The American Genealogist was founded in July 1922 by Donald Lines Jacobus (1887–1970) as the New Haven Genealogical Magazine. The first eight volumes consist primarily of the editor’s compendium, Families of Ancient New Haven. When that project was completed, the journal became, with the July 1932 issue (the first number of the ninth volume), The American Genealogist and New Haven Genealogical Magazine, and was dedicated to the elevation of genealogical scholarship through carefully documented analyses of genealogical problems and through short compiled genealogies. In 1937 the subtitle was dropped, and the journal became simply The American Genealogist, usually abbreviated as TAG.

After forty-three years as Editor and Publisher, Donald Lines Jacobus was succeeded in January 1966 by Dr. George E. McCracken (1904–1986) of Des Moines, Iowa, who continued the standards set by TAG’s founder.

With the April 1983 issue, Dr. McCracken was succeeded by Robert Moody Sherman (1914–1984) and Ruth Wilder Sherman (1929–1992) of Warwick, Rhode Island. Dr. David L. Greene of Demorest, Georgia, joined Mrs. Sherman in editing TAG, beginning with the April 1984 number, and Robert Charles Anderson of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, became Coeditor with Dr. Greene in 1993. In 1999 Joseph C. Anderson II of Dallas, Texas, joined David Greene and Robert Anderson in editing TAG, and in 2012, Dr. Nathaniel Lane Taylor of Barrington, Rhode Island, became part of the editorial team. All the editors have been Fellows of the American Society of Genealogists [FASGs].

The present editors are committed to continuing TAG’s independent status and striving for the high standards which have been the hallmark of the journal since its founding.