The ESHG was established on March 15, 1967 by a small group of outstanding European Geneticists.
The first symposium of the new society was held in Copenhagen on 18-19 November 1967. The invited lectures were on Genetic polymorphism in man, and there was a session for contributed papers.
In 1991 the Statutes were redrafted to give the society a new momentum and further modifications were added in 1996 when the society also became an International Association under Belgian Law. In the mean time the society grew from a few hundred to over 1000 members.
In 1996 the ESHG together with the American Society of Human Genetics and the Human Genetics Society of Australasia founded the International Federation of Human Genetic societies, which represents a growing number of national societies and which will organise its first International meeting in Vienna in 2001.