Events and Programs

NEHGS events in and around Boston

Learn with NEHGS experts and partner organizations at dozens of lectures, seminars, workshops, and other events, offered each year at the NEHGS research library and in the greater Boston area. Recent seminar topics have included Irish research, digital preservation, identifying family photographs, organizing your family history, writing and publishing your family history, and many more.

| October | November |

October

October 5 - Imperiled Privilege: The Passionate Women of Boston’s Colonial Elite Who Courted (and Sometimes Met with) Disaster
with D. Brenton Simons
in association with the Partnership of Historic Bostons
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

Award-winning historian Brenton Simons reveals a host of little-known cases of misguided dalliances, infidelities, divorces, illegitimate offspring, lewd carriage, misbehavior, suicide, and even witchcraft, among women in the leading families of early Boston, including the Bradstreets, Dudleys, and Winthrops. Simons, who is President and CEO of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (AmericanAncestors.org), is the author of two histories of Boston: Witches, Rakes, and Rogues and Boston Beheld: Antique Town & Country Views, and is currently preparing a third volume in this Boston trilogy. He is an Advisory Board Member of the Partnership of the Historic Bostons. This event is at capacity. Please add your name to our waiting list.

October 7 - If These Walls Could Talk: Researching the History of a Home
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by Meaghan E. H. Siekman
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
noon–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

Behind the walls of most New England homes lies a story waiting to be discovered. Join NEHGS Senior Researcher and former curator of the Fairbanks House, Meaghan E. H. Siekman, to learn how to reveal the history of a home using material culture and written records. She will use case studies to demonstrate how various research strategies, available sources, and physical evidence combine to reconstruct the past of the structure and its inhabitants. Please register.

October 8 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, and records—and expert staff to help you navigate it all—NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

October 19 - The Gallows Hill Project: Locating the Site Where Salem "Witches" were Hanged
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

After centuries of conflicting beliefs and more recent Internet speculation, a team of scholars has verified the spot where nineteen innocent people were hanged during the 1692 Salem witch trials. The site is Proctor’s Ledge—an area bounded by Proctor and Pope Streets in Salem. Witch trial experts and Gallows Hill Project team members, Marilynne Roach and Emerson Baker, will explain how they used trial papers, eyewitness accounts, maps from different time periods, oral tradition, and new technologies to confirm the site. They will also discuss the long history of efforts to locate and memorialize the site, as well as the current work by the City of Salem to properly maintain and mark Proctor’s Ledge. Please register.

October 22 - DNA Day: Everything you need to know about genetic testing for genealogy
Presented by American Ancestors and AncestryDNA
DCU Center Worcester, MA
9:00 AM - 4:30 PM Cost: $75 Seminar & Lunch; $50 Seminar Only

DNA tests can break down genealogical brick walls, connect distant cousins, unlock mysteries, and even reveal long kept family secrets. But accurately deciphering results is not without its challenges. Join experts from American Ancestors and AncestryDNA for a full-day seminar on how to interpret DNA findings and apply that knowledge to your own family history research! Special guest Bill Griffeth, co-anchor of Closing Bell on CNBC and author of the new book The Stranger in My Genes will discuss how his own genetic findings altered his sense of identity and his family tree.

Beyond lectures you will have the opportunity to chat with genealogists and DNA experts, enter to win door prizes, browse select publications, attend website demonstrations, take advantage of special discounts, and enjoy meeting other family historians. Bill Griffeth will be available to sign copies of The Stranger in My Genes. Register today!

October 22 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, and records—and expert staff to help you navigate it all—NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

October 22 - NEHGS Art & Architecture Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
2:00 PM–3:00 PM Cost: FREE

NEHGS has been collecting unique items of Americana and fine art since its founding in 1845. Learn the story behind items that illustrate life in early America. Attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

October 26 - Book Event: The Irish in New England
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

The Irish in New England contains essays on a variety of topics from the 18th to the 20th century. First presented at the 2012 Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife, essay topics include Irish soldiers at the Boston Massacre, Scotch-Irish divisions in New Hampshire at the American Revolution, Irish laborer unrest in building an 1830s Massachusetts railroad, Irish-American folklore recorded by the WPA, and Irish craftsman and artists in early Boston. Join contributor and NEHGS Councilor Donald Friary for an illustrated talk on out-migration from New Brunswick to the “Boston States.” Other contributors will make brief comments on their research and answer questions from the audience. Book sale and signing to follow. This is a great opportunity to learn of recent scholarship on the Irish presence in New England from the colonial period to the present! Registration encouraged.

October 29 - Heraldry in America
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:30 AM–3:30 PM Cost: $35

Discover the history of heraldry in America from colonial times to present day. Join esteemed representatives from the American Heraldry Society, Académie Internationale d'Héraldique, and the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society for a full-day seminar. An exhibit of heraldic items from NEHGS special collections will also be on display. Register today!

November

November 4 - Become a FamilySearch.org Power User
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by Alice Kane
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
noon–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

FamilySearch.org is a free website that offers billions of searchable and browsable records. Learn how to make the most out of this important resource with Library Patron Services and Consultations Manager Alice Kane. She will go over the basics of searching, browsing, and navigating the website, plus provide advanced search tips and techniques. Please register.

November 5 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, and records—and expert staff to help you navigate it all—NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

November 10 - Game of Queens: The Women Who Made 16th-Century Europe
in partnership with the Royal Oak Foundation
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: $40 non-members; use code 16FNEHGS to receive $10 off

During the 16th century, large swathes of Europe were under the firm hand of a reigning queen or a female regent. From Isabella of Castile to her daughter Katherine of Aragon and granddaughter Mary Tudor; from Louise of Savoy to her daughter Marguerite of Navarre; from Anne Boleyn to her daughter Elizabeth Tudor—this period was marked by an explosion of female rule scarcely equaled even today. Author Sarah Gristwood’s lecture will weave together the stories of familiar figures with those of lesser-known women in a striking portrayal of one of the most dramatic periods in European history. Epic in scale, this game of queens is a remarkable tale of skill and ingenuity and the challenges faced by women in power–many of which still hold relevant today. Register with the Royal Oak Foundation.

November 12 - General Lafayette’s Farewell Tour
in partnership with the Massachusetts Lafayette Society
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
2:00 PM–3:30 PM Cost: FREE

Between August 1824 and September 1825, General Lafayette—famed Revolutionary War hero—said a final farewell to America during a 24-state tour. Learn about his journey and reception through eyewitness accounts and literary narrative. Alan Hoffman—President of the American Friends of Lafayette, President of the Massachusetts Lafayette Society, and translator of Auguste Levasseur’s Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825: Journal of a Voyage to the United States—will speak about the tour in general. Author Dorothea Jensen will then discuss the portrayal of Lafayette’s arrival in a small New Hampshire town in her recently published middle-grade/young-adult historical novel, A Buss from Lafayette (2016). Diaries and correspondence from NEHGS special collections documenting a portion of the farewell tour will be on display. Please register.

November 19 - New Visitor Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
10:00 AM–11:00 AM Cost: FREE

This free orientation and tour introduces you to the resources available at the NEHGS research facility. Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the country's oldest and largest nonprofit genealogy library and archive. With more than 15 million artifacts, books, manuscripts, microfilms, journals, photographs, and records—and expert staff to help you navigate it all—NEHGS provides the access you need to research your family history. You do not have to be a member to participate. Tour attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

November 19 - NEHGS Art & Architecture Tour
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
2:00 PM–3:00 PM Cost: FREE

NEHGS has been collecting unique items of Americana and fine art since its founding in 1845. Learn the story behind items that illustrate life in early America. Attendees are welcome to use our resources following the tour. No registration necessary.

November 19 - Researching Early New England Ancestors
NHHS, 30 Park Street, Concord, NH
1:00 PM–4:00 PM Cost: $35 for NEHGS and NHHS members; $50 for nonmembers

As a group, 17th-century New Englanders are perhaps the most studied group on the planet, thus descendants are blessed with a multitude of printed resources. In many cases, town vital records, church, colony, court, probate, land, military, and tax records not only have survived but have been abstracted and published. This workshop, taught by Senior Genealogist Emeritus David Curtis Dearborn from the New England Historic Genealogical Society, will give an overview of the settling of New England, discuss what records exist, and offer a guide to the best genealogical sources for early New England research. Space is limited, and registration is required. Register with NHHS.