Salem Ancestry Week

Celebrate genealogy and ancestral connections to Salem, Massachusetts, during a weekend of lectures, tours, and research.

Residents and visitors are invited to celebrate their ancestral and immigrant connections to Salem, Massachusetts during the first annual Salem Ancestry Days celebration, which will be held May 1-4, 2020. The weekend will feature lectures, tours, research opportunities, and information on the people who connect us all to Salem.

Whether one is considering the Salem Witch Trials, author Nathaniel Hawthorne, abolitionist Charlotte Forten, navigator Nathaniel Bowditch, architect Samuel McIntire, or one of the families that left their mark on Salem’s maritime history, there are remarkable connections to be made to the people who created the Salem story. Event organizers also hope connections are made to the native persons, the Naumkeag, who lived on the land prior to the arrival of Roger Conant and the Dorchester Company, and the enslaved or indentured persons who were not in Salem by choice.

In the early 20th century the Great Salem Fire changed the landscape of downtown Salem and gave rise to new neighborhoods of French Canadian, Polish, and eastern European immigrants. Today Salem is a home to communities of Latinx and Hispanic heritage that can and should be celebrated through Salem Ancestry Days.

For centuries, Salem has been a destination for emigrants, immigrants and travelers. The community is a landing point and a starting point for families who are starting their American journey or changing their family’s trajectory.  Through collaboration with the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum, Essex National Heritage Commission, American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society, and the City of Salem, the Ancestry Days celebration intends to be a gathering point for descendants of Salem’s families as well as a research opportunity for people who want to learn more about their family history.

Events and programs will be shared on SalemAncestry.org in early 2020.