Branch News: 2010-2011


Ancestors & Artifacts in Members’ Attics
Article by Bob Dawes,
Photography by Georgette Green

Quinte area genealogists converged on the Quinte West council chamber on June 18th to share their eureka moments and show artifacts that they have turned up in their family history quest. Chair, Peter Johnson started the meeting by acknowledging Marilyn Harry and Rodney Green who were recognized by the OGS at this year’s annual conference for being part of The Top 50 in 50 people in its 50-year history. They were both presented with commemorative wine glasses.

Of the items shown, there was a sterling silver casket plate, several old photographs and many homemade ancestral charts ranging from letter size to poster size. Stories of brick walls and breakthroughs were recounted and carried on long into the refreshment break. Some members recounted how they were introduced to genealogy and what tricks they use to keep track of the paper and other information they had gathered. Everyone went away with a few new ideas to try out when they got home.

Branch Chair Peter Johnson presented Marilyn Harry and Rodney Green with commemorative wine glasses in honour of their recognition by OGS of outstanding contributions to the branch over the years.

Hastings Historical Society Capital Campaign
Photography by P. Johnson

Our own Richard Hughes along with Belleville Town Crier Bruce Bedell UE, at the launch of the Hastings County Historical Society Capital Campaign, May 26, 2011. For more information about the campaign to create a community archive for Belleville and Hastings County visit The Intelligencer.

The Methodist Church in Ontario
Article by Bob Dawes
Photographs by Georgette Green

Quinte area genealogists welcomed the Victoria Day long weekend on May 21st by listening to retired Lennox and Addington archivist, Jennifer Bunting, explain the importance of Methodism to Ontario farming families. She explained the differences between Wesleyan Methodism and Methodist Episcopalianism and the political storm it created. Everything came to a head in 1874 when Napanee saw the town and its churches taken over by visiting ministers and adherents of both faiths attending the Methodist Episcopal Conference. Unfortunately, the Episcopalians were seen as Americans while feelings in Upper Canada were still strong from the Fenian raids. The conference was so popular that even the locals had a hard time gaining entrance to their own churches and almost every home was billeting visiting clergymen. Ultimately, the Wesleyan’s won out only to be amalgamated into the United Church years later.

More information about this formative time in Ontario’s history is available from the Lennox & Addington Historical Society website at

Peter W. Johnson UE thanks Jennifer Bunting, retired archivist for Lennox & Addington Archives

Quinte Branch at the OGS  50th Anniversary Conference
Photography by Marie Heard

On May 13th-15th, 2011, the Quinte Branch was represented by Lynn HealeStacy and Peter Goddard, Marie Heard, Linda Farrell and Debra McDonald at the branch table in the marketplace. At the table were displays of branch activities as well as publications and CDs for sale. Congratulations to our members Marilyn Harry and Rodney Green for being honoured in the Top 50 in 50 Award” from OGS – a well-deserved honour for two people who have contributed to the branch in many capacities over many years.

Ontario Volunteer Service Awards Presented to Quinte Branch Members
Article by Tina Gemmell
Photography by Georgette Green

At a special presentation ceremony in Belleville on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011, three Quinte Branch members were presented with Ontario Volunteer Service Awards from Lou Rinaldi, MPP Northumberland-Quinte West and Brian Beattie, Director, Citizenship Branch, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration, in recognition of their commitment to volunteerism with the Branch. Congratulations to Larry McQuoid (5 years), Mary Culloden (5 years), and Rodney Green (30 years).

Left to right: Larry McQuoid, Lou Rinaldi, Mary Culloden, Brian Beattie and Rodney Green.

Genealogy Resources at Belleville Public Library
Article by Clare Westheuser,
Photography by Georgette Green

Lynn Heale called the meeting to order and welcomed a number of new faces, encouraging new people to introduce themselves and the families they’re researching. Larry McQuoid was thanked for taking on the role of treasurer in addition to his current responsibilities with newsletter and research.

Clare Westheuser introduced Trevor Pross, a former Middle School teacher who has an undergraduate degree in Humanities, with a focus on Canadian and Japanese History. He earned his Masters of Library and Information Studies at Dalhousie University and recently moved to Belleville to be closer to his family. Prior to taking a position at Belleville Public Library, Trevor worked at Clarington Public Library in Bowmanville and Toronto Public Library.

