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Periodical Profile:  American Ancestors

American Ancestors:  New England, New York and Beyond is the quarterly member magazine of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS). Founded in 1845, NEHGS is the oldest and largest genealogical society in the United States and a national leader in genealogical research since its inception. 

The popularity of genealogy has been soaring in recent years and with families much more mobile than in the past, there is a greater need for historical and genealogical information about New England families from beyond our region’s boundaries.  In order to meet the expanded needs of its membership NEHGS has started a new initiative called “American Ancestors” that broadens the research scope from a regional one to nationwide. 

The first change under this new initiative was to produce a new supplement to their quarterly scholarly journal, New England Historical and Genealogical Register.  This supplement, titled American Ancestors Journal, features information on families outside of New England.  It was first published in the fall of 2009 and will continue to appear alongside each fall issue of the Register.  A few months later, in winter of 2010, NEHGS changed the title of its news magazine from New England Ancestors to American Ancestors: New England, New York and Beyond. The new incarnation includes articles and information reflecting this broader scope. 

We carry this magazine in our periodical collection for the current year and two years worth of back issues.  You can find the two titles piled together in our magazine stacks, filed under “A” for “American”.  Just lift the shelf to find the back issues.  Both titles are included in our online catalog, but it is not obvious from the record that the older title is now shelved with the new title.  So, please feel free to ask a friendly librarian if you have trouble finding it – or anything else in the library! 

Recently, NEHGS rolled out another change, they also broadened the scope of their New England Ancestors online database and renamed it American Ancestors.  We provide access to this database at two computers in the reference room – the ones with the yellow signs taped to the monitors – just ask a reference librarian to log you in with our password.  You can access all of our 40+ databases at these two stations with no limit on the amount of time you can stay.  They also have black and white printing for 20¢ a page.  If you need help with your genealogical research, take advantage of the free drop in clinic offered by the Falmouth Genealogical Society.  Every Tuesday from 2-4 pm Society members provide assistance in the reference room to anyone who has a genealogical research question, on a first come - first serve basis.  Come trace your roots, we have the resources and the expertise to get you under way.

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