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.

Online Course

Rodziną!: Researching Your Polish Ancestors

Live broadcasts: June 16, 23, and 30, 6:00—7:30 p.m. EDT; Access to course materials until September 30, 2021
Presented by James Heffernan, Genealogist
Cost: $85

Today there are an estimated 9 million Americans who have Polish ancestry. Connecting to your rodziną—family—in the old country, however, is not without its challenges. Language barriers, changing historical boundaries, and record access can forestall your success in tracing your Polish roots. This three-session course will set you up for success! Topics include how to locate your ancestral town or village using American sources, how to navigate shifting historical borders, review the types of records you are likely to find in each region, and provide case studies demonstrating various research strategies.

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

June 16 – Class 1: Introduction to Polish History and Locating Your Ancestral Town or Village

An overview of Polish History from the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth to today, with an emphasis on Poland’s shifting borders, religious groups, and languages. Examination of resources to help identify your Polish immigrant ancestor’s place of origin in Europe.

June 23 – Class 2: Finding Your Ancestors in Polish Religious and Civil Records

Religious and civil registration records form the backbone of Polish genealogical research. In this class, we will discuss how records were collected in each of the partitions (Prussian/German, Austrian, Russian), where they are stored, and how you can access them online or in-person. We will cover finding records on the website of the Polish National Archives, FamilySearch.org, and indexing efforts on Geneteka.Genealodzy.pl.

June 30 – Class 3: Alternative Sources for Polish Genealogical Research

Where do you turn when you have exhausted available religious and civil records? In this final class, we will discuss alternative sources like census, military, notarial, and property records. We will also discuss hiring a researcher in Poland to access non-digitized materials.

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

Online Course

Building Your Genealogical Skills

Live broadcasts June 22, 29, and July 6, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM EDT
Presented by Ann Lawthers, Genealogist
Cost: $85

Take your research skills to the next level! With the sheer number of online resources at your fingertips, it's easy to dive into your family history research without any formal training as a genealogist. Certainly, you'll learn along the way, and devise your own methods, but it's also easy to become overwhelmed and form bad habits. Whether you are new to genealogy, want to refresh your skills, or learn best practices, this course will set you on the right path to getting the most out of your family history research. Topics include: how to record your findings, strategies for analyzing records, online research, and more.

This course includes three 90-minute classes; exclusive access to handouts and recordings of each presentation; hands-on demonstrations and activities; and in-depth q&a sessions with the instructor. You will have access to the recordings, handouts, slides, and more until September 30, 2021.

NOTE: This program will be hosted via Zoom. Access information will be sent to participants upon registration. This course contains the same content presented in our Building Your Genealogical Skills seminar presented February 2021.

June 22 - Class 1: The Basics
Students will learn the major principles of good genealogy research practice, how to apply these practices in researching a family tree, and the most important types of records used in genealogical research.

June 29 - Class 2: Researching
Students will learn the value of research logs, creating a research plan, finding aids and more. This session will delve into the many crucial techniques of planning and organizing your research.

July 6 - Class 3: Analyzing
Part of becoming an effective researcher includes learning the basics of genealogical citation. Learn how to question genealogical sources and citations to make sure your research is valid.

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

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

The College of Arms in the Eighteenth Century

Thursday, June 24, 1-2 p.m. ET
Presented by Peter O'Donoghue, York Herald
Moderated by Nathaniel Lane Taylor, FASG
Presented by the Committee on Heraldry of the New England Historic Genealogical Society
Cost: FREE

The early decades of the eighteenth century saw the College of Arms at its lowest point in its history, when its relevance and even its survival seemed to be in doubt. Very few grants of Arms were being made, heraldic regulation was increasingly ineffective, and the practices of its Officers were in decline. Appointments were sometimes made for the wrong reasons, so that Officers might not be there for their heraldic or genealogical skills. Could the century see a revival of the fortunes of this ancient institution? Could it find new venues for its activities, new areas of expertise, and new sources of revenue? Could heraldry adapt to the changing fashions and aesthetics of the Enlightenment and Romanticism? This talk will seek to examine and answer these questions.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Author Event

