In 2008 the Sault Ste. Marie and District Branch OGS celebrates twenty five years of existence. It had its beginning in 1977 following an evening course given at Sault College by Norman Ouellette. A local group was organised under the name of Algoma Genealogical Society. Its purpose was to further genealogical knowledge and maintains interest in genealogical activities among its members. Its inaugural meeting was held on May 11, 1977. Norman Ouellette, Andrew LaHaye, Bill Britnell, Cheryle Elo and Charlotte Haldenby comprised the first executive.
In 1982 an application was made to the Ontario Genealogical Society, commonly known as OGS, to become a branch of that body. The application was approved and in March 1983 the Sault Ste. Marie and District Branch OGS was born. This brought a more formalised structure and gave the organisation a higher profile resulting in queries and sales from all over North America and the world.
Over the years numerous projects have been undertaken by branch members at both the local level and under the direction of OGS.
Beginning in December 1980 volunteers were enlisted to begin work on the long-term project of indexing birth, marriage and death notices from the Sault Star. To date those from 1901 to 1925 have been completed. Another local project has been the indexing of census returns for Algoma District. Government funding helped in the transcribing and computerising of census indexes for Algoma for 1861, 1881 and 1891. Individual members have also prepared indexes for various sources.
OGS projects undertaken by the local group include the following: now completed transcription of Heads of Families from the 1871 census, the recording of all cemetery stones in the district of Algoma which is on-going, and the Places of Worship project which is as yet in its infancy.
To pay for the publishing of our indexes we have had to resort to raffles, book and yard sales over the years, although for the past few years we have confined our efforts to a yearly used-book sale which together with the sale of our publications has kept us solvent.
As is evident from the above projects and commitment, members of the Sault Ste. Marie and District Branch OGS are interested not only in tracing their own families but in aiding anyone interested in family and local history.