Branch Information


The goals of the Wellington County Branch of Ontario Ancestors are:

  • to encourage, bring together, inform, and assist those interested in the pursuit of family history.
  • to share the expertise of volunteer members with others.
  • to promote family history through meetings, educational programs, in-services, newsletters, books, and other programs.
  • to encourage membership in the Wellington County Branch and Ontario Ancestors.


  • to promote, encourage and foster family history research.
  • to collect and preserve information related to family history.
  • to encourage and assist individuals in the ethical principles, research methods, and effective techniques of family history research.
  • to publish and distribute helpful materials to promote family history.
  • to maintain a branch library to support those researching family history in Wellington County.
  • to encourage and provide opportunities for family history researchers to participate in professional activities.
  • to raise funds and to accept monies through donations, gifts, et cetera to support the goals and objectives of the branch.
  • to cooperate with and encourage organizations within the branch’s geographical area which have a shared interest in family history.


Our meetings are held the fourth Tuesday of each month, except for July, August, December, and January, when we do not hold meetings. Meetings begin with a mix and mingle and refreshments at 6:45 pm followed at 7:15 by the presentation. We meet in the Reading Room at the Wellington County Museum & Archives, Aboyne, for the months of April, May, September, and October.  For the months of November, January, February, and March, we meet in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 190 Marksam Road, Guelph, ON  N1H 8G9.  For the month of June, the meeting usually involves traveling and the opportunity for a tour of facilities of interest to genealogists.  Check this website or our Facebook Page, for the latest updates.

Wellington County Branch Family History Collection

The Wellington County Branch family history collection is located in the Guelph Public Library (GPL) at 100 Norfolk Street, Guelph, Ontario and is available for research during normal library hours. Please consult the Guelph Public Library website for operating hours. You will find our branch collection located in the northwest corner of the main floor, adjacent to the library’s family history section.  See the Branch Family History Collection resource page for more information.


Traces & Tracks is the newsletter of the Wellington County Branch of OGS. You will find helpful tips and articles on researching, websites, name indexes, reviews of new materials being added to the Branch Library (located within the Guelph Public Library), and much more. Articles that will assist others in their pursuit of family history and genealogy are most welcome and will be published as space permits.  They should be submitted as an attached WORD or EXCEL document, or as an email and sent to [email protected].  Research requests for information about a family one is researching will be published space permitting.  Full instructions for submitting a Research request is found under the ‘Research’ tab on our website.  All members receive the newsletter electronically (attached to an email).  The current issue and all back issues are available in the ‘Member’s Corner” section of our website.

Member’s Corner Section

This part of the website is hosted on the Ontario Ancestors’ server and includes:

  • Current and past issues of our newsletter Traces & Tracks
  • Branch Notes – newsletter of the former Wellington-Waterloo Branch (1972-1992) including the associated name and subject indexes
  • Searchable Newspaper Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes
  • Media Meeting Centre with presentations, summaries and handouts from our monthly meetings and special presentations
  • Surname Research Index – a listing of the surnames being researched by our members (coming soon)
  • DNA-Special Interest Group information and our special DNA-SIG Forum
  • Getting Started on Your Family History: A Case Study – a book by William (Bill) G. McKinnie

To access this information be sure to login at the bottom of the home page using your Ontario Ancestor’s log-in information (email address and password).

Special Projects

The Branch and Branch members undertake, from time to time, projects to index, record and preserve historical documents from a variety of sources, as well as author books and articles to assist researchers in Wellington County. The Branch is willing and has participated in heritage events and local celebrations in many of the communities within and beyond our boundaries by setting up and manning a display. As well, we will supply speakers for groups or organizations in Wellington County who are interested in genealogy.

An ongoing project of the Branch is that of photographing and transcribing Honour Rolls and tablets in churches, schools, community centres, arenas, etc. throughout Wellington County. Many of these items are disappearing and/or being tucked away and forgotten.  If you know where such an item exists, please let us know, or better still, photograph it and forward your photo or .jpg image to us along with details as to where it is located.

Some projects from the past included the recording of the monumental inscriptions of all of the cemeteries in Wellington County in the early 1980’s. Since then numerous cemetery transcriptions in Wellington County have been updated. Check out our ‘Publications’ tab for a current listing.

Branch members have also been active in developing Birth/Marriage/Death indexes from the various Wellington County newspapers. The earliest issues are from the 1840’s. This project is continuing and we are currently transferring the indexes to an electronic database that is searchable in the ‘Members Only’ section.

