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.

| February | March | April |

February

February 25 - Locate! Research! Analyze! Learn how to start your family genealogy
In partnership with the New Hampshire Historical Society
Presented by Lindsay Fulton
New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, NH
1:00 - 4:00 pm Cost: $35 NEHGS or NHHS members; $50 non-members

Family history is one of the most valuable pursuits you can participate in—learning about who you are, where you come from, and “meeting” the thousands of people who came before you, can be a rewarding and even life-changing experience. But how do you get started? There are plenty of websites, libraries, and printed sources out there, but access to all that information can leave a beginner feeling overwhelmed. In this workshop, Director of Research Services Lindsay Fulton from New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) will help participants navigate the first steps in tracing their family history and teach basic strategies for researching. Even if you've already been doing research for a few years, you’re sure to learn a new tip or two! Space is limited and registration is required. Register online or call NHHS at 603-856-0621.

February 25 - 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.

March

March 1 - 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.

March 1 - Book Event: Darkness Falls on the Land of Light
Presented by author Douglas L. Winiarski
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

The 1740s and 1750s were a dark night of the New England soul, as men and women groped toward a restructured religious order. Conflict transformed inclusive parishes into exclusive networks of combative spiritual seekers. Evangelicalism emboldened ordinary people to question traditional authorities. Darkness Falls on the Land of Light is a sweeping history of popular religion in eighteenth-century New England. It examines the experiences of ordinary people living through extraordinary times. Drawing on an unprecedented quantity of letters, diaries, and testimonies, Douglas Winiarski recovers the pervasive and vigorous lay piety of the early eighteenth century. Book sales and signing to follow. Register today!

March 3 - Using Manuscripts in Your Genealogical Research
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by Timothy G. X. Salls
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

NEHGS has one of the largest collections of genealogical papers in the United States—diaries, family bibles, unpublished genealogies, account books, letters, photographs, and more. Learn how these unique items can benefit your genealogical research. Join Manager of Manuscript Collections, Timothy G. X. Salls as he provides research case studies and highlights from our special collections. Register today!

March 8 - The Fun of Writing Oral History and Biography: Lessons from Author and Historian Larry Ruttman
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

Author Larry Ruttman is best known for his biographical cultural histories Voices of Brookline (2005) and American Jews and America’s Game (2013). Using the tools of oral history, he transforms interviews into short biographies, presenting them in story form as a lively conversation between the subject and the author. Larry will talk about his meetings with famous folks in both books, as well as with world class musicians in the book on music he is currently writing. Learn more and laugh too about this dynamic interplay and how to apply some of these techniques to your own family history or other project. Book sales and signing to follow. Larry Ruttman has also offered a copy of Voices of Brookline free of charge and inscribed to accompany any purchase of American Jews and America'sGame—a 2 for 1 offer not to be missed! Register today!

March 11 - NEHGS/TIARA Irish Genealogy Seminar
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:30 AM–12:30 PM Cost: $20

Join NEHGS and TIARA (The Irish Ancestral Research Association) for an Irish family history seminar. Learn about new digitization projects, underutilized records, and an area DNA study. Participants are invited to stay and do research following the program. Lecture topics include: From Paper to Pixels: Digitizing Catholic Records from the Archdiocese of Boston, Jean Maguire, Library Director; Think Outside the Box: Examples of Underutilized U.S. Records for Irish Research, Eileen Pironti, Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press; and The Maine Gaeltacht DNA Project, Deborah Sullivan Gellerson and Margaret Feeney LaCombe. Register today!

March 18 - From Pilgrims to Pioneers: Researching Early New England Ancestors
Czech Center Museum Houston, 4920 San Jacinto Street, Houston, TX
9:00 AM–6:30 PM Cost: $125

NEHGS is coming to Houston, Texas! Many Texans can trace their roots back to early New England. After the Revolutionary War, it is estimated that 25 percent of the eastern population who left settled lands headed West. Thousands of settlers eventually trekked to Texas in the 19th century. Join Chief Genealogist David Allen Lambert for a full-day seminar on how to trace your early New England ancestors. Discover essential resources for 17th-c. New England research, find out how your early American ancestors made a living, learn how to research your patriot ancestors, and more.

Beyond lectures you will have the opportunity to chat with our genealogists and visiting staff, enter to win door prizes, browse select publications, take advantage of NEHGS membership specials, and enjoy a meal and special reception with fellow family historians. Further your study of genealogy with the experts in family history! Register today!

March 18 - Irish Study Group
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:30 AM-12:00 PM Cost: FREE

This Irish Genealogy Study Group gathers each month to talk about research problems and share solutions. Everyone is welcome and attendees are invited to stay and use the library resources afterwards. Contact Mary Ellen Grogan at megrogan@ix.netcom.com for more information. No registration necessary.

March 18 - 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.

March 18 - 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.

March 25 - New York and Connecticut: Finding Records, Telling Stories
Featuring Jane E. Wilcox and Kyle Hurst
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:15 AM–12:45 PM Cost: $20; NEAPG members free (register here)

Join NEHGS and the New England Association of Professional Genealogists (NEAPG) for a half-day seminar on unique New York genealogical resources, plus a special case study pertaining to a Connecticut woman in the eighteenth century. Participants are invited to research within the NEHGS library following the program. Register today!

