By Kimberly Brown, Family Historian
Last week's article examined the life of John Farmer and the history of the New England Historic Genealogical Society. This time, we'll learn about the society today: the records, resources, and services that they offer.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the oldest genealogical society in America. The organization is still a membership-based society; members receive the NEHGS publications and discounts on research services.
Their online resources, however, are available to members and non-members alike. Originally launched as www.nehgs.org in 1996, and now found at NewEnglandAncestors.org, their site has more than 2,400 searchable databases containing more than 110 million names.
The society is also headquartered at their eight-story research library in Boston, where they have a staff of more than fifty librarians, archivists, genealogists, and historians. The library's collection includes more than 200,000 books, 100,000 rolls of microfilm, and 5,000 feet of original manuscripts.
The society has published The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the oldest publication of its kind, quarterly since 1847. It is considered the most prestigious journal of American genealogy. NEHGS also publishes American Ancestors Journal, an annual supplement to the Register, and The American Genealogist, another scholarly genealogical journal. Their other quarterly publication is The Great Migration Newsletter, a report on the Great Migration Study Project.
The society supports other websites that provide access to their collection and services, including www.GreatMigration.org and www.PlymouthAncestors.org. The Great Migration Study Project is a compilation of the genealogies of the English Puritans who settled in New England between 1620 and 1640. The Plymouth Ancestors project aims to provide accurate genealogical information on the Plymouth colonists in 1627.
NEHGS also publishes histories and genealogies of individual families. The Newbury Street Press is America's leading publisher of family histories.
If you're curious, go to NewEnglandAncestors.org to check it out yourself. Whether you're interested in publishing your family history, subscribing to flagship genealogical journals, searching online databases, or utilizing library records, the New England Historic Genealogical Society has your back.