Canadian genealogist J. Brian Gilchrist passes away

J Brian GilchristJ. Brian Gilchrist, one of Canada’s most knowledgeable genealogists, author, and speaker, passed away this morning in Brampton, Ontario, after spending several weeks in hospital. He had been scheduled to speak this weekend at the Ontario Genealogical Society conference.

Mr. Gilchrist was a fourth generation Torontonian and ninth generation Canadian. He had been a member of the Ontario Genealogical Society since 1971 and had founded several of its branches. He was also a member of the Ontario Historical Society, the Association of Canadian Archivists, a founding and charter member of the International Society for British Genealogy and Family History, a founder, charter member and director of the Board of The Friends of The Archives of Ontario, and was the Reference Archivist at the Region of Peel Archives in Brampton, Ontario.

Mr. Gilchrist was the author of many publications, including Genealogy and Local History to 1900 and Index to Canadian Parliamentary Divorces, 1867-1930.

His passing is a great loss for his family, friends, and the genealogy community.


About Gail Dever

Gail Dever is a Montreal-based genealogist and blogger and a webmaster for the British Isles Family History Society of Greater Ottawa.
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17 Responses to Canadian genealogist J. Brian Gilchrist passes away

  1. mdianerogers says:

    I am so sorry to see this, Gail. Brian was a Canadian genealogy and history research star. He will be long missed.

  2. Roger Harris says:

    My friend…..and wife’s cousin! No more tea over his favourite lemon merenge pie! God bless you buddy!

  3. Brian was a friend and colleague for several years. He will be missed by many. We are fortunate to have crossed paths with him. He leaves a wonderful legacy of genealogical research. My condolences to his family and many friends and colleagues.

  4. Brian had expressed interest in our Canadian Gravemarker Gallery and we agreed to get together to discuss our project in more detail. What a very nice man. I enjoyed our brief encounter and will remember him as a keen genealogist and a kind and caring soul.

  5. Gary Bagley says:

    Brian and I first met at the 1978 COGS conference in Toronto, where he was one of the speakers. He was always friendly and gregarious, and eager to help and share his knowledge. He will be sorely missed.

  6. Barbara T. says:

    Thanks, Gail. I credit Brian with giving me a solid foundation in genealogy when I first got involved with family research. I took evening classes with him back in ’83/’84 and learned how to do things “the right way” right from the start. He was always great fun and helped many of us get established as family historians. He was involved in genealogy in so many ways and will be greatly missed.

  7. Susan Gingras Calcagni says:

    A very sad day and loss for Brian’s family and friends, along with many genealogist who were blessed by his presence, knowledge and good will. Long will his legacy be remembered.

  8. Michelle Purcell says:

    A sad day for Canadian Archivists and Genealogists everywhere. As a Genealogist and Archivist, I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

  9. Nick Moreau says:

    Visitation: Turner and Porter Yorke Chapel, 2357 Bloor Street West
    Sunday, May 4, 4 to 8 pm

    Funeral: The Cathedral Church of St. James, 65 Church Street
    Monday, May 5, 11 am

  10. Deborah Glover says:

    I am saddened by the news of Brian’s passing. He contribution and research of Ontario genealogy was tireless. Condolences to his family and the community of the OGS.

  11. Doreen Hudson says:

    I have just found out about Brians death. He is a distant relative of mine and I will miss him as he gave me wonderful help with my McClure research. May he find peace now.

  12. Nancy Hamilton says:

    I just found this today, I too am related to Brian. He was responsible for uniting a lot of McClures throughout the world, and for putting together a massive book of research on them. Rest in peace, Brian.

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