Major Lectures Released

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Opening Lecture – Jonathan Vance

“Nation Builders You’ve Never Heard Of”

The lecture discusses the life and influence of two individuals whose contributions to the construction of the Canada that we know today were profound, but who are almost entirely unknown today. They deserve better, so we’ll meet these two nation-builders and survey their achievements.

Saturday Plenary – Jonathan Vance

“Who Was the Canadian Soldier of the First World War?”

Jonathan Vance will describe conventional wisdom about the Canadian soldier and discuss how a return to the records of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, now available on-line, is giving us a dramatically different picture of the nation at war. In doing so, Vance will outline some of the hazards facing the researcher who uses these records – whether you’re trying to answer an obscure historical question or fill in some gaps in your family tree.

Banquet – Amy Johnson Crow

“How to Preserve Your Own Story”

We family historians focus a lot on our ancestors. However, we are just as much a part of our families’ histories as they are. Our stories need to be told and preserved. Yes, you have a story! Let’s look at some easy ways we can help future generations know about us, just like we want to know about those who came before.

Closing Lecture – Amy Johnson Crow

“Building a Nation One Family Tree at a Time”

How do the parallels between a country’s history fit into your family’s history?

Living DNA has confirmed as a Platinum Sponsor

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Living DNA is a collaboration of over 100 world-leading scientists, academic researchers and genetic experts from across the globe with the purpose of bringing cutting edge DNA technology to the world.

The team is led by DNA Worldwide Group, a leading DNA testing firm. The company is run by David Nicholson and Hannah Morden who saw an opportunity to show humanity that we are all made up of all of us, dissolving the concept of race. It was launched in 2016 after two years of intensive development but its parent company DNA Worldwide Group has been operating since 2004.

Learn more about Living DNA by visiting the website


Ken Holden

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I am an artist and family historian from St. Catharines Ontario currently living in Hamilton.

Mags Gaulden

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Mags is a Professional Genealogist specializing in Genetic Genealogy as a founder of Grandma’s Genes in Ottawa. Growing up in a family full of family historians, MagMags Gaulden, BA, APGs was primed to become a Genealogist. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree from Columbia College, she began to work her own Genealogy as a hobby. This 16 year (30 year including breaks) hobby eventually lead her to a Leader role with WikiTree where she currently leads the The DNA Project, The US Southern Colonies Project, The United Empire Loyalist Project, The First Peoples Project (Indigenous and aboriginal peoples worldwide) and the British Home Children Project. She also leads the Templeton and McElmoyle One Name Studies and the McElmoyle DNA Project.

Ron Dale

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After graduating with a degree in history from the University of Guelph, Ron Dale began a 38 year long career with Parks Canada, working in the Regional Office as a planner and historian, and at Fort Wellington National Historic Site. From 1992 to 2007, Ron managed Niagara National Historic Sites including Fort George, Butlers Barracks, Fort Mississauga, Navy Island, Navy Hall, the Commons and Brock’s Monument. In 2007, he took on the role of National Project Manager for the War of 1812 Bicentennial, planning federal commemorations of that conflict. On retiring from Parks Canada in 2013, Ron worked for several months for the Department of Canadian Heritage to research the names of Canada’s war dead for inclusion of a new War of 1812 Book of Remembrance that will be installed in the Memorial Chamber of the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill. He is the author of books on the history of Niagara-on-the-Lake, the War of 1812 and the French and Indian War. Ron is on the Board of the Friends of Fort George and of the Niagara Historical Society, a member of the Honourable Company of the Lincoln and Welland Regiment and a member of the Royal Niagara Military Institute.

Sara Chatfield

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Sara Chatfield is a lover of history and enthusiastic about unraveling family history puzzles. She has worked at Library and Archives Canada for 15 years, most of that time spent with the Genealogy team answering questions, giving tours, recording podcasts, wading through family folklore and giving advice at the Genealogy and Family History Desk.