Stephen Bown with The Company: The Rise and Fall of the Hudson's Bay Empire

Monday, June 28, 6-7 p.m. ET
Moderator: Jeff Breithaupt, Canadian-New Yorker songwriter, author, and podcaster
Presented in partnership with GBH Forum Network
Cost: FREE

Just before Canada Day, join us for a spirited evening featuring scholar Stephen Bown and his compelling narrative history of Canada’s famous Hudson Bay Company. Through the masterful control of a handful of English aristocrats, The Company rose from a small 1670 trading business – practical manufactured goods exchanged for furs with the Indigenous inhabitants of inland subarctic Canada – to the single biggest political and economic force in North America, ruling the lives of people from Hudson’s Bay to the Pacific Ocean. Don’t miss Bown’s illustrated presentation and insights on this rich and peopled history; and his discussion of Canada, then and now, with fellow countryman Jeff Breithaupt.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Online Course

Researching Acadian Ancestors

Live broadcasts: July 7, 14, and 21, 6:00—7:30 p.m. EDT; Access to course materials until October 31, 2021
Presented by Tricia Labbe, Ann Lawthers, and Rhonda R. McClure
Cost: $85

Tracing Acadian ancestry presents unique—but not insurmountable—challenges for family historians. Record loss, destroyed communities, and large-scale, disparate migration are just some of the obstacles facing genealogists. This three-week online course will provide you with the historical context, records, and research strategies to take your Acadian ancestry back to Canada and beyond. Learn how the Acadian population’s resilience in reclaiming their heritage and community has led to a wealth of genealogical information.

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.

July 7 - Class 1: A Brief Acadian History, presented by Tricia Labbe

This first class provides the foundational context of the French settlement of New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island between 1605 and 1765 and the Acadian deportation and subsequent movements across the world.

July 14 - Class 2: Acadians in Canada: Records & Research, Presented by Rhonda R. McClure

While some records of our Acadian ancestors did not survive, there are still several sources—and strategies—that we can turn to. This class will discuss how to locate and utilize Acadian parish records, vital records, land deeds, notarial records, and other deportation sources in your family history research, highlighting several key references and repositories.

July 21 - Class 3: Acadian Diaspora: Records & Research, presented by Ann G. Lawthers

Following the Acadian expulsion from Canada’s maritime provinces in the 18th century, many settled in New England, Louisiana, and beyond. This final class will examine some of the key record groups that detail your ancestor’s life after resettlement and will demonstrate various research strategies in uncovering their origins in Canada.

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

What’s New at AmericanAncestors.org?

Thursday, July 8, 3-4 p.m. ET
Presented by Molly Rogers
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.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Author Event

Peter S. Canellos with The Great Dissenter: The Story of John Marshall Harlan, America's Judicial Hero

Thursday, July 8, 6-7 p.m. ET
Moderator: Carlo Rotella, Professor of English, American Studies and journalism, Boston College
Presented in partnership with the Boston Public Library and GBH Forum Network
Cost: FREE

They say that history is written by the victors. But not in the case of the most famous dissenter on the Supreme Court, Justice John Marshall Harlan (1833-1911). The circumstance of his upbringing in Kentucky, alongside an enslaved man his father raised as his own son, and his persistent vision of American equality propelled Harlan to be one of our nation’s greatest defender of civil rights. His dissents were widely read and a source of hope for decades. Thurgood Marshall regarded Harlan’s 1896 dissent in Plessy v. Ferguson as his “Bible” and legal roadmap to overturning segregation. As a celebration of our country—home of the free, home of the brave—don’t miss learning about Harlan’s life and times, and his work that began the legal revolutions of the New Deal and Civil Rights era.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

Reimagining Historic House Museums

Friday, July 9, 4-5:15 p.m. ET
Presented by Ken Turino, Historic New England
Moderated by Curt DiCamillo
Cost: FREE

Join us when American Ancestors’ Curt DiCamillo hosts the legendary Ken Turino for a presentation on the state of historic sites across the United States and around the world. Ken, long-time curator and educator at Historic New England, will present an illustration-rich lecture that draws upon "Reimagining Historic House Museums: New Approaches and Proven Solutions," the seminal 2019 book he co-authored with Max van Balgooy that examines issues facing historic houses in these rapidly changing times.

