Monday, November 30, 2015

December 2015 Genealogy and Local History Event Calendar

November 28, Saturday, 9am, NEHGS Irish Genealogy Study Group, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  The Irish Study group meets on the last Saturday of the month to discuss research problems and share solutions.

November 21 to January 3, Christmas at the Newport Mansions, see the entire schedule of events

November 27 – December 20, Holiday Lantern Light Tours at Mystic Seaport, Mystic, Connecticut.  The 36th annual theatrical production of Lantern Light Tours.  Set in 1876, this play unfolds in the museum’s historic buildings and vessels.  Visitors of all ages will enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride, the beautiful glow of lanterns that light the way and a visit with St. Nicholas!  This is a 70 minute progressive performance that covers a half mile of uneven terrain (cobblestones, grass, stairs) and is performed in all weather.  Each tour is limited to 16 people, and not recommended for children under age 4.  See this link to reserve a ticket:

December 1, Tuesday, 7pm, Finding Cousins Using DNA, at the Chelmsford Public Library's McCarthy Meeting Room, Chelmsford, Massachusetts, presented by Pam Holland and sponsored by the Chelmsford Genealogy Club.  Free to the public.

December 1, Tuesday, 5:30 – 7:30pm, In Their Shoes: The Experiences of Worcester’s Extraordinary Women, at the Worcester Public Library’s Saxe Room, Worcester, Massachusetts.  Contact Maureen Ryan Doyle 508-735-3217.  The Worcester Oral History Project (WWOHP) will read excerpts of the new book.  It is the culmination of research into the more than 300 oral history that WWOHP has collected, preserved and shared since its inception in 2005. Free to the public.

December 2, Wednesday, 6:30pm, Family Stories: How and Why to Remember and Tell Them, at the Plaistow Public Library, 85 Main Stree, Plaistow, New Hampshire. Free to the public, contact Brianna Sullivan 603-382-6011.  Presented by storyteller Jo Radner, who will share some foolproof ways to mine memories and interview relatives for meaningful stories and oral history.

December 2, Wednesday, 7pm, Family History Research Workshop, at the Watertown Public Library, 123 Main Street, Watertown, Massachusetts. Free to the public, but please register- space is limited to 8 people. Call (617) 972-6436. Presented by local genealogical researcher Liz Kolster.

December 2-13, Kennebunkport’s Annual Christmas Prelude, in historic Kennebunkport, Maine.  See the full schedule of events here:

December 3, Thursday, noon, Lunch and Learn: Victorian Era Nutrition, at the Visitor Center at Plimouth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts, speaker Tani Mauriello will explain how families 150 years ago made healthy food choices.  Free to members, $8 non members. Register here:

December 3, Thursday, 6pm, Brewing in New Hampshire: An Informal History of Beer in the Granite State from Colonial Times to the Present, at the Work Nest NH, 85 South State Street, Concord, New Hampshire. Free to the public.  Contact Karina Kelley for more information 603-254-6211.

December 4-6, 11- 13, 18 – 20, Friday to Sunday, 5pm – 10pm, Christmas by Candlelight, at Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. An enchanted evening of gingerbread, roasted chestnuts, music, dance and a slight ride (weather permitting).  Meet Father Christmas and Santa Claus.  $15 admission for entrance, see the website

December 4 – 6, Christmas In Salem: Twelve Houses of Christmas, Salem, Massachusetts.  Tour 12 historic houses in Salem’s McIntire District, including PEM’s Ropes Mansion.  Organized by Historic Salem, Inc.  $35 tickets at 

December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 4 – 6pm, Holiday Lantern Tour, at the Brick Market Museum, 127 Thames Street, Newport, Rhode Island, recurring Friday and Saturdays in December, Hear the history of holiday traditions and learn how colonial Newport celebrated the holidays.  Reservations suggested as space is limited. $15 per person.  Contact the Newport Historical Society (401) 841-8770.

December 5 and 6, Saturday and Sunday, Candlelight Stroll, at Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth, New Hampshire. $20 adults, $10 children, $50 for families, Tickets can be pre-purchased by phone 603-433-1107. 

December 5, 12 and 19, Saturdays, and December 6, 13 and 20, Sundays,  Holiday Dinners in Pitt Tavern, New!  Presented by Pickwick’s at the Banke, a seated Holiday Dinner in the historic William Pitt tavern during the Candlelight Stroll. Live music, a four course colonial dinner, (menu by Chef Evan Mallett).  Reception starts ½ hour before dinner.  Seatings at 4pm, 6pm, 8pm)  Adults $65, children 12 and under $25.  For reservation tickets click here:

December 5, 6, 11, 18, 23, at 6pm,  Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol Costumed Reading and Dining Experience, at the Plimoth Plantation, Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Imaginative staging, delicious food and beautiful traditional carols create a wonderful experience!  (December 5 has a noon matinee and a 6pm evening performance).  Tickets must be purchased in advance, see this link:

December 5, Saturday, Chester Greenwood Day, Farmington, Maine.  The annual celebration of the famous inventor of the earmuff! Parade at 11am, downtown sales shopping, the annual dip into frigid Clearwater Lake and more.

December 5, Saturday, 10am – 3pm, Annual Shaker Christmas Fair at the Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, 707 Shaker Road, New Gloucester, Maine. Shaker baked goods, gifts and holiday items including fresh cut Maine Christmas trees and wreaths, garage sale.  Lunch plates will be served. Free to the public.

