Online Classes

Attend classes from your home

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

Our online educational programs cover a wide variety of topics, and are suitable for family historians of all levels of experience. Note: The schedule below is subject to change.

Online Course

18th- and 19th- Century English Research

Live broadcasts Wednesdays April 29-May 27 3-4 p.m. EDT | Access through August 2020
Presented by Else Churchill, Genealogist, Society of Genealogists, UK
Cost: $125

In the 19th century, England saw a major shift in much of its record keeping: civil registrations (1837), the census (1841), the establishment of the Principal Probate Registry (1858), and the increased circulation and publication of newspapers. Prior to that time, much of this information was kept by ecclesiastical courts and at the parish level. Understanding this shift and how to navigate the records and resources leading up to and during England's Victorian era, is essential to your family history research. Join Genealogist Else Churchill for this five-class online course that will explore the records, resources, and research for this unique period in England's history.

April 29 - Class 1: I'm Stuck! Techniques for Locating that Elusive English Ancestor

Without an idea of place of origin, it can be difficult to progress with English research. This session will review some key techniques for determining origins within England and Wales.

May 6 - Class 2: Using British Census Records

The census records are an invaluable bridge between civil vital records (birth, death, and marriage) and church registers. This session will look at how they were compiled and the finding aids and indexes that might make them easier to use.

May 13 - Class 3: Using English Parish Registers and Associated Parish Records

The main source of genealogical information for the period before 1837--and after—are the registers and associated records of the parish. This class will look at how to leverage and locate these important sources.

May 20 - Class 4: 18th and 19th Century Newspapers, Periodicals, and local Directories

The British Library's online digitization of 19th century newspapers has opened up so many new avenues for genealogical and biographical discovery that they should often be considered your first step in your research. Whether you are looking for obituaries, discovering that your ancestors were victims of petty crime, or died a gory death, the social history illustrated by newspaper reports will greatly add to your genealogy.

May 27 - Class 5: Probate Records Before and After 1858

This talk explains how to find and use testamentary records both in the civil courts after 1858 and in the ecclesiastical courts before 1858. We will look at how to make use of sources online, at the Family History Library, and locally at record offices across England and Wales.

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Special Webinar

Return to the Catskills

Tuesday, June 2 4:00 - 5:00 PM EDT
Presented by Phil Brown, Founder and President of the Catskills Institute
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Event
Cost: FREE

Join the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center as we welcome Phil Brown, Founder and President of the Catskills Institute. Phil will talk about the Jewish experience in the Catskills, from the first Jewish boarding house just before the turn of the 20th century, through the decline and current transformation. In this presentation, he will show images of the hotels and bungalow colonies, the people who stayed and worked there, and the food and entertainment that sustained them. Start your summer by revisiting this historic vacation destination!

Special Webinar

The English Garden: Perfection on Earth

Friday, June 5 4:00 - 5:15 PM EDT
Presented by Curt DiCamillo, FRSA, Curator of Special Collections
Cost: FREE

Curt DiCamillo, an American architectural historian and authority on the British country house shares his passion for historic British houses and gardens as he ponders the English garden as Britain’s single most important contribution to world culture.

American Inspiration Author Event

Honor Moore with Our Revolution: A Mother and Daughter at Mid-Century

Monday, June 8 6:00 - 7:00 PM EDT
Presented in Partnership with Boston Public Library and State Library of Massachusetts
Cost: FREE

Hear from this celebrated author about her new biography-memoir—the story of her mother and herself, their relationship and changing lives as 20th-Century women. In past acclaimed books, Honor Moore has presented her bishop father, Paul Moore, and her Boston painter grandmother, Margarett Sargent. Now, with the sweep of an epic novel, she introduces readers to Jenny McKean Moore, her charismatic and brilliant mother who was born into privilege on Boston’s North Shore, and whose life shifted dramatically as she engaged in the peace and social justice movements of the 1960s. After nine children, Jenny realized her ambition to become a writer. Don’t miss Moore’s conversation with Claire Messud about Our Revolution and the lives of American women then and now.

Webinar

First Steps in Family History

Thursday, June 11 3-4 p.m. EDT
Presented by Ann Lawthers, Genealogist
Cost: FREE

Ever wondered about your ancestral roots? Want to prove—or disprove—a family myth? Inherited family papers and heirlooms and want to piece together their story? Learning about your family history can be a rewarding and enriching endeavor, bringing you closer to family, communities, and human history. But how do you get started? Genealogist Ann Lawthers will explain the first steps of family history, the records you may use, and some of the information you’ll learn along the way.

