Branch News: 2006-2007


    Quinte Branch in Ottawa at OGS Seminar 2007
    Article by Stacy Goddard

    Where do you suppose you would you find Queen Victoria and hockey on a hot June weekend? Why Seminar, of course. We who made the trip to Ottawa had the privilege of listening to Her Majesty as she opened our 2007 conference. One of her modern-day lawmakers, in the person of Senator Lorna Milne followed with a rousing plea for us to keep our minds and emails on censuses to come. As the weekend progressed, other Senators made their presence felt. These were the men on skates whose posters soon outnumbered the OGS ones on Algonquin College walls. Being the dedicated genealogists that we are, we only caught the 3rd period of the big game. It was fun being at least in the same city as those who cheered their team to victory for what turned out to be the last time this season.

    Meanwhile, we were busy filling our brains with workshops presented by familiar speakers and some who were less so, at least to me. We had a chance to fill our shopping bags too as the Marketplace again offered all kinds of family history related items. One of the tables there was, of course, from Quinte Branch, with Roberta and Ted Cullin, Lynn Heale and Carole Foshay spending hours selling our wares.

    This was my fourth trip to Seminar and, I felt, the most rewarding. Being able to do research at Library and Archives Canada just added another dimension to a fascinating journey in the search for our roots. Next year in London – see you all there.

    Members work the Quinte Branch table and display at Seminar 2007.
    Photos by Stacy Goddard & Tina Gemmell

    Local Rum Runners
    Presentation by C.W. ( Bill ) Hunt
    on May 12, 2007

    Article by Bill Campbell

    Bill Hunt started off with the quaint Canadian definition of prohibition; “You could drink in your own home, you just couldn’t buy or sell liquor inside Canada. If you were a distillery you could produce in Canada and export to any non-prohibition country.” This definition immediately encouraged local fishermen from Prince Edward County and local distillers in Corbyville to work together and start smuggling into New York State. Bill showed photos of some of the speedboats that were developed to outrun government ships. Even by today’s standards they were fast boats. He regaled us with tales and pictures from his six years of research into this type of smuggling. Bill explained how Herb & Harry Hatch from Roblin’s Mills became wealthy, high class, upright citizens; Harry’s stable won the King’s Plate on five occasions. Ben Kerr was the black sheep from a good family. He had a boat marina with secret areas for storing liquor and loading boats. Bill speculated that his wife wanted him dead so intentionally didn’t summon help when he was trying to land his boat in the dangerous ice of February 1929. As a bonus Bill gave us a few tidbits from his new book (to be published in December ) about the training program for Canadian fliers in WW1. Everyone enjoyed Bill’s light, colourful talk and spent the time afterwards chatting with him. 

    According to the Custom of the Manor
    Presentation by Jane MacNamara

    Article by Stacy Goddard

    Most of us probably came to the last meeting wondering if Manorial Records could help us in family research and left with a clearer picture of what records are available. I have since looked at some of the websites mentioned in the talk and find, for just one family in one area there are documents for me to pursue. The main value of Jane MacNamara’s talk was the overview of how manors were structured, right up until 1922. We heard terms that we had heard before like Court Rolls and terms we probably hadn’t, like Customals. We also learned we should avail ourselves of the Victoria Histories of the Counties of England to help us find the name of a Manor in the areas of concern to us. Our “ordinary folk” might be found in the many documents generated by the system. Consult the Manorial Documents Register in person or the partial list online at and don’t forget to try for all kinds of documents of long ago.

    Jane MacNamara holds the audience captive with her presentation about manorial records.
    Photo by Harriet Richards

    Visit from Orland French
    Article by Stacy Goddard

    Quinte Branch was entertained and educated once more at the monthly meeting on March 17th, 2007 by the noted local author. We knew the subject would be the new Hastings County Atlas and might have been forgiven if we expected it to be less than interesting material. Perhaps anticipating that, our speaker warmed us up with a couple of good jokes––and yes, they were geography related. He also involved us with quizzes to test our knowledge of Hastings, including one on Irish names, in honour of the St. Patrick’s Day meeting (cast your eyes over a map of this territory and see how much of it has an Irish moniker). After this introduction, Mr. French launched into his PowerPoint presentation and we got a picture of how interesting geography can be after all, particularly in Hastings County, second largest in the province we were informed. We also got to hear about the political formation of the county as it exists today; the geology, which is there for us to see, now that we know what to look for – the Bleasdell Boulder being just the most obvious example; the industries, past and present; the settlers and their buildings; plus the waterways and roads. Though not explicitly mentioned, pride underscored the talk – pride in what Hastings citizens have accomplished and pride in this volume that can show the County and its people off.

