Branch News: 2007-2008

Ancestors in Your Attic
Article by Bob Dawes
Photographs by Georgette Green

The Quinte Branch Annual Ancestors in Your Attic meeting on June 21st attracted thirty-three genealogists eager to share their triumphs or brick walls with others. Members and visitors were asked to fill in a questionnaire outlining their problem which was passed on to an expert panel made up of Carole Foshay, Rod Green, Lynn Heale, Barbara Dawes and Marilyn Harry. The panel would read out the question and then offer their advice which was followed by open discussion from the audience. Questions ranged from how to get started on a family history through what pre-census Ontario records are available to research in the Netherlands.

Many new faces were visible in the group with a lady from Colorado attending after learning about the meeting while doing research in Kingston. Some members wanted to share their success stories and made little presentations of their family history, photographs and documents. Everyone attending appeared to learn something new, even the expert panel, making it a very successful meeting.

Quinte Branch OGS at Conference 2008
Photographs by Stacy Goddard

Ontario Genealogical Society Conference
Wired Genealogy
May 30 – June 1st, 2008
Fanshawe College,
London Ontario

Jim Gilchrist on “The Marchmont Home”
Article by Carole Foshay
Photographs by Bob Dawes

Saturday, May 19, a capacity crowd again packed our meeting room in the Quinte West Public Library to hear Jim Gilchrist, of Trenton, author of “The Marchmont Home” speak about the British Home Children and the people (mostly women) who brought them to places like the Marchmont Home.

He explained the conditions of the times, when thousands of these children, through no fault of their own, lived on the streets of the British cities fending for themselves, in poverty and neglect, with no provision made to feed and clothe them. Concerned Christian people went about gathering and recruiting these street children. They were brought into orphanages, where they were cleaned up, fed and often given a rudimentary education in a trade.

People like Annie McPherson of the Marchmont Home in Belleville would come to these orphanages and gather groups of these children and bring them to Canada and elsewhere in the “Empire”. Upon arrival here they would then stay in places like the Marchmont Home until they were placed on farms to help out or in homes as domestics. Naturally, there was a good deal of culture shock for these city children upon their arrival, but most adjusted and made very successful lives for themselves. Some were very poorly treated and had to be placed elsewhere, but others were brought in and treated like members of the family. From 1870 to 1925 over 20,000 children were brought over and placed by Annie McPherson into her homes, Knowlton Home in Quebec, the Stratford-Galt Homes and Marchmont Home in Belleville.

Quinte Branch Newsletter Editor Larry McQuoid thanks Jim Gilchrist, author of “Marchmont Distributing Home, Belleville, Ontario 1870-1925” (Epic Press: 2003) for his presentation.

Genealogy 101 Workshop in Belleville 
Presentation by Bob Dawes
Photographs by 
Harriet Richards

On a rainy Belleville Saturday afternoon, May 3rd, fifty-three people took advantage of the Genealogy 101 course put on by Quinte Branch in partnership with the Belleville Public Library. The feedback from the day was very good with several people offering to help the branch with its projects and keeping the publications sales table busy during the breaks. Our next Genealogy 101 is scheduled for Quinte West Public Library on July 19th and don’t forget to check the Genealogy 101 page on our website which always has new features. 

Sher Letooze on Northern Irish Research 
Article by Bob Dawes,
Photographs by Georgette Green

Our guest speaker for April was Sher Leetooze who spoke on Northern Irish research and played to a full house of interested genealogists.  Sher covered the strange situation with Irish records where some are located at the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) in Belfast and others are located at the National Archives or the National Library in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.  Before heading out on a research trip it is wise to contact the web sites of both locations and check their catalogs to see which records they hold. Sher described the province, county, parish and townland organization of the property in Ireland and how to find the specific part your ancestors came from.  If you are unsure, she highlighted the GENUKI website as a place to look for surname lists to help you zero in on a specific county.  She also mentioned how valuable the Ordnance Survey Memoirs are because they include written descriptions of parishes with lots of names particularly of the primary landowners. Of real interest to remote Irish researchers is the new index of transcribed BMD records covering both church and civil registration records for all of Ireland.  This will be available in July 2008 from which is a pay-per-view website although basic searches are free. The charge for viewing a detailed record is 10 euros or about C$15.00.  According to Sher, the majority of the work so far seems to be concentrated in Ulster which is good news to Northern Ireland researchers. The presentation was followed by a question and answer session where many members who were familiar with Irish research shared their tips and hints on how to make a research trip to Ireland successful. Visit Sher Leetooze at

Ted Cullen of Quinte Branch, OGS thanks Sher Leetooze for her presentation on Northern Irish Research

Genealogy 101 Workshop in Madoc
Presentation by Bob Dawes
Photographs by Georgette Green

April 5th, 2008: Forty people from Centre Hastings descended on the Madoc Public Library on Saturday afternoon to attend a Genealogy 101 presentation put on by Quinte Branch as part of their Outreach Program. The event was jointly sponsored and publicized by both groups and included a mini-genealogy fair with branch publications on sale and an information display of Quinte Branch and OGS material. The program was opened by Gayle Ketcheson (Library Board Chair) and Dick Hughes (Quinte Branch Chair) with welcoming messages. Bob Dawes presented a PowerPoint presentation, developed by the branch for beginners, and everyone took away a package of basic charts, OGS forms, sample newsletters and a Global Genealogy catalog. Feedback from the attendees indicated that the event was a resounding success and a format that will be rolled out to other public libraries in the Quinte Region in the future.

