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  • Special Projects Fund

  • Isaac Ketchum Family 100The New England Historic Genealogical Society seeks your philanthropic support of our most critical strategic endeavors this year. The special projects listed below are this year’s priorities to advance our mission to collect preserve and interpret documents that make possible the histories of families in America. The budget listed for each of these projects is based on their annual operations.

    I. Our Websites - $200,000 

    For the past several years, we have maintained an ambitious schedule to add at least one new database per week to our flagship website,  These additional databases underline the fact that our content is rich in other geographies beyond New England and New York. The Society currently has access to over 3,000 worldwide databases.

    Your help is needed to support this increasingly growing program to digitize manuscripts, typescripts and other unique content from NEHGS collections and others for publication on Many feature both transcripts and original images. Ongoing databases include Bible records, cemeteries, church records, court records, diaries, local histories, probate records, town records and vital records, etc. Principal locations include New England, with an expanded emphasis on Connecticut, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania and the Midwest. Access is also available to many European databases.

     Examples of our projects in fiscal year 2011 include:


    II. Website Performance - $150,000 

    The use of continues to grow daily. Of our nearly 26,000 members, two-thirds live outside of New England and access our resources through our new website. More than 15,000 people visit the website everyday and collectively view thousands of pages of documents. The website has greatly expanded our outreach and service to our members, both nationally and internationally, and is the premiere research portal for New England research. Your support of our website will help us continue to expand its content, strengthen its infrastructure, train our staff technicians, upgrade systems and provide users with the best possible on-line experience for genealogical resources.

    III. Preservinig New England's Records: - $100,000
    An initiative for Family and Local History

    Currently underway is a major, multi-year preservation project to ensure the conservation of important documents held by individuals, towns, churches and other entities. Headed by Dr. Ralph J. Crandall, Executive Director Emeritus of the Society, Preserving New England’s Records strives to locate significant records and manuscripts throughout the country for our R. Stanton Avery Special Collections – a state-of-the-art, climate controlled archive. Since 1845, NEHGS has amassed an unparalleled collection of American historical and genealogical materials. Millions of unique and priceless treasures, including manuscripts, photographs, prints and other works of art have been placed in our care in this secure repository. Our professional archivists carefully catalogue and preserve donated materials, ensuring access either onsite or by content digitized for our website. NEHGS seeks your support to underwrite the costs of acquiring original documents, cataloguing and preserving them for future generations.

    IV. Great Migration Study Project - $100,000
    Immigrants to New England, 1620 – 1635

    Between 1620 and 1643, more than 20,000 men, women and children crossed the Atlantic Ocean to settle in New England. These groups included the Mayflower Pilgrims, the Winthrop Fleet, passengers on the Mary and John, and numerous other vessels. These immigrants, who played a central role in the founding and history of America, have been systematically identified and researched. NEHGS has published eight authoritative volumes that survey and meticulously document all known information on this “founding” generation. Researched by Robert Charles Anderson, this landmark study provides biographical information for each individual: origins, migration, first residence, occupation, residence, public office and estate records. The volumes also feature detailed family summaries, origins theories and extensive bibliographic notes. In addition, the project publishes a quarterly newsletter and website. Your contribution to this project will help support its intensive and time-consuming research and make it possible to fund the current survey and documentation process.

    V. Publications - $100,000 

    In fulfillment of our charge to interpret and make accessible the stories of families in America, NEHGS publishes:

    • Up to eight books per year under the imprint of Newbury Street Press
    • A scholarly quarterly journal, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register (founded in 1847)
    • A magazine, American Ancestors
    • The quarterly Great Migration Newsletter

    In addition, the Society publishes a daily blog (The Daily Genealogist) and a weekly electronic newsletter (The Weekly Genealogist). The audience for each of the periodicals (including the blog and weekly newsletter) reaches more than 20,000 readers. NEHGS commits nearly $750,000 annually to its publishing enterprises on topics that appeal to and inform diverse audiences.

    Books recently published include the 1,000 page History of the Brigham Family, compiled by staff genealogist Rhonda A. McClure; Descendants of Nathan Brown compiled by the late Marsh Hoffman Rising; A Leader by Example: Harry Hoagland and the Dawn of American Venture Capital; a paperback reissue of Franklin Dorman’s Twenty Families of Color in Massachusetts; and a guide to African-American resources at NEHGS. Several key reference works will be published in the coming months, including a three-volume completely indexed version of Torrey’s New England Marriages; the first comprehensive edition of Manuscripts at the New England Historic Genealogical Society; Classic Reprints, a revised catalog of all classic genealogies and local histories available for reprint; and – for New York researchers – a revised edition of Reminiscences and Traditions of Boston, written ca. 1829 by Hannah Cotton Crocker, granddaughter of Cotton Mather, a work that has been in our archives for more than 100 years. The seventh volume of the current Great Migration series will be published in the summer of 2011, and five new Newbury Street Press titles will be published by mid-2011.

    In 2011, American Ancestors will feature cover stories on Ohio’s Western Reserve, Civil War research, and new NEHGS books, including the first volume of Western Massachusetts Families in 1790.

    The October 2009 Register included the first issue of American Ancestors Journal, providing "genealogical content of national scope, with emphasis on New York and our migrations from New England." The Register recently published two articles combining regular genealogical research with DNA techniques and an article on an African-American family. A major Irish-American article is scheduled for 2011.

    VI. Educational Programs and Outreach - $100,000

    We sponsor a dynamic program with onsite, offsite and online activities. Programs emphasize the importance of genealogical sources in popular history, research methodology and current trends in genealogical research. NEHGS hosts over 20 guest speakers each year, including world-renowned scholars on the subjects of historical research and genealogical methodologies. Recent and upcoming research tours led by our expert staff include trips to Ireland, London, Salt Lake City, Albany, NY, Fort Wayne, IN, Washington, DC and other locations. To serve our members nationally, there are fourteen online lectures/seminars available through our website ranging from Getting Started in Genealogy to Irish Genealogy to Matrilineal Research to Finding Your Ancestors Online, with plans to produce additional lectures with video in 2011. Funding will directly support the Society’s ability to attract important speakers, develop more web-based presentations and support staff in the preparation of onsite, offsite and online programs.

    Naming opportunities exist for many of the above programs.
    Pledges may be paid over three years.

    For more information on these projects and how you can help, please contact:

    Ted MacMahon, Director of Development or 617-226-1218


    Steven L. Solomon, Manager of Gift Planning or 617-226-1238

    To give at this time, click HERE.

New England Historic Genealogical Society
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Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA

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