How to Find the Truth about a Family Story—replay of today's Best of ESM webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

2024-06-28-image500blog

The recording of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, "How to Find the Truth about a Family Story” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for webinar members.

Webinar Description

Oral history provides the foundation for all family research. Documentary evidence builds structure on that foundation. But documents often conflict with family traditions. How do we determine the core truths that are essential to understanding our own past? This class examines the causes of those conflicts and demonstrates how to peel away generations of confusion to find the real story that underpins family lore. Case studies include both Native American and African American traditions.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 14 minute recording of "How to Find the Truth about a Family Story" is now available to view in our webinar library.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 2,218 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 8,596 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2024 webinar brochure here.


Register for Friday's "The Best of ESM" series members-only webinar — How to Find the Truth about a Family Story by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

Register for Friday's "The Best of ESM" series members-only webinar — How to Find the Truth about a Family Story by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

Oral history provides the foundation for all family research. Documentary evidence builds structure on that foundation. But documents often conflict with family traditions. How do we determine the core truths that are essential to understanding our own past? This class examines the causes of those conflicts and demonstrates how to peel away generations of confusion to find the real story that underpins family lore. Case studies include both Native American and African American traditions.

*** This class requires an active webinar membership to attend. ***

About the presenter

Across a long career, Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, has been an innovator of research methods and strategies. Published widely by academic and popular presses, she edited a national-level scholarly journal for 16 years, taught for 13 years at a National Archives-based institute on archival records and, for 25 years, headed a university-based program for advanced researchers. A past president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Elizabeth is the author, editor, and translator of 14 books and over 600 articles in the fields of genealogy, history, literature, and sociology. She has delivered over 1,000 lectures internationally, has appeared on radio and TV talk shows on three continents, and was featured in BBC’s 20th and 30th anniversary specials on the novel Roots.

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, June 28, 2024 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. A webinar membership is required to register.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Tax Rolls: Getting Our Money’s Worth from the Taxes Our Ancestors Paid — replay of today's members-only webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills now available for members

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The recording of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, "Tax Rolls: Getting Our Money’s Worth from the Taxes Our Ancestors Paid” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for webinar members.

Webinar Description

Tax rolls have traditionally been used as a “census substitute”—a list of names to show that someone of a certain name was in a certain jurisdiction, in this year or that. But tax rolls can be developed into so much more. This session demonstrates how to use tax rolls to separate same-name people, determine ages of men and date their marriages, establish times of death, identify parents and the maiden identity of wives, track migration, document inheritances when probate records are destroyed, and so much more!

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 18 minute recording of "Tax Rolls: Getting Our Money’s Worth from the Taxes Our Ancestors Paid" is now available to view in our webinar library.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 2,190 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 8,488 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2024 webinar brochure here.


Register for Friday's "The Best of ESM" series members-only webinar — Tax Rolls: Getting Our Money’s Worth from the Taxes Our Ancestors Paid by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

Register for Friday's "The Best of ESM" series members-only webinar — Tax Rolls: Getting Our Money’s Worth from the Taxes Our Ancestors Paid by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

Tax rolls have traditionally been used as a “census substitute”—a list of names to show that someone of a certain name was in a certain jurisdiction, in this year or that. But tax rolls can be developed into so much more. This session demonstrates how to use tax rolls to separate same-name people, determine ages of men and date their marriages, establish times of death, identify parents and the maiden identity of wives, track migration, document inheritances when probate records are destroyed, and so much more!

*** This class requires an active webinar membership to attend. ***

About the presenter

Across a long career, Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, has been an innovator of research methods and strategies. Published widely by academic and popular presses, she edited a national-level scholarly journal for 16 years, taught for 13 years at a National Archives-based institute on archival records and, for 25 years, headed a university-based program for advanced researchers. A past president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Elizabeth is the author, editor, and translator of 14 books and over 600 articles in the fields of genealogy, history, literature, and sociology. She has delivered over 1,000 lectures internationally, has appeared on radio and TV talk shows on three continents, and was featured in BBC’s 20th and 30th anniversary specials on the novel Roots.

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, April 26, 2024 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. A webinar membership is required to register.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Census Clues: Sweet Potato Simon, White Potato Willie, & Cows that Grow Wool — replay of today's members-only webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills now available for members

Census Clues: Sweet Potato Simon, White Potato Willie, & Cows that Grow Wool — replay of today's members-only webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills now available for members

The recording of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, "Census Clues: Sweet Potato Simon, White Potato Willie, & Cows that Grow Wool” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for webinar members.

Webinar Description

Census records are the most used—and yet the most underused—of all genealogical resources. Every major provider offers them, along with an index so we can easily find our people. Aside from a year here or there, when a pesky ancestor seems to have eluded the census taker, the use of censuses seems fairly straightforward: We use a search engine to find our person and we copy down the data. There, done!

No. Not at all! Censuses provide “facts,” but in between those “facