Online Events

Attend lectures, courses, and author events from your home

Please note: All online programs are moving forward as scheduled—we look forward to seeing you online!

Note: The schedule below is subject to change.

UPCOMING EVENTS

October 6-27 | Researching Upstate New York | ONLINE COURSE
October 19 | Mae Ngai with The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics | AUTHOR EVENT
October 26 | American Jewish Women Abroad, 1865-1940 | WEBINAR
October 28 | Basics of New England Research | WEBINAR
November 2-23 | The Jews of Boston and America, 1840–1924 | ONLINE COURSE
November 3-17 | Introduction to Heraldry for Genealogists | ONLINE COURSE
November 4 | Anne Willan with Women in the Kitchen | AUTHOR EVENT
November 5 | The Impact of the China Trade on New England Architecture | WEBINAR
November 9 | Robert A. Gross with The Transcendentalists and Their World | AUTHOR EVENT
November 12 | Addressing the Legacies of Slavery and Empire at National Trust for Scotland Properties | WEBINAR
November 15 | Discussing Adoption: Driving Positive Outcomes in the Search for Knowledge, Past and Present | ONLINE COURSE
November 18 | Where?: Understanding Boundaries and Jurisdictions | WEBINAR

Online Course

Researching Upstate New York

Live broadcasts: October 6, 13, 20, and 27, 6:00 – 7:30 PM EDT
Presented by Christopher C. Child, Lindsay Fulton, and Kyle Hurst
Cost: $115

Finding information about New York ancestors can be tricky. A fire in 1911 at the State Library and the fact that statewide registration of vital records did not start until 1880 only adds to the difficulty. From the colonial period through the 19th and early 20th centuries, this online course will guide you through the maze of genealogical pitfalls, and to the bright spots in New York research. Our New York experts will discuss the settlement of New York and early migrations, vital records and substitutes, land and probate records, the state census, and more. NOTE: This course does NOT include New York City research or resources.

This course includes four 90-minute classes; exclusive access to handouts and recordings of each presentation; and in-depth Q&A sessions with the instructors.

This program will be hosted via Zoom. Access information will be sent to participants prior to the first broadcast.

Wednesday, October 6 6:00 PM ET

Class #1: Settlement of New York State, presented by Christopher C. Child

This first class will provide much the historical context of New York State’s settlement and development. Senior Genealogist Christopher Child will discuss the settlement and brief history of the colony, pre- and post- Rev War migrations, and then finally New York’s statehood and boundary disputes. Understanding the reasons why New York State was settled and by whom can lead to a greater understanding of your own ancestors’ motivations and perhaps even their origins.

Wednesday, October 13, 6:00 PM ET

Class #2: Finding Your New York Ancestors in the 19th Century, Presented by Lindsay Fulton

Many family historians don’t have to research their New York ancestors for very long before they hit a genealogical brickwall—usually in 19th century. In this class session, Lindsay Fulton will discuss the resources and strategies for finding your ancestors in the 19th century. She will first discuss what vital records exist and how to locate them; then demonstrate how the federal census, the New York state census, Church records, and many other record sets can be used to find vital information.

Wednesday, October 20, 6:00 PM ET

Class #3: Using and Understanding New York Land Records, Presented by Kyle Hurst

With the start of vital records being recorded so late for the state of New York, land and probate records become especially important resources for genealogists. In this class, Senior Genealogist Kyle Hurst will help you navigate the complicated world of New York State deeds, focusing on the various jurisdictional levels that created land records—from county land deeds to proprietorships and land companies.

Wednesday, October 27, 6:00 PM ET

Class #4: Using and Understanding New York Probate Records, Presented by Kyle Hurst

Probate records are an incredibly important resource for family historians, especially when doing New York research. In this class, Kyle Hurst will provide a brief introduction to probate records—including key terms and why they are important for family historians. She will then discuss the unique history of probate for the state of New York and how to locate these crucial resources.

