Grandma(s) On Tour!

Not on a grand scale, but certainly a day trip in our own city. Marc (yes he is a Grandma too) and I headed out at 9am to meet and talk with Librarians and Archivists in Ottawa. A little too early as the first one on our list didn’t open until ten. We ended up sipping our Bridgehead coffees, chatting and watching the neighborhood kids play near the door of the Rosemont Branch (18 Rosemount Ave.) of the OPL (Ottawa Public Library). Amazing how a bike stand can turn into a jungle gym for anyone 3 or younger! We introduced ourselves to the Librarians and chatted briefly with them. This is not one of the OPL designated Genealogy Centers, but still has local information and of course access to online Genealogy programs like WikiTree, Ancestry and others.

Our second stop was at the downtown, Main Library (120 Metcalfe St.) Branch. We met with a Genealogy Specialist and member of the OPL Genealogy Team. She gave us a tour of the Ottawa Room and discussed the Library’s Genealogical services. They have gone to a team approach to Genealogy to meet the needs of increased demand and interest in Genealogy. Currently they have several Genealogical Service Center’s around the city located at Library Branches. You can book an appointment with a Genealogy Specialists to have a one-one consultation here: Library’s Genealogical Services Website.

At the Nepean Centrepointe OPL Branch (101 Centrepointe Dr.) we met with another of the OPL Genealogy Specialists and saw one of the Genealogy Centers. We discussed the changes the library has undertaken to take this particular branch from a holding of one row of shelves to a well organized Genealogical area within the library. Obvious that OPL is taking Genealogy seriously and making research and help “available”. Nepean Centrepointe OPL Website

Location of the other OPL Genealogy Centers:

Beaverbrook, 2500 Campeau, Beaverbrook OPL Website
Cumberland, 1599 Tenth Line, Cumberland OPL Website
Greenboro, 363 Lorry Greenburg, Greenboro OPL Website

The Library Archives Canada (395 Wellington Street), introduced us to a short but needed security check and the issuance of a Researcher Card, identifying us and allowing access on visits to LAC for the next two years. We also had to check our bags into a locker, though we could bring our computer and notebooks up. The Archivist we spoke to explained upcoming changes to the Genealogy Room, was friendly and helpful to us and busy as well, helping others. LAC Website.

Next was a stop at the Ottawa City Archives, James K. Bartleman Centre (100 Tallwood Dr.). This is a beautiful new LEED Gold (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building where local meetings are held.  The OGS (Ottawa Branch Ontario Genealogical Society), BIFHSGO (British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa) and other group meetings are held. We talked to two City Archivists about their collections and the building. Ottawa City Archive Website

Ottawa Stake Family History Center

Finding the LDS Ottawa Stake Family History Center (1017 Prince of Wales Drive) was a bit of a surprise.  Marc and I have driven past it, cycled past it and lived near it for years. We were introduced to several of the Volunteers who people the center Tuesday through Saturday at various times. Despite the increase in the Family Search online offerings, this center is well suited to providing research opportunities. It is equipped with a room full of Microfilm machines, another with computers, and access to local and international information. Ottawa Ontario Stake Family History Center Website.

The theme of many of our discussions today seemed to be focused around Cluster Genealogy. Cluster Genealogy is – “a research technique employed by genealogists to learn more about an ancestor by examining records left by the ancestor’s cluster. A person’s cluster consists of the extended family, friends, neighbors, and other associates such as business partners. Researching the lives of an ancestor’s cluster leads to a more complete and more accurate picture of the ancestor’s life.” – WikiPedia

Which is, interestingly enough, the title of another blog post I have on the go. Kismet, I think. Happy Roots Digging!