Elizabeth Shown Mills to Present a Second Session at NGS 2021 Live!

Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA

SESSION: NGS2104-LV-10 DATE & TIME: Thursday, 20 May 2021, at 12:15 p.m.

One of the toughest challenges faced by genealogists, within all ethnic groups, is the difficulty of identifying and tracking females.

Wives and mothers traditionally have been “supporting characters” to the roles played by their husbands and sons—bearing no known name other than that of the males they married or bore. As late as the mid-1900s, First Lady Mamie Eisenhower quoted her mother’s teaching that women should appear in newspapers no more than three times in their lives: at the announcements of their birth, their marriage, and their death. For most women prior to the twentieth century, genealogists are likely not to find even these three notices.

Historically, social mores and law codes made them second-class citizens, without a legal identity of their own and few rights or opportunities to create the range of records that genealogists customarily use to trace males. Most contemporaries of the nineteenth-century president Thomas Jefferson agreed with his observation that it was unseemly for women to appear in a court of law or a public assemblage of men.

This session presents an array of resources—and, more importantly, techniques and strategies—by which identities of elusive females can be established. Numerous case studies illustrate the suggested methodology.

BIO: Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FNGS, FUGA, a pioneer in problem-solving methodology, is a former editor of the NGS Quarterly and a former president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists. Her sixteen books include the reference manual Evidence Explained, the historical novel Isle of Canes, the textbook Professional Genealogy: Preparation, Practice & Standards; and the delightful little Tips & Quips for the Family Historian featuring the wit and wisdom of dozens of today’s best-known genealogists.


To learn more about the NGS 2021 Virtual Family History Conference’s week-long events, 17-21 May, visit the conference and download a copy of the program brochure. A discounted Early Bird registration fee is available through 15 March 2021.