The 1871 Heads of Household Census Index was also a joint project of OGS and its branches. Wellington County Branch participated in the indexing of the County Census for that year.

Our project for Canada’s 150th Birthday is to compile a binder of photographs our ancestors will thank us for in 150 years.  We hope to receive at least 150 photos – one for each year of Canada’s birthday.

Photographs our ancestors will thank us for in 150 years

Thanks to all our ancestors for taking the many photos of families,  grandparents, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, farms, pets, and genealogical points of interest.  When I look back and see the clothes they wore and how serious they looked, I wonder….what were they thinking about?  Today we ask them to say “cheese”, hoping to get a smile.  It’s remarkable that so many photos have survived, considering where and how they were stored.  I hope you are storing your photos properly.

Our project is to do the same thing for our future families, and as individuals, to take photos of our families, pets, houses, local buildings, businesses, farms, landscapes, cottages or anything you think would be of interest in the future.  Maybe you can think back to old photos you took and compare them to what it looks like today.  We are looking for at least 150 photos, one for each year, to celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday.  In submitting photo(s), you are granting Wellington County Branch OGS permission to include your photo(s) in the Branch newsletter Traces & Tracks, and then archive it in a binder that will become part of the Branch Library collection and made available to family historians for personal use only.

In submitting photographs, please do not use glue, or scotch tape.  Photos should be affixed to archival quality paper with proper photo corner mounts and a full description and/or details of the subject(s) listed below.  Also include the photographer’s name as well as the date the photo was taken.  If you must write on the back of a photograph, please do so only in pencil and only on the very edge of the photo.

In submitting digital images, we ask that you add a Title to the file using the Details tab on the photo.  To do this, place your cursor over the file image, and right click.  This opens a dropdown menu and you need to click on ‘Properties’, then select the tab ‘Details’.  You can now click ‘Title’ and enter the detail(s) on the subject of your photo.  You can click ‘Comments’ and add additional information.  You also need to click ‘Copyright’ and enter your name and the date your photo was taken.  Once you close the window those details are saved and go wherever the photo goes.

On behalf of the Wellington County Branch, I invite you to dust off your camera, polish the lens, and let’s celebrate Canada’s 150 Birthday by taking and submitting photographs the future generation will appreciate.  Photographs can be brought to one of our branch meetings, or mailed to:  Wellington County Branch OGS, P.O. Box 1211, Guelph, ON  N1H 6N6.  Digital images can be brought to meetings as well, or emailed to [email protected].

 Jim Deverell, photographer
Wellington County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society 

Branch Council

The Branch is run by a Council composed of volunteers who are members of Ontario Ancestors and the Wellington County Branch.  The Council holds approximately ten meetings a year, currently the second Saturday morning of each month, to take care of branch business and plan upcoming meetings.

Listed below is our current Council, along with their email addresses.  If you wish to direct your email to a specific Council member, please do so.  In this age of electronic communications, physical proximity to Wellington County is not a necessity for a number of our positions.  For example, our Membership Secretary lives in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.   If you are interested in volunteering, please email us at [email protected] and let us know what your interests are.  Any of the positions listed below can use additional members to work alongside the volunteer either in a learning capacity, and/or as an assistant.

Chair Jan Salsberg [email protected]
Vice-Chair Sharie Aspden [email protected]
Past Chair Jacqueline Norris [email protected]
Secretary Shirley Hutton [email protected]
Treasurer Lana Reece [email protected]
Branch Webmaster Graham Burt [email protected]
Library Coordinator Jan Salsberg [email protected]
Members-at-large Judith Hayman [email protected] (vacant)

wellingtonmemberatlarge2 (Judith)

Membership Beverly Hunter [email protected]
Newsletter Editor Joan Maynard [email protected]
Photographer Earl Mead [email protected]
Program Julia Loncke [email protected]
Project Coordinator Phyllis Carnochan [email protected]
Publications & Sales Sharie Aspden [email protected]
Publicity Julia Loncke [email protected]
Research/Queries Earl Mead [email protected]

If you wish further information on any of these positions, you will find the Position Descriptions available in the Members Only section.  We freely volunteer our time to help the Wellington County Branch succeed in its goals, and, if the truth be told, discussion at Council meetings often helps us further our research.  Please consider joining our team.