We have lost J. Brian Gilchrist, a devoted and knowledgeable genealogist and reference archivist. Brian worked at the Peel Art Gallery, Museum, and Archives for the past eleven years. There he was well-liked and respected, and known for his infectious laugh, easy going manner, and encyclopædic knowledge of the history of Peel. He shared a deep connection with the documentary heritage of the Region, serving as a founding member of the ‘Peel Archival Committee’, a group instrumental in the establishment of the Region’s archival programme in 1977.
Brian was a sought-after author and speaker on the subjects of genealogy, local history, and heritage. He was a founding member of the Halton-Peel branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society forty years ago, a founder or member of many other OGS branches, and a founder, charter member and director of the Board of The Friends of The Archives of Ontario.
He made appearances on “Bloodlines” (History Television), “More to Life” (TVO), “Steven and Chris” (CBC), and “DNTO” (CBC Radio), was a researcher for “Who Do You Think You Are” (CBC), and wrote a column for The Toronto Star (“Tracing Your Roots,” 1979-1981). He also published a wide variety of material, including: An inventory of Ontario newspapers, 1793-1986, Genealogical research in Ontario, and The “Clan” McClure: Historical Highlights.
In February 2013 Mr Gilchrist was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for his ‘contributions to genealogy and local heritage, having inspired people not only in Canada, but around the world.’
He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered – a friend, respected colleague, knowledgeable and passionate ‘history guy’, dedicated researcher, skilled archivist, renowned genealogist and a true heritage champion.
Courtesy of PAMA and Heritage Mississauga