Posted in Archives

American Ancestors

American Ancestors ( is the online archive at the New England Historic Genealogical Society. It is the most-used genealogical society website in the world. This archive provides access to more than one billion records. Included in their collections are early American records including England, New England, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia materials. They also maintain the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines.

A free Guest account gives web visitors access to a limited number of databases and occasionally offers access to selected databases for a limited time. The free databases include:

  • Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850
  • Worcester County, MA: Index to Probate Records, 1731-1881
  • Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati
  • Gloucester, MA: Burials in Gloucester Cemeteries
  • Social Security Death Index
  • Irish Immigrant Advertisements, 1831-1920
  • New York Wills, 1626-1836
  • Index of Revolutionary War Pensioners
  • Middlesex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1648-1871
  • Rhode Island Roots journal
  • Mass Historical Data Relating to Cities and Towns
  • American Jewish Historical Society – New England Archives: Jewish Cemeteries in Massachusetts
  • Sharon, MA: Sharon Memorial Park Cemetery
  • Ware, MA Families, Genealogies of
  • Weymouth Revolutionary War Soldiers and Sailors
  • Essex County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1638-1881
  • Plymouth County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1686-1881
  • Worcester County, MA: Probate File Papers, 1731-1881
  • Suffolk County Court of Common Pleas – Index to Cases, 1756-1776
  • Norfolk County, MA: Index to Probate records, 1793-1900
  • Armenian Immigrant Births, Deaths and Marriages in Massachusetts – 1880-1915
  • Boston, MA: Taking Records, 1800
  • Family Tree Samplers

There are three levels of membership offering different services. The Individual membership ($89.95/year) offers research benefits for one individual while the Friend level ($150/year) includes discounts on consultations and research-for-hire with a 15-minute complimentary consultation. The Associate level ($250/year) includes the same discounts along with a 45-minute complimentary consultation. Some of the Friend and Associate membership fees are tax deductible.

The society also publishes the Vita Brevis blog ( which is available to all. It spotlights items from their collections, offers tips, announces special offers and other useful information. If you are researching ancestors in the New England region, this blog offers an good preview of what American Ancestors has available.

Posted in Archives

The Genealogy Column at Boston Evening News

The Boston Evening News was published from 1830 to 1941. Between 1906 and 1941, it featured a genealogy column in which readers would submit and respond to queries. It is estimated that two million names had been included in those columns. This collection is part of the archives at the New England Historical and Genealogical Society.

Recently they partnered with FamilySearch to digitize the collection. Several weeks later the scanning was completed and the collection is now browsable at (the NEHGS website). The Vita Brevis blog has details on the collection and tips for using it to learn more about your family.


Posted in News

NEHGS Offers All Its Irish Resources on from August 2 through August 9

Experts at New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) know the best resources for Irish genealogy and can teach you to use them effectively. During the Irish Resources FREE Access promotion from NEHGS—beginning Tuesday, August 2, and effective through midnight (EST) on Tuesday, August 9—Guest Users on can browse and use a wide variety of Irish records, articles, subject guides, and webinars.

Details at Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter.

Posted in News

Free Access to 

From now until April 13th, NEGHS is offering access to all the online records at for free! is the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s portal to America, providing a wealth of resources for family history research. We provide expertise and research in nearly all aspects of genealogy, from seventeenth-century colonial New England through twentieth-first-century immigration research.


Posted in News

NEHGS Offers Free Access to African American Databases

NEHGS has made five black history data collections available for free during the month of February. They include:

Get the details at

Posted in News

NEHGS Introduces African American Research Portal

To commemorate Black History Month in February, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has assembled a wealth of information in a single portal on its data rich website, offering important resources to the researcher of African American ancestry. The portal, located at, features a NEHGS webinar and study guide about African American genealogy, and hints concerning researching African American and other minorities in online databases, as well as beautifully illustrated articles on several important African American historical figures, culled from the vast manuscript collection at NEHGS.

Visit American Ancestors ( for details.