The following announcement was written by the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum:
Thanks to groundbreaking research into the lives of the Boston Tea Party participants, descendants of these original patriots will, for the first time ever, be able to join an exclusive lineage society that honors their ancestors. Today the new Boston Tea Party Descendants Program is being launched by the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, dedicated to accurately reliving and representing a key time in history (1773-1775), in partnership with American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, the nation's first and leading center for family history research. The announcement comes during this 250th anniversary year of the Boston Tea Party, a momentous event that forever changed the course of American history.
This program will allow anyone with a family tree connection to an ancestor that took part in the Boston Tea Party to join this new member-based lineage society, with all research vetted by experts at American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society, America's oldest and largest genealogical society. The mission of the Boston Tea Party Descendant Program is to create a qualified lineage membership program dedicated to honoring and perpetuating the memories of those who actively participated in the Boston Tea Party and to foster interest in genealogical connections to participants in the Boston Tea Party, their families and those involved in this "single most important event leading up to the American Revolution".
"We are thrilled to create this first-ever Boston Tea Party descendant online portal of America's first patriots in partnership with the American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society in this 250th anniversary year of the Boston Tea Party," says Shawn P. Ford, Executive Director for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. "It is our hope to educate, inspire, and make genealogical connections to those who participated in the Boston Tea Party. American families – new and old – can benefit from knowing about their heritage in the context of this pivotal moment in history."
One feature of the Boston Tea Party Descendants Program will be a public-facing digital portal that members will help build through their contributions in the form of family papers, documents from other genealogical organizations etc. The Boston Tea Party Descendants Program will maintain digital records of all submitted applications with accompanying documentation and will continue to grow into the ultimate online resource for descendants, their families, researchers, and organizations, and live in perpetuity to bring a further personal and cultural understanding and connection to their shared history to the revolutionary event known as the Boston Tea Party.
"To date, there has never been comprehensive genealogical research produced that specifically looks at the Boston Tea Party participants," says Brenton Simons, CEO of American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society. "People are always excited when they can make a personal connection to the past and thanks to this new research into the lives of the Boston Tea Party participants, individuals will be able to link their ancestry to one of the most famous acts of defiance in history, and to join a group of members with that common connection. It's a thrilling way to inspire people to find out more about how their ancestors shaped the world we live in today!"
Applications for membership in the Boston Tea Party Descendants Program will be vetted by full-time professional genealogists at the American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society. Each application will be reviewed for genealogical integrity and historical accuracy before membership is approved.
The initial fee for applying to the Boston Tea Party Descendants Program is $400 which includes processing and vetting. Once accepted to the program, depending on the qualifying ancestor, members are invited to join one of the following membership tiers:
- Lineage Member: Includes any documented descendants from the following groups: Boston Tea Party Participants, Loyal Nine, Boston Sons of Liberty, North End Caucus, St. Andrew's Lodge, Ship guard volunteers, or Signers of November 1773 petitions to town selectmen. $125 annual fee.
- Eyewitness to History: Includes any documented descendants from inhabitants of Boston in 1773, or any eyewitnesses to the Boston Tea Party. $100 annual fee.
- For those who do not have Boston Tea Party ancestry but are interested in this program, they can join this membership tier (which waives the $400 vetting fee):
- Co-conspirator: Researchers, educators, or members of the public who wish to support the program. $75 annual fee.
To apply to the Boston Tea Party Descendants Program, interested parties can go to www.bostonteapartyship.com/boston-tea-party-descendants. The process for acceptance and vetting of application and lineage materials will take approx. 6-8 weeks.
American Ancestors also provides both research support and filming locations for the PBS show Finding Your Roots with renowned scholar and Harvard University Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party
The 250th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party will occur on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Boston will be the FIRST to mark the 250th anniversary of a landmark historic event in the United States' journey to independence. Boston will be honoring the Boston Tea Party in 2023 and will be leading the way as America begins to celebrate all major historic 250th anniversaries leading up to 2026, the semiquincentennial of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the founding of the United States of America.
In 2023, a multitude of other organizations across Boston and throughout Massachusetts are working together to create public engagements, dynamic programming, special exhibits, events, installations, and performances.
The 250th anniversary year will culminate in a grand-scale, live reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on Saturday, December 16, 2023. Hundreds of reenactors will tell the story of the infamous Boston Tea Party and theatrically recreate the events of December 16, 1773 at historic Old South Meeting House and Faneuil Hall with a series of performances and programming, followed by a public procession to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum where the Sons of Liberty will destroy loose tea, 250 pounds of tea sent from London's East India Company in addition to tea sent in from citizens from around the country, into Boston's historic harbor. Information on all events and programming is available at www.BostonTeaParty250.com.
ABOUT BOSTON TEA PARTY SHIPS & MUSEUM
The Boston Tea Party, "the single most important event leading up to the American Revolution, occurred the night of Dec. 16, 1773. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, owned and operated by Historic Tours of America, is dedicated to accurately reliving and representing a key time in history (1773-1775) through actors, tea throwing reenactments, high-tech interactive exhibits, authentic replica ships: the Beaver and the Eleanor, and an award-winning multisensory film, Let it Begin Here. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is open 7 days/week from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Summer/Spring) and from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. (Fall/Winter). Tours run every 30 minutes in the fall/winter and every 15 minutes in the spring/summer and last 1 hr. Closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum was voted #1 'Best Patriotic Attraction' in USA Today's '10Best Readers' Choice Awards 2016'; 'Best New Museum' in 2012 by Yankee magazine and 'Best of the New 2012' by Boston Globe Magazine. To learn more visit www.bostonteapartyship.com or call 1-855-(TEA)-1773. The Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum is located at 306 Congress St. on the Congress St. Bridge, Boston, MA 02210, over the same body of water where The Boston Tea Party took place.
ABOUT AMERICAN ANCESTORS/NEW ENGLAND HISTORIC GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
American Ancestors is a national center for family history, heritage, and culture. It is the global brand of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), America's oldest and largest genealogical society (founded in 1845). American Ancestors serves more than 350,000 members and millions of online users engaged in family history nationally and around the world through its website AmericanAncestors.org with more than 1.4 billion names in its databases. Located in Boston, Massachusetts' Back Bay, NEHGS is home to a world-class research center and archive, an expert staff, and the Wyner Family Jewish Heritage Center. It maintains a publishing division which produces original genealogical research, scholarship, and educational materials, including the Register, the flagship journal of American genealogy since 1847; American Ancestors, its award- winning magazine; and Mayflower Descendant, a quarterly journal of Pilgrim genealogy and history. For more information, visit www.americanancestors.org.
ABOUT THE 250th ANNIVERSARY OF THE BOSTON TEA PARTY
Meet Boston, the 250th Anniversary of the Boston Tea Party Board of Advisors and Revolution 250, a consortium of organizations working together to commemorate the 250th anniversaries of the events that led to American Revolution, in conjunction with a multitude of organizations in Boston and throughout Massachusetts, are working together to create a series of commemorative programs throughout the entirety of 2023, culminating in a grand-scale, live reenactment celebrating the 250thAnniversary of the Boston Tea Party which will be taking place on Sat., December 16, 2023. Details of all 2023 programming and information on the major reenactment celebration, visit www.BostonTeaParty250.com. Instagram/Facebook: @bostonteaparty250; Twitter: @BOSTeaParty250.