The following is an announcement from the New England Historic Genealogical Society:
D. Brenton Simons Named Executive Director of the New England Historic Genealogical Society, nation's oldest genealogical organization
Boston - October 13, 2005 The New England Historic Genealogical Society, the oldest genealogical society in the United States, today announced that D. Brenton Simons will succeed Ralph J. Crandall as Executive Director of the organization, effective December 1, 2005. Mr. Simons was appointed the organization's first Chief Operating Officer in December 2004 and has been on the Society's staff since 1993. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, Witches, Rakes, and Rogues, a collection of nonfiction stories about colonial Boston published in September by Commonwealth Editions. A native of New Haven, Connecticut and a graduate of Boston University, Mr. Simons lives in Boston.
The New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS) was founded in Boston in 1845. Today it has nearly 21,000 members throughout the United States and abroad. Located on Newbury Street in Boston's Back Bay, NEHGS has a world-class genealogical library, publishes books and magazines, and maintains a popular research-based website, www.NewEnglandAncestors.org.
Mr. Simons was tapped for the position after a national search was conducted by the Society's Board of Trustees in conjunction with the firm of Susan Egmont Associates. "Brenton Simons is uniquely qualified to lead the Society into the twenty-first century," stated Ralph J. Crandall. "I congratulate the Board of Trustees on selecting such an able new leader, who possesses a great understanding of the Society and the field of American genealogy." On his appointment, Mr. Simons said "I am deeply honored to be selected as the Society's next executive director. I hope to continue the many successes achieved by Ralph Crandall over more than twenty years and build upon the Society's great heritage of genealogical excellence." The position of executive director (called librarian prior to 1973) was established at the Society's founding in 1845.
During his tenure, Mr. Simons has overseen numerous areas of the Society's operations. He expanded the Society's educational offerings, established the Newbury Street Press in 1996 and New England Ancestors magazine in 2000, and launched the organization's first content-based website in 2001. In 1997 he published a compiled genealogy, The Langhornes of Langhorne Park, and in 2002 was the originator and co-editor of The Art of Family: Genealogical Artifacts in New England. His articles have appeared in Ancestry, Folk Art, The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, and the Pennsylvania Genealogical Magazine.
Dr. Crandall, who has served as executive director since 1982, has had a distinguished career at NEHGS, during which he oversaw the growth of the organization's endowment to $17 million and a substantial expansion of its membership. After December 1, he will become executive director emeritus and head a special project for NEHGS in collecting and organizing New England town and family records. Dr. Crandall will be honored at a banquet in Boston next spring.