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society. Any rebroadcast without the express permission of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society is forbidden.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Author Event

Mae Ngai with The Chinese Question: The Gold Rushes and Global Politics

Tuesday, October 19, 6-7 p.m. ET
Presented by American Inspiration Author Series in partnership with Boston Public Library, Boston Book Festival, the State Library of Massachusetts, and GBH Forum Network
Moderator: Jia Lynn Yang, national editor for the New York Times and author of One Mighty and Irresistible Tide: The Epic Struggle Over American Immigration, 1924-1965
Cost: FREE

In roughly five decades, between 1848 and 1899, more gold was removed from the earth than had been mined in the 3,000 preceding years, bringing untold wealth to individuals and nations. But friction between Chinese and white settlers on the goldfields of California, Australia, and South Africa catalyzed a global battle over “the Chinese Question”: would the United States and the British Empire outlaw Chinese immigration? Join us for a discussion of these definitive cultural and political movements which impact us to this day, featuring two remarkable authors and experts on the topics of Chinese-American history and immigration.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

At Home in the World: American Jewish Women Abroad, 1865-1940

Genevieve Wyner Annual Lecture
Tuesday, October 26, 6-7 p.m. ET
Presented by Dr. Melissa R. Klapper
Cost: FREE

Join the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center (JHC) and Dr. Melissa R. Klapper for this exploration of the lives and travel experiences of American Jewish women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Interweaving stories about women represented in the JHC’s own archives, Dr. Klapper will discuss how at a time of prescribed roles for women, American Jewish women discovered independence and self-actualization as they traveled around the world.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

Basics of New England Research

Thursday, October 28, 3-4 p.m. ET
Presented by Ann Lawthers, Genealogist
Cost: FREE

Whether your ancestors lived in New England in the 17th century or the 21st centuries, this presentation will give you the basic information to begin—and advance—your research into New England records. In preparation for the release of the Sixth Edition of Genealogist’s Handbook for New England Research, this presentation will give you the basic historical context, general organization of records, go-to resources, and unique strategies that will give you a good foundation to succeed in tracing your New England ancestors. NOTE: New England includes the present-day states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Online Course

The Yiddish of Yankeeland: The Jews of Boston and America, 1840–1924

Live broadcasts: November 2, 9, 16, and 23, 4:00 – 5:30 PM ET
Presented by Dr. Aaron Welt
Cost: $85

This course will explore the Jewish experience of Boston during the era of largescale Jewish immigration to the United States. Long serving as a city of refuge, Boston also emerged as an important hub in the Jewish diaspora to America. By the nineteenth century, Boston offered Jewish immigrants an urban landscape where they could create and build American Jewish culture, start their own businesses, and practice Judaism in the ways they desired. Along the way, Boston’s Jews interacted with the rich diversity of the city, coming into contact with groups they had rarely encountered in Europe; an inevitability in a metropolis with a deep Irish Catholic imprint. This course will consider the religious institutions that Boston’s Jews forged and sustained. We will also delve into New England Jewish artistic and cultural production, how Jews engaged with American politics in Boston, and what this city’s Jewish history can tell us about the general American Jewish experience in a period of diasporic resettlement.

This course includes four 90-minute classes; exclusive access to handouts and recordings of each presentation; and in-depth Q&A sessions with the instructors. This program will be hosted via Zoom. Access information will be sent to participants prior to the first broadcast.

Tuesday, November 2 4:00 PM ET

Class #1: Establishing a Community, 1840–1860

This week we will look into the origins of Boston’s Jewish community and its bedrock institutions. We will also explore general Boston history and compare the early Jewish experience in New England with that of other major urban centers, notably New York.

Tuesday, November 9, 4:00 PM ET

Class #2: Moyshe in New England’s City of Immigrants, 1860–1891

This week will focus on diasporic Jewish culture in Boston as the city became defined by the immigrant experience. We will spend time analyzing Yiddish culture in Boston, and how Jews presented themselves to native-born Americans as well as other immigrants and people of color. This week we will also consider the nativist backlash to Jewish arrival and Boston’s role in the eventual passage of immigration restriction in the early twentieth century.

Tuesday, November 16, 4:00 PM ET

Class #3: Jews and the Boston Machine, 1891–1914

In this week, we will explore Jewish politics in Boston and try to get a sense of how Jewish immigrants made sense of urban electoral politics during the era of largescale migration. In this class, we will pay particular attention to Jewish-Irish relations, on the level of politics and government, but also in people’s neighborhoods and tenement apartments. In this class we will also investigate the rise of Mayor James Michael Curley and his connection to the Jewish community of Boston.

Tuesday, November 23, 4:00 PM ET

Class #4: Jewish Neighborhoods After Immigration: Dorchester and Roxbury, 1914–1924

In our final class, we will look at the Boston neighborhoods most associated with the American Jewish diaspora. We will explore the rich Jewish life that emerged in the neighborhoods of Dorchester and Roxbury in the early twentieth century. Finally, we will consider what these Jewish neighborhoods meant at the end of the era of mass migration, when the Boston’s nativists triumphed with Congressional passage of the immigrant quota system.

About the instructor: Aaron Welt is an assistant adjunct professor at Hunter College who teaches courses on American Jewish history. He received his PhD in history from New York University, and his research has been published in American Jewish History and The Journal of American Ethnic History. Currently, Dr. Welt is working on a book that explores the role of organized crime in the development of Jewish immigrant capitalism in early 20th-century New York.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Online Course

Introduction to Heraldry for Genealogists

Live broadcasts: November 3, 10, and 17, 6:00 – 7:30 PM EST
Presented by Joseph McMillan and Nathaniel Lane Taylor, FASG
Cost: $85

Heraldry is an ancient and compelling visual expression of personal and family identity. Heraldry can also be a useful lens through which to view or research family history.

In this three-week course, you will gain a systematic historical, visual, and textual introduction to heraldry and a coat of arms; a familiarity with the most important types of heraldic art, artifacts, and evidence coming from different heraldic traditions; and specific research tools and methods for evaluating heraldic evidence in the context of family history.

Instructors Joseph McMillan and Nathaniel Taylor are members of the Committee on Heraldry of NEHGS, a group of specialist staff and volunteers concerned with the study of heraldry since 1864.

This course includes three 90-minute classes; exclusive access to handouts and recordings of each presentation; and in-depth Q&A sessions with the instructors. This program will be hosted via Zoom. Access information will be sent to participants prior to the first broadcast.

Wednesday, November 3 6:00 PM ET

Class 1: What is Heraldry?

Heraldry is a unique traditional visual system of expressing personal and family identity. We will begin with the history, vocabulary, and fundamental visual building blocks of a coat of arms, including a special focus on the ways in which a coat of arms can signify genealogical relationships like marriage and descent.

Wednesday, November 10, 6:00 PM ET

Class 2: The Geography and Diversity of Heraldry

Heraldry evolved differently in different European cultures. In the United States, we are surrounded not only by British heraldry, our inheritance from the mother country of the Thirteen Colonies, but other heraldic traditions in our diverse colonial or more recent ancestry. We will survey and identify fundamental differences as well as shared elements between British, non-British, and uniquely American heraldry.

Wednesday, November 17, 6:00 PM ET

Class 3: Using a Coat of Arms in Genealogy

Is a coat of arms evidence for a particular ancestral connection? It depends! In this class you will learn to use different resources to assess the genealogical value of heraldry found in connection with genealogical research, as well as the steps to identify a coat of arms found “in the wild.”