Virtual Research Program

Summer Institute for Advanced Researchers: Managing an Oral History Project

Live broadcasts July 15 - 17 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. EDT
Presented by Experts at American Ancestors and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS
Cost: $375

Whether you are interested in collecting the stories of an individual, a family, or a community, oral history projects require a methodical approach. This seminar will give you the tools to organize your oral history project, encourage meaningful and productive conversations, record interviews, and share your results with generations to come. Open to current American Ancestors members only.

This online workshop will offer three full days of presentations, hands-on demonstrations, and group activities; in-depth q&a sessions with instructors; and extended access to recordings, handouts, slides, and more.

    Program includes:
  • Six lectures with access to recordings
  • Handouts, templates, slides, and other materials
  • Activity, demo sessions, and group discussions with our experts and other participants

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, July 15
Day 1: Getting Started
9:30 AM: Welcome and Introductions
10:00 AM - 11:00 PM: Lecture & Discussion: Project and Process Overview
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Activity: Outline Your Scope
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lecture & Discussion: Research and Development
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Activity: Prepare a Questionnaire
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Oral History Project Case Study

Friday, July 16
Day 2: The Interview
9:30 AM: Homework Review
10:00 AM - 11:00 PM: Lecture & Discussion: Interviewing 101
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Activity: Interview a partner
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lecture & Discussion: Equipment and Digital Preservation
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Activity: Preservation Plan
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Oral History Project Case Study

Saturday, July 17
Day 3: From Ethics to Access
9:30 AM: Homework Review
10:00 AM - 11:00 PM: Lecture & Discussion: Transcription 101
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM: Activity: Transcription Practice
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM: Break for Lunch
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Lecture & Discussion: Ethics, Consent, and Access
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: Activity: Draft legal release forms
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM: Oral History Project Case Study

*Schedule subject to change.

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

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Author Event

Menachem Kaiser with Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure

Tuesday, July 20, 6-7 p.m. ET
Moderator: Dr. Bernice Lerner, author and senior scholar at Boston University's Center for Character and Social Responsibility
Presented by the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center
Cost: FREE

On a Fulbright Fellowship in Lithuania in 2010, Toronto native Menachem Kaiser traveled to Poland and there, in the village of Sosnowiec, he was inspired to take up his Holocaust-survivor grandfather’s former battle to reclaim the family’s apartment building. His encounters with long-time residents of the building and with a Polish lawyer known as “The Killer” are intwined with a surprise discovery of a cousin’s secret memoir revered by a band of Silesian treasure seekers who believe it is an indispensable guidebook to Nazi plunder. Don’t miss hearing about Kaiser’s extraordinary journey and exploration of the many issues surrounding inheritance, legacy, and family history. Hosted by the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center at NEHGS.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Webinar

The Great Migration to New England: Conventicles to Companies to Congregations

Thursday, July 22, 3-4 p.m. ET
Presented by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG
Cost: FREE

During the 1630s the migration process to New England was evolving from a pre-planned, top-down system, to a more spontaneous, bottom-up organization. This webinar will explore the evolution of the manner in which committed puritans moved from old England to New England, beginning with clandestine and illegal meetings known as conventicles, which gave rise to small groups or companies of families crossing the Atlantic together, resulting in the formation of new congregations and communities in the New World. We will study five different examples of this process, three led by ministers and two by laymen: Rev. John Wilson’s Sudbury company; Mr. Thomas Oliver’s Thorpe Achurch company; Rev. Thomas Hooker’s Braintree company; Mr. Edmund Hobart’s Hingham company; and Rev. Richard Blinman’s Welsh Marcher company.

