/Haliburton Highlands Genealogy Group offers historical expertise
Gail Leach-Wunker, current chair of Haliburton Highlands Genealogy Group, presented a compelling story about family history she discovered with the help of resources from other members of the group during their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 18. /VIVIAN COLLINGS Staff

Haliburton Highlands Genealogy Group offers historical expertise

By Vivian Collings

If you have an interest in diving into your own personal ancestry and learning about the genealogy of others, there’s a devoted group willing to help.

The Haliburton Highlands Genealogy Group (HHGG) is a group of 91 members who are dedicated to gathering genealogical information about the Haliburton Highlands and about their own family histories.

They piece together the information to create books, manuscripts, and maps about the area and those who resided in it. 

They also help members to trace family history to piece together their past. 

“We try to make each meeting a fun-filled and informative gathering to make it an occasion to socialize with persons who have a common interest in genealogy,” said HHGG vice chair Adele Espina. “New members are encouraged to share their personal research progress, successes and hurdles, and we will attempt to assist them to the best of our ability.”

Gail Leach-Wunker, chair of HHGG, has been a member since 1998 and was the speaker for their October meeting.

“A cousin had told me he had been researching our family and I asked him to send me a copy of his discoveries. He sent me this huge chart with all these names and dates. Coincidentally, around that time, I saw a classified ad in the Minden Times saying that the HHGG would be holding a meeting,” Leach-Wunker said. 

She attended her first meeting to find out techniques to conduct her own research about her family.

“Several members told me how to go about it, and I was hooked. I don’t even think I had a computer at that time. Research meant going to Archives or ordering microfiche or microfilm,” she said.

The group has a resource room at Haliburton County Public Library – Minden Hills Branch and also offers workshops to help others conduct research.

“We offer free public drop-in genealogy workshops on alternate Tuesdays at the Minden and Dysart branches of the Haliburton County Public Library,” Espina said.

The workshops are called “Afternoons with Ancestors” and timing and location can be found on www.haliburtonlibrary.ca/Programs-Events.

Leach-Wunker said being a member of HHGG has been rewarding in many ways.

“​​I have made a number of good friends through the group. I have introduced the group to new people by representing the HHGG at local events such as the Minden Fair, Kinmount Fair and Stanhope Heritage Days,” she said.

Leach-Wunker has also been able to help others with their genealogy journeys and enjoys being the HHGG newsletter editor.

Membership is $12 per year.

“Help with administration and projects is always welcomed but not a requirement. Members can be involved as little or as much as they like,” Espina said.

They host five meetings a year in April, May, June, Sept. and Oct. 

To learn more, visit www.hhgg.ca/ or contact hhggroup@gmail.com.