Our Mission

To advance the study of family history in America and beyond, we educate, inspire, and connect people through our scholarship, collections, and expertise.

Founded in 1845, the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is the country’s leading resource for family history research. We help genealogists of all skill levels improve their knowledge and understanding of their family and its place in history. We provide our award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org, as the online repository for more than 1.4 billion searchable names from America and beyond. Although our name says New England, we provide expertise and research across American family history.


AmericanAncestors.org provides access to 1.4+ billion records spanning the United States, the British Isles, continental Europe, and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American genealogical records, the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines, and the only online source for records from Boston's Catholic Archdiocese.

Woman looking at laptop in kitchen


We provide exclusive, in-depth learning opportunities online and in person, including lectures, seminars, intensive research programs, tours, and special events designed to benefit family history researchers of all levels.

Students and teacher in a library

Expert Help

Our expert staff of researchers and genealogists are among the most respected and advanced in the profession. Ask a Genealogist, our free online chat service, allows family historians to ask short research or history questions and get real-time answers from our experts. We also provide in-depth research assistance with our Personal Genealogist for the Day service and research-for-hire projects.

Researcher and client review documents near bookshelves

Research Center

Named by USA Today as a top 10 world destination for family history, all are invited to visit our eight-story research center, library and archive where we offer the largest collection of original family history research materials in the country. Our growing collection dates from the fourteenth century to the present and spans North America, Europe, and beyond.

American Ancestors Research Center

Original Scholarship

We produce significant original research and publications in genealogy, including the longest continually published academic journal in the field, the Register. We also publish the quarterly American Ancestors magazine, the biannual Mayflower Descendant, twenty-to-thirty books per year, a weekly email newsletter, and landmark study projects in New England research.

Shelves of American Ancestors publications