Online Course: Massachusetts Research (View-Only)
All course materials available until August 31, 2021.
Due to popular demand, we have created this special "view-only" opportunity for you to participate in our online course Massachusetts Research: Four Centuries of History and Genealogy. Upon completion of your purchase, you will receive a receipt of your payment and a separate email with information on how to access the course recordings and materials (slides, handouts, etc.). You will have until the end of August 2021 to watch, download, or print the course materials. This purchase does NOT grant you access to the live class broadcasts. You will not miss any of the content by participating this way.
About the course:
Whether your family connection to Massachusetts is 400 years old or 40, there is a treasure trove of genealogical resources waiting for you: vital records have been kept by towns since the early seventeenth century; newspapers have existed since colonial times; and there are thousands of published genealogies, local histories, study projects, and other references that exist for Massachusetts research. This online course will provide a century-by-century look at the records, resources, repositories, and research strategies that are essential to exploring your Massachusetts roots. We will also look at the historical context, settlement patterns, and migrations into—and out of—the state; from colony to Commonwealth.
Class 1: 17th-Century Massachusetts Research, David Allen Lambert
17th-century Massachusetts colonists are some of the most researched and written-about group of people on the planet, but there remain research challenges: distinguishing people with the same name, understanding unique record sets, and more. This first class will look at the beginnings of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth Colony and the people who inhabited the lands prior to colonization, provide an overview of the many published genealogical resources and record transcriptions available, demonstrate how to locate and utilize primary sources, and discuss how to overcome common research challenges.
Class 2: Class 2: 18th-Century Massachusetts Research, Melanie McComb
The 18th century was a transformative and foundational period for Massachusetts: continued colonial conflicts, movement westward, revolution, the abolition of slavery, and ultimately statehood. This session will look at just some of the many records of the era—pre and post American independence—including military records, tax lists, census records, newspapers, city directories, and more.
Class 3: Class 3: 19th-Century Massachusetts Research, Hallie Borstel
Massachusetts experienced even more transformation in the 19th century, from the industrial revolution to the Civil War to an increase of immigration from Canada, the British Isles, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, and beyond. This class will look at the start of the state census, the age of the passenger list, pension files, expanded vital records, published genealogies and local histories, and less commonly used records.
Class 4: 20th-Century Massachusetts Research, Danielle Cournoyer
Continued urbanization and industrialization characterized much of 20th-century Massachusetts. This final session will look at records that emerge in the 20th century—and the changes in records and record keeping that persisted since the 17th century, with particular attention to the topic of “access” and the go-to repositories for Massachusetts research.
NOTE: This copyrighted broadcast is the property of New England Historic Genealogical Society. Any rebroadcast or reproduction without the express written consent of NEHGS is strictly prohibited.