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.

| December | Online Events |

December

December 1 - New England’s Hidden Histories: The Race to Rescue Our Earliest Manuscript Church Records
Part of our First Friday lecture series
Presented by Dr. James F. Cooper
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00 PM–1:00 PM Cost: FREE

Virtually nothing went on in colonial New England communities that didn’t pass through the doors of the local church. The most important decisions this culture faced followed (often rowdy) debates in local church meetings, where churchgoers also gathered regularly to discuss and police one another’s behavior. Ministers took careful notes of these affairs in their church record books. We can learn more about life in early New England from church records than from any other discrete set of sources. Unfortunately, the region’s church records are scattered throughout New England, often in attics, closets and basements, and many are significantly endangered. Join Dr. James F. Cooper, Director of New England’s Hidden Histories to learn what information can be found in these early manuscript church records, the race to save them, and the Congregational Library’s efforts to make them available to the public through digitization. Register for free today!

December 2 - 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.

December 2 - 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.

December 6 - “The Hero of Dear Old Halifax”: The Massachusetts Relief Effort Following the Halifax Explosion of 1917
In partnership with the Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
6:00 PM–7:30 PM Cost: FREE

On December 6, 1917, a collision in Halifax Harbor caused the largest man-made explosion to date. Nearly 2,000 people were killed and 9,000 injured. One hundred years later, many Bostonians are aware of the city’s role in the relief efforts following the blast—the reason why Halifax gifts Boston with its official Christmas tree each year. Yet, very few know about the Massachusetts men and women who were instrumental to those endeavors. One of those individuals was Abraham C. Ratshesky, the son of Jewish immigrants and commissioner-in-charge of the Halifax Relief Expedition, who, within two weeks, became a hero to the citizens of Halifax and Boston. Learn about Ratshesky’s leadership in the relief efforts and his philanthropic legacy that continues to this day. Items from the Abraham C. Ratshesky papers will be on display following the lecture. Register for free today!

December 9 - NEHGS Fireside Chats & Open House
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA
9:00 AM–5:00 PM Cost: FREE

Stop by, grab some holiday cheer, and let us open the world of genealogy to you as only American Ancestors can! Hear from our family history experts throughout the day at our Holiday Fireside Chats, covering such topics as Irish research, Puritan pedigrees, early Vermont settlers, DNA research, and the Mayflower! Come listen and learn from some of the best genealogists in the field. Enjoy complimentary hot drinks and sweet snacks, and special "in-store only" pricing on charts, books, and gifts. It's our way of saying "Happy Holidays!" Registration encouraged, but not required. View our list of featured experts.

December 16 - 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.