The National Society's Congress in Boston in 2016 takes you to places where history was made! Walk along the iconic Freedom Trail with its nationally significant historic sites and authentic treasures. Visit a unique collection of museums, churches, meeting houses, burying grounds, parks, a ship, and historic markers that tell the story of the American Revolution and beyond. Learn about the brave people who shaped our nation. Discover our rich history as it began in Massachusetts.
Outline of the events
Friday July 8th – Executive Committee Meetings, Genealogy Seminar, Local Tours.
Saturday July 9th – Lexington & Concord Visit, Ladies Hospitality Suite, State Reception.
Sunday July 10th – National Committee Meetings, Memorial Service, Oration Contest.
Monday July 11th – Opening of Congress, Youth Awards Luncheon, NEHGS Reception, Recognition Award Ceremony.
Tuesday July 12th – Sessions of Congress, Ladies Tour & Luncheon, Balloting/Elections, President General's Banquet.
Wednesday July 13th – Conclusion of Congress, Adams State Park Tour, USS Constitution Tour, Local Tours, National Committee Meetings, Installation Banquet.
Thursday July 14th – Local Tours, Visits with the chapters of the Massachusetts Society.
Hotel and local information
A large number of alternative hotels in Boston are available to you now that the Westin Copley is full. Some of these are in the neighborhood of the hotel. Others are on the subway line that stops within a few hundred feet of the Copley.
Please join us Monday July 11th, 5:00pm-7:30pm, at New England Historic Genealogical Society at a free reception and small group tours of the library. Established in 1845, NEHGS provides professional genealogists, important publications in genealogy, a data-rich website providing access to millions of records, and educational opportunities. Its eight-story library houses the largest collection of family research materials in the country. NEHGS helps family historians explore their past and understand their families' unique place in history.
This is a ticketed event with only 100 spaces. Registrants will be able to return to the library on either Tuesday or Wednesday during regular operating hours at no charge.
In addition, you will receive a welcome letter from NEHGS, to allow you to request a free 15-minute consultation, one-on-one, with a staff genealogist on Tuesday, July 12th, or Wednesday, July 13th. These reservations must be made directly with NEHGS by July 6th through a web link provided in the welcome letter. Those with a consultation should bring all of their genealogical information pertaining to their search, with a definite idea of the additional information they seek.
Please note that this event is limited only to the members of the Society. (Additional family members may register on our wait list.) Your ticket will be held for you at the Registration Desk of Congress to be included in your welcome packet. Tickets unclaimed by midday on the day of the event will go to those waiting.
NEHGS is three blocks from the Westin Copley Place Hotel (a 5-10 minute walk). A map with directions to the library will be in each welcome packet. Members of the Massachusetts Society will escort you there. More information on NEHGS is available on their website. Guests may leave the event early if required to accommodate Awards Night which begins at 8:00pm.
All scheduled tours will depart from the hotel by motor coach. Tickets will be available from the national society in late April or early May as a part of registraring for congress.
Saturday, July 9th
An all-day trip from Boston to Lexington and Concord by air-conditioned coach with lunch and private tour guide. Travel along the historic Battle Road Trail and follow the route Paul Revere took to warn about the British troops. Stand on the Lexington Battle Green. See the houses of famous authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott.
Lexington Battle Green
Captain Parker Statue
Revolutionary Battle Monument
"Stand Your Ground" Boulder
Lexington Visitors' Center
Old Belfry Site
North Bridge / Concord River
Minute Man National Historical Park (Lexington / Lincoln / Concord)
Battle Road Trail
Paul Revere Capture Site
Battle Road Visitors' Center / "The Road to Revolution"(film)
"Bullet Hole House"
Walden Pond / Thoreau hut
The Old Manse (Emerson / Hawthorne House)
Ralph Waldo Emerson House
The Wayside (Alcott / Hawthorne House)
Orchard House (Alcott House)
Old Hill Burying Ground
The Mill Dam site (Main Street)
Colonel Barrett's House & Farm/ Barrett's Mill Road
Wednesday, July 13th
Two of the tours offered Wednesday afternoon will visit the USS Constitution and Adams National Park:
The tour of Adams National Historical Park begins with the little farm that grew to a gentleman's country estate. It is the story of "heroes, statesman, philosophers ... and learned women" whose ideas and actions helped to transform thirteen disparate colonies into one united nation. The park includes the birthplaces of two presidents, the "summer White House," Stone Library, the Carriage House, and historic landscapes. On the return, the tour visits the church of Presidents John Adams and John Quincy Adams - Church of the Presidents. Both are both buried in its crypt.
The USS Constitution and Museum with "Old Ironsides" is a "must see" for everyone visiting Boston. The interactive galleries take adults, families and children of all ages on a 200-year voyage. See how a wooden hull helped earn the nickname Old Ironsides. Discover how the ship has remained undefeated since being launched in 1797. See how sailors ate a diet of hardtack and grog, and climbed masts 200 feet in the air.
A third set of tours on Wednesday afternoon will visit historical Boston and Cambridge:
The Freedom Trail
is a 2.5-mile, red-lined route that leads you to 16 historically significant sites — each one an authentic treasure. Explore museums and meetinghouses, churches, and burying grounds. Learn about the brave people who shaped our nation. Discover the rich history of the American Revolution, as it began in Boston, where every step tells a story.
Excellent optional tours will be available from vendors throughout the week.
The Museum of Fine Arts ranks as one of the world's most visited museums. The MFA's collection of more than 450,000 artifacts and paintings with a major wing devoted to the history of early America. Amid this treasure trove, make time for the museum's highlights, such as Renoir's Dance at Bougival, van Gogh's Portrait of the Postman and Winslow Homer's The Fog Warning.
The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is located in Columbia Point on a ten-acre park landscaped with pine trees, shrubs and wild roses reminiscent of the landscape of Cape Cod so familiar to the president. Experience the musuem's three theaters, period settings, and 25 dramatic multimedia exhibits. Enter the recreated world of the Kennedy Presidency for a “first-hand” experience of John F. Kennedy’s life, legacy, and leadership.
Reasons to attend
Here are some of reasons you will want to be here:
Education: Doors will be wide open to join meetings of the national committees that sponsor our programs for youth and veterans, to attend seminars on genealogy, to participate in training on the offices of the state societies, to meet representatives of our regional and international divisions, and attend Congress itself.
Leadership: Hear from the National Society's President and national leadership who bring their knowledge, passionate concern, and reflective visions of the future for our organization.
Connections: Be with hundreds that value the organization, to reunite with old friends, to meet virtual friends in person, and to expand your horizons. It rejuvenates the spirit.
Events: Begin with an invigorating welcome, a receptions,, opening address, and introduction to Boston itself. See the finals of the national competitions of our youth oration and poster contests during the week.
Boston: Enjoy its beautiful harbor, fascinating historical sites, unique museums, great chefs and cuisine, and so much more. See all the Boston has to offer.