Bruce County Genealogical Society - Events, Projects, Reunions
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Serving Bruce County Families --past and present

Bruce County Genealogical Society

Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0

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Projects & Events

Projects & Events

On this page you will find information about ongoing  projects, planned reunions and upcoming events. If you have something related to Bruce County genealogy or local history that you would like to see listed on this page, send the information to us at

Upcoming Events


Past Events

On Monday July 8th, 2013 about 40 members and friends of the Bruce County Genealogical Society and the Bruce County Historical Society enjoyed their annual Authorís Night. Chaired by BCGS President Doug Lennox, it was thoroughly enjoyed by all. Ojibway Elder Wilmer F. Nadjiwon spoke about his memoir Not Wolf, Nor Dog, artist Paul Duff talked about his autobiography My Life, My Art, and Bob Day discussed his book Shores of Heaven, the Birth of Bruce Peninsula National Parks. All 3 authors call Bruce County home and we were very privileged to have them at our event.

Local Authors Night 2013

On Monday, June 13, 2011 for our annual Forgotten Lives Bus Tour we visited German Cemeteries in Carrick and Brant Townships.

St. Ignatius Cemetery, Bruce County German cemetery, Bruce County German grave marker, Bruce County

Much of the settlement in Bruce County was composed of immigrants from the British Isles. There are a few pockets however, of German settlements in South Eastern Bruce County, as well as in Port Elgin. We can still find evidence of this in places like Deemerton named for the Diemert family who settled in that area of Carrick Township and in the churches and cemeteries of Carrick and Brant Townships.

The Forgotten Lives cemetery tour will be visiting some of the churches and cemeteries the German immigrants built and cared for over the generations. We will learn about the types of monuments used to mark graves, including the use of iron instead of stone.

The tour starts at the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre and heads to Immaculate Conception Church in Formosa. If you have ever driven by this impressive looking monument to the Catholic faith, this is a wonderful opportunity to pay respects to those who built it and to have a look inside. Interesting fact: the limestone church was built around the original log church. Once the new church was enclosed, the log church was dismantled and removed through the doors.

The next stops will include St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church in Deemerton where we will learn about a nunnery that was also located there, and St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Cemetery in Carlsruhe. Lastly, the tour will head into Brant Township to visit the Lutheran Cemeteries of the Elmwood Circuit.

At each cemetery, guides will share family stories of their ancestors, talk about different monuments, the carvings on the tombstones, people of special interest, and more.


Ontario Trillium Foundation grant
Ontario Trillium Foundation Makes a $19,000 Grant to the Bruce County Genealogical Society

In July 2005, the Bruce County Genealogical Society (BCGS), in collaboration with the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre (BCM&CC), received a $19,000 grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). The OTF made their formal cheque presentation to the BCGS on the night of the BCM&CC grand opening in September 2005. Taking part in this presentation were Grey-Bruce-Owen Sound MP Larry Miller, Huron Bruce MP Paul Steckle, Huron Bruce MPP Carol Mitchell, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Murdoch, OTF representative Nelson Robertson, Bruce County Warden Mark Kraemer, BCGS vice-president Audrey Underwood and BCM&CC staff members Ann-Marie Collins and David Sharron.

The primary objective of this initiative is to improve access to the historical information on microfilms that are housed in the BCM&CC. With the requested funds, the BCGS purchased a new microfilm reader / printer / scanner and two microfilm storage cabinets. This equipment is housed in the Reading Room of the BCM&CC. Genealogists, historians, students, and many others will benefit directly from this grant. The BCM&CC has about 875 rolls of microfilm and 500 sheets of microfiche available to the public. These records include 22 local newspapers spanning from 1848 to 1998, census records from 1841 to 1901, Ontario vital statistics (births, deaths and marriages) from 1869 to 1933, and various other records from genealogical societies, women's organizations, cemeteries, and personal papers. Without the proper equipment to store and view these important records, the information would be inaccessible.

