Attend an Event at NEHGS

Want to learn more about the Mayflower voyage and the early days of America's history? Join us at our research center in Boston for these special events.


| Special Events | Lectures | Exhibits | Online Events |


Special Events


Annual Gala Dinner:

A Celebration of the 175th Anniversary of NEHGS and a Commemoration of the Landing of the Mayflower

April 2020

Our annual April Family History Benefit dinner will be a special gala celebration commemorating the 175th anniversary of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) and the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower. We’ll honor former UK Prime Minister Sir John Major, who will receive the prestigious NEHGS Lifetime Achievement Award for Distinguished Public Service. We will also bestow NEHGS Preservation and History Awards on two outstanding leaders: distinguished educator, historian, and author Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, a scholar who chairs the Department of History at Harvard University; and Philippe de Montebello, the longest serving director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, who presently serves as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Hispanic Society of America. | Registration to be announced.




Essex, England: the Home of the Mayflower?

June 7, 2019
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
12:00—1:00 PM
Cost: FREE

Part of our First Friday Lecture Series

Presented by Linda MacIver, Essex England Record Office

The voyage of the Mayflower in 1620 is seen as a defining moment in American history with some 10 million living Americans able to trace their ancestry back to the ship’s passengers. Join Linda MacIver as she examines the early and final history of the Mayflower and the ship’s close connections to the county of Essex, England. Attendees are welcome to use the library resources after the lecture.

Linda serves as the New England representative for the Essex England Record Office. She is recently retired from the Boston Public Library where she inaugurated the patron genealogy classes. | REGISTER NOW

New Discoveries in Mayflower Genealogical Research

September 14, 2019
Courtyard Marriott Boston Downtown, 275 Tremont St, Boston
9:00 AM—5:00 PM
Cost: $125 (five lectures plus breakfast and lunch)

Presented by Sue Allan; Robert Charles Anderson, FASG; Christopher C. Child; Caleb Johnson; and Simon Neal

Although a 400 year old story, new discoveries are still being made regarding the origins, identities, and legacy of the Mayflower passengers. Join preeminent scholars from across the United States and the United Kingdom as they discuss new findings and avenues for future research. | Registration will open in June 2019.




The Origins and Legacy of the Mayflower

NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

The story of the Mayflower is the quintessential American story—one that resonates across four centuries with themes of democracy, religious freedom, and cultural heritage. While not the first group of European settlers to arrive on the shores of America, the Mayflower landing has become synonymous with the founding of America. But who were these Pilgrims, what motivated their departure from England, and why has their story been so ensconced in our nation's history? This exhibit seeks to explore the origins of the Mayflower migration and its lasting legacy, as expressed through anniversary commemorations, American mythos, and modern-day descendants. Items in this exhibition are drawn from the R. Stanton Avery Special Collections and the Fine Art Collection at New England Historic Genealogical Society. This exhibition has been generously supported by Anne Louise C. Van Nostrand, Brenda Williams, and Elizabeth H. Owens. Braille version of the exhibit made possible by the Flora Nichols Beggs Trust.

The History of Wampum Belts

NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Free and open to the public during regular library hours

From precolonial to contemporary times, wampum belts have been an integral part of the living, indigenous traditions that continue to be used for ceremonial purposes, adornment, and to record or reflect specific events and agreements. This exhibit explores the history, usage, and meaning behind wampum belts and their place in Wampanoag culture. Produced by SmokeSygnals, a Native American owned marketing and communications company.

The Wampanoag Scene: Creating Tribal Legacy

NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Outside (weather permitting) during regular library hours

In the exhibit you see a young Patuxet mother looking over a wampum belt while her child sleeps by her side. The beads in the belt are organized in a way to remind them of their ancestors— a great grandfather known for his fishing, a grandmother sachem, a messenger runner father, a mother that tended the crops, their many uncles and aunts and a husband that was taken as a slave in 1614. The young woman thinks of how she will record their place in the village. Produced by SmokeSygnals, a Native American owned marketing and communications company.

The Mayflower Scene: Mayflower Legacy

NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Outside (weather permitting) during regular library hours

A scaled model of the Mayflower created by artisan Terry Geaghan. In September 1620 the Mayflower set sail from England carrying 102 passengers. After more than two months at sea, the ship anchored off the coast of Cape Cod in what is current-day Provincetown Harbor. Four centuries later, we honor the legacy of the Pilgrims and the native Wampanoag people. Their stories embody the triumphs and tragedies of life in early America.


Online Events


Top 10 Published Resources for Early New England Research

August 15, 2019

Cost: FREE

Presented by Don LeClair, Associate Director, Database Search and Systems

Don’t reinvent the wheel! Many of New England’s early records and families have been researched, transcribed, or compiled as published sources. This presentation will direct you to essential finding aids, study projects, and scholarship and give you the tools to evaluate other published resources. | Registration will open in July 2019.