Trevor led into the subject of what is available for us at the Belleville Public Library by introducing his own family with photos of his ancestors including William James and Emily (Howard) Lickfold or Lickford; their daughter Mary Cecilia “Queenie”, who married August George Josiah Pross; and August William Pross who married Freda Walker and they chose to come to Canada rather than Australia, New Zealand or South Africa after the Second World War. “Where do libraries fit in?” asked Trevor and replied that they are there to HELP US. The role of the library is to find connections for us.

Genealogical tools and resources at the Belleville Public Library include census records, local family histories, 1878 Historical Atlas Hastings and Prince Edward County, Ontario Archives Land Records, indexes to births and deaths (not marriages) from the Belleville Intelligencer, various baptismal collections, sources for United Empire Loyalists, cemetery transcriptions, city directories and the Marchmont Home 1870-1925 files. Much of this is housed in The Canadiana Room at the back of the second floor. Other resources include Ancestry Library Edition and a state-of-the-art Scan Pro2000 MF Scanner, a user-friendly machine with instructions that pop up on screen and the ability to scan images to email, memory stick or printer. He encouraged us to ask for help, but also to prepare and know what resources we’d like to use, and whenever possible knowing the exact dates being researched.

Trevor discussed digitization and how data from old computers needs to be “migrated” to new drives. He recommended not trusting hard drives and storing files and photos in at least three places, such as storing photos online, on Facebook, memory sticks or external hard drives. He suggested visiting to search through hundreds of digitized collections from libraries, archives, museums, historical societies, community groups, government agencies and organizations.

Trevor reiterated that we should ask for help – that’s what they are there for. Trevor can be contacted through the Belleville Public Library at

Clare Westheuser introduces Trevor Pross from Belleville Public Library

Trevor led into the subject of what is available at the library by introducing his own family with photos.

How to Use the Ontario Genealogy Society Website
Article by Bob Dawes,
Photography by Georgette Green

About fifty genealogists gave up a sunny spring afternoon to attend the Quinte Branch meeting in Trenton on March 19th, 2011. Before getting to the program the branch received two special presentations. The first was from Dr. Brearley of Belleville who deposited his latest project about the mayors of Belleville which will be available on our website with his existing Quinte area physicians database. The second presentation was a framed certificate from the OGS commemorating the branch’s 30th anniversary which was celebrated last year. Carole Foshay, Region 7 Director, then introduced OGS President, Nancy Trimble. Nancy provided an in-depth review of the OGS website available at and then poked behind the members only area where there are several databases among other things. The basics include back issues of Families from 1962 to 2006, eNewsleaf from its start in 2008 and some administrative tools for membership renewal etc. Nancy commented that the old issues of Families are worth a look as they contained a lot of transcripts that would be hard to find today. Under “databases” there is a Wall of Ancestors from the 2009 Conference submitted by the attendees, an ever-growing Memorial database, the insurance records from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, the church histories from the RC Diocese of London and finally the Ontario Strays database. This latter resource covers not only people found in Ontario from other provinces and countries but also Ontarians who were found outside of their normal counties so it is worth a look if you are having trouble locating an ancestor in Ontario. Following her presentation, Nancy went live on the web and did some example lookups for the audience and then as an added treat went through the Quinte Branch website, the Names Index and Dr. Brearley’s Physicians database. Nancy closed her presentation by thanking the branch for sharing its Names Index to help get the new OGS TONI (The Ontario Names Index) up and running.

Dr. Brearley (2nd from right) deposited his project about the Mayors of Belleville with the branch. Working together with Bob Dawes, Marilyn Harry and Tina Gemmell, it will be added to the Branch website as a new database. L-R: Peter Johnson, Bob Dawes, Dr. Brearley and Marilyn Harry.

Nancy Trimble, OGS President, presents Branch Chair, Peter Johnson with a 30th Anniversary Plaque.

Nancy took everyone on an in-depth review of the OGS website.