The Ontario Trillium Foundation is a catalyst that enables Ontarians to work together to enhance the quality of life in their communities. They believe that communities across Ontario are rich in talent, creativity and drive, and their grants stimulate communities to build on these assets. To learn more about the Ontario Trillium Foundation, visit their website -


150th Anniversary of the First Saugeen Township Council Meeting

In January, 1854, the first election in Saugeen Township, (the 2nd township to be created) was held at Belcher's Tavern in Southampton, then called Saugeen.

On January 16, 1854 the first Council meeting was held at Mr. Cathay's home in Southampton. A re-enactment of that first meeting was held on Jan 16, 2004, the 150th anniversary of that first meeting, in the same home.

A committee of local people is now exploring the people who were involved in that first council. They are: John Valentine, Alex McNabb, John Smith, James Calder and Thomas Turner. This committee would like a picture and a biographical sketch of each of these men. Are there descendants or others out there who could give us family history, photos, and other particulars of these our first administrators of a community known as Saugeen Township, now known as Saugeen Shores?

Please contact Audrey at

Who remembers Dunblane ??

Dunblane Presbyterian Church

The very tiny hamlet of Dunblane is situated at the junction of the townships of Saugeen, Arran & Elderslie, Bruce County, with the Snake Creek flowing through its clay hills. This was an interesting little community during the latter half of the 1800s, and I am trying to do a story of its people. Stories that have not already been in print are the exciting ones. Do YOU have any stories or knowledge of the families therein? The Lovell's Canadian Dominion Directory of 1871 lists these families as getting their mail at the Post Office there: Armstrong, Archibald, farmer; Bryce, Thomas, farmer; Craig, James, farmer; Craig, Timothy, farmer; Dunlop, William, farmer; Fraser, Donald, farmer; Fraser, John, postmaster; Jones, Henry, farmer; Jones, Mrs. E., storekeeper; Kelly, Peter, farmer; McKechnie, John, millright; Monro, Duncan, sawyer; Rowand, James, J.P., reeve, farmer; Scott, Robert, farmer; Scott, William, farmer; Stark, James, grist and saw mill; Talford, William, blacksmith; Thomas, G.W., veterinary surgeon; Wallace, David, farmer; Wallace, John, farmer; Wilson, --, weaver.

This is an on-going project. Any family histories or tales of the area would be most welcome. Please contact Audrey Underwood, by e-mail at

Bruce County's Townships (before  1998 amalgamations)

Albemarle Township
Colpoy's Bay United Church, Colpoy's Bay, Albemarle Township, Bruce County

Amabel Township
Wiarton, Amabel Township, Bruce County

Arran Township
Christ Church Anglican Cemetery Record, Tara, Arran Township, Bruce County

Brant Township
Walkerton town clock, Walkerton, Brant Township, Bruce County

Bruce Township
Underwood United Church, Underwood, Bruce Township, Bruce County

Carrick Township
Mildmay church, Mildmay, Carrick Township, Bruce County

Culross Township
Salem United Church, Culross Township, Bruce County

Eastnor Township
Barrow Bay, Eastnor Township, Bruce County

Elderslie Township
Memorial plaque, hamlet of Williscroft, Elderslie Township, Bruce County

Greenock Township
Plaque, village of Pinkerton, Greenock Township, Bruce County

Huron Township
Huron Township Hall, Ripley, Huron Township, Bruce County

Kincardine Township
Mural, village of Tiverton, Kincardine Township, Bruce County

Kinloss Township
South Kinloss Presbyterian Church

Lindsay Township
War Memorial, Lindsay Township, Bruce County

Saugeen Township
Dunblane Presbyterian Church, Saugeen Township, Bruce County

St. Edmunds Township

Lighthouse, Tobermory, St. Edmunds Township, Bruce County
Bruce County Genealogical Society
PO Box 1083, Port Elgin, Ontario, Canada N0H 2C0
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