Elizabeth Shown Mills to deliver her final presentation this Friday, and it will be virtual

After 50 years of delivering more than 1,000 in-person and virtual presentations internationally, popular American genealogist and author Elizabeth Shown Mills announced in a Facebook post that this Friday will be her final presentation.

Ms. Shown Mills wrote, “It’s time now to allow promising up-and-comers to fill the slots I would be using.”

On Friday, October 8, at 11:00 a.m. Eastern time, Ms. Shown Mills will deliver her webinar, Context: A Powerful Tool for Problem Solving, part of the Board for Certification of Genealogists’ 2021 Joy Reisinger Memorial Lecture Series, that will be hosted by Legacy Family Tree Webinars.

Raw facts do not tell a story. They may not even tell the truth about what they do relate. As researchers, we seek original documents that offer us “the facts.” But facts are impish devils, and historical records do not speak for themselves. They cannot explain themselves. They are inert objects created by individuals of a different time, a different culture, and who-knows-what mindset. If taken at face value, records and their “facts” can deceive, mislead, or confuse us. The only voice that documents have is the voice we give them. With every document we find, and every story we tell, we have a choice:

    • We can take what we see at face value, report it devoid of context, and run the risk of misrepresenting the circumstances. Or …
    • We can seek the context we need to understand the record, the event, and the person.

First presentation
Fifty years ago, Ms. Shown Mills was a young history major at university, already “hooked on genealogy,” when a Louisiana genealogical society invited her to present a paper on the old French and Spanish town of Natchitoches.

Evidence Explained by Elizabeth Shown Mills

She wrote on her Facebook page about what happened next. “With time, there came invitations from Samford University’s IGHR, and then the National Archives-based institute, then NGS’s national conferences (39 straight years of them), FGS, SLIG, and an exploding number of other opportunities to learn-while-sharing. I’ve treasured them all.”

Ms. Shown Mills is the author of Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace, the citation bible for genealogists.

Registration is required to watch this Friday’s live webinar.

This Friday’s webinar will likely be standing-room only, so arrive early to grab your virtual seat.

A recording will be available in Legacy Family Tree Webinars’ webinar library for up to seven days afterward to watch for free. Subscribers will have unlimited access to the webinar and syllabus.

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