    At the end of his talk, Orland French took up a topic that had been expounded on by another author and citizen of Belleville (and fellow Hastings Archives protector and proponent) Gerry Boyce––the topic of finding a home for the Archives. We are all well aware after two such heartfelt speeches, that these Archives deserve to be preserved and protected. We would then have better access to them and need not worry about their longevity. No suggestion was made as to how we could help the situation, but my suggestion is to lobby your local politicians in Hastings. Tell them you want to see a community centre with Archive in the Belleville area – maybe you can tell them Orland and Gerry sent you.

    Eleanor Moult thanks Orland French, editor of the Heritage Atlas of Hastings County.
    Photo by Harriet Richards.

    Family Secrets Revealed by DNA Analysis
    Presentation by John Reid

    Article by Stacy Goddard

    If getting more information on your family through DNA analysis interests you, the monthly meeting of The Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society was the place to be. On Saturday February 17, 2007 at the Quinte West Library in Trenton, John Reid spoke on this very current topic.  From television’s CSI, to meeting up with relatives you didn’t know you had, the science of DNA is a part of our lives. Following the fascinating presentation, members and guests enjoyed refreshments, exchanged family research stories and visited the Local History Room of the library to access the extensive Branch genealogical material. More at Anglo-Celtic Connections.

    Rod Green thanks John Reid for his DNA Analysis presentation.
    Photo by Georgette Green

    Northshore Probus Genealogy Club Visits the Quinte OGS Research Library
    Article by Richard Hughes

    On 21 January, the Research Library welcomed visitors from the Northshore Probus Genealogy Club of Cobourg. After a tour of the facilities, club members Janet Bruton, Judy Baker, Ric Newman-Jones and Kathy and Shane Maclean searched the records for relatives and discussed many aspects of their research with volunteers Marilyn Harry and Dick Hughes. They resolved to return as soon as possible to continue their family history research. 

    Shane Maclean, Judy Baker, Janet Bruton and Ric Newman-Jones from Northshore Probus Genealogy Club search the library.
    Photo by Richard Hughes.

    Annual Crouse-Wanamaker Lecture: Genealogical Resources at the Hastings Heritage Centre
    Article by Stacy Goddard

    The Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society hosted the annual Crouse-Wanamaker Lecture on Saturday January 20th, 2007 at the Quinte West Library in Trenton. This Lecture is held to honour Gordon Crouse, the first Chairman, and Loral Wanamaker, Honourary President, of the Quinte Branch of the OGS formed in 1980. Gerry Boyce, noted local author of works that include Historic Hastings and Eldorado: Ontario’s First Gold Rush was the speaker on this occasion. In the early 1960’s, Gerry Boyce enlisted Loral Wanamaker and his wife Mildred as the Hastings County Historical Society’s first official genealogists. The focus of his talk was the Hastings Heritage Centre’s collection of archives and their usefulness as a genealogical resource. Those in attendance were given a take-home list of resources at the Centre for future reference. These resources include assessment rolls, pictures, microforms, newspaper collections, books, and family papers. Also available was the Heritage Society’s pamphlet, reinforcing an interesting and informative display that Mr. Boyce travelled with. From this exhibit, he circulated various photographs, including some pertaining to the world of Gordon Crouse and other scenes of historical interest. While these were fascinating, Mr. Boyce’s talk was also educational and amusing. Part of the entertainment came from his story about the little furry creatures that inhabit the Heritage Centre, but also focused our attention on the problem that all Archives have in finding suitable homes. We were made aware that this collection has been moved about the county several times and is still looking for a permanent home. The Heritage Centre is currently housed in the former Thurlow Town Hall at 154 Cannifton Road North, Belleville (613-968-5023) where the “Archive Angels” assist historical and genealogical researchers and provide resources and assistance to local schools and other heritage groups.

    Bill Campbell thanks Gerry Boyce for his presentation about the Hastings Heritage Centre. Members and visitors examine the displays while Gerry Boyce answers their questions.
    Photos by Bob Dawes.

    OGS Region VII AGM: United Empire Loyalist Settlers and Tour of Trent Port Museum 
    Article by Stacy Goddard

    The Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society and Region VII of the OGS (consisting of Durham, Quinte and Kawartha branches) held a joint meeting on Saturday, October 21, 2006 at the Old Town Hall in Trenton. The President, Vice-President and Executive Director of OGS were all present. Marilyn Harry of Quinte Branch will become the new Director of the Region, replacing Nancy Trimble of Durham Branch, whose term has expired. Brian Tackaberry, President of United Empire Loyalists Association of Canada (Quinte), spoke on the topic of the arrival and early lives of the first Loyalist settlers in the area and the history of the UELAC. There was a presentation by Regional Director Nancy Trimble to Marilyn Hopkins of the Trent Port Historical Society of Nancy’s grandmother, C.V. Wilkins’ file of the original drawings, plans, blueprints and records including photographs of Fraser Park in Trenton.

    Following the morning’s business, a pot-luck lunch, branch announcements and the visiting speaker, interested guests were able to visit the Trent Port Museum in its brand new location and the Quinte Branch Library, also in new quarters at Quinte West Library.

