The New England Historic Genealogical Society presents a new, virtual author/book series in partnership with Boston Public Library and the WGBH Forum Network.
Upcoming events include:
Stephen Puleo with Voyage of Mercy: The USS Jamestown, the Irish Famine, and the Remarkable Story of America’s First Humanitarian Mission
Guest Moderator: Jean Maguire, Library Director at American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
Thursday, May 14, at 6:00 pm
The historian and author of American Treasures and Dark Tide returns with Voyage of Mercy, the remarkable true story of America’s first ever humanitarian mission—to Ireland in 1847 during the potato famine. In the early 1800s, the interactions between nations consisted of pure political strategy, warfare, and occasional trade. Then came one remarkable mission that inspired America to donate massive relief to Ireland that sparked America’s tradition of providing humanitarian aid around the world. Join us in the week of St. Patrick’s Day to learn more about the voyage of Boston sea captain Robert Bennet Forbes and the crew of the USS Jamestown—a little-known chapter of our home front history brought to life by one Boston’s best-loved historians.
Libby Copeland with THE LOST FAMILY: How DNA Testing is Upending Who We Are.
Guest Moderator: Amy Dockser Marcus, staff reporter, The Wall Street Journal
Wednesday, May 20, at 6:00 pm
The Lost Family is a deeply reported look at the rise of home genetic testing and the seismic shock it has had on individual lives. Journalist Libby Copeland explores the culture of genealogy buffs, the science of DNA, and the business of companies like Ancestry and 23andMe, all while tracing the story of one woman, her unusual results, and a relentless methodical drive for answers that becomes a thoroughly modern genetic detective story. Copeland delves into the many lives that have been irrevocably changed by home DNA tests, sharing the stories of adoptees who’ve used the tests to find their birth parents; donor-conceived adults who suddenly discover they have more than fifty siblings; some of the hundreds of thousands of Americans who discover their fathers aren’t biologically related to them; and individuals who are left to grapple with their conceptions of race and ethnicity when their true ancestral histories are discovered. Gripping and masterfully told, The Lost Family is a spectacular book on a big, timely subject. As headlined in the New York Times, “Before You Spit in That Vial, Read This Book.”
Hear from this celebrated author about her new biography-memoir—the story of her mother and herself, their relationship and changing lives as 20th-Century women. In past acclaimed books, Honor Moore has presented her bishop father, Paul Moore, and her Boston painter grandmother, Margarett Sargent. Now, with the sweep of an epic novel, she introduces readers to Jenny McKean Moore, her charismatic and brilliant mother who was born into privilege on Boston’s North Shore, and whose life shifted dramatically as she engaged in the peace and social justice movements of the 1960s. After nine children, Jenny realized her ambition to become a writer. Don’t miss Moore’s conversation with Claire Messud about Our Revolution and the lives of American women then and now.
These events are free of charge.