Boston Homes
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Genealogy skills

The New England Historical Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will offer “Building Your Genealogical Skills” from 2 to 4 p.m. on Jan. 20, 27 and Feb. 3.

This three-week course is for those new to genealogy or those who want to refresh their skills, learn best practices and get the most out of family history research.

Topics will include: how to record findings, strategies for analyzing records, online research and more. Each class includes skillbuilding exercises to help students apply their new knowledge. The course is $75.

Visit or call 617-536-5740 for more information and to register.

Boston Philharmonic

Members of the Boston Philharmonic will present “Interpretations of Music: Lessons for Life” from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 20 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St.

In this master class, Maestro Zander will guide accomplished young musicians to more inspiring and alive interpretations, engaging the audience at the same time. Admission is free.

Call 617-536-5400 for more information.

Author panel

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will host the “It Occurs to Me That I am America” author panel from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 22.

The program will feature original short stories from acclaimed authors, including panelists Alice Hoffman, Ha Jin, and Heidi Pitlor that consider the fundamental ideals of a free, just and compassionate democracy. Jonathan Santlofer will moderate the evening.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for further details.

Women inventors

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present “The Woman Inventor as a Political Tool of Female Suffragists” from 5:30 to 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Kara Swanson of Northeastern University School of Law will discuss how 19th century American women mobilized patents granted to women as justification for civil rights claims. It identifies the creation of the “woman inventor” as a cultural trope and political weapon of resistance.

The seminar is free, but reservations are required.

Call 617-646-0578 or visit for further information and to register.

Civil War history

The New England Historic Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will present “Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race and Nation After the Civil War” with Dr. Kendra Taira Field from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

Following the lead of her own ancestors, award-winning author Field’s epic history chronicles the westward migration of three African American families in the fifty years after Emancipation. Drawing on decades of archival research and family lore within and beyond the United States, Field traces their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black and black Indian towns and settlements.

When statehood, oil speculation and Jim Crow segregation imperiled their lives and livelihoods, these formerly enslaved men and women again chose emigration. Book sales and a signing will follow.

Visit or call 617-536-5740 for more information and to register for this free program.

American fraternities

Author John Hechinger will be the guest speaker from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 25 at the Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St. Hechinger is the author of “True Gentlemen: The Broken Pledge of America’s Fraternities,” the story of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, a national fraternity with more than 15,000 undergraduate brothers spread over 230 chapters nationwide, and fraternity culture generally. He exposes the gulf between fraternity culture’s founding ideals and the realities of its impact on colleges while making a case for how needed reform can happen.

Admission is free. Call 617-536-5400 for further details.