American Ancestors Magazine

American Ancestors appeals to family historians of all levels. Major topics include useful sources, helpful research strategies, compelling historical accounts, and interesting case studies. American Ancestors is free to members, as both a print publication and an online PDF.

Please log in with your NEHGS member account to read American Ancestors in digital format.

Join now to enjoy full member benefits including access to American Ancestors Magazine and more than 3,000 other online databases containing more than 200 million searchable names. You'll also have full access to a number of other research tools, expert staff, and resources to help you uncover your family history.

Click here to log in if you are already a member or become a member today.

Volume 16, Number 1, Winter 2015

Finding Your Roots @

Up Front

View from the Family Tree


In This Issue

Programs & Tours

Connecting Families. Advancing History.

Staff Profile

Ask Our Genealogists


Finding Your Roots @
Claire Vail, Sam Sturgis, and Christopher Carter

Fornication and Paternity Suits in Massachusetts, 1740–1800
Kelly A. Ryan

Katharine Gibbs and Her School: Beyond White Gloves
Rose A. Doherty

Richard Thayer of Braintree, Massachusetts—Town Thief?
Barry J. MacDonald

Benjamin and Samuel Blyth, Eighteenth-Century Artists of Salem, Massachusetts
Bettina A. Norton

A Shared Sensibility: Examining the Legacy of John and Mary (Mason) Norton, Maternal Great-Grandparents of Abigail Smith Adams
Michelle Marchetti Coughlin


Genetics & Genealogy
The Matrilineal Descent (mtDNA) of Cecilia (Lockwood) McDonald
Capers W. McDonald

Full version available as a PDF

Jewish Heritage Center Spotlight
The Young Men's Hebrew Association and Hecht House: Two Boston Jewish Community Organization
Stephanie Call

Manuscripts @ NEHGS
The Collection of Benjamin Cooper of Worcester, Massachusetts: The City’s Last Spanish-American War Veteran
Timothy G.X. Salls

Focus on New York
Unusual First Names as Markers in New York Genealogy
Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG

Family Focus