Wednesday, January 21, 2015

FGSCruise2015: Featured Speaker Elizabeth Shown Mills

Strategies are the key to solving most genealogical dilemmas. Sure, we love to find new records, more records, unique records. But the reality is that really tough problems aren’t solved by a lucky find and, even when we find a record that makes an assertion about an identity or kinship, it might be wrong.

FGSCruise2015: Featured Speaker Elizabeth Shown Mills via
Elizabeth Shown Mills
What we need most are strategies for testing assertions. We need strategies for teasing out the identities of wives and mothers when no record gives us her name. We need strategies for proving name changes when illegitimacies, informal adoptions, and other “off-record” situations create a broken limb on a family tree.

In five sessions this week, I will teach you enough strategies to see you through a lifetime of successful research:

  • Finding Females: Wives, Mothers, Daughters, Sisters & Paramours 
  • Okay, I Got the Neighbors: Now What do I Do with Them?
  • Margaret’s Baby’s Father & the Lessons He Taught Me: Illegitimacy, Name Changes & More
  • Smith & Jones: Problem-Solving with Families of Common Name
  • Using Evidence Creatively: How to Spot Clues and Demand Answers from Run-of-the Mill Records

--Elizabeth Shown Mills

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA is a historical researcher and writer who has spent her life studying American culture and the relationships between people. A popular lecturer and author, she has represented genealogy in the media on three continents—including ABC, BBC, CNN, PBS, and featured roles in BBC’s 20th Anniversary and 30th Anniversary specials on Alex Haley’s Roots. She has been widely cited as “The person who has had the most impact on family history in the post-Roots era.”

Across her career, Elizabeth spent sixteen years as editor of the peer-reviewed National Genealogical Society Quarterly, blogged for the New York Times, and been interviewed by Time, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and other major print media. She served as president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and created the groundbreaking Advanced Research Methodology track at Samford University Institute of Genealogy & Historical Research.

As an educator and writer, Elizabeth focuses on research methodology and social history. She is the author, editor, or translator of fourteen books and over 500 journal and magazine articles. Of all her publications, her favorite work is her 2004 reality-based historical novel, Isle of Canes. As a genealogist, she is best known for two essential reference works: Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers & Librarians and Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace.

The FGS 2015 Alaskan Cruise will offer a full genealogy conference during sea days that does not encroach on time to enjoy mainland excursions.  Register for the cruise at

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