New England Genealogy: Tips from David Lambert

New England genealogy research is different than that in other areas of the United States. I recently spoke with David Allen Lambert, Chief Genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society for his tips on getting started. 

New England Genealogy Research - Tips from David Lambert


Click the play arrow to watch our short interview.

David stressed the importance of considering time and place, as resources vary. For example, he pointed out, "In the 18th century there are practically no passenger lists for the most part for the port of Boston."

Where New England differs from many parts of the country are the types of record kept on the town level (as opposed to the county). David explains what was kept by many towns (hint: it's vital) and how to determine which town your ancestor was in. (By the way, there are also districts to think about, which David explains.)

Resources Mentioned:

  • New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) at
  • Great Migration project by Robert Charles Anderson (covering immigrants to New England between 1620 and 1640).
  • Probate records on AmericanAncestors and FamilySearch. (Look by state for specific collections.)
  • Genealogist's Handbook for New England Research, edited by Michael J. Leclerc, now in its 5th edition. (Available at AmericanAncestors and Amazon.)
  • Extreme Genes, where David is a regular contributor.

(Note: the link to Amazon is an affiliate link, meaning that I earn a little bit when people purchase through that link.)

New England #genealogy research is different than other parts of the United States. Get the basics of what is available and where to look.

3 thoughts on “New England Genealogy: Tips from David Lambert

  1. I am wondering if there is any way to trace early ancestors without paying a lot of money. I joined My Heritage which just expired.

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