Bestselling Author Stephen King and Wife Tabitha Make $1.25 Million Gift to Advance Educational Programming at American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society on Newbury Street
Bestselling author Stephen King and his wife Tabitha have made a gift of $1.25 million through the Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation to New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) —known online as American Ancestors to millions of users—the nation’s oldest and largest genealogical society. The purpose of the gift will be to develop educational programming that introduces family and local history to wider audiences and helps the organization expand its Back Bay headquarters in Boston. It will also fund the creation of a unique curriculum in family history for public school students. This gift follows the organization’s successful $62.5 million capital campaign and its acquisition of an adjacent building at 97 Newbury Street, into which the organization will soon expand.
Brenton Simons, President and CEO of NEHGS and American Ancestors, announced the Kings’ gift: “This magnificent support will aid us as we expand our headquarters over the next few years. Our new wing will include a family history discovery center where intergenerational visitors will learn about how to conduct family and local history research, explore DNA tech-nologies, delve into immigration history, and other topics of national interest.”
“Most of all,” Simons continued, “it will help us to develop new, cutting-edge resources for expanding the practice of genealogy to new users, and by educating young people it will have far-reaching benefits. We celebrate the King family’s sharing of our vision for offering new methods of discovery of family history to new and diverse constituencies.” “The King gift will advance the creation of innovative resources and the development of a school curriculum, and teacher orientation and training, so that an important segment will have access to the study of genealogy in public-school classrooms,” Simons concluded.
American Ancestors and NEHGS are leaders in the creation and delivery of educational products and programs, providing innovative online and in-person instruction to its 250,000+ members worldwide through its American Ancestors brand. The expansion of its Back Bay campus facility in Boston into a center for the discovery of family history will include educa-tional experiences designed to engage visitors of all backgrounds and interest levels in the exploration of their unique family story. New resources there will allow a visitor to explore their personal family history, discover stories of how and why people came to America,learn about the indigenous people who were already on America’s shores, better understand the burgeoning field of DNA and genetics, and inspire a new generation of young people to engage in history and genealogy.
The private, non-profit Stephen & Tabitha King Foundation was created in 1986 by the legendary master storyteller Stephen King and his wife Tabitha Spruce King. Both have had a deep personal interest in family and local history and the importance of those topics in education.