Member Directory

Peggy Polydoros earned a B.A. in Ancient Mediterranean Civilizations and English (with minors in Anthropology, History, and Museums & Cultural Heritage) from Rice University. Peggy’s genealogical experience includes formal training in historical research methods and extensive involvement in Greek American institutions. She combines her interests in history and writing to piece together and provide context for family narratives across time and space. Areas of Expertise: Greek ancestry, Greek American organizations, history of the Mediterranean, Orthodox Christianity, early 20th century immigration, and archaeology

Kim is a recent graduate of the University of Stirling, having achieved her BA Hons in History. She is working virtually as an intern with American Ancestors/NEHGS over the course of the summer as part of the Saltire Scholarship Programme. Kim was particularly driven to NEHGS through her love of history, biology, and art, as well as a budding hobby for family history which she is now nurturing. In her spare time, Kim enjoys creative writing and making art, which she channelled into student life throughout her years at university as a committee member of the Creative Writing Society, supporting them in publishing two anthologies of student work.

Isabella graduated from Merrimack College in 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Prior to graduation, she was a recipient of the Finding Anne Bradstreet Fellowship. In the years since, Isabella has worked with various museums, historical organizations, libraries, publications, and media companies throughout New England and beyond. Alongside her work as a researcher, Isabella is also a fiction writer, poet, photographer, and media content creator. Areas of Expertise: New England, witchcraft & witch trials, the American Revolution, maritime history, piracy & privateering, house histories, material culture, literary history, and social history.

Zobeida Chaffee-Valdes graduated from Carleton College in 2019 with a B.A. in History. In 2023, she earned an M.A. in Public History, with a graduate certificate in Digital Humanities, all from Northeastern University. Before joining NEHGS, Zobeida interned with the National Park Service, and worked for Northeastern University's Archives and Special Collections, Women Writers Online, and the Essex National Heritage Commission. 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

Jack Palmer graduated from Duke University with Bachelor’s degrees in History and Psychology in May 2023. At Duke, he wrote a senior honors thesis entitled, “A Century Apart: Ship Captains Recording the British Atlantic Slave Trade (1690s –1790s),” focusing on British involvement in the Atlantic Slave Trade primarily during the 18th century under advisor Dr. David Barry Gaspar. He has been researching his family’s genealogy since he was ten and publishes biweekly articles in his genealogy-oriented newsletter, “Genealogy Jack," at

Kathy Javdani earned a BA in social science and a teaching credential at San Jose State University and later a MA in geography from the University of California - Berkeley. Her 40-year teaching career included instruction from pre-school to graduate school. In semi-retirement she became serious about genealogy when she realized that she knew few details of her own family history. She now wants to ensure that her children and grandchildren learn and enjoy their family’s varied past. Her lines includes early settlers of both the US east and west coasts. Each generation adds new nationalities to the family tree. Kathy occasionally publishes articles in hopes of sharing and further connecting with the genealogy community.

Blanca Bruso is an educator in Massachusetts. She earned her BS and MA from Atlantic Union College in Lancaster, Mass. She is a member of NEHGS and enjoys researching her Puerto Rican heritage and her husband’s Mayflower and “Salem witch” ancestry.

Michael Patrick Cullinane is the Theodore Roosevelt Association’s Public Historian and the Lowman Walton Chair in Theodore Roosevelt Studies at Dickinson State University. He is the author of Theodore Roosevelt’s Ghost: The History and Memory of an American Icon.