December 5, Saturday, 9am – 5pm, Climbing Your Family Tree: A Day of Genealogy for Kids at NEHGS!  At the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts, for ages 8 – 18 (children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult).  FREE and open to the public.  Bring your kids and grandkids for a day of family history fun featuring arts and crafts, scavenger hunts, family lectures and more.  Create a keepsake ornament to bring home.  Register at this link:

December 5, Saturday, Christmas at “North Pole of the North Country” in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, An entire schedule of FREE events in historic Bethlehem, the highest elevated town east of the Rocky Mountains. Join in the time honored tradition of having your holiday cards and letters postmarked at by Santa with a special Bethlehem postmark at the Post Office!!events/ct3q

December 5, Saturday, 10am – 4pm, Holiday Open House at the Millyard Museum, 200 Bedford Street, Suite 103, Manchester, New Hampshire.  Guest appearance by Santa from 10am – 11am.  Children’s crafts, storytelling, new exhibits, raffles, old fashioned games with prizes, cookies and cider, and shop in the museum shop.  FREE admission.

December 5, Saturday, 11am – 4pm, Holiday House Tour of Historic Concord, Massachusetts.  $40 for Concord Museum Members, $45 nonmembers.  Purchase tickets online

December 5, Saturday, 12 – 3pm, A Homestead Christmas, at the Remick Farm Museum, in Tamworth Village, New Hampshire. $5 per person, ages 4 and under FREE.  Special tours, samples of Victorian Christmas cookies and syllabub, seasonal decorations, pet the farm animals, holiday crafts, open hearth cooking demonstrations, hand crafted goods for sale and delicious farmhouse kitchen baked goods to buy.

December 5, Saturday, 12pm – 2pm, Music in the Meetinghouse, at the Rocky Hill Meeting House, 4 Old Portsmouth Road, Amesbury, Massachusetts.  UMass Lowell’s Connexion singers bring the meetinghouse alive with holiday music from the period in which it was built.  No restroom.  Building is unheated.  Call with concerns or for more information  978-462-2634.  Free to Amesbury residents and Historic New England members, $5 nonmembers.

December 5, Saturday, 1pm, Discover Mount Auburn – Walking Tour, at the Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts. $5 members, $10 nonmembers.  This tour will focus on stories of history, monuments and the lives of those buried here.

December 10, Thursday, 6pm, Christmas Dinner and Concert at Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Festive cocktails, fine dining, holiday bluegrass and folk music.  $60 non members, $50 members.  Children 2 and under FREE. 

December 11, Friday, 1pm A Cup of Christmas Tea with the Rodgers Memorial Library Genealogy Club.  Come join the genealogy club for a spot of tea (or coffee), with cookies and holiday memories.  Writing down your family traditions is an important part of genealogy. The guests will discuss ways to preserve customs and also listen to a reading via video of the book "A Cup of Christmas Tea".  Please register at or call 603-886-6030.   

December 12, Saturday, Holiday Fireside Chat and Book Signing with the NEHGS Experts, chat sessions at 10:30am, 1pm, and 3:30pm, at the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99 – 101 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  FREE to the public.  Visit with award winning family history experts Robert Charles Anderson, Christopher C. Child, and Alicia Crane Williams.  Enjoy free access to the library, complimentary hot drinks and snacks, and special “in-store” pricing on charts, books and gifts.  Seating is limited, please register here

December 12, Saturday 11am – 3pm, Holiday House Tour, sponsored by the Beverly Historical Society, Beverly, Massachusetts.  A holiday stroll to see historic houses in their seasonal finery.  All houses are within walking distance of downtown Beverly. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at this link:  Call 978-922-1186 x0 for more information.

December 12 & 19, 2 – 6pm, Light in the Darkness: a Plimoth Plantation Christmas, at the Plimoth Plantation museum in Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Take a candlelit tour through the English settlers village, sit by the roaring fire, and talk with colonists about how they marked Christmas in the New World. Try holiday treats, watch a traditional Mummers play, hear about the Native winter solstice, and see a live nativity in the barn.  Be sure to dress warmly, and purchase your timed ticket at this link: or call (508) 746-1622 x8359.

December 14, Monday, 6pm, She Can Bring Us Home: Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee, Civil Rights Pioneer, at the Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts.  $10 fee, to register call 617-646-0578 or visit A Talk by Diane Kiesel, acting justice of the New York Supreme Court and adjunct professor of law.  She will discuss her book on Dr. Dorothy Boulding Ferebee and her activist career.

December 16, Wednesday, 10:30am, A Visit with Queen Victoria, at the Plymouth Senior Center, 8 Depot Street, Plymouth, New Hampshire.  Free to the public, Sally Mummey performs this living history in proper 19th century clothing resplendent with royal orders. Snowdate, December 17th, same time and place.  Contact Robin Koczur for more information 603-536-1204.

December 26 to January 3, December School Vacation Week at Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts. Keep the kids busy during school vacation with a wide range of crafts, entertainment and outdoor activities including sledding and sleigh rides.

January 2, 16, 23, 5 – 9pm, Dinner in a Country Village, at Olde Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, Massachusetts.  $95 per person, $75 for OSC members.  Gather in the parsonage where costumed 19th century interpreters will oversee the preparations, but participants do the roasting, baking, and mulling over an open hearth.

January 5, Tuesday, 7pm, Margaret Bourke-White, America’s Eyes, at the Exeter Historical Society, 47 Front Street, Exeter, New Hampshire.  Free to the public.  Sally Matson presents a living history moment using WWWII era Vmails found at Syracuse University.  Contact Barbara Rimkunas for more information 603-778-2335. 

Planning ahead:

March, 2016,  Beginning the Journey of Genealogy, a four week genealogy course at the the Montachusett Regional Vocational Tech School, 1050 Westminster Street, Fitchburg, Massachusetts by genealogist Jake Fletcher.  See this link for more information:

April 2017, NERGC 2017, at the Mass Mutual Center, 1277 Main Street, Springfield, Massachusetts 

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