Robert Dawes talks about Pay-Per-View Websites
Article by Stacy Goddard
Photographs by Georgette Green

Over 40 people were privileged on March 15th to get a preview of Bob Dawes’ upcoming presentation at the OGS Conference. His talk, entitled “Getting Your Money’s Worth (The BIG advantage of Pay-Per-View and Subscription Based Websites)”, should make us all re-think the idea that we shouldn’t have to pay for our research or that everything will be out there for free if we just wait long enough. Bob demonstrated his talk with a well-illustrated PowerPoint presentation. We will all be able to get his references and links on our Quinte Branch website after the Conference is held. Meanwhile, if you have any questions about the talk, Bob will be happy to communicate with you at:

OGS Conference 2008
Wired Genealogy: 
30 May-2 June 2008
Fanshawe College, London, Ontario
More information at


Quinte Roots at Belleville Library
Article and photographs by Stacy Goddard

Carole FoshayRichard Hughes and Stacy Goddard took the show on the road again on March 11, 2008 to participate in “Quinte Roots” held at Belleville Public Library. This was an event timed to coincide with the school March Break, consequently it was aimed at the younger set. Town Crier Bruce Bedell was there with his grandchildren and the three of them together rang in the event with gusto. Children had various stations to visit and activities to participate in; from listening to Native music or stories of pioneers to playing checkers. Our booth was able to provide complimentary “Give Me Five” genealogical charts from Library and Archives Canada and while we weren’t as popular as we have been with teens, we gave out several of these charts to children (as well as pamphlets to the adults); thus, our small visitors will be able to start tracing their own ‘Quinte Roots’.

Visit the Youth Corner at Library & Archives Canada for more interactive activities.

Alternate Death Resources from Paul McGrath
Article by Stacy Goddard
Photographs by Georgette Green

The Quinte Branch hosted the Crouse-Wanamaker Lecture on Saturday, January 19 at the Quinte West Library. This annual 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.  On this occasion, Paul McGrath. noted genealogist and popular figure from History Television’s “Ancestors in the Attic” made his first appearance as a speaker for us. The title of his talk, “Beyond the Death Certificate” was intriguing. Would he talk about ghosts? Family feuds over wills? Technological advances in reporting deaths? Handouts consisted of a sheet outlining the TV show and McGrath’s list of alternate resources. In glancing over the latter, we got a better idea of what the talk would be about; his resources included death notices, obituaries, news articles, compiled lists of death notices and family papers, tombstones, cemetery documents, church burial records, official reports like coroner’s reports or the Dominion Register, not to mention estate records. You can see why, with the aid of his projector, Paul gave a jam-packed presentation, leaving us breathless and yet wanting more. Paul hosts the popular website which includes several free databases. 

Paul McGrath presents to a full-house in the Quinte West Council Chambers in Trenton.


Quinte Area Family History Research Gets Major Boost
MPP Lou Rinaldi Helps Unveil New Equipment

Trenton, 7 Jan 2008: On Monday morning, the Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) celebrated some good news with the community at the Family History Research Library, located in the Local History Room of the Quinte West Public Library. Thanks to a $12,700 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF), Quinte Branch has been able to purchase new equipment to advance their goals of assembling,  preserving and promoting the Quinte area’s family heritage and culture. To mark this special achievement, MPP for Northumberland-Quinte West, Lou Rinaldi, and OTF representative, Marty Halloran, presented the group with a plaque.

Quote from MPP Lou Rinaldi:
The Quinte Branch of the OGS owns a significant collection of historical records including census data, birth, death marriage records and newspapers contained within 1200 volumes of printed materials, 300 microfilms, and 500 microfiche. Thanks to the OTF grant, awarded this past November, the Society has been able to purchase a microfilm reader/scanner system, computer, storage cabinet and table to better store and allow access to family history for the Quinte area community. The Society expects, with the addition of the new equipment and the on-line listing of their collection, they will be able to double the amount of research inquiries they can handle each week.  

Quote from Quinte Branch Chairman, Richard Hughes:
The Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) has been active for over 27 years and is
supported by a corps of 19 volunteers and a membership of 377 people. The organization recently moved to the new Quinte West Public Library in 2006 where volunteers staff the Branch’s research library four days a week and respond, both in person at the library and by email to public requests from around the world for information and assistance. Quinte Branch’s central goal is to assemble and preserve Quinte area family history records and documents; it also provides public education. 

