Enters the Genealogical Blogosphere with Vita Brevis

New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), the Nation’s Largest Genealogical Society, Creates a New Blog of Resources for Family History

NEHGS Editor-in-Chief, Scott C. Steward, Announces the Launch of the Society’s New Blog with the Collaboration of Renowned NEHGS Writers and Scholars

January 10, 2014 — Boston, Massachusetts — “Generatio Longa, Vita Brevis” is perhaps the truest term in the lexicon of the growing genealogy blogosphere. Joining a field of hundreds of blogs, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) has announced the launch of a new blog serving the growing community of individuals eager to trace their family’s roots. Vita Brevis, the name of the society’s blog, resides on the web at The first entry posted declares “Generatio Longa, Vita Brevis.” And who in the field of family history cannot relate to the blog’s suggestion in the manner of Hippocrates that “generations will last forever, but the life of the genealogist is very brief”?

With the launch of Vita Brevis, NEHGS — creator of the ever-expanding and prize-winning website,, and leader in the field of national and international genealogical research and publishing —contributes to making the short life of the genealogist a happier and more productive one. Drawing upon NEHGS’s 169 years of experience in exploring the lives of American families and their unique place in history, the blog offers all the expertise of the staff of the nation’s founding genealogical society, and the collaboration of some of genealogy’s most distinguished writers and scholars.

In making the announcement today of the blog’s launch, NEHGS Editor-in-Chief Scott C. Steward said, “Vita Brevis is designed to offer the reader short essays by the Society’s expert staff on their own research as well as news of the greater genealogical community. It will include short posts on research methods – applicable to a variety of genealogical subjects — as well as posts on results. Like a mosaic, these posts will, in time, form a new collection for the genealogical researcher to explore.”

Vita Brevis will offer frequent postings by Steward and his collaborators, with rich image illustrations and comments from readers. The blog’s entries will simultaneously be posted to the organization’s popular Facebook page at, where thousands follow the activities of NEHGS. Many will also be posted to the Society’s Twitter feed at @AncestorExperts. Built on the WordPress platform, the blog’s first header features a detail adapted from the Fox family tree, “Genealogy of the Fox Family of Cornwall,” printed by Standidge & Co. Litho., London, 1840 and held in the NEHGS Collection.

Scott C. Steward has been NEHGS Editor-in-Chief since 2013; he was previously the Society’s Director of Publications. The author of several genealogies –The Sarsaparilla Kings: A Biography of Dr. James Cook Ayer and Frederick Ayer, with a record of their family (1993); The Le Roy Family in America, 1753-2003 (2003; with Newbold Le Roy, 3rd); The Descendants of Judge John Lowell of Newburyport, Massachusetts (2011; with Christopher C. Child); and The Descendants of Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall of Haverhill, Massachusetts (2013) – he also edited A Thorndike Family History: Descendants of John and Elizabeth (Stratton) Thorndike (2000; with John Bradley Arthaud, FASG). The Lowell genealogy won the American Society of Genealogists' Donald Lines Jacobus Award; the National Genealogical Society Award for Excellence, Genealogy and Family History; and the Connecticut Society of Genealogists' Grand Prize, Literary Awards Contest in Genealogy, in 2012. Steward’s articles and book reviews have appeared in The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, NEXUS, New England Ancestors, American Ancestors, and The Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine, and he has reviewed books in the Register, The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record, and the National Genealogical Society Quarterly. He is a graduate of Harvard College, the Radcliffe Publishing Program, and the Yale Publishing Course.

Joining with Steward in offering frequent and captivating entries on the blog will be well-known figures in the genealogical field and close associates of NEHGS. Among them are Alicia Crane Williams, lead genealogist on the new NEHGS study project, Early New England Families, 1641-1700, and the former editor of The Mayflower Descendant, and Robert Charles Anderson, Director of NEHGS’s Great Migration Study Project and editorial consultant to The New England Historical and Genealogical Register since 1989.

The new Vita Brevis blog of NEHGS will be exhibited at RootsTech 2014, the fourth annual RootsTech Family History and Technology Conference, February 5-8, 2014, in Salt Lake City, Utah.