The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, the Oldest Genealogical Journal in America, Appears in a New Format
New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) Announces Changes in Content and Design of the “Register,” Its Scholarly Journal First Published in 1847
March 18, 2015—Boston, Massachusetts—A new, colorful cover on the country’s oldest genealogical journal signals change. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register—the quarterly journal of New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS)—appears this week in its 673rd issue, with a new design and an important broadening of editorial focus.
In making the announcement, NEHGS President and CEO D. Brenton Simons stated, “This makes the Register even more accessible and valuable to genealogists everywhere and solidifies its place as the flagship journal of American genealogy.”
The “Register,” as it is frequently called, has seen relatively few changes during its many years of publication spanning 168 of the 170 years of the life of NEHGS, the founding genealogical society in America. But the newest quarterly issue contains some important new features designed to encourage family historians to explore the genealogical scholarship for which the Register has long been known.
A full-color cover appears on the journal’s most recent issue for the first time in its 168-year history. The cover of the redesigned issue this month features the print Landscape View of Portsmouth [New Hampshire] in Piscatagua River, an area related to the issue’s article on the Chapouil family. Other artwork will be featured on future covers. A brief listing of each issue’s entire contents now also appears on the front cover.
A modernized interior design heralds another change: an expanded editorial focus, providing genealogical content of national and international scope—while still retaining an emphasis on New England, New York State, and out-migrations from New England. NEHGS Publishing Director Penelope Stratton commented, “We had already taken a step in this direction in 2009, when we inaugurated an annual supplement, American Ancestors Journal, whose content we will now integrate into the quarterly issues of the Register. These changes reflect the NEHGS purpose, to advance the study of family history in America and beyond. And they also signal a return to the Register’s own roots.” “We cannot but feel,” the founders of NEHGS wrote in the first issue of the Register, “that we are performing a great service for the country at large.”
Commenting on the changes, editor Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG, said, “With a new look and an expanded focus, this is an exciting time to be editing the Register. We are looking forward to receiving articles on families in geographic areas that are new for us—as well as articles emphasizing the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”
Readers will note that a “Quarterly News” section has been added to the inside of the back cover, highlighting NEHGS developments of particular interest. Discerning readers might notice some minor changes in editorial style, reflecting the publisher’s decision to conform with the guidelines presented in the Guide to Genealogical Writing (NEHGS, 2014).
The New England Historical and Genealogical Register is published by NEHGS in Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall. All members of NEHGS have access to it in print and online at the organization’s data-rich website, AmericanAncestors.org. Henry B. Hoff, CG, FASG, is Editor; Helen Schatvet Ullmann, CG, FASG, is Associate Editor. A group of consulting editors—scholars and professionals in the field of genealogy—contributes to the Register’s content. Funding for its publication is provided in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.
About American Ancestors and New England Historic Genealogical Society
The founding genealogical society in America, New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was established in 1845. Today it has a national collecting scope and serves more than 75,000 constituents through an award-winning website, AmericanAncestors.org. Since 1845, NEHGS has been the country’s leading comprehensive resource for genealogists and family historians of every skill level. Today NEHGS provides constituents with worldwide access to some of the most important and valuable research tools anywhere.
American Ancestors is the public brand and user experience of NEHGS representing the expertise and resources for family historians of all levels researching their origins across the country and around the world. NEHGS’s resources, expertise, and service are unmatched in the field, and their leading staff of on-site and online genealogists includes experts in early American, Irish, English, Scottish, Italian, Atlantic and French Canadian, African American, Native American, Chinese, and Jewish research. Expert assistance is available to members and nonmembers in a variety of ways. The NEHGS library and archive, located at 99–101 Newbury Street in downtown Boston, is home to more than 28 million items, including artifacts, documents, records, journals, letters, books, manuscripts, and other items dating back hundreds of years.