Drowning in Paper?
Article by Stacy Goddard,
Photography by Georgette Green

On February 20, 2011, Chair Peter Johnson UE welcomed everyone to the Quinte Branch Annual General meeting and presented his Annual Report to the membership. Retiring executive members Richard Jones and Dick Hughes were thanked for their work on behalf of the branch and the following new executive officers for 2011 were voted into office: Char Cooke, Treasurer; Tracey Cuddington, Secretary; and Clare Westheuser, Programme Coordinator.

Following adjournment of the AGM, Stacy Goddard facilitated an open discussion about organizing your genealogy files, both paper and electronic. She exhibited some of the tools that she uses, starting with “Organizing the Mountains of Paper…” by Louise St. Denis (an online course by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies). Another tip was to read the chapter in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Genealogy” entitled “Order out of Chaos”. The easiest tool to access is Cyndi’s List, which has 4 pages of resources on Organizing Your Research. These resources could be in the form of an internet site, a book, a video or could lead you to other resources like FamilySearch that has Research Guides and Forms. Other tools are found in your genealogy software: for instance, Legacy and others have to-do lists, address lists, Family Group Sheets, trees and more.

Other members brought in binders and demonstrated how they file their research. We also heard about a scanner that will preserve your paper files electronically if you want to digitize your research material. There were many questions and suggestions from the floor illustrating that overall, the tools and methods used are as varied as the individual. More useful websites include the following …
IrfanView  graphic viewer freeware
CensusTools  quality genealogy spreadsheets
Clooz  electronic filing cabinet,
Mozy  online data backup and
Fujitsu  for document imaging

Quinte Branch OGS, 2011 Executive

Back row, L-R: Lynn Heale, Rodney Green, Peter Johnson, Bob Dawes, Harriet Richards. Front row, L-R: Stacy Goddard, Lois Duggan, Marilyn Harry, Tracey Cuddington, Mary Culloden and Char Cooke. Absent: Clare Westheuser, Tina Gemmell, Noreen Smith, Larry McQuoid, Roberta Cullin

Quinte Branch has been Snap’d!

Visit to see a group shot of Brian Gilchrist with Quinte Branch members.

How to Find the Next Piece of the Puzzle called “Your Family Tree” 
Article by Bob Dawes 
Photographs by Georgette Green

A good sized crowd braved Trenton’s first major winter storm to hear J. Brian Gilchrist speak on planning a research strategy at the Quinte Branch annual commemorative
Crouse-Wanamaker Lecture.

Brian concentrated on looking at the life cycle of an individual in their documents from birth to death. He stressed the importance of using logic to analyze the documents and not just accept everything as fact. For example, when you look at a census record and calculate the birth date does it make sense?

He also stressed the need to try and find as many documents as possible for the same event because they not only overlap information but add new details to the total picture. This is especially important with newspaper records. Names can also be misleading where people switch given names or use nick-names so it is wise to be open to any possibility.

In conclusion, he explained the need to use a preponderance of evidence to solve our genealogy problems since there are so few accurate primary documents. He then closed by admonishing all in attendance to publish their family histories, even if they are incomplete so that a trail is possible for future generations to pick up the chase.

A fourth-generation Torontonian and a ninth-generation Canadian, Brian is one of Canada’s leading genealogical authorities. A graduate in History from the University of Toronto, he is a frequent guest on radio and television, as well as the founder and member of many genealogical, archival, and heritage organizations. Gilchrist has authored many publications on genealogy.

Renowned genealogist J. Brian Gilchrist spoke on planning a research strategy.

Chair Peter Johnson UE accepted a donation from Susan Brose of her latest book “The History of Brighton Businesses 1816 – 2009”

Brian Gilchrist presented Ann Pumple with a prize for being the attendee with the most grandchildren. Ann is the proud grandmother of fourteen!

New Community Archives for Belleville and Hastings County
Article by Bob Dawes
Photography by Georgette Green

Fifty Quinte area genealogy enthusiasts gathered in the Quinte West council chamber on November 20th to hear Sharon White describe the new City of Belleville and Hastings County Archives which also encompasses the Hastings County Historical Society. Sharon was appointed as the archivist in May 2010 and is now overseeing the transition of the existing facility located in the old Cannifton town hall to the new building on Church Street in Belleville.

