How the Other Half Lives: Researching Occupations in Early New England

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How did laborers and tradespeople fit into Puritan society? What did people do for a living and how much respect was accorded to farmers, artisans, blacksmiths and others who did essential work without being in positions of prominence? Mr. Lambert will discuss the variety of occupations in 17th-century New England, how they were integral to a thriving Puritan society, and how documentary evidence can shed light on their daily lives.

Mr. Lambert’s talk will be followed by refreshments from 7:30-8:00 PM.

An RSVP for this free event is required at due to limited space at the venue.

About the speaker

David Lambert has been on the staff of NEHGS since 1993 and is the organization’s Chief Genealogist. David is an internationally recognized speaker on the topics of genealogy and history. His genealogical expertise includes New England and Atlantic Canadian records of the 17th through 21st century; military records; DNA research; and Native American and African American genealogical research in New England. Lambert has published many articles in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Rhode Island Roots, The Mayflower Descendant, and American Ancestors magazine. He has also published A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries (NEHGS, 2009). David is an elected Fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, Mass., and a life member of the New Hampshire Society of the Cincinnati. He is also the tribal genealogist for the Massachuset-Punkapoag Indians of Massachusetts.

About the event series

Every fall, in honor of the naming of Boston, the Partnership of Historic Bostons hosts a series of free events exploring an intriguing aspect of Puritan life. This year’s theme is From Theology to Commerce: the First Three Generations of 17th-century Boston.

To see a list of the entire series of FREE events, please visit

Image: 17th-century iron workers hammer iron in a forge. Image from Encyclopédie, edited by Denis Diderot.