Tag Archives: Ontario Genealogical Society

Ontario Wanderings: The London Middlesex County Chapter of the Ontario Genealogical Society

The other genealogical research option for London, Ontario is the London Middlesex County Chapter of the Ontario Genealogical Society.  http://londonmiddlesex.ogs.on.ca/

When they tell you they are in the Coach House behind the Grosvenor Lodge they are not kidding.   I had passed this lodge when I headed south from the Huron University College to my hotel on Wellington Street so I had sort of an idea where it was located.  The lady at the London Room knew where it was and confirmed my suspicions.  I warn you that GPS cannot handle it so you might want to call to make sure you know how to get to this research center.  Google Earth couldn’t pin it down either.

London Middlesex Chapter OGS

London Middlesex Chapter OGS

The Grosvenor Lodge has an entrance on Western Avenue but it is on the west side of the street and it is around a corner on a two lane highway.  I was not sure I could chance turning left as I was coming north on Western, so I went up the street to the next block turned left and did a u-turn and got back on Western Avenue this time going south and was able to turn right into the driveway which is flanked by two pillars.  It is a little tight so go slowly.

Grosvenor Lodge

Grosvenor Lodge

You follow the road put don’t park yet and go around the front of the Grosvenor Lodge which is facing south. Follow the little road pass the front of the lodge and once you do you will spot the Carriage House in the back area.  There is plenty of parking.

It is truly a Carriage House and it is the big doors on the left, the right one, that you approach to open and you enter this small area where the London Middlesex Chapter is located.

Carriage House

Carriage House

I was greeted by the volunteer who was all by herself.  I told her about my interest in Wards and Boardmans and she pulled a few things but pretty much left me to explore on my own. It is not very big this room but it is packed with books and binders.

London Middlesex Chapter OGS

London Middlesex Chapter OGS

Someone in this group has done a tremendous amount of indexing of obituary notices from the local papers.  They did not go back far enough for me but the volunteer told me that I needed to look at the Strathroy papers and I told her I would be doing just that.  They also have a Pioneer binder series which was a collection of names and families of the earlier years. One bookshelf was devoted to Loyalist books and information and I would call it a small collection but worth looking through.  There is more of course to explore.

Stacks at the London Middlesex Branch of OGS

Stacks at the London Middlesex Branch of OGS

I am a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society which is the main society for this province and it is composed of chapters which are located throughout the province. The main OGS website is filled with many interesting treasures but here is the link to the chapters.


I encourage you to support the local chapters.  In the OGS online newsletter there was an appeal asking for support of one of the chapters that was on the brink of going inactive just recently.  I do not remember which one but the point is we need to get out and share our time and energy.

As you can see my pictures are fuzzy because it had started to rain and I was in for a nasty storm on my way to Strathroy…sigh!


Kingston, an Anglican Diocese office, the OGS Conference!

It seems like you never have enough time when you travel.  It was time to head out and drive to Kingston in Frontenac County, to the east of Hastings County.  I would travel through the southern part of Lennox and Addington County and then Frontenac.

The Ontario Genealogical Society was holding their annual conference in Kingston at the St. Lawrence College: Borders and Bridges 2012. The dates were June 1 to 3, 2012. Conferences are a great way to network, learn something new and cruise the vendor tables.

It was time to finish up the Brown side of this research trip and start moving back to the McDonald side.  For more details about my visit to Kingston and the OGS conference go to the blog:  The Man Who Lived Airplanes:


I left Belleville taking Hwy 2 to Tyendinaga, Napanese, Odessa, Westbrook and into Kingston itself. I was a little disappointed because I had hoped to see more of the Bay of Quinte on Hwy 2.  I guess you need to know where to go to see it?

Hello Kingston

I arrived in Kingston about 6 pm so I was focused on checking in to the B&B, getting some dinner and settling in for the night.  The next day would be a busy day.  A visit to the Anglican Diocese office, a visit with a friend and fellow genealogist that I had never met but we had corresponded via email and lastly the beginnings of the OGS conference.

My lodging was in a bed and breakfast called the Briar Patch. http://www.bbcanada.com/8965.html?showpage=1  The next morning I was greeted with a very delicious breakfast by the proprietors and some pleasant conversation.