She outlined the purpose and structure of a community archive and what they hold based on their geographic location and government hierarchy. In a nutshell, archives hold non-published material that has enduring value while libraries hold published materials. They also have a mandate to preserve the material while making it available to the public for research and consequently, the new facility will have a reading room and finding aids in addition to the usual climate-controlled vaults for storage.

One of the exciting features of this new archives is that it will not only hold records but will also work with all community and municipal groups in its region to catalog what is available and where it is located. It would be impossible to consolidate everything from the existing locations throughout the county into the new building but we will now know where it is and, hopefully, how to access it.

Sharon finished her presentation with examples of some online searchable databases for archival collections such as ARCHEION at to locate collections at many different archives in Ontario, Archives Canada at to locate archival collections throughout Canada, Knowledge Ontario at, and Canadiana at

If you want to stay on top of developments with the new community archives visit the Hastings Historical Society website at

Bob Dawes thanks Sharon White, Archivist of the new Community Archives developed through a partnership between the City of Belleville, County of Hastings and the Hastings County Historical Society.

The Impact of the 1918  Flu Pandemic on Prince Edward County
Article by Bob Dawes
Photography by Georgette Green

The branch gathered in the Quinte West Council Chambers on October 16th to hear Phil Ainsworth explain the impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic on Prince Edward County. Using various sources including the death records available on and local archives, Phil identified 65 deaths over a five-month period between September 1918 and January 1919 which were attributable to the Spanish Flu. Since a lot of area doctors were not familiar with the disease, there may be many more deaths that were misdiagnosed as other causes, such as heart disease. Much like the more recent pandemic of swine flu, the Spanish version affected children and young adults more than other age groups with the majority being in the 11 to 41 range. 

The flu was brought home by servicemen returning from the Great War where it had killed more than the fighting did. The County got off easier than Belleville or Toronto with the death rate being about point six of one percent whereas other areas in North America were as high as five percent. One of Phil’s anecdotal comments regarded the impact of the flu’s high fever creating psychological problems later in life such as Parkinson’s Disease, so surviving the flu was the least of your worries.

Phil Ainsworth is a genealogist, historian and retired educator.

Bob Dawes thanks Phil Ainsworth for his informative presentation dedicated to Phil’s father. Publications from the Branch and Phil Ainsworth were available for sale during the meeting.

Researching Your Loyalist Ancestors
Article by Bob Dawes
Photography by Georgette Green

A lot of new faces turned up among the forty genealogists for the September 18th meeting on “How to Apply for Your UEL Designation.” Chair Peter Johnson opened the meeting with greetings and welcomed Brian Tackaberry UE who is chair of the Bay of Quinte Branch of the United Empire Loyalists’ Association of Canada (UELAC). Peter then outlined the definition of a Loyalist highlighting that they didn’t need to actually bear arms but that those who helped and harboured fighters also qualified. This allowed a lot of women to gain “The Unity of Empire” (UE) designation in their own right. Peter followed by introducing his wife, Angela, who is the branch genealogist for the Bay of Quinte Branch of the UELAC.

Angela explained the various sources accepted by the association and the paper submission requirements such as three copies of all documents in 8 1/2 x 11 format and not stapled or highlighted. She emphasized that primary sources were mandatory unless there was a gap where a “preponderance of evidence” might be accepted if it was conclusive. In any event, she encouraged everyone to contact her if they were having difficulty or needed advice on what was acceptable. Basically, you need to build a family tree from yourself back to the loyalist ancestor.

The meeting then opened as a workshop where Angela worked with those needing help on a one-on-one basis while the rest enjoyed refreshments and browsed the Quinte Branch and Loyalist display tables.

For more information about the United Empire Loyalists Association visit

For more information about the Bay of Quinte Branch of the UELA visit

Librarian Marilyn Harry with  Bay of Quinte Branch UELAC Genealogist Angela Johnson UE who is also Secretary for the Quinte Branch OGS.

Loyalist publications were available from Brian Tackaberry UE, chair of the Bay of Quinte Branch of the UELAC.

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