American Ancestors by NEHGS Announces an Unprecedented, Historic Event for Genealogists: A BILLION Records FREE

The following announcement was written by the New England Historic Genealogical Society:

April 6, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts— America’s oldest and largest genealogical society announces a historic event for family historians around the world. From April 6 to April 13, American Ancestors by New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is offering FREE access to all of its online records on More than one billion records covering 18 countries— including the most important family history research materials for early America created by the experts and scholars at NEHGS—and all are open to anyone who registers for a free account. Start searching now at

Billions with URL Adjusted

To assist family historians of all levels in locating more pieces of the family tree puzzle, NEHGS is granting this unprecedented free access to its entire collection of genealogical databases from Wednesday, April 6, 2016, at 12:00 a.m. (EDT) through Wednesday, April 13, 2016, at 11:59 p.m. (EDT). Free accounts on ordinarily allow visitors only a sample of the vast offerings that NEHGS provides family historians of all levels. This unprecedented free access promotion by NEHGS from April 6 through April 13 offers the Society’s entire collection of online content for eight full days to anyone who registers for a free account.

About American Ancestors and NEHGS

Holding the largest collection of original family history materials in the country, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, founded in 1845, is the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. Our website,, offers access to more than 1 billion searchable records and leading scholarly resources to help you advance your family history research. Our expert staff helps researchers of all levels explore their past and their families’ unique place in history. Located in Boston, our research center houses millions of manuscripts, books, and original items to preserve the stories of families in America and beyond.


Thanks for the “heads up” on this availability of records. Have a great time in England.


The site is overwhelmed now or something. When I try a database search a little icon just keeps spinning and no results. If it stays like this for the entire free period then it will be useless.


Have tried twice now and, both times, after long delays, get the message “Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again!” Is it just me?


Same here.
It’s 2PM, EDT. May try again in the late night.


Site must be overwhelmed. Takes forever and then each search ends with “Oops! Something went wrong. Please try again!”

Not a way to build good will and encourage someone to join.


Cannot sign up on American Ancestors as it does not recognize my zip code. Keeps telling me it’s wrong (Salem NH 03079). Help!


So I can’t sleep and now it is working in middle of the night. But to see a scan of a result I have to make at least a guest account. Fine. I enter the information and get an error to the effect that my address does not match standard USPS format. I then click on the link provided to the USPS website and enter my address which I already know is correct. I then copy and paste that back to the NEHGS website including zip+4, and get the same error message again. If I had more New England lines I might call or email about this, but this experience makes me not want to care enough to do that.

Annual dues are not cheap, but I would have considered adding this to the sites I already subscribe to. But not with these problems.


I’ve been a member of NEHGS for years and I’ve never, ever, had such problems. I’m sure it’s just that the site is overwhelmed with people excited to use it while it’s free. Believe me, the information you will get (when you can get through) is well worth the wait — and it’s well worth the annual membership fee. I wouldn’t be without it.


Unable to share via email. Is Capcha working?


I was excited to have a chance to check this site out. I clicked to set up a free account and completed the information. Performed a search and now it tells me I have to create a guest account or purchase an account and let according to the header, I am already logged it. I receive search results but am unable to see any records. If I was able to get any results that looked interesting, I was willing to add this site to my membership portfolio. However, at this point, I feel like they’re offering “bait and switch.” And, of course, no one is available to talk to or email a question since they’re closed until Tuesday. Very frustrating.


Ruth M Lloyd Swinerton April 10, 2016 at 1:54 pm

I put in several of my ancesters names and you came up with NOTHING___The info I put in I DO have verification for !!!!!!


Not impressed. Keeps telling me something went wrong. I’ve only been able to look at one thing. Joining was on my someday list, not so sure I want to now.


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