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society. Any rebroadcast without the express permission of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society is forbidden.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Author Event

Anne Willan with Women in the Kitchen

Thursday, November 4, 1-2 p.m. ET
Presented by American Inspiration Author Series in partnership with State Library of Massachusetts
Moderator: Sheryl Julian, award-winning food writer
Cost: FREE

Anne Willan, multi-award-winning culinary historian, cookbook writer, cooking teacher, and founder of La Varenne Cooking School in Paris, explores the lives and work of women cookbook authors whose important books have defined cooking over the past three hundred years. Beginning with the first published cookbook by Hannah Woolley in 1661, Women in the Kitchen moves through history to show how female cookbook authors have shaped American cooking today. Don’t miss learning more about the lives and influences as such influential cooks and chefs as Fannie Farmer, Julia Child, and Alice Waters.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

The Impact of the China Trade on New England Architecture

Friday, November 5, 4-5:15 p.m. ET
Presented by Thomas Michie
Moderated by Curt DiCamillo
Cost: $15

After the Revolutionary War, the fortunes of New England merchants expanded rapidly as they led the way in developing new markets and trading partners. By necessity, trade expanded to China and India, well beyond the former colonial coastal trade and transshipping of European goods through the West Indies. The mansions built with the fortunes made (and lost) in the China Trade belie the notion that returning merchants sought to capture their experience of China in the design of their houses. With few exceptions, the urban residences of the early China Trade merchants were impressive, but conventional architectural statements. Only in their interior furnishings does one detect the impact of China. On the other hand, their country houses often featured curiosities that only a visitor or resident of China could have assembled. This talk considers a group of houses built between 1780 and 1850 by Providence, Newport, and Boston merchants and traces the impact of China upon both the merchants and their houses.

Author Event

Robert A. Gross with The Transcendentalists and Their World

Tuesday, November 9, 6-7 p.m. ET
Presented in partnership with Boston Public Library and The Trustees
Moderator: Lucinda Brockway, Program Director for Cultural Resources, The Trustees
Cost: FREE

From the 1820s through the 1840s Concord, Massachusetts was home to celebrated authors, poets, and philosophers including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May and Bronson Alcott. These Transcendentalists and their neighbors lived through a transformative epoch of American life. Hear from Bancroft-winning historian Robert A. Gross about his latest work, The Transcendentalists and Their World, an intimate journey into the life of a community and a searching cultural study of major American writers who pursued spiritual truths.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

Facing Our Past: Addressing the Legacies of Slavery and Empire at National Trust for Scotland Properties

Friday, November 12, 1-2 p.m. ET
In partnership with The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA
Presented by Dr. Jennifer Melville and Dr. Hannah Lee
Moderated by Curt DiCamillo
Cost: FREE

The National Trust for Scotland (the Trust) has for many years uncovered complex narratives of the people behind their properties. Recent research has offered new ways to understand how the houses, collections, gardens, and landscapes came into existence or were enhanced. There is also a new thirst to understand the properties’ relationships with communities and with wider society. Many of the properties belonging to the Trust have an association with chattel slavery; these histories are as much a part of the heritage the Trust is responsible for—and have a duty to explain.

In this talk Dr. Jennifer Melville, who is currently leading the Trust’s project entitled “Facing Our Past,” will give an overview of how the project has set about addressing the Trust’s links to historic enslavement. She will highlight individual narratives and outline how the Trust is currently organizing a series of creative interventions, community engagement activities, and staff training to address all histories, however complex and challenging. These initiatives are integral to the visitor experience, whether actual or virtual. Looking forward, she will also explain how the Trust will look at Empire and colonialism and more broadly, at both the impact expatriate Scots had on the countries they populated and how, in turn, the cultures of far-flung places transformed the heritage and cultural assets of Scotland. Finally, Jennifer will analyze the particular sensitivities of a membership organization in reaching these goals and show how her experiences can inform and improve the way this is carried out by similar organizations.

Online Course

Discussing Adoption: Driving Positive Outcomes in the Search for Knowledge, Past and Present

Live Panel Discussion: November 15, 2021, 6:00 PM EDT
Access to recordings and materials starting November 8
An Online Conversation Course with lawyer Gregory Luce, genealogist Melanie McComb, and author Gabrielle Glaser
Moderator: TV Host and Author Bill Griffeth
Cost: $75

Over the past several decades, the dynamics of adoption and access to its critical records have shifted dramatically. Our society’s move toward greater openness and advances of DNA have changed the landscape for families and researchers. State by state, the laws are different: in some, secrecy still controls; in others, birth records are available to adoptees on request. Across the country, individuals are being reunited with their biological families.

