New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Celebrates a $58.5 Million Capital Campaign

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

The Country’s Founding Genealogical Society Honors Legendary Television Anchors Bob Schieffer and David Hartman with Their Family Histories

April 25, 2016—Boston, Massachusetts—Two of America’s legendary television journalists were honored here Friday evening by the nation’s founding genealogical institution, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), as it celebrated a history-making capital campaign at a news-filled Family History Benefit Dinner in Boston.

Bob Schieffer, the immediate past anchor of the CBS Evening News, moderator of Face The Nation, and former 60 Minutes correspondent, along with David Hartman, the documentary journalist and beloved, longtime host of ABC’s Good Morning America, were both given the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the event, in tribute to their contributions to history through distinguished broadcast journalism. In an exciting reversal of roles, however, it was NEHGS giving the news Friday evening as they revealed to both Schieffer and Hartman the detailed stories of their ancestry, researched by expert genealogists at the Society.

Brenton Simons, president and CEO of NEHGS, presented the honorees with expertly prepared genealogies of their families—a tradition of the Society for many years. Schieffer’s ancestry is marked by the arrival of early immigrant settlers to Texas from Germany in the mid-1800s and by the participation of his ancestors in The War of 1812 and the Civil War. Hartman’s ancestry is notable for his connections to many American Presidents, including three whom he has interviewed: Richard M. Nixon, Gerald R. Ford, and George H.W. Bush.

Headlining the evening’s news, Simons announced that the organization’s comprehensive capital campaign Connecting Families, Advancing History had exceeded its $55 million goal by more than $3 million—a record-setting achievement for the country’s oldest and largest genealogical society.

Moderating a lively conversation with Schieffer and Hartman about their broadcasting careers, world events, and personal interests, was NEHGS’s own distinguished newsman Bill Griffeth, anchor of Closing Bell on CNBC, and NEHGS trustee.

The event’s Corporate Benefactors were Wells Fargo, Freeman’s, Eastern Bank, Traust Sollus Wealth Management, and Welch and Forbes LLC.

The Society, with its national headquarters located in Boston’s Back Bay, celebrated its 170th Anniversary in 2015. It is the oldest and largest genealogical society in America. NEHGS was formally constituted in March of 1845 by an act of the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and now consists of more than 165,000 constituents engaged in family history nationally and around the world. It is home to a world-class research library and archive, an expert staff, offers an award-winning genealogical research website at, and maintains a publishing division producing original genealogical research, scholarship, and instruction each year.

Schieffer-Hartman-at-NEHGSIn the picture to the left, legendary television anchors Bob Schieffer (left) and David Hartman (2nd from left) were honored by NEHGS president and CEO Brenton Simons (2nd from right) with the Society’s Lifetime Achievement Award for distinguished broadcast journalism; Bill Griffeth (right) moderated a lively conversation with the honorees at the NEHGS Family History Benefit Dinner in Boston.


NEHG is one site I will never use again. Before computers I sent them a letter asking for the children of John Dickinson along with his birthdate of 1602 and they told me the cost which I sent. Ok so then they sent me the names of the children!!!! I took me a year almost to straighten out their mistake, by writing to English Parish who sent me the BMD’s of parents, uncles etc and all of the children that were baptised in the church. Then I also came about a book that also had the same names printed in the book from England. NEHG HAD SENT ME THE NAMES OF NATHANIEL’S SON JOHN’S CHILDREN!!!!! I wrote them and they said the names etc came from people who were doing their genealogy and sending to them???? Then just last year one of the young whippersnappers working in there said I was so wrong on one of my husbands ancestors on one of the roads he lived on that I had also lived on next door to the daughter of his ancestor and He will swear to this day I was wrong!!! but I have had the proof!!! Some way for a so highly recommended place to think they are so damn right when they are wrong and won’t admit!! And they charge way too much for any information and do nothing about being wrong!! Sorry but when I have been doing this for 70 years now and have had to contact Parishes in England and the town hall offices in the state or town to get the information, they still say I am wrong. Dot


Yikes. Ranting doesn’t help, Dot. Disagreements and conflicts in genealogy are as common as mud, and usually just as messy. They are going to take a long time to sort out, if that’s possible at all. Rather than shouting at NEHGS to no avail, it would be better to publish or post your research with all of your source citations, copies of records when possible, and all of your written arguments as well as reasons why you believe the other information is incorrect. Let others study it so they can decide which scenario is the most likely. Eventually, the best research will rise to the top. Just a suggestion.


I agree with Dot Smith
I don’t blame you for being upset, so was I with the results I received back from them.
I gave them the information I had on my ancestor, his place of birth and date, and asked for further information on HIM, – we have information on the rest of his family.
They gave no indication they had researched in the vast amount, of the all kinds of record they advertise they have, that isn’t available on line, ie Wills, land records, church records etc.- instead I was sent many sheets of pages copied from books, one group was family groups with the same name as my ancestor, – but different birthdays,- and pages on members of his family,- all of which we already have.
I received no new information.
They were so KIND as to offer to do research in the Quaker Monthly Meetings, suggesting
10 – 12 hours of research ! No thanks.
I told them of my disappointment, but I never got a reply.


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