Meet Our Experts

Lynn Betlock

Managing Editor
Lynn has been the editor of American Ancestors since 2003, and she has written numerous articles for the publication.

Kiera Breitenbach

Areas of Expertise: Ireland, Midwestern/Western states

Peggy Sue Carpenter

Areas of expertise: Midwestern States, German, old German Gothic script, England, French, and Latin.

Zobeida Chaffee-Valdes

Areas of Expertise: Archival work with physical and digital collections, Black Activism and Histories of Essex County, local Abolitionist movements, Archaeology, Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Christopher C. Child

Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press and Editor of Mayflower Descendant
Chris Child has worked for various departments at NEHGS since 1997 and became a full-time employee in July 2003. He has been a member of NEHGS since the age of eleven.

Danielle Cournoyer

Areas of Expertise: urban development and preservation, transit and westward migration in the United States, the lineage society application process and Mayflower descendant research.

Isabella Connor

Areas of Expertise: New England, witchcraft & witch trials, the American Revolution, maritime history, piracy & privateering, house histories, material culture, literary history, and social history.

Sarah Dery

Manager of Research and Library Services
Sarah Dery has been with American Ancestors/NEHGS since 2017 and works alongside the Vice President of Research & Library Services. She performs managerial work for the Research & Library Services team.

Curt DiCamillo

Curator of Special Collections
Curt DiCamillo, who joined American Ancestors/NEHGS in February of 2016 as the organization’s first Curator of Special Collections, is an internationally recognized authority on British historic houses and the decorative arts.

Sheilagh Doerfler

Areas of expertise: DNA, Adoption, New England, New Netherland, Ireland, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, Ontario, Norway, and Sweden.

Susan Donnelly

Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press
Susan is a native New Englander and second generation American from a large extended family of artists. She spent two years with the Research Services team, working on several large projects, before joining Newbury Street Press.

Cécile Engeln

Editorial Director
Cécile joined NEHGS with nearly ten years of editorial and project management experience in academic publishing.

Lindsay Fulton

Vice President of Research and Library Services
Area of Expertise: State and Federal Censuses, New England, Ireland, and New York research, with a focus on lineage society applications.

Zachary Garceau

Areas of expertise: Rhode Island, French-Canadian Genealogy and Sports History. He also enjoys working on heraldic and royal research.

James Heffernan

Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press
James Heffernan, Genealogist, has been with American Ancestors/NEHGS since 2015. He is a graduate of Boston College, where he worked in the conservation department at the John J. Burns Library.

Jonathan Hill

Areas of expertise: Military records, New England and southeastern United States records, deeds and property records.

Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG

Editor of the Register
Henry has been the editor of The New England Historical and Genealogical Register since 2001. Previously he was trustee editor of The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record.

Pam Guye Holland

Areas of expertise: Irish immigration, Irish records, DNA, church records, German, New York (both city and state), and New England.

Kyle Hurst

Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press
Kyle holds a B.A. in both History and Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison and a Master’s certificate in Museum Studies from Tufts University.

Sharon Buzzell Inglis

Vice President of Publishing
In nearly 30 years in the educational publishing industry, Sharon developed and directed the production of French, Spanish, Italian, German, social studies, science, and math textbook programs for secondary school and higher education.

Chloe Jones

Associate Director of Database Content
Chloe earned her B.A. in History at Connecticut College, and holds an M.S. in Library and Information Science with a concentration in archives management from Simmons College.

Hallie Kirchner

Areas of expertise: 19th-century America, Germany, New York, New York City, Norway, Italy, westward migration, immigration history, and descendancy research.

David Allen Lambert

Chief Genealogist
Areas of expertise: New England and Atlantic Canadian records of the 17th through 21st century; American and international military records; DNA research; and Native American and African American genealogical research in New England. 

Ann Lawthers

Areas of expertise: New England, New York, Mid-Atlantic states, the southern colonies, Ireland, and migration patterns.

Judith Lucey

Senior Archivist
Areas of expertise: Irish genealogy, the Atlantic Canadian Provinces of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, and New England.

Kimberly Mannisto

Areas of expertise: Early Pennsylvania Settlers, Colonial New Jersey, Quaker records, Midwest (Michigan and Ohio), Finnish, DNA, Descendancy research, Scottish and English hereditary peerage titles, and Scottish genealogy.

Rhonda R. McClure

Senior Genealogist
Areas of expertise: Immigration and naturalization, late 19th and early 20th century urban research, missionaries.

Melanie McComb

Areas of expertise: Irish genealogy, DNA, Atlantic Canada, Jewish genealogy, and military records.

Ginevra Morse

Vice President for Education and Programming
Ginevra Morse joined the NEHGS staff in 2010 as Publications Coordinator, transitioning to the Education team as Online Education Coordinator in 2013.

Angela Napolitano

Areas of expertise: American genealogy, Ireland, Italy, and DNA.

Michelle Norris

Senior Researcher
Areas of expertise: Colonial New England, New York State, and lineage society applications.

Anjelica Oswald

Areas of expertise: Revolutionary War and Massachusetts records, Spanish fluency

Todd Pattison

Todd Pattison, Conservator, works to preserve and care for the collection of books, manuscripts, and fine art.

Elizabeth Peay

Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press
Elizabeth studied at the University of Connecticut and Smith College, earning a dual B.A. in History and Classical Studies. Before joining the NEHGS team she worked as a Lead Guide at Roseland Cottage for Historic New England.

Eileen Curley Pironti

Senior Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press
Eileen graduated with a B.A. from Saint Anselm College, and received an M.S. from American University.

Jean Powers

Senior Editor
As Senior Editor for American Ancestors magazine and the Weekly Genealogist enewsletter, Jean writes and edits articles, strategizes content, and provides illustrations.

Danielle Rose

Areas of interest: Colonial Massachusetts, Revolutionary War veterans, African American history

Gabrielle Roth

Collections Management Archivist
Gabrielle is responsible for overseeing the preservation, capture, access, control and promotion of the Center’s archival collections. She is an ACA Certified Archivist. She earned an MS in Information Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Paul Sanborn

Areas of Expertise: New England, Ireland, Italy, and Scotland

Jen Shakshober

Senior Researcher
Areas of expertise: Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Vermont research.

Meaghan E.H. Siekman, Ph.D.

Genealogist of the Newbury Street Press
Meaghan holds a PhD in history from Arizona State University where her focus was public history and American Indian history.

D. Brenton Simons

President and CEO
As President and CEO since 2005, D. Brenton Simons has overseen a period of extraordinary growth for American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society. It now serves more than 415,000 members in 139 countries and millions of online users.

Aidan Walsh

Areas of Expertise: DNA, New England, Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Italy

Alicia Crane Williams, FASG

Prior to joining the American Ancestors/NEHGS staff as Lead Genealogist of the Early New England Families Study Project, Alicia compiled and edited numerous important genealogical publications.

Ryan J. Woods

Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
An educator and historian, Ryan Woods is Executive Vice President & COO of American Ancestors/New England Historic Genealogical Society. Since 2006, he has led the development of award-winning experiences for exploring family history, heritage, & culture.