shores of Lake Ontario or Lake Erie, or along any of the major rivers that fed into them in the 1860–1880s, they may have met Ontario’s first Fisheries Overseer, John W. Kerr. With a policing background, …
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Presented by Stephen Young 60-Minute Presentation (Beginner) Based on the presenter’s Families article of November 2015, this case study demonstrates the research strategy used in revealing the true history of George R. Young despite the incorrect and misleading birth and parentage details reported on his death registration in Michigan. Despite …
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Presented by Diahan Southard Plenary Session This session is open to all Conference attendees Millions of people turn to DNA testing and genealogy to learn more about their origins. Why? We’ll consider what drives this quest and how powerfully these discoveries can shape lives and change perspectives. We’ll talk about …
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Presented by Sher Leetooze 60-Minute Presentation (All) Attendees will have the opportunity to look at British OS (Ordnance Survey) maps and Canadian topographical maps. The presentation will include a few other types of maps which also hold good research information.  This session would be suitable for people who know where …
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Presented by Mags Gaulden Plenary Session This session is open to all Conference attendees Get ready to lighten up your research with our Plenary Session: “The Seven Words You Can’t Say in Genealogy”! Join us for a refreshing take on the often-serious world of Genealogy. Delve into the untold stories and …
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Presented by Daniel Horowitz 60-Minute Presentation (Intermediate) Daniel was asked to review the will of a distant relative to look for clues and find the person’s living relatives. As he examined each page and began building the family tree, new details began to emerge — and the MyHeritage algorithm began …
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Presented by Pamela Vittorio 2-Hour Workshop (Intermediate to Advanced) The construction of the canals in New York State and in Upper & Lower Canada in the early to mid-nineteenth century made many things possible: from moving people and cargo, to transporting languages, religion, and ideas across the borders. Beyond the …
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Presented by Pooran Bridgelal 60-Minute Presentation (All) This session focuses on helping individuals seeking to trace their Caribbean ancestry. Travelling to one’s ancestral country can be costly and time-consuming. But, as participants will learn, materials available in local libraries and online can reveal a wealth of information, which will lay …
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Presented by James F.S. Thomson 60-Minute Presentation (All) Complementing the conference presentations on What’s New and Exciting in English, Scottish and Irish Research, this information-packed presentation might be titled What’s New and Exciting in United Kingdom Second World War Research! In addition to looking forward to the release of tranches …
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Presented by Linda Corupe 60-Minute Presentation (All) Researching records connected with the canals can be a rewarding experience for genealogists, and can reveal surprising ways in which an ancestor could be connected to Upper Canada’s canals. The 19th century, particularly the early part, was one which saw the construction of …
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Presented by Mary Crosby 2-Hour Workshop (Intermediate) Airtable is a free cloud-based relational database tool that organizes data, teases out patterns, and reveals relationships. Often referred to as a spreadsheet on steroids, Airtable’s powerful features make data actionable and visually engaging. Cluster research is a technique wherein indirect evidence from …
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Presented by Pooran Bridgelal 60-Minute Presentation (All) Scattered throughout the Archives in the Caribbean Islands, the Slave Registers contain a wealth of information in understanding the familial connections with the enslaved Africans. The Slave Registers were created to ensure that the enslaved Africans were not being illegally smuggled between the …
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Presented by Janice Nickerson 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation Our ancestors did not live in isolation; they belonged to communities. Learning about our ancestors’ communities can help us understand them better, tell better stories about them, identify new sources of information and provide the evidence you need to be sure you have …
What's New and Exciting in English Genealogy
Presented by Paul Milner In recent years, English genealogy has witnessed a significant transformation driven by advancements in technology and accessibility to historical records. The emergence of online databases, and digitization of archival documents have revolutionized the way genealogists research their English roots. Paul Milner will discuss these innovations which …
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Presented by Chris Paton 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) In this talk Chris Paton will examine the latest developments for Irish family history, including the evolving national archive platforms in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, as well as the creation of true phoenixes from the fire such as …
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Presented by Chris Paton 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) In this session Chris Paton will explore many new developments within Scotland for family history research, including recent records releases such as the Church of Scotland’s kirk session registers, prison registers, the 1921 census, and more. He will also provide a comprehensive …
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Presented by Mags Gaulden 90-Minute Enhanced Presentation (All) Working your family lines on sites like Ancestry, Geni and Family Search are great ways to move your research forward IF you can find people willing to collaborate with you. One of the biggest complaints about doing just that, collaborating, keeps many …
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Presented by Diahan Southard, Kelli Bergheimer and Sunny Morton 2-Hour Workshop Join us for a dynamic and engaging workshop designed to boost your confidence in deciphering DNA test results! Crack the Code Together: Through a hands-on case study, we’ll guide you step-by-step, as you work The Plan to find the …