March 25 - Tracing Your Irish Roots
In partnership with the New Hampshire Historical Society
Presented by Judy Lucey
New Hampshire Historical Society, 30 Park Street, Concord, NH
1:00 - 4:00 pm Cost: $35 NEHGS or NHHS members; $50 non-members

An estimated 39.6 million Americans claim Irish heritage, yet tracing one’s Irish ancestry is not without its challenges. Common surnames, unsubstantiated family lore, and lost records from the 1922 destruction of the Public Record Office can certainly play havoc with your research. In recent years, however, a number of genealogical materials have come online. This workshop aims to provide participants with the tools and resources to discover their ancestors’ Irish origins, offer strategies for overcoming brick walls, and discuss key resources, records, and repositories to assist genealogists in their Irish research. Space is limited and registration is required through the New Hampshire Historical Society. Register today or call 603-856-0621.

April

April 1 - 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.

April 1, 8, and 15 - Building Your Genealogical Skills (Three-Session Course)
Presented by Ann Lawthers, Genealogist
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
2:00 PM–4:00 PM Cost: $50

Take your research skills to the next level! With the sheer number of online resources at your fingertips, it's easy to dive in to your family history research without any formal training as a genealogist. Certainly you'll learn along the way, and devise your own methods, but it's also easy to become overwhelmed and form bad habits. Whether you are new to genealogy, want to refresh your skills, or learn best practices, this course will set you on the right path to getting the most out of your family history research. Topics include: how to record your findings, strategies for analyzing records, online research, and more. Each class includes skill-building exercises to help students apply their new found knowledge. Register today!

April 7 - Applying to Lineage Societies
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by Lindsay Fulton and Katrina Fahy
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

Gain a step-by-step look at applying to lineage societies: the application process, tips for when you can’t find vital records, and a case example from our research services team. Register today!

April 8 - Irish Study Group
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:30 AM-12:00 PM Cost: FREE

This Irish Genealogy Study Group gathers each month to talk about research problems and share solutions. Everyone is welcome and attendees are invited to stay and use the library resources afterwards. Contact Mary Ellen Grogan at megrogan@ix.netcom.com for more information. No registration necessary.

April 13 - Daniel Williman and Karen Corsano, "John Singer Sargent in Boston"
In partnership with Nichols House Museum
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
5:30 PM–7:30 PM (light reception, with lecture and book signing to follow)
Cost: $10 Members of Nichols House Museum and NEHGS; $15 Non-members

Boston was a true home town to John Singer Sargent, from his very first solo exhibition in 1889 to the last installation of his murals in 1925. That was because Boston wanted to welcome and honor him, to give him a circle of friends and a succession of portrait subjects to match his professional and social successes in London. Sargent returned the compliment by painting monumental murals—which he considered the highest form of his art—here and nowhere else. Daniel Williman and Karen Corsano, authors of John Singer Sargent and His Muse: Painting Love and Loss will share lively stories, in words and pictures, of Sargent’s life and work in Boston. John Singer Sargent and His Muse: Painting Love and Loss is a sensitive and compelling biography shedding light on John Singer Sargent’s art through an intimate history of his family. The book features a special focus on his niece and muse, Rose-Marie Ormond, telling her story for the first time. Book sales and signing to follow. Register through NHM.

April 15 - 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.

April 15 - 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.

April 18 - "Make thy castles high and fair"—Medieval Castles to Modern Fantasies
In partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects and Royal Oak Foundation
Presented by Dr. Jonathan Foyle
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: $30

What is a "castle"? While the term is now often applied to a stately home to imply monumental scale or status, its use originally indicated a fortified military residence. But to what extent were castles defensible and against whom? What does the use of the “castle” style mean in architecture when it is applied to churches—such as the western block of Lincoln Cathedral—or civic buildings? Using examples from across the English landscape, architectural historian Dr. Jonathan Foyle will explore the shifting associations in castle design and purpose over the last 1000 years: from religious to political, from defensible to romantic. Register today!

April 19 - Puritan, Entrepreneur, Heretic?
Presented by author David M. Powers
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

Misunderstandings between races, hostilities between cultures. Anxiety from living in a time of war in one's own land. Being accused of profiteering when food was scarce. Unruly residents in a remote frontier community. Charged with speaking the unspeakable and publishing the unprintable. All of this can be found in the life of one man--William Pynchon (1590-1662), the Puritan entrepreneur and founder of Springfield, Massachusetts. Two things in particular stand out in Pynchon's pioneering life: he enjoyed extraordinary and uniquely positive relationships with Native peoples, and he wrote the first book banned--and burned--in Boston. Damnable Heresy: William Pynchon, the Indians, and the First Book Banned (and Burned) in Boston provides the first comprehensive account of Pynchon's story, beginning in England, through his New England adventures, to his return home. Join author David M. Powers to discover the fabric of Pynchon’s times and the roles he played in the Puritan venture in Old England and New England. Book sales and signing to follow.

April 30 - Breaking Down Genealogical Brick Walls: Strategies for Success
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
9:30 AM–4:30 PM Cost: $125, Breakfast and lunch included

Research your ancestry long enough and you’re bound to hit a brick wall—the paper trail vanishes, the family seemingly disappears, and you’re unable to go back to earlier generations. Whether you are struggling to find an immigrant’s exact origins, uncover a maiden name, determine parentage, or discover where a family moved to, cluster research can help. The Research Services team at New England Historic Genealogical Society is routinely contracted to solve such genealogical mysteries. In this full-day seminar, our experts will teach you valuable organizational tips and practical strategies to circumnavigate common genealogical brick walls and enrich your understanding of an ancestor’s life. Register today!