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The New England Historic Genealogical Society, also known as NEHGS, is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United Statesmarker, founded in 1845. Today it has over 20,000 members worldwide. The Society's headquarters and library are located in Boston, Massachusettsmarker at 99-101 Newbury Street. The mission of NEHGS is to, "Collect, preserve, and interpret materials to document and make accessible the histories of families in America."

The Society publishes the New England Ancestors magazine and a weekly e-newsletter as well as its flagship journal, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. The Society's library catalog, which is available online, lists more than 200,000 genealogy books and other resources. The R. Stanton Avery Special Collections feature over two million manuscript items ranging from the seventeenth century to the present, covering New Englandmarker and other regions. The Society maintains a very large web site with more than 100 million names in its databases, the largest such online genealogy database of any genealogy society.


The first genealogical society in the United States, the Society was founded in 1845 by a group of five Boston merchants and book dealers. It reflected a trend of increasing interest in genealogy among the upper class, who were eager to reconnect with their forefathers. In contrast to existing historical societies like the Massachusetts Historical Society, which studied local history and some genealogy, NEHGS was the first society to focus mainly on genealogy, as reflected in the use of "historic" rather than "historical" in its name. Its founding spurred the founding of the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society, the second oldest genealogy society in the United States, two decades later in 1869.

The Society first admitted women members in 1898, and by 1908 157 women had been admitted. In the early 20th century, the Society undertook the important project of transcribing and publishing Massachusetts town vital records, which provided a valuable contribution to the genealogical field, as these volumes were reissued for the next forty years, and many of the records also were saved from destruction.

The Society began a popular lending library in the early 1940s. In 1964, membership totaled 3,000; today, it has grown to over 20,000 members. The Society has published CD-ROMs with genealogical records and maintains a large web site.

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register

The New England Historical and Genealogical Register or Register is the oldest journal in American genealogy and has been published quarterly since 1847. The published materials include transcriptions of original manuscript records, cemetery transcriptions, compiled family genealogies, and historical essays as well as corrections to and reviews of previously published works. Articles range in length from a page or two to multi-part articles which span several issues.

External links

See also


  1. The History of NEHGS
History of NEHGS

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