Tag Archives: Elizabeth Shown Mills

Genealogy Education: Two Websites That Spotlight Excellent Techniques & Methodology

Every genealogist should aspire to become the best researcher that he/she can be and education should be an ongoing component in personal genealogy toolboxes.

Quality education usually isn’t free, but there are two websites which should be bookmarked and on every genealogist’s digital reference bookshelf.

The titans of American Genealogy are on the roster of members of the American Society of Genealogists, founded in 1940 to honor those whose contributions substantially added top quality bodies of work to the genealogy world. Those members are entitled to add FASG, Fellow of the American Society of Genealogists, to their names.

The two websites that are spotlighted today are affiliated with Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, FASG, best known for her book, Evidence Explained, which guides genealogists to cite their sources correctly.

In fact, the first website I’d like to look at is, indeed, EvidenceExplained. No, it’s not a link to purchase the book.

It’s a website that supplements the source citation format recommendations contained in the book. If you’re looking for what reviewers have to say about the book, sample pages or for an outline of the book’s contents, that information is found by clicking the three icons next to the Home tab.

However, the benefit of browsing the website is found in the Sample QuickCheck Models, the Quick Lessons, the Blog and, if you register for a free account, the ability to log in and post citation questions in the Forum.

The Forum itself is sub-divided into three categories:

The newly published hardcover book, Evidence Explained, 4th edition, is a hefty investment at $65.00. The Evidence Explained website is an excellent alternative to learn how to correctly cite your genealogical sources.

The second website by Elizabeth Shown Mills seems to be far less well known than Evidence Explained. However, it is just as valuable in terms of genealogy education.

Research methodology and organizing our findings are what allows our personal work to be considered accurate and reliable. When sharing our findings with others, whether informally in emails, online or by professional publication, our report format must be easy to understand.

These skills are more easily learned by reading examples than by just attending lectures. Poorly constructed genealogical articles won’t be well received.

Where might genealogists go to learn proper methodology and reporting techniques? Look no farther than Historic Pathways, also hosted by Elizabeth shown Mills.

For a full list of Mills’ publications, click on the Books icon.

However, the most valuable sections of this website are the Articles and Research categories, as each is packed with links to many published articles, grouped by location and/or type of research.

It isn’t important that the reader is unrelated to a family in the article or that there is no geographical connection to the place. It’s vitally important to read multiple articles, meeting the high methodology standards of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, so that a genealogist of any level can begin to understand how genealogical questions are answered, how sources are cited and how a report or article is efficiently written.

This isn’t a one-step learning process. Becoming a proficient researcher begins with following best practices and then developing research skills through experience.

All genealogical researchers should bookmark both of Elizabeth Shown Mills’ websites and regularly visit them to enrich their research skills.