Donald Lines Jacobus

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Donald Lines Jacobus, FASG (1887-1970) of New Haven, Connecticut, was widely regarded among genealogists as the dean of American genealogy during his lifetime.[1] He established the New Haven Genealogical Magazine in 1922, which became The American Genealogist ten years later. He served as the periodical's editor and publisher for 43 years until 1966.

Jacobus was a prolific writer. Besides his numerous magazine articles, he is perhaps best known for two publications:

In recognition of his tremendous contributions and elevation of genealogy to the status of a social science, Jacobus was the first person inducted into the National Genealogy Hall of Fame. He was nominated for this honor by the American Society of Genealogists, the Genealogical Society of Utah, and the DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society.

The Donald Lines Jacobus Award was established in 1972 by the American Society of Genealogists to encourage sound scholarship in genealogical writing. Jacobus promoted a scientific method of ancestor research that replaced reliance on oral tradition and time-honored pedigrees with primary source documentation. It was an approach made possible because of enormous efforts to preserve and index early church records and grave stone inscriptions carried out by patriotic and heraldic societies, government agencies and religious groups (particularly the Mormons) during the very years that Jacobus was starting his work.

"He never married and was devoted to his widowed mother throughout her life. His favorite hobby was charting the descendents of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella (Ferdie and Izzie as he called them), demonstrating that as serious as genealogy had became for him, it was also bound up in fun and fantasy." All Academic Research:

Jacobus was one of the earliest Fellows of the The American Society of Genealogists, an Honor Society of fifty members chosen on the basis of the significance of their contributions to genealogy. On his death, he was described by his colleague Milton Rubincam, as "the man who more than any other single individual elevated genealogy to the high degree of scholarship it now occupies."

A list of eleven of his books can be found at:



  1. ^ "The Donald Lines Jacobus Award". American Society of Genealogists. Retrieved 4 Nov 2009.