About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society

The nation's founding resource for family history research

American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) is America’s founding genealogical organization and the most respected name in family history. Established in 1845, We are the nation’s leading comprehensive resource for family history research and the largest Society of its kind in the world. We provide expert family history services through our staff, original scholarship, data-rich website, educational opportunities, and research center to help family historians of all levels explore their past and understand their families’ unique place in history.

We are a member-based nonprofit corporation dedicated to advancing the study of family history in America and beyond, by educating, inspiring, and connecting people through our scholarship, collections, and expertise.

We offer the most comprehensive resources in the country for researching family history:

  • An Expert Staff: Our professional genealogists are among the most respected and advanced in the profession. With research specialties including early American, New England, New York, Irish, English, Italian, Scottish, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish genealogy, our expert staff can assist family historians by providing research advice in-person, over the phone, or in writing. Our expert staff can also conduct research on behalf of family historians, providing authoritative, documented research reports and family tree charts.
  • Original Scholarship: To support the research of family historians around the world, We produce the most significant original research and important publications in genealogy, including, since 1847, the longest continually published academic journal in the field, The Register, the journal of American genealogy. In addition to the quarterly journal, we publish a quarterly magazine, the biannual Mayflower Descendant, the venerable journal of Pilgrim genealogy and history, twenty-to-thirty books per year, and a weekly electronic newsletter, The Weekly Genealogist. As the leader in genealogical scholarship, we also produce important study projects such as The Great Migration Study Project, an endeavor to create genealogical and biographical sketches of the some 20,000 individuals who arrived in New England between 1620 and 1640; The Early New England Families Study Project, 1641–1700, a successor study project to the Great Migration period; Families of Western Massachusetts in 1790, which captures families heading west at the time of the 1790 census, and the Early Vermont Settlers to 1784 which cover families that settled Vermont, the last frontier of New England.
  • Website: We offer family history researchers the most-used genealogical society website in the world. AmericanAncestors.org provides access to more than 1.4 billion records spanning twenty-two countries covering the United States, the British Isles, continental Europe, and beyond, including one of the most extensive online collections of early American genealogical records, the largest searchable collection of published genealogical research journals and magazines, and the largest collection of U.S Catholic records online.
  • Education: We provide exclusive, in-depth learning opportunities through more than 160 annual lectures, seminars, intensive research programs, tours, online courses and webinars, and special events designed to benefit family history researchers of all levels.
  • Research Center: Named by USA Today as a top 10 world destination for family history, the public, members and visitors are invited to visit our eight-story library and archive where we offer the largest collection of original family history research materials in the country. Our collection, which continues to grow through acquisition and preservation activities, dates from the fourteenth century to the present and spans North America, Europe, and beyond. It includes more than 28 million diaries, letters, photographs, and other manuscripts, and more than 200,000 books and microforms.

If you have any research questions, you can email our staff via our “Ask A Genealogist” section.