    Carole Foshay, Chair of Quinte OGS, thanks Brian Tackaberry, President of Bay of Quinte Branch UELA, for his presentation at the OGS Region VII AGM.

    Photos by Harriet Richards.

    Grand Opening Quinte Branch OGS Library

    It took eight months for Quinte Branch to get set up in Quinte West Public Library and only minutes for people to start using its resources. The Branch celebrated its grand opening on Tuesday, Sept. 26 to a packed house of members and guests. “The Library has a special regard for the Ontario Genealogical Society” said Quinte West Public Library, Chief Executive Officer, Rita Turtle. She noted the two groups can now offer their resources to patrons doubling the success of whatever research they may be conducting. We’ve expanded our resources for researchers and they can do it all from here.

    OGS President Bob Crawford noted “I use you as an example to others of what can be accomplished when people work together. Along with genealogy records, microfilm and computer research, people can use the library’s digital reader for even more resources.” Greetings and good wishes were presented by Dorothy Davies-Flindall, Vice-Chair of QWPL Board, Peter Johnson of the United Empire Loyalist Association, Gerry Boyce of the Hastings Historical Society and Quinte West Mayor Bob Campney.  Other special guests attending were Marilyn Hopkins of the Trent Port Historical Society, Diane Godbout of the 7th Town Historical Society and OGS Executive Officer Fraser Dunford, OGS Region VII Director Nancy Trimble and Chair of Durham and OGS Vice-President Don Hinchley. Quinte West Mayor, Bob Campney cut the ribbon. Coffee and cake were served and tours of the library followed.

    Quinte West Mayor, Bob Campney cuts the ribbon held by QWPL Chief Executive, Rita Turtle and Quinte Branch Chair, Carole Foshay

    OGS Fraser Dunford, QWPL Board Dorothy Davies- Flindall (in front) Region VII Director Nancy Trimble, Rita Turtle, Durham Chair and OGS Vice President Don Hinchley, Carole Foshay, OGS President Bob Crawford and UEL Association Peter Johnson.

    Photos by Harriet Richards and Dick Hughes.

    Phil Ainsworth Speaks About the History of Bloomfield in the Wellington Library
    Article by Stacy Goddard

    The Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society recently held its first meeting of the season in the Wellington Public Library on September 16th, 2006.  The speaker was Phil Ainsworth. The former Director of Education for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board is now focusing his talents on history, particularly the study of family history. He has long been a member of the Quinte Branch and spoke to his fellow members and visitors about The Village of Bloomfield: Local History as Family History”. His presentation included many interesting old photos of the Bloomfield of yesteryear. Mr. Ainsworth also made available for sale copies of the County Magazine where many of his articles have been published. The business meeting and Mr. Ainsworth’s presentation were followed by a light lunch. Meetings generally take place on the 3rd Saturday of the month in various venues through the counties of Prince Edward and Hastings.

    Quinte Branch Treasurer Marilyn Harry presents Phil Ainsworth with a Certificate of Appreciation for his presentation on the History of Bloomfield.


    Genealogy Group Unveils New Family History Research Centre

    13 September, 2006: Searching our family tree is rapidly becoming the past-time of choice for people all over North America. For those in the Quinte area, the newly opened genealogical research library of the Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society will provide a major boost to their research efforts. The Quinte Branch, which covers Hastings and Prince Edward Counties as well as southeast Northumberland County, has operated a library since 1980, but has just recently expanded its scope of activity and re-located to the Local History Room of the new Quinte West Public Library in Trenton. The research library is staffed by experienced volunteers who assist equally the newcomers making the first steps into their family’s past and the very advanced researchers. The library offers the traditional printed material and microfilm records containing family histories, cemetery transcriptions, census data and birth/marriage/death records as well as up-to-date, computerized searchable databases. The research library is available during the normal opening hours of the Quinte West Public Library although volunteers may not be on duty at all times. Anyone wishing the assistance of a volunteer can phone 613-394-3381 ext. 3328 to confirm that a volunteer is available.

    One of the main goals of Quinte Branch is to assemble and preserve the histories of the families of this region. Many family and local history books are relegated to dusty shelves or are packed away in basements and attics. Even more sadly, many of them go out with the garbage when older family members downsize their homes or move to retirement homes. Quinte Branch urges everyone to dig out these old volumes and give them a whole new life and usefulness by donating them to the Quinte Branch research library.

    Another key objective is to assist family history researchers all around the world as they dig in the records to find their Quinte ancestors. In addition to research in person at the library, the Branch carries out research in response to telephone, mail and email requests.

    For more details consult the website at or phone 613-394-3381 ext.3328.

    Contact Us
    Privacy Notice
    Page updated: January 2021
    Copyright © 2006-2021, Quinte Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, All Rights Reserved