Double-header Genealogy Day in Ottawa

Saturday, 10 December, sees the final monthly meetings of 2022 for both the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa  (BIFHSGO) and the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, otherwise known as Ontario Ancestors (OBOGSOA OBOGS.)

“Saturday, 10 December 2022 – Join us in person or online!
Join us in person at Knox Presbyterian Church (Lisgar and Elgin) in Geneva Hall. Please use the Garden Entrance on Elgin Street. Limited free street parking is available on Saturdays, and the City Hall Parking Garage is available for $2.00. In addition, within walking distance are two LRT stations – uOttawa (take the footbridge at Somerset) and Parliament. Those attending in-person do not need to register in advance. We will have coffee and festive goodies available!

To join us online, register HERE

9:00 am – 10:00 am: Christmas Social and Show & Tell
We will begin the day with our annual Christmas Social, a time for conversation and exchanges of information with our fellow genealogists. This is the first time we have been able to enjoy our Social in person since 2019, so we are looking forward to this with excitement.
Show & Tell. Do you have a holiday story to share? Perhaps you have an ornament, tradition, or holiday heirloom that has been passed down to you by an ancestor. Or, have you found a way to gift your family history stories to others? This will be an open forum session with opportunity for people both in the room and online to participate… and of course there will be Christmas treats to share.

10:00 am – 11:30 am: Great Moments
Maggie McConkey – what became of you? – Presenter: John McConkey
Born in 1883, Maggie was the illegitimate daughter of John’s great granduncle, George. As a young child she lived with her mother in London. Meanwhile, George returned to his birthplace in Ireland. By the 1911 census, Maggie is living with George in Bangor, Co. Down. She is still in Bangor when George dies in 1917 and is the main beneficiary of his estate. Then the trail goes cold: Did Maggie return to England, or remain in Ireland? Did she re-establish contact with her mother? Did she marry and have children? John describes how these puzzles were solved.
John was born in England. After emigrating to Canada, he worked for Nortel Networks in Ottawa. He has been a member of BIFHSGO since 2006 and served two years as Director of Research and Projects.

The Wright Way – Presenter: Duncan Monkhouse
Upon starting family history, there are always brick walls. One of Duncan’s he inherited from his mother was John Charles Wright. Duncan will explain what the brick wall was and how it was finally broken down.
Duncan worked as an investigator for the federal government. This interest in prying into others’ lives led to his interest in genealogy and searching for record gems in many different archives. He served BIFHSGO as president and Co-Chair Program for the annual conference, and remains on the Board in the position of Past President.

Ella’s Story, The Final Piece: Time and Place – Presenter: Marianne Rasmus
This instalment follows-up on Marianne’s May 2019 presentation about the discovery of the birth mother of Ella Moreland Kerr Rasmus, a Scottish war-bride and the paternal grandmother of Marianne’s husband. She will describe how COVID, the DNA tool WATO (What are the Odds), and the concepts of Time and Place helped identify Ella’s biological father, and – despite several unexpected twists – unlocked the final branch of Ella’s family tree.
Marianne began her family history research in 2008 when expecting the arrival of her first grandchild. She has served on BIFHSGO’s Board, first as Treasurer and currently as Program Director, and also on the BIFHSGO Conference Planning Committee.

You are invited to a Hybrid meeting at 1 pm live in the City of Ottawa Archives, 100 Tallwood Drive (Room 115) and also by Zoom webcast.

Title: The Genealogical Adventures of Lois Long
Speaker: Janet Uren
Lois Long was nearing the end of her long life in June 2017 when she realized that, after 40 years of genealogical work, she had just one ambition unfulfilled – and that was to write a book synthesizing her many discoveries over the years. In the few months remaining before her death, she hired a writer, confided her huge research collection to the care of the Archives of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa and entrusted her executors with the task of supervising the project. When she died in August that year, the work was just beginning. It continued over the next two years and resulted finally in the publication of a major work, over 600 pages long, about one of Ottawa’s earliest rural families. Janet Uren, the writer Lois Long hired in 2017, will tell Lois’s story both as a member of Ottawa’s rural community and as a notable amateur historian.

For those attending in person coffee,tea and cookies will be available at 12:30.

If attending online register in advance at



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