This online conversation course brings together professionals from a variety of fields to discuss approaches to researching adoptions (both historical and current day), current and coming legislation, and new techniques for connecting with living family members and broadening your family tree. The panelists will also share instructive and inspiring stories, some of them personal, about the search for knowledge. Through a combination of instructive videos, educational resources, and a lively panel discussion, this unique course will give you the traction and tools you need to further your own research.

The live Q&A will be held on Zoom Video Conferencing. A link to the live session, recorded videos, bookstore voucher, and other materials will be sent to participants in early November.

Our panelists:
  • Sharing strategies for a successful search, lawyer Gregory Luce will review individuals’ rights to adoption information, including their ancestors’ and their own critical records, and point to new opportunities and pending legislation.
  • NEHGS Genealogist Melanie McComb will shine light on historical research of adoption and expose the nuts-and-bolts of how it’s most efficiently executed. She’ll provide insight on building out your family tree in the face of an adoption “road block.”
  • Science Journalist and Author Gabrielle Glaser (American Baby: A Mother, A Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption) will speak to big-picture cultural trends in adoption. She’ll share stories of families looking particularly at how others found success and personal satisfaction in their search.
  • In addition to moderating, TV anchor and author Bill Griffeth will lend his personal insights on the topic gained through research for his coming book, Strangers No More, the sequel to his best-loved memoir The Stranger in My Genes.
This online seminar includes:
  • Exclusive access to more than two hours' worth of instructive videos, plus downloaded slides, handouts, and other educational materials;
  • 90-minute live conversation and Q&A with our panel of experts;
  • Access to all course materials and unlimited replay of all videos

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society. Any rebroadcast without the express permission of American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society is forbidden.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

Where?: Understanding Boundaries and Jurisdictions

Thursday, November 18, 3-4:00 p.m. ET
Presented by Hallie Borstel, Genealogist
Cost: FREE

Understanding where your ancestor is living at a given time can be a loaded question—and to answer it completely, you need to know the broader geo-political and historical context. And as records are most often arranged by place, the “where” becomes especially important for family historians. In this webinar, Genealogist Hallie Borstel will demonstrate how to research boundary changes and understand jurisdictional levels using maps, primary and secondary sources, and other records.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Schedule a Private Webinar for your Group

Hire one of our experts to virtually present to your group on a subject of your choosing! Our custom webinars allow members of your group to hear and watch a presentation in real time, interact with a genealogical expert, type in questions and receive verbal responses, and have exclusive access to a recording of the presentation. Each custom webinar lasts one hour, and can serve a maximum of 500 individual registrants. Webinars may be scheduled for anytime between 9:00 AM – 5:00 PM eastern time Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday; and 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM eastern time on Wednesdays.

To receive a quote and begin the booking process for a custom webinar, please complete our request form. Requests must be made at least 8 weeks prior to the intended event date. Questions? Contact: education@nehgs.org

FAQ

NEHGS webinars are FREE, live events that provide an overview of the resources, expertise, and educational opportunities available at NEHGS. Online Courses are paid, in-depth programs and offer more support material and greater access to the instructor(s). Our online education programs are open to anyone.

Anyone can register and attend our online programs.

Register for an event by clicking on the program title above or the “Register” link. After registration, you will receive a confirmation email with instructions on how to join the live broadcast.

All information needed to join a live webinar is included in your confirmation email sent upon registration. You will receive the same information by email one day and one hour before the presentation. Note: Log on 5 to 10 minutes prior to the start time to download the Logmein Launcher.

All online programs are recorded for future viewing. Recorded webinars are posted to our Online Learning Center and may be viewed by anyone. Recordings of online courses are available only to registered participants of a given course.