Here are the latest Back Bay - Midtown neighborhood notes:

Genealogy introduction

The New England Historical Genealogical Society, 99-101 Newbury St., will host a new visitor tour at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 5.

Attendees will learn about the resources available at the research facility as they tour the building and meet the expert staff.

The NEHGS is the largest and oldest genealogy library and archive in the country with more than 15 million artifacts, records, books, manuscripts, photographs and more. Attendees are welcome to use any of the resources after the tour. Registration is not required.

Visit or call 617-536-5740 for more information.

American Eden

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will present “American Eden: David Hosack, Botany and Medicine in the Garden of the Early Republic” from 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9. There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 p.m.

Victoria Johnson of Hunter College will examine the legacy of the long-forgotten early American visionary Dr. David Hosack. His work includes the establishment of the first botanical garden in the U.S. as well as groundbreaking advances in pharmaceutical and surgical medicine.

His tireless work championing public health and science earned him national fame and praise from the likes of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and the Marquis de Lafayette. Alongside other towering figures of the post-Revolutionary generation, he took the reins of a nation.

Tickets are free for members and $10 for non-members, and can be reserved by calling 617-646-0579 or online at

Armchair travel

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will present “Armchair Travel to China” at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10.

In partnership with the Falun Dafa Society of New England, the library will host a Chinese tea ceremony, a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy, traditional costumes from the Han and Tang Dynasties and an illustrated presentation on the essence of traditional Chinese culture. Admission is free.

For more information, visit or call 617-536-5400.

Eating and living well

The French Cultural Center of Boston, 53 Marlborough St., will present “Eat Well, Live Well,” a series of cooking and wellness workshops for women, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 11, 18 and 25.

Physician and certified health and wellness coach Martine Vounatsos will host a series of three cooking workshops. Attendees will discuss ways to incorporate wellness into every aspect of a woman’s mental and physical health, from exercise and supplements to sleep habits and cooking methods.

Participants will make and enjoy a traditional and healthy French meal with Vounatsos in a convivial environment.

Aprons, ingredients and kitchenware will be provided. Women can attend one or all workshops. Admission is $45 for members and $65 for non-members.

Further information is available at or by calling 617-912-0400.

Citizenship information

The Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St., will host a free USCIS immigration information session on benefits from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11.

A U.S. Citizenship and Immigration officer will give general information on immigration issues such as naturalization and citizenship, eligibility requirements, permanent residency, filing procedures, avoiding scams and finding low cost and safe advice. This is a cooperative effort of USCIS, the Mayor’s Office for Immigration Advancement and Boston Public Library.

Call 617-565-9430 for more information.

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.12, 19 and 26.

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 skill-building exercises to help students apply their new knowledge. The course is $75.

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

Bach cantatas

Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury St., is presenting its 42nd season of the J. S. Bach Cantatas at 10 a.m. on Sundays now through May 20.

The orchestra and chorus of Emmanuel Music will present weekly performances of the cantatas and motets of J.S. Bach and others, conducted by Ryan Turner.

For more information, call 617-536-3356 or visit

Collections tour

The Massachusetts Historical Society, 1154 Boylston St., will host tours of the collections of the society at 10 a.m. on Saturdays.

Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the 90-minute tour focuses on the history and collections of the MHS.

The tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are not required for individuals or small groups. Parties of eight or more should contact the MHS.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-646-0560.

Library tours

Boston Public Library volunteers will give art and architecture tours of the McKim Building, a National Historic Landmark, in its main building, constructed in 1895, throughout the week.

Highlights include the murals of John Singer Sargent, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes and Edwin Austin Abbey and the work of architect Charles Follen McKim.

Self-guided tours are available as well, and literature describing the architectural highlights is available on the web at

For tours by appointment, call 617-536-5400.