Brought to you byThe Brue Family Learning Center

Online Conference

Researching 17th-Century Settlers to New England

Access to Five Pre-Recorded Classes starting July 16 until October 31, 2021; Live panel discussion with instructors Saturday, July 24 2:00 – 3:30 PM
Presented by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG; Christopher C. Child; David Curtis Dearborn, FASG; Lindsay Fulton; Alicia Crane Williams, FASG
Cost: $125

The 17th-century colonists in New England are one of the most studied groups on the planet. Prior to 1700, the European population of the area was still sufficiently small and compact enough to be manageable from a genealogical standpoint. In many cases, town vital records, church, colony, court, probate, land, military, and tax records not only have survived, but have been abstracted and published. Through this online seminar, you will learn how to make real headway in your early New England research by using go-to published sources, original records, and targeted research strategies, while gaining valuable historical context to understand your ancestors’ lives and motivations.

This online seminar includes access to 5+ hours of pre-recorded presentations by renowned speakers, authors, and professional genealogists; a live q&a session with the instructors; special offers and virtual “door prizes"; and access to handouts, slides, and other resources until October 31, 2021.

Class 1: Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England, Presented by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG

This first session lays the groundwork of understanding the genealogical and ideological connections among the Puritans who settled New England and discusses why they emigrated from England.

Class 2: Settlement of New England, Presented by David Curtis Dearborn, FASG

From Plymouth Colony to the frontiers of northern New England, early migration and settlement patterns are complex. By understanding the movements of New England’s earliest settlers, you will gain a valuable overview to the region’s history. This understanding may also inform genealogical conclusions about your own ancestors.

Class 3: 17th-Century Published Resources, Presented by Lindsay Fulton

Don’t reinvent the wheel! Many of New England’s early families have been researched and their records transcribed or compiled as published sources. This class will direct you to essential finding aids, study projects, and scholarship.

Class 4: Working in and Understanding Original Records, Presented by Alicia Crane Williams, FASG

While much has been transcribed and published, there are still instances in which you will need to locate original records, decipher 17th century handwriting, and understand nomenclature particular to this time and place. Alicia Crane Williams illustrates how to go about working and understanding important primary sources.

Class 5: Breaking Down Genealogical Brick Walls in 17th-c. New England, Presented by Christopher C. Child

As with most areas of family history, early New England is not without its challenges. Common names, missing maiden names, and unknown origins are just some of the issues facing family historians for this period. Using a number of case studies, Christopher C. Child will bring to light some lesser known resources, discuss strategies for breaking down genealogical brick walls, and even use DNA to solve a genealogical brick wall.

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

Dorothy Wickenden with The Agitators: Three Friends Who Fought for Abolition and Women’s Rights

Tuesday, July 27, 6-7 p.m. ET
Moderator: S. C. Gwynne, Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times best-selling author
Presented by American Inspiration Author Series in partnership with the Boston Public Library and the State Library of Massachusetts
Cost: FREE

Join us to hear the story of the “agitators,” three friends and neighbors in Auburn, New York, at the forefront of cultural change during the Civil War years. Harriet Tubman was one of the most important conductors on the underground railroad. Martha Wright, Quaker mother of seven, and Frances Seward, wife of Governor, then Senator, then Secretary of State William H. Seward, were fellow agitators, hiding enslaved men, women, and children rescued by Tubman in their basement kitchens. Through these women’s richly detailed and intimate letters, Dorothy Wickenden brings to life their remarkable work, including their personal and political intersections with Lincoln, Seward, Daniel Webster, Frederick Douglass, Charles Sumner, John Brown, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and William Lloyd Garrison. Don’t missing hearing about The Agitators and this extraordinary period of American history.

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.