For more information please contact:
1-613-394-3381 Ext. 3328
or visit our website at

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario. For 25 years, the Foundation has supported the growth and vitality of communities across the province. OTF continues to strengthen the capacity of the volunteer sector through investments in community-based initiatives. For more information, please visit

Linda Corupe UE alias Mrs. John Collins Clark
Article by Stacy Goddard
Photograph by Bob Dawes

At the last meeting of 2007, Quinte Branch was privileged to have Linda Corupe UE as guest speaker. She arrived wearing widow’s weeds, in the guise of Mrs. John Collins Clark of Ernestown, Lennox & Addington County. After taking her place in her rocking chair before us, crochet work in hand, she proceeded to welcome us to her home  and hence to her time in history. We learned many things about those times through anecdotes from her “husband’s” diary written between 1832 and 1862 and were frequently amused by his perception of the world around him. Those of us intent on turning our family history into an interesting narrative undoubtedly learned a lot from the way Mrs. Corupe prepared her presentation.

Linda Corupe UE as Mrs. John Collins Clark.

Preserving Old Memories
Article by Stacy Goddard
Photographs by Harriet Richards

Most of us have boxes of photographs and old movie films lurking in our homes, making us feel guilty. The speaker at our meeting of October 20th can help. Paul Clare has a business called PH Productions waiting to turn your old memories into a convenient disc to show on family occasions. He showed us a variety of productions that he has put together for clients. From his presentation and from the questions that followed from the audience, we got a good idea of what can be done. We saw old movie footage and stills that had been put together with narration by the owners and experienced various ways that music and special effects can enhance your collection. Apart from guilt, another good reason to take care of these old formats is that machines to play them on are getting scarcer and the media themselves can break down with time or due to improper storage. Imagine your dismay if you went to show off some rare and precious footage to your descendants and found it ruined. Mr. Clare proved in his talk how valuable a service like his can be.

William Campbell of Quinte Branch OGS thanks Paul Clare for his informative presentation on Preserving Old Memories.

Carole Foshay (right) Quinte Branch Chair, presents an honourary life membership to Eleanor Moult.

Trenton Volunteer Fair
Article by Stacy Goddard

On October 17th, 2007, Quinte Branch participated in a Volunteer Fair. It was a new experience for me and also for our president, Carole Foshay and for Rod Green. The three of us spent the day at Trenton High School in the company of other non-profit organizations from the region explaining to several hundred students who we were and what we do. The organizers, who had decked the gym out with balloons and signs for each organization, treated us well, with a snack provided at the early lunch period and again in the gym to keep us going in the afternoon. We were able to use the lovely recycled display panels that had recently been donated to the branch. Student visitors to the booth had interesting questions about genealogy in general and us in particular. We hope to see some of them working with us in the near future.

Bell Canada Donates $2,500 to Quinte Branch
Article by Dick Hughes
Photography by Georgette Green

The Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society has received a donation of $2,500 from Bell Canada’s Employees Giving Fund. Here, Bell retiree Rodney Green presents the cheque to Quinte Branch chairperson Carole Foshay while members Dick Hughes and Ted Cullin look on. The Quinte Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society, is a registered charity which works to assemble and preserve the family histories of the Quinte District and assists family history researchers both locally and around the world as they search for their Quinte ancestors.

Lisa Russell brings the Anglican Diocese of Ontario Archives to Quinte Branch OGS
Article by Tina Gemmell,
Photography by Harriet Richards

Lisa Russell, the Diocesan Archival Technician with the Anglican Diocese of Ontario Archives (ADOA) in Kingston since 1993, brought the ADOA to the
Quinte Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society at Quinte West Public Library on Saturday, September 15th 2007. Lisa presented members and visitors with an inspiring insight into the holdings of the Archives and the wealth of material, knowledge and help available for family historians from the dedicated staff. Lisa set up several interesting displays that visually illustrated the history and development of the Diocese and the types of records that can be found in the Archives from congregations that were established in the late 1700’s (when only the Anglican, Catholic, Quaker and Jewish faiths were allowed to perform marriages in Upper Canada). A very informative handout, brochures and a 40-page book written by Lisa about the history of the Diocese were given to all in attendance. Samples of her “From the Archives” articles (published in “Dialogue”, the Diocese journal) that contain detailed biographical information about ministers, bishops, early pioneers and settlers families were available to browse.

The Diocese of Ontario includes four deaneries that cover the counties of Leeds & Grenville, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, Hastings and Prince Edward. The most popular records for genealogists include the baptismal, confirmation, marriage and burial records. Helpful finding aids include index cards, computer indexes, transcriptions of baptisms, guide and inventory of the holdings and a map of the exact locations of all parishes in the diocese. Additional records of interest held in ADOA include vestry minutes, correspondence, land records and consecration documents, newspaper articles, journals, minutes of church and community groups and parish histories. All are welcome to visit the Archives located at 90 Johnson Street in Kingston – open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1.15 pm to 4.30 pm or by appointment. Lisa is able to undertake genealogical research on your behalf if you are unable to visit in person. For more information visit the ADOA website at where you can also find Lisa’s articles in back issues of the “Dialogue”.

Members and visitors learn about the wealth of genealogical material available at the ADOA.

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