If your ancestors lived in New England at any time in its nearly 400 year history, we have professional genealogists who specialize in New England genealogy research and can help you learn more about your family history.
New England Genealogy Research
New England is a geographical region of the United States that includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. New England is the oldest distinguished region of the United States, and was originally inhabited by Native Americans, followed by the Pilgrims and Puritans who began arriving from Europe in the early- to mid-1600s.
Because of its long history you might think that there would be a plethora of records available to easily trace your New England roots. However, while it’s true that there are some great resources available, early New England genealogy research is rarely a quick or easy task. Between wars, natural disasters, and poor conditions for keeping records, many early records (if they were ever created in the first place) have been lost or destroyed over the course of time. However, just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it is impossible. Often it just requires some creative research methodology and a lot of patience.
New England Genealogy Records
If your ancestors came to New England as part of the earliest groups of settlers, one source that can be very helpful is A Genealogical Dictionary of the First Settlers of New England by James Savage. This book includes biographical sketches about many of the earliest settlers. While the information in it does contain some errors, and the amount and quality of information about each person varies, it can still be a great resource to use as a foundation for your research.
Some other useful New England genealogy records are land, tax, and probate records. These began as soon as settlers started moving into the area, so they can be helpful in making generational connections. Even if your ancestor died without leaving a will, there may be probate files that deal with the distribution of his estate, and these can help you piece families together.
Our Team of Professional Genealogists Can Help
The type, quantity, and quality of records varies by state (and even county) and time period, so it is important to do some research into the history of the area where your ancestral families lived to find out what records are available. If you aren’t sure where to start, or have hit a brick wall in your research, we have professionals on our team who specialize in New England genealogy research and would love to help!