NEHGS honors Bob Schieffer and David Hartman

Genealogical Society Honors Legendary Television Anchors With Their Family Histories

April 25, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—Two of America’s legendary television journalists were honored here Friday evening by the nation’s founding genealogical institution, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), as it celebrated a history-making capital campaign at a news-filled Family History Benefit Dinner in Boston.

Bob Schieffer, the immediate past anchor of the CBS Evening News, moderator of Face The Nation, and former 60 Minutes correspondent, along with David Hartman, the documentary journalist and beloved, longtime host of ABC’s Good Morning America, were both given the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, in tribute to their contributions to history through distinguished broadcast journalism. In an exciting reversal of roles, however, it was NEHGS giving the news Friday evening as they revealed to both Schieffer and Hartman the detailed stories of their ancestry, researched by expert genealogists at the Society.

Brenton Simons, president and CEO of NEHGS, presented the honorees with expertly prepared genealogies of their families—a tradition of the Society for many years. Schieffer’s ancestry is marked by the arrival of early immigrant settlers to Texas from Germany in the mid-1800s and by the participation of his ancestors in The War of 1812 and the Civil War. Hartman’s ancestry is notable for his connections to many American Presidents, including three whom he has interviewed: Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and George H.W. Bush.

Headlining the evening’s news, Simons announced that the organization’s comprehensive capital campaign Connecting Families, Advancing History had exceeded its $55 million goal by more than $3 million—a record-setting achievement for the country’s oldest and largest genealogical society.

Moderating a lively conversation with Schieffer and Hartman about their broadcasting careers, world events, and personal interests, was NEHGS’s own distinguished newsman Bill Griffeth, anchor of Closing Bell on CNBC, and NEHGS trustee.

The event’s Corporate Benefactors were Wells Fargo, Freeman’s, Eastern Bank, Traust Sollus Wealth Management, and Welch and Forbes LLC.

The Society, with its national headquarters located in Boston’s Back Bay, celebrated its 170th Anniversary in 2015. It is the oldest and largest genealogical society in America. NEHGS was formally constituted in March of 1845 by an act of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and now consists of more than 165,000 constituents engaged in family history nationally and around the world. It is home to a world-class research library and archive, an expert staff, offers an award-winning genealogical research website at, and maintains a publishing division producing original genealogical research, scholarship, and instruction each year.

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