My appointment with the Archdiocese office was at 9:15 am, so I had to get going. I took Queen Mary’s Street which meshed into Johnson and that took me to downtown Kingston.  Johnson is one way east.

The sign to the office

The Anglican Diocese of Ontario is at 90 Johnson St.  This is their home page:  http://ontario.anglican.ca/wp/  Be advised they change their website a lot and the links get messed up.

This is the Archives page:  http://ontario.anglican.ca/wp/the-anglican-diocese-of-ontario-archives-adoa/

Their hours are Tuesday and Thursday and that would not work for me, so I emailed and the Diocesan Archival Technician responded with a very friendly greeting inviting me to visit on Friday June 1, 2012.

This diocese covers Hastings Co., Lennox & Addington, Frontenac and Leeds & Grenville counties and all the church records for the Anglican churches in those counties to as far back as they can go.

Anglican Diocese, Kingston

Once I identified the building I went in search of parking which was interesting.  I think I circles at least twice before I finally just grabbed a spot a block down and over.  I put my money in the meter.  I was only to get 2 hours.

You enter the building of the diocese offices through their bookstore on Wellington Street and they take you into the hallway and down some stairs to the lower area.

Research Room, Anglican Diocese, Kingston

There was another researcher who was already present.  Lisa greeted us.  She wanted to explain the process of using the index to the both of us at one time.  The index would lead to the church registers. Lisa instructed us to write down the whole entry from the index.  Since there were two of us, we were to take turns using the index and then while one was working on the computer the other would be getting copies made from the register books.  Lisa was the one that made the copies and found the registers.  Since the other person was there first, I revisited the St. Thomas church publication.  I had looked at it at the Quinte Public Library.

My turn came and I started with the deaths of William Brown and his sons who had resided in Hastings Co.  An index entry was something like:  Brown, Philip 79  10 04 1895  286  4S4.  It reads age, death date, page, register.

Lisa pulled the records which were actually photo copies of the registers.  Apparently they are too fragile to handle.

I was very excited I found my 3rd great-grandfather William Brown’s death and burial information:

St. Thomas Anglican Registers, page 313, Register 7B3, Age 87, date of death 20/06/1848.

“Brown Buried: William Brown of Rawdon, who died on the 31st  Ulto, aged Eighty seven years was buried on the 2nd day of June 1848 by me. Present Henry Brown & George Brown, John Green Rector.”  This means he was born 1761 not 1775.  Note:  I think the index is a little off.  They had 87  20/06/1848.  Unless I copied it wrong.

Thomas Brown, the son was also in the records for St. Thomas and died 06/08/1848 which means they died very close to each other.

“Brown buried. Thomas Brown of Rawdon, who, died on the 4th inst. was buried on the 6th day of August 1848 by me. D. Murphy Officiating minister, Present Philip Brown and James Haggerty.”  pg. 319 Register 7B3.

“April 10, 1895 – Wm. Herbert Smythe, Stirling Cemetery, Philip Brown 70, Farmer, old age.”  pg. 286, Register 4s4

My trip to Ontario was now worth it all.  William was actually here from 1830 and lived approximately 18 years in Ontario.  This new information should make it easier to find him in Ireland.   Also we now have a better death date for Thomas.  I have the actual copies of the registers for Philip, Thomas, William Brown.

Unfortunately I only had two hours and it went too quickly.  My parking meter was running out and so I finished up and didn’t get very far with the marriages and didn’t have time for the baptisms.  I did look but couldn’t find a way to cut down the number of Browns.

Fortunately for me the Diocese went to the Ontario Genealogical Conference and brought their index.  So I went in search of the room the following day and waited to talk to the helper.  My turn came a good 30 minutes later and he actually did a searched that Lisa had not shown us.  He was able to narrow down the baptisms for the Browns using George and Esther Brown the parents.  Unfortunately Richard Brown my great-grandfather and son of Esther and George was not listed.  Hmmm…Other Browns were there and will need to be further investigated.

My time was up and I realized I was going to have to return to do more digging.

It was now time to switch the focus of the research back to the McDonald side.  I was meeting a person who I had wanted to meet for years since I found her online and her wonderful compilation of the burials and death registers for the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church Records in Chapeau, Pontiac Co., Quebec. So go here to pick up the rest of the trip in Ontario and Quebec: