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  • Expert Services FAQs


    How do I receive my NEHGS member discount?
    To receive your NEHGS member discount you must be logged into the website when submitting your request. If you are submitting your request by mail, please be sure and include your membership number on the order form.

    How long before my request is completed?
    Because of the volume of requests we receive, each request generally takes 6–8 weeks to be completed. If you would like to receive your materials sooner please enquire about our rush services.

    Can I request copies of microtext materials from the Photocopy Service?
    The only microtext materials available through the photocopy service are copies of Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1920. Copies of other microtext materials may be obtained by submitting a research order form.

    Can I receive copies of Massachusetts Vital Records, 1841–1920?

    Copies of Massachusetts Vital Records (1841–1920) are available from the photocopy service. Please use this form to provide the name(s), type of record, year, volume, and page number with each request.

    Can I receive copies of Massachusetts Vital Records after 1920?
    Because vital records for Massachusetts after 1920 are only available at the Registry of Vital Records, if you wish to request a copy of a vital record after 1920, you would need to submit a research order form. This would require our minimum 2 hours of research. We would transcribe the record for you. If you wish an actual copy of the record, then the cost would be an additional $20.00 (what the Registry charges for a certified copy).

    How do I receive copies from the manuscript collections?
    Copies of materials from the NEHGS Manuscript Collections may be ordered by submitting a research order form. Please note, copies of manuscripts are only available to members of NEHGS.

    Why do copies from the manuscript collections entire in-depth research?
    Most of the records housed in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections department of the NEHGS Library are one of kind compilations. There are seldom indexes to these records. They are not like a published book. As such, it takes time to go through finding aids and get just the pages you need for your request.

    Can I request a copy of an entire manuscript?
    Photocopies of records held in the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections department of the NEHGS Library are at the discretion of the archivists. However, many of the collections in manuscripts are multi-box items spanning many linear feet. Between this and the copy right laws that exist, it is usually not possible to request the copy of an entire manuscript.

    What information should I include with my request?

    It is important to provide as much information as you can when submitting your request. Make the request as specific as possible. If you aware of specific sources that may be able to answer your question(s) include them with your request. Consider sending supplemental materials (family group sheets, pedigree charts, documents, etc.) by e-mail to or by mail to NEHGS Research Services, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. If possible include transcriptions or abstracts of records which may help our researchers as they fulfill your request. To prevent duplication of research efforts it is important to include a listing of other records you have already examined in relationship to the research question and the results of those searches.

    How do I provide you with my family tree?
    Please send us an invitation to view your tree.

    How many hours of research should I authorize?
    Because each case is different it is difficult to predict how many hours a particular project will take. Feel free to contact us regarding your particular request for an estimate regarding the amount of time your project could take. Remember that our fee reflects the time taken in the search, not the ancestors found. We do have a two hour minimum.

    What will I receive from NEHGS?
    You will receive a report of our research activities detailing the sources searched and our conclusions. We will also include suggestions for further research, if indicated. Copies of supporting documents will also be enclosed.

    Is it possible to meet with research services before I authorize the research?
    We are always happy to meet with patrons. Usually the requests do not require a face to face meeting. We suggest contacting us first via e-mail at or by telephone at 617-226-1233 to discuss the project, and then if you still feel you would like to meet with research services, an appointment could be made.

    The chart below shows how our research assistance and research-for-hire services differ.

    FAQ Ask A Genealogist Consultations Research Services
    What is it? Online reference assistance/advice Guided research assistance Research for hire; plus other services
    Who can participate? NEHGS members and non-members NEHGS members and non-members NEHGS members and non-members
    How do I ask a question? Email or online form Email or online form By phone, email, online forms, or in person
    How are responses given? Email, online archive, weekly e-newsletter, American Ancestors magazine (publicly) By phone or in person at NEHGS in Boston (privately) In a detailed report (privately)
    Will the expert do research for me? No No Yes
    Cost Free Members: $60/hr* 
    Non-members: $80/hr
    Members: $60/hr* 
    Non-members: $80/hr
    For more information

    *Premium level members receive additional discounts on the hourly rate as well as free consultation time. Learn more about premium member level benefits.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
99 - 101 Newbury Street
Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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