Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Don't Let Your Family Tree Die!

Wondering who your great grandparents were and where they came from?  There may be an answer to your question at the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, Massachusetts.  

The New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street in Boston has offered to be the repository for Armenian genealogical history — to accept materials (family trees, letters, oral histories) from the Armenian community relating to family history and genealogy, materials relating to Armenian families living in New England. 

Founded in 1845, the NEHGS is the country's founding genealogical organization and a leading national resource for family history research.  NEHGS has acted as a repository for family history material for years and is willing to accept materials from the Armenian community relating to family history and genealogy.  The NEHGS website includes several searchable databases of Armenian births, marriages, and deaths in Massachusetts between 1880 and 1915.  These extremely useful databases were compiled by William A. Brown, former U.S. Ambassador to Israel and to Thailand, and are available for free on the NEHGS website, AmericanAncestors.org .

The Armenian community of New England is an early immigrant community in North America. The first Armenians to settle in New England came in the early 1800s to pursue religious education in American universities. These Armenians had been converted to Protestantism by the American missionaries (from Boston) operating in historic Armenia. The next wave of immigration occurred after the 1895 massacres of Armenians in Turkey, and those who survived the Armenian Genocide (1915-23) arrived on these shores in the 1920’s.  Armenians were attracted to New England because of the employment opportunities provided them by the textile factories of Worcester, Massachusetts, and the Hood Rubber Factory in Watertown, Massachusetts. Since the establishment of those first communities, Armenians have taken pride in contributing to their local communities and over the years have become an integral part of the multi-cultural fabric of American society. 

If you are one of the hundreds of individuals who has compiled a family history, please consider donating it to NEHGS. NEHGS is a  premier research center which offers access to unique content, publications, research materials, expert staff, and vast collections of rare artifacts & primary documents.  Online materials include a vast collection of resources — databases, articles, tutorials, charts,  and other research materials. NEHGS is hoping that New England Armenian-American genealogical materials will soon be added to its impressive collections of New England Irish-American materials, New England African-American materials, and New England Jewish American materials.

The New England Historic Genealogical Society is the place where your descendants  — your great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren — will be able to go to learn about their family history.   That is, if you deposit family history at the NEHGS for those descendants to discover in the future.  

Donations of family history documents are the basis of NEHGS’s amazing collection of over 28 million items—the largest collection of original family history research materials in the nation. NEHGS encourages donations of materials from members and non-members alike.

Want to ensure your family’s documents are preserved for future generations? Call or email  NEHGS archivist Judy Lucey at jlucey@nehgs.org or 617-226-1223.  She will advise you on what NEHGS can accept and how you can go about submitting your materials.  You can find more information about donating materials on AmericanAncestors.org under “Library and Special Collections” or “Support.”

The donation of your family history is a gift to your ancestors, a gift to your descendants — a gift commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.


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