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.
This month, 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.
The 250th Boston Tea Party anniversary year will culminate in a grand-scale, live reenactment of the Boston Tea Party on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023. Hundreds of reenactors will tell the story of the infamous Boston Tea Party and theatrically recreate the events of Dec. 16, 1773, at historic Old South Meeting House and Faneuil Hall in Boston, with a series of performances and programming.
The event will be followed by a public procession to the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, where the Sons of Liberty will destroy loose-leaf tea, around 250 pounds of tea sent from London's East India Company, in addition to tea sent in from citizens from around the country, by throwing into Boston's historic harbor. Information on these events and programming is available at BostonTeaParty250.com.
The new Boston Tea Party Descendants 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 important historical event that led up to the American Revolution.
Shawn P. Ford, executive director for the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, said, “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,” said 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.”
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 various membership tiers.
To apply to the Boston Tea Party Descendants Program, interested parties can go to BostonTeaPartyShip.com/Boston-Tea-Party-Descendants. The process for acceptance and vetting of application and lineage materials will take approximately six to eight weeks.
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 to honor the 250th anniversary year of the Boston Tea Party.
To learn more about the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, visit BostonTeaPartyShip.com.
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