Special Webinar

"From Teeming Zion's Fertile Womb": The Curious Career of Judah Monis

Tuesday, June 16 4:00 - 5:00 PM EDT
Presented by Michael Hoberman
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Event
Cost: FREE

Judah Monis was born in Italy, received a Jewish education in Livorno and Amsterdam, and traveled to New York in 1716, where he affiliated briefly with that city's Shearith Israel congregation. Why and how he ended up moving to Cambridge, Massachusetts, accepting a teaching position at Harvard and converting to Christianity, will be the subject of this talk by Michael Hoberman, the author of New Israel/New England: Jews and Puritans in Early America.

Webinar

Getting Started in Portuguese Genealogy

Thursday, June 18 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT
Presented by Rhonda R. McClure, Senior Genealogist
Cost: FREE

Família! Learn the basics of Portuguese family history research from Senior Genealogists Rhonda R. McClure. Rhonda will discuss some of the common challenges in Portuguese research, review go-to records and resources, and demonstrate key search strategies.

Online Conference

Researching English Eastern Canada

Live Q&A June 20 | Access June 10 through September 30
Presented by Sheilagh Doerfler, David Allen Lambert, Judy Lucey, Rhonda R. McClure, and Melanie McComb
Cost: $125

Eastern Canada is an important region of study for many Americans tracing their family history: loyalists fled to Eastern Canada during the American Revolution, many immigrants first settled in Eastern Canada before coming to the United States, farmers and tradesmen made several border crossings following economic opportunities and the harvest, and other ancestors may have stayed in Eastern Canada for generations. In this online conference, our experts will discuss the records, resources, repositories, and techniques for researching our ancestors in New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Prince Edward Island. NOTE: This conference will NOT discuss Quebec and will focus on English speaking communities.

Session #1: Nova Scotia, Presented by David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist (60 minutes)

Session #2: Session #2: Prince Edward Island, Presented by Melanie McComb, Genealogist (60 minutes)

Session #3: New Brunswick, Presented by Rhonda R. McClure, Senior Genealogist (60 minutes)

Session #4: Ontario, Presented by Sheilagh Doerfler, Senior Researcher (60 minutes)

Session #5: Newfoundland and Labrador, Presented by Judy Lucey, Archivist (60 minutes)

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Online Conference

Virtual Preservation Roadshow

Live Q&A June 21 | Access June 5 through September 30
Presented by by experts from American Ancestors and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center
Cost: $85

Is your closet full of boxes of old family photographs? Is your basement bursting with letters, diaries, and other documents from your family history research? Do you have family memorabilia that you want to make sure is around for generations to come? Chances are you have a stack of family papers, albums, and other keepsakes tucked away that you don’t know what to do with. This virtual preservation roadshow will teach you best practices for surveying, handling, and storing family materials and provide you with expert advice on how to care for items in your collection.

Participants will submit a photo of one item from their collection and receive advice from archivists and conservators. Submitted items may include photographs, albums, scrapbooks, bound volumes, born-digital or obsolete media, textiles, certificates and other documents, or other small, hand-held objects.

Participants receive:

  • Access to 3+ hours worth of instructional video, handouts, and articles
  • Personalized advice from a qualified archivist or conservator on one family item*
  • View a gallery of submitted items and expert advice
  • Special discounts and virtual door prizes
  • Live Q&A with instructors and a selection of submitted items for discussion
  • Extended access to materials, recordings, and other materials until September 2020

* Note: Experts will NOT provide monetary appraisals.
Topics Covered in Recorded Sessions and/or Handouts:
  • Surveying Your Collection (Recording and Handouts)
  • Caring for Photos, Albums, and Scrapbooks (Recording and Handouts)
  • Preserving Your Family Treasures (Recording)
  • Organizing and Preserving Born-Digital Items (Handouts)
  • Best Practices for Digitizing Family Papers (Handouts)
  • Organizing Your Collection (Handouts)

Research Program

Virtual Spring Research Stay-At-Home

Live broadcasts June 25 - June 27 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. EDT
Presented by Experts at American Ancestors
Cost: $375

Do you find you have more time than ever to work on family history, but don’t know where to start? Are you tackling a brickwall and need more guidance as you research from home? The Spring Research Stay-At-Home, an all-new virtual program from the experts at American Ancestors and NEHGS, is a three-day online experience filled with consultations, lectures, and more! Learn about essential resources and research strategies that can be accessed and applied digitally, attend lectures from our staff on popular genealogical topics, chat with our experts and other participants daily, and receive one-on-one consultation time focused on your research questions. From the most advanced researcher to someone just beginning their journey into family history research, the Spring Research Stay-At-Home will give you the necessary skills and knowledge to continue your family history research online from home.

    Program includes:
  • Six lectures and access to recordings
  • Lecture handouts and materials
  • Two, one-on-one consultations (scheduled by our staff ahead of time)
  • Break-out sessions with our experts and other participants
  • Access to our experts via online chat

NOTE: Live sessions will be broadcast through Zoom Video Conferencing. Information about accessing both live and recorded content will be sent to participants ahead of time. Access to a personal device, and internet connection is required to take full advantage of this program.

Thursday, June 25: How to Make Progress

9:30 AM: Welcome and Introductions
10:15 AM - 12:00 PM: Consultations* and personal research
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lecture: Creating a Research Plan
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Break-out Session
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM: Lecture: Using DNA in Family History Research
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Break-out Session

Friday, June 26: Researching Female Ancestors

9:30 AM: Welcome and review
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Consultations* and personal research
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lecture: Finding a Maiden Name
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Break-out Session
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Lecture: Women and Naturalization
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Break-out Session

Saturday, June 27: Immigration

9:30 AM: Welcome and review
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Consultations* and time for personal research
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lecture: Immigration and Naturalization
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Break-out Session
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Migrations Out of New England
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM: Break-out Session

*Each participant is guaranteed 2 consultations during the program. Consultations will be scheduled ahead of time by American Ancestors staff and will be based on information provided on the research questionnaire filled out by participants.

*Schedule subject to change.

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of New England Historic Genealogical Society.

Special Webinar

Jewish Life in Rural New England:
How did the Jews get to Mars Hill, Maine and Other Stories From the Field

Tuesday, June 30 4:00 - 5:00 PM EDT
Presented by Michael Hoberman
A Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center Event
Cost: FREE

From 2002 to 2006, Michael Hoberman conducted fifty interviews with over sixty Jews from various parts of rural New England for his book "How Strange It Seems." In this talk, he will tell the story of how he found, interviewed, and maintained contact with this generationally, observationally, and occupationally diverse group of people.

Webinar

What's New at AmericanAncestors.org

Thursday, July 9, 2020 3:00 - 4:00 PM EDT
Presented by Molly Rogers, Database Coordinator
Cost: FREE

AmericanAncestors.org is the award-winning website of New England Historic Genealogical Society and home to hundreds of databases with 1.4 billion searchable names, our robust online library catalog, digital manuscript collections, educational resources, and online periodicals with more being added each week. Stay up to date with what’s new at AmericanAncestors.org with this quarterly webinar series! Hear about new databases, search features, and resources only available at AmericanAncestors.org.

Online Conference

La Mia Famiglia: Researching Italian Ancestors

Live Q&A July 18 | Access July 8 through September 30
Presented by Rhonda R. McClure
Cost: $125

Between 1880 and 1920, an estimated four million Italians immigrated to America. Today their descendants make up more than 5% of the total U.S. population. Although there has been a surge of Italian records made available online, the nuances of Italian genealogy can pose a number of stumbling blocks: researchers must identify their ancestral town, not just the province; civil registration was not required until 1861; variations in surname spellings are common; and, of course, the records are in Italian. This online conference will show you how to find the origins of your Italian ancestors, provide tips on accessing and understanding the records, discuss how past geopolitical changes can affect your research, and offer strategies for online and onsite research.

Session #1: Getting Started in Italian Research
Before working in Italian records, you need to exhaust all U.S. records. In addition to using American records, this class will discuss settlement patterns, methods for identifying origins, geopolitical changes, and general resources to assist with the Italian language.

Session #2: Italian Records, Part 1
This session will focus on using and locating Italian vital records (birth, deaths, marriages, and marriage packets).

Session #3: Italian Records, Part 2
Continuing our examination of records, this class will discuss military, census, church, and other important resources.

Session #4: Reading and Translating
Now that we've explored what records exist and where to locate them, how do you read them? Using examples from across Italy, this session will take an in-depth look at reading, translating, and understanding the information provided.

Session #5: Research and Repositories
This final session will review the methods for working with online and microfilmed records, how to research via correspondence, and researching at repositories.

NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of New England Historic Genealogical Society.

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 Citrix Online 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.