About NEHGS

The nation's founding resource for family history research

Founded in 1845, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is America’s leading resource for family history research. Although our name says New England, we provide expertise and research in nearly all aspects of family history, from seventeenth-century colonial New England through twentieth-first-century immigration research.

We maintain an award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org, as the online repository for more than 400 million searchable names covering New England, New York, and beyond.

NEHGS is a non-profit, member organization that is open to the public. Learn more about how you can support NEHGS. Both members and non-members are invited to visit our 8-story library and archive located at 99–101 Newbury Street in Boston. Anyone can become a member.

While visiting our library, you’ll have access to a wealth of resources, including:

  • Our staff of genealogists, who are ready to help you with your research requests and questions
  • Access to more than 200,000 published genealogies, biographies, local histories, vital records, maps, and other printed materials. Search our full Library Catalog.
  • Access to many online databases with searchable collections of vital records, census records, newspapers, military records, maps, and more from countries around the world.
  • Access to thousands of microfilm reels, including vital, land, probate, and church records, as well as other primary resources for New England, eastern Canada, Portugal, Ireland, and more.
  • Access to our special collections, which include more than 28 million original artifacts, manuscripts, family papers, records, photographs, diaries, and other items that document more than four hundred years of family and local history.

Our experts and their research have appeared in many major regional and national news outlets including CNN, ABC News, NBC News, Fox News, The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald, The New York Times, BBC News, NPR, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and many other press and media outlets. We have also been featured in the popular television programs, Who Do You Think You Are?, FindingYour Roots with Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and History Detectives.

If you’re new to genealogy, please visit our learning center to get started with your research today. You can also join us for any number of lectures and programs, both onsite in our Boston headquarters or in other locations nationally. If you have any research questions, you can email our staff via our “Ask A Genealogist” section.

NEHGS also publishes a number of books each year under our publishing imprints, NEHGS Books and Newbury Street Press.

Learn more about the history of NEHGS.