Thirty Years of the Great Migration Study Project

Thirty Years of the Great Migration Study Project
Tickets Not On Sale

Presented by Robert Charles Anderson, Ian Watson, and Peter Van Demark
NEHGS, 99-101 Newbury Street, Boston
Saturday, January 26, 9:30 AM–4:30 PM
Cost: $85

In 1988, work began on a groundbreaking new study project regarding the earliest immigrants to New England. Thirty years later, the Great Migration Study Project, is the most authoritative and comprehensive scholarship ever published on this population and an essential resource for genealogists, historians, and descendants. Join Director of the Great Migration Study Project Robert Charles Anderson, FASG, and colleagues Ian Watson and Peter Van Demark for a seminar on the past, present, and future of this influential body of work. Topics will include: an examination of English research pre-dating the Great Migration Study Project, a discussion of possible avenues for new research, the reveal of a new interactive map that explores the geographic origins of Great Migration immigrants, and a look at the third series of project, which aims to cover immigrant arrivals between 1636 and 1638. This will also be the first public introduction to Ian Watson who will take on the creation and development of future series. Morning refreshments and lunch included. The seminar will end with a book sales and signing (open to the public) of the newest book in the study project, Puritan Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of the Great Migration to New England by Robert Charles Anderson, FASG.


9:30 Check-in, refreshments
10:00 Pedantic Pedigrees: The Deep Roots of Great Migration Research, Robert Charles Anderson
An examination of English research pre-dating the Great Migration Study Project, primarily that of James Savage, Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters, and J. Gardner Bartlett.
11:00 Unexplored Territory: Possible Avenues for New Research, Robert Charles Anderson
Many New England immigrants, especially ministers, have not been properly studied for a century or more. This presentation will discuss recent, in-depth explorations of Arthur Hildersham and John Wilson, and consider additional areas-and subjects-needing a fresh look.
12:00 Lunch (provided)
1:00 Interactive Map of English Origins, Robert Charles Anderson and Peter Van Demark
Based on the findings within the Great Migration Study Project, this interactive, web-based map depicts the known origins of Great Migration immigrants on a seventeenth-century map of England. The map can be searched by the name of the immigrant or the parish of origin.
1:45 The Great Migration Project Continues: Series 3 in Sight, Ian Watson
Work on sketches for the third series of Great Migration volumes is now underway and completion of the first book is projected for 2021. Ian Watson will explain what to expect from this next phase, including new features such as DNA data and source links.
2:30 Q & A
3:30 Reception and book signing
4:30 Conclude

About the Speakers:

Robert Charles Anderson has been the director of The Great Migration Study Project since its inception. He was born at Bellows Falls, Vermont, and holds degrees from Harvard, Caltech, and UMass Amherst. He was educated as a biochemist and served in the United States Army in electronics intelligence. Anderson is a Fellow and former President of the American Society of Genealogists, past coeditor of The American Genealogist, and editorial consultant to the New England Historical and Genealogical Register.

Peter H. Van Demark is a Life Member of NEHGS, and has recently edited and published "The Journals of New Lebanon Shaker Elder Rufus Bishop,” written by his 4G uncle. He is a computer cartographer at Caliper Corporation, and has contributed maps to “Pilgrim Pedigrees” and articles by Robert Charles Anderson. Peter is an avid birder, and a regular traveler with his wife, former NEHGS Trustee Kathleen “Kate” Van Demark. He has taken extensive photos on all four of the Great Migration trips, and looks forward to the Leiden trip this June.

Ian Watson has been the Genealogist of the Great Migration Study Project since April 2018, and is preparing sketches of immigrants who came to New England between 1636 and 1638. He was born in Rochester, New York, to originally Californian parents, and holds a bachelor's degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. from Rutgers. He joined NEHGS when he was twelve years old. He is also an associate professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and previously worked many summers in the group travel and guidebook industries.