American Ancestors Magazine

About American Ancestors

An award-winning publication

American Ancestors is a unique, full-color magazine that comes out four times a year, and offers compelling information for family historians of all levels. Features cover useful genealogical sources, helpful research strategies, compelling historical accounts, and interesting case studies. American Ancestors is a benefit of membership starting at the Individual level, as both a print publication and an online PDF. 

American Ancestors Magazine Fall 2021 cover

Spring 2022 issue now available

This issue’s cover story provides a behind-the-scenes look at the recent overhaul of our website. We also present articles on researching a 19th-century orphan, an 18th-century clockmaker, and the trousseau of Prudence Merritt, as well as features on family letters, Connecticut mental health stories, and the Fairbanks House Museum of Dedham, Massachusetts. This issue also includes our 2021 Annual Report. Members of American Ancestors can download a PDF of the issue at our past issues archive.

American Ancestors Magazine Spring 2022 23-1 cover
Preview the latest issue

Volume 23, Number 1, Spring 2022

The New Expanding Our Reach

A Message from Our President & CEO Staff Profile
In This Issue Obituaries
Branches of Our Family Staff List
News Family Focus
Programs & Tours  

The New Expanding Our Vision
Claire Vail

A Colonial Landmark Looks to the Future: The Fairbanks House in Dedham, Massachusetts
Jean Powers, Stuart Christie, and Donna Russo

Researching Mental Health Histories
Karen Li Miller

In Search of Clockmaker “Jonathan Mulliken of Falmouth”
Damon Di Mauro

Using Family Letters to Illuminate the Past
Meg Ferris Kenagy

The Trousseau of Prudence Merritt
Jeff Record

Research Services Case Files
Tracing a 19th-Century Orphan: George Franklin Wright of Boston
Jennifer Shakshober


Access the members-only archive

Download past issues

You can access and download all past issues of American Ancestors magazine from 2010 to present with your American Ancestors/NEHGS membership.

American Ancestors magazine collage

Search past magazine issues

Searchable Database

Search the magazine database by name, date, keyword, and more. You can also access a database of past issues of New England Ancestors (2000-2009), predecessor to American Ancestors magazine.

Database search for AA magazine

Become a contributor


Email letters to or American Ancestors magazine, 10 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116. We regret that we cannot reply to every letter. Published letters will be edited for clarity and length.

Have you hit a brick wall in your research?

We seek stories of members’ most challenging “brick walls” for publication in American Ancestors. Send your story to Please limit your submissions to 200 words or less; include your name and American Ancestors/NEHGS member number. We regret that we cannot publish or respond to every submission. Published submissions will be edited for clarity and length.


American Ancestors is pleased to list members’ recently published family history and source records publications. Books must be published within twelve months of the date of submission. The donation of one copy of each book to the Society is required. In order to have a book listed in American Ancestors, please provide the following:

1) Surname (genealogies), state or subject (other books)
2) Title
3) Author(s)/editor(s)/compiler(s)
4) Place of publication
5) Publisher/self-published
6) Year of publication
7) Hardcover/softcover/other
8) Page count
9) Specify if index, illustrations, or appendixes are included
10) Description of book in 25 words or less
11) Contact/ordering information, including email address
12) American Ancestors/NEHGS member number

To place your listing, email Book donations may be sent to Family Focus, American Ancestors, 101 Newbury Street, Boston, MA 02116-3007.


Family association events and DNA Studies in Progress are announced free for NEHGS members on a space-available basis. (The same notice will be published only once per year.) Event notices should be submitted at least six to nine months prior to the event date. To submit your brief notice (75 words or less), email: with “Family Associations” or “DNA studies in progress” in the subject line.


For information on writing and submitting an article to American Ancestorsplease click here to review our writer’s guidelines.