The KDGS has some great programs lined up for the coming year! Of course, these are all free to our KDGS Members but non-members will have to pay to attend where indicated (prices vary). Most of the main presentations will be followed by our short “Bite-size” talks – see topics below. Due to our limitations on Zoom, KDGS Members and non-members all need to register for six of these programs for which we are charging a fee to non-members. To register, see the link to our registration form below or go to Membership > Meeting for the link. Our meetings start at 7pm but please sign into Zoom by 6:50pm – thank you!

Meeting Registration Form

Pre-confederation research in Ontario, Canada West and Upper Canada

So, you have traced your family’s history back to an ancestor who lived in Ontario (or its predecessors, Canada West and Upper Canada) before civil registration. Now what? This lecture provides an overview of key record groups for pre-civil registration research, including: censuses, crown land records, land registry office records, church records, tax records, estate files (including wills) and burial records. You’ll learn what’s available, the dates and locations covered, what information you can expect to find, where the records are located, and what has been published, transcribed or indexed.

Date: Monday, October 2, 2023

Presenter: Janice Nickerson

Location: via Zoom

Price: KDGS members Free; non-members $15; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

After studying anthropology in graduate school, Janice Nickerson decided to make genealogy her life’s work, specializing in Upper Canada to help others researching in this difficult period and location. Since that time, she has developed additional expertise in fur trade research, criminal justice records and turning bare bones genealogies into full-fledged family histories. In addition to researching her clients’ family histories, Janice also does heir searching for the Public Trustee, gives talks to genealogical societies and writes for genealogical magazines. Special projects have included providing behind-the-scenes genealogical research for the CBC TV program “Who Do You Think You Are?” and working with the Toronto Museum Services to identify and commemorate the Upper Canadian militia men from the York region who died in the war of 1812.


The War of 1812-1815: Essential Sources for Family History Research

Resources for researching those who participated in or who were affected by the War of 1812-1815 are plentiful. In this presentation, Glenn Wright will highlight the essentials and where to find them, in archives and online. British Army regulars, Upper and Lower Canadian militia and First Nations contributed to what is generally regarded as one of the most significant events in our colonial history. Discovering who these men and women were is a challenge and knowledge of the main sources of information is a good first step.

Date: Monday, November 6, 2023

Presenter: Glenn Wright

Location: via Zoom

Price: KDGS members Free; non-members $10; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Glenn Wright was born and educated in Toronto, Ontario. Following graduation from the University of Toronto, he worked as a researcher for Pierre Berton before joining the Public Archives of Canada in 1975. During his public service career spanning 30+ years, Glenn worked as an archivist, historical research officer and assistant historian with the RCMP. Retired since 2006, he is a frequent speaker at family history and genealogical events with a special interest in Canada’s military history and the men and women who have served in uniform. He has published widely and is the author of Canadians at War, 1914-1919: A Research Guide to World War I Service Records and Controversy, Compromise and Celebration: The History of Canada’s National Flag. Glenn is actively involved with the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.

Bite-size:  How the British 3rd Battalion Militia Blew a Hole in My Brick Wall, presenter KDGS member, Steve Hall


Christmas Social

Date: Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Location: Reid Hall at Benvoulin Heritage Church

KDGS Members only


FamilySearch: Be a Power-User

FamilySearch is always changing, always adding records and features. This class will:

  • Explore some of the FamilySearch changes and update you on some exciting new features
  • Show all the places where records can be located on FamilySearch
  • Offer some tips on searching the records more effectively

Date: Monday, January 8, 2024

Presenter: Jeannie Vance

Location: via Zoom

Price: Everyone Free – non-members must email for Zoom URL

Jeannie Vance began researching her own family in England, Scotland, Canada and the USA over 45 years ago. She has researched many of her lines into the 1700’s. She has assisted others with their research for the past 15 years. She was the director of the Surrey, BC, Family History Centre for ten years and was only recently released. She enjoys teaching classes and helping others learn how about their ancestors.

Bite-size: Being Aware of Presentism, presenter KDGS member, Mary Read


Accessing Ancestry: The Roots, The Branches, and The Trees

Are you getting everything you can from Ancestry? Are you using the advanced search parameters?  Are you using all the tools and materials available to you? Or do you just scrape the surface of the website? We will do a deep dive into Ancestry’s site to make sure you are extracting every last bit of useful material for your research.

Date: Monday, February 5, 2024

Presenter: Cyndi Ingle

Location: via Zoom

Price: KDGS members Free; non-members $20; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Cyndi Ingle, a genealogist for more than 43 years, is the creator and innovator behind the award-winning and globally recognized Cyndi is an expert in using technology for genealogy, research in the United States and bringing together traditional methodology with organization, computers, software, and the Internet.  She is an internationally-known guest lecturer, and she has authored numerous articles and three books. Cyndi is the Executive Director for the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is a columnist for the Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly.

Bite-size: Internet Archives and the Wayback Machine, presenter, KDGS member, Xenia Stanford


Visualizing Family History: to capture your relative’s interest & help you in your research

Humans are visual beings, particularly those not interested in family history. Part of this talk will be on how to capture your family history to entice them. The other will be ways of visualising your data, your research thoughts and research problems to help you the researcher.

Date: Monday, March 4, 2024

Presenter: Helen Smith

Location: via Zoom

Price: KDGS members Free; non-members $15; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Helen Smith is a speaker, researcher and author and has been researching family history since 1986 in Australia, England, Ireland and Wales with forays into other areas of the world chasing after mobile family members. She has given presentations throughout Australia, and internationally in New Zealand, Canada, USA, England, including twice at the KDGS Harvest Your Family Tree. Helen has also been a presenter aboard 17 Unlock the Past cruises. Helen recently retired from a career in microbiology and epidemiology and can now devote herself fulltime to genealogy! With her sciences background, Helen has a keen interest in DNA and regularly runs classes on DNA and its application for genealogical research.  She is the author of Death Certificates and Archaic Medical Terms, Google the Genealogist’s Friend and numerous family history articles.

Bite-size: Peel’s Prairie Provinces, presenter KDGS member, Beverley Brooks


Tips for Breaking Brick Walls

Every genealogist at some time while researching runs up against brick walls. Brick walls are when a research question such as finding the parents of an ancestor cannot be answered. There are simple techniques to help break through these walls. Lisa will share those techniques with us.

Date: Monday, April 8, 2024

Presenter: Lisa Gorrell

Location: via Zoom

Price: KDGS members Free; non-members $15; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Lisa Gorrell has been seriously researching her family for more than twenty-five years. It was the birth of her daughters that began the journey connecting the pastand the future generations. One trip to Sutro Library to use microfilm of the 1920 census and finding her grandfather’s family got her hooked. Lisa is currently a board member with the Contra Costa Historical Society & volunteer at their archives at the History Center in Martinez, and a past-president of the Contra Costa County Genealogical Society and past-recording secretary of the California Genealogical Society. She is the tour leader with CGS’s research trip to Salt Lake City. A Certified Genealogist, Lisa enjoys giving genealogy presentations and writing about her family on two blogs.

Bite-size: Gravestone Clues, presenters KDGS members, Bob Hayes and Heather Clifton


Think Like an Archivist: Finding Genealogy Records in Libraries & Archives

  • Finding research portals
  • Using finding aids
  • Crafting effective search strategies
  • Finding genealogy records in archives
  • Visiting archives in person
  • Requesting records not yet online

Date: Monday, May 6, 2024

Presenter: Nancy Loe

Location: via Zoom

Price: KDGS members Free; non-members $15; REGISTRATION REQUIRED

Nancy Loe is a genealogist and has worked professionally in libraries and archives for four decades. She holds dual Master’s degrees from The Catholic University of America in American History and in Library Science with a specialization in archives administration and was fortunate to be able to intern twice at the Smithsonian Institution. Nancy has managed academic special collections and archives in California. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience and California’s Gold as well as the Travel Channel. Nancy has presented at numerous conferences. Including RootsTech and the National Genealogical Society and has given presentations internationally.

Bite-size: Adobe Express for Genealogy, presenter Gord Hotchkiss


June Social

Date: Monday, June 5, 2024

Location: Reid Hall at Benvoulin Heritage Church

KDGS Members only