Member Directory

Thomas P. Lester has been the Director of the Archive & Library for the Archdiocese of Boston since November 2014. He has authored articles appearing in American Ancestors Magazine and The Pilot Boston Catholic newspaper, and has contributed to features in the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and Religion News Service. His first book, Catholic Boston, was published in 2018. Thomas regularly works with the Database Team at American Ancestors to bring researchers the Boston Catholic Sacramental Records and Catholic Cemetery Association Records online databases.

Andrew Searle Pang has been researching family history in fits and starts since his teenage years. In the late 1990s, he was a professional researcher with the New England Historic Genealogical Society’s Enquiries Service (now Research Services) and edited several genealogical books, including the 2002 Jacobus Award-winner, The Burling Books: Ancestors and Descendants of Edward and Grace Burling, Quakers [1620—2000] (2000) by Jane Thompson Stahr. Now a retired independent school administrator and consultant in fund raising and non-profit governance, Andrew lives in eastern Massachusetts.

Aisha Francis, Ph.D., is the CEO of the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology in Boston. A proponent of access to economic mobility, she is an enthusiastic champion for the learning opportunities her own two children are receiving in Boston's public schools. The daughter of a Dominican Republic immigrant father and mother who is a sixth-generation Nashvillian, she now resides in Boston. Aisha deeply appreciates the fortitude evident in Boston's immigrant and native communities. Her hobbies are reading, cooking, travel, and genealogy.

Rufus E. Jones Jr. is the co-founder and president of the James Weldon Johnson Foundation, which preserves “Five Acres,” the summer home of James Weldon Johnson and Grace Nail Johnson in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and promotes educational, intellectual, and artistic works that reflect Johnson’s enduring contributions to American history and worldwide culture. A professional musician, singer/songwriter, recording artist, and bandleader in New Jersey and Massachusetts, Rufus is a native of Memphis, Tennessee, and holds a B.A. degree from Harvard University and an M.B.A. from the University of Tennessee.

Joe Smaldone and his wife Judy Warwick Smaldone have been researching their family’s history for 20 years. Their research has taken them to many national, state, and local libraries, archives, court houses, churches, cemeteries, historical and genealogical societies, and other research sites across the United States, and abroad to Ireland, Italy, and Sweden. They are members of NEHGS, the New Hampshire Historical Society, and the New York Genealogical and Biographical Society. Joe is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, where he created and taught a course entitled Your Family in History. He is a Genealogy Research Consultant at the Family History Center, Annapolis, Maryland, and has published several genealogical studies, abstracts, and indexes.

Philip Grover is a retired chemical engineer who got involved in genealogy by helping his mother enter her extensive family research into Personal Ancestral File for Mac. Little did he know then what a slippery slope that minor involvement would become. After getting deeply involved in doing his own research, he realized how disinterested family members can be in genealogical charts, lists, and diagrams. His focus since has been making his family history more interesting and accessible, and toward that end he has self-published three books of family history.

Ralph Holley is the NEHGS Cataloging and Metadata Librarian. He previously worked as a librarian at the New England College of Optometry and in a variety of public library roles. Originally from Connecticut, Ralph lives in Boston and is working on an MLIS from Simmons University with a focus on information organization.

A native of San Francisco, Maureen Carey has a B.A. in European History from Regis University and a M.A. in American History from the University of Colorado. She is passionate about genealogy and has enjoyed tracing her own ancestry to colonial America. Her many research interests include America, Ireland, and Italy. In her free time, Maureen loves to read, travel, and spend time with her family, friends, and pets.

Elizabeth Peay 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 and completed an internship with the Tiffany Windows Education Center. Growing up in historic Lebanon (Connecticut) inspired Elizabeth’s research interests in Revolutionary War, Native American, and Colonial New England genealogy.