Hire a Researcher
NEHGS Research Services
Whether you are just beginning your family history research or have been research for many years, Research Services is her to assist you. Our expert genealogists can assist you with any type of research request, large or small—from breaking down brick walls to creating biographical narratives on your ancestors, to retrieving manuscript materials, to obtaining probate records, to creating custom charts, to helping you complete lineage society applications.
The Research Services team will first match your request up with a genealogist with expertise in the geographic location and time period of your request. We will supply you with a written report, stating where we looked and what we found, citing all sources and providing you with copies of any documents we find that pertain to your ancestors. We summarize our findings and make suggestions for further research.
Ahnentafel Style Report
Ahnentafel is German for Ancestor Table. It is set up in a numeral sequence so it is easy to read. We can add biographical narrative to your ancestors so you see what their lives were like. We cite all of our sources and attach all pertinent and interesting documents. We also add all types of images, such as photographs, paintings, documents, to this report. It reads like a book.
A fan chart is great to have in your hand while reading your research report. It is also aesthetically pleasing to frame and display on a wall in your home as it has your ancestors' names and dates of birth and death. We can create these charts from the information you provide us with or we can research your ancestry and create a chart from our research.
Custom Fan Charts
We can customize a chart for you either using the information that you have gathered or the information from a research request. This particular chart was done in collaboration with the client and he had it printed on canvas so that it can be rolled up and brought to family reunions. They can be as big or as little as you wish. They can contain as much or as little information as you desire such as names, dates, port of arrival, occupation, etc.
We can create a customized chart for you either using the information that you have gathered or the information from a research request. The charts can be as big or as little as you wish. We can have these printed for you so that you can frame them and hang them in your office or home. They can contain as much or as little information as you desire such as names, dates, port of arrival, occupation, etc.
Collaborative Custom Charts
We can create a collaborative custom chart with you either by using the information that you have gathered or the information from a research request. The charts can be as big or as little as you wish. We can have these printed for you so that you can frame them and hang them in your office or home. They can contain as much or as little information as you desire such as names, dates, port of arrival, occupation, etc.
Lineage Society Applications
Do you have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower? Do you have an ancestor who fought in the American Revolutionary War? If so, a nice way to honor that ancestor would be to join a lineage society such as The Mayflower Society, the SAR or the DAR. We can set up a qualification outline showing all proofs for each generation. For each generation, we list out each person's name, birth date, death date, marriage date, and all respective locations. Attached to each page, are the proofs required by the lineage society. We can also fill out the application, with appropriate citations for you. Of the different societies that you can join are The Colonial Dames of America, Winthrop Society, Jamestowne Society, General Society of Colonial Wars, The Order of Founders and Patriots of America, Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War, Sons of Union Confederate Veterans.
From one of our patrons: “I would like to thank you and your staff for all the help you gave me in putting together my DAR application. The application was submitted to National in November and was approved in December and I am now a member. I was told that it was the ‘best application they had received’. Please thank all the staff that worked on it for me. Y’all do an outstanding job up in Boston.” Jo Anne, from SC
Research Services Archive
The Research Services Archive provides patrons and NEHGS staff access to research which has been conducted by the Research Services team. The archive helps to fulfill the Society's mission as it disseminates and makes accessible the histories of families in America and all over the world.
As you can imagine, NEHGS conducts thousands of hours each year of research on hundreds of families across the country. This represents a wealth of scholarly research that could potentially help others conducting similar research.
The Research Services Archive (RSA) contains case reports, copies of research documents, research notes and general correspondence relating to work commissioned from the 1980s to the present. Reports often contain research conducted in primary and secondary sources from the NEHGS library including printed, microtext, and manuscript materials. These materials represent many hours of genealogical research relating to America's families.
Visitors to AmericanAncestors.org can locate research cases through searches in the NEHGS Digital Library Catalog. If the case report has been made available, visitors can order a copy of the research case report from Research Services. This is open to members only for a fee of $60 which is all inclusive of photocopies and postage.
Whatever your genealogical needs, the experts at our library are here to help and will provide one-on-one consultations in person or by telephone. Our genealogists have in-depth research knowledge of many topics, including New England, Canada, New York, the Midwest, Ireland, England, Scotland, Germany, Italy, other European countries, computer resources, royal descents, matrilineal descents, military records, urban genealogy, and Pilgrim ancestry. You can choose to consult with our genealogists in-person at NEHGS on Newbury Street in Boston or by telephone from the comfort of your own home. We select the genealogist you will work with by matching staff expertise with the area you are researching. Consultations may be scheduled for a minimum of thirty minutes and a maximum of two hours. The rates are $30 per half hour for NEHGS members and $40 per half hour for others. Please contact us at least two weeks in advance to schedule your appointment. Complete and submit a consultation order form here.
Materials in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections differ from books and other materials found in the NEHGS Library. In addition to being one-of-a-kind resources, manuscript collections often contain papers, notes, compilations, and other materials and often require consultation with a member of the Manuscript Department as they are examined and photocopied. Because of this, a search of the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections (including requests for photocopies) are subject to the Research for Hire rate structure.
The decision to photocopy materials from any manuscript is made by the Archivist, not the NEHGS Research Services Staff. You can request these materials online. Please note that this service is only available to members. You can check the status of your membership or learn more about becoming a member of the society online.
Copies of Massachusetts Vital Records 1841–1920 can be obtained from NEHGS. Please provide the name(s), year, type of event, volume, and page. A maximum of 3 records may be obtained through each request. Requests can be made online. Copies are made in accordance with copyright law. We can get these records to you within a day or two.
The Photocopy service provides copies of specific pages from printed materials at the NEHGS Library ( excluding manuscript and probate items). Simply provide the book or article title, author, and page number(s) you desire to submit your request. A maximum of 5 sources may be requested at a time. If you do not know the title, author, or call number try searching in our online library catalog. Copies are made in accordance with copyright law. There is a service fee of $25 for members and $35 for non-members and photocopies are .35 a page.
Requests can be made online. Requests are generally completed within 1-2 weeks from receipt.
The “Family Discovery Package” makes a great gift for a loved one, or even for yourself. We will forward a blank chart to you and you can fill in as much information as possible and send it back to us. One of our expert genealogists will work on your ancestry for two hours! You will also receive a free copy of Roots Magic, a genealogy software program, a year-long subscription to our popular magazine, American Ancestors, and two passes to the library. This is valued at $225.
If you find a probate record on our website that you would like a copy of, please send us the court, docket number, year, and name of deceased person. The fee is $57 for members and $77 for non-members. This includes photocopies and postage.
Requests can be made online. Requests are generally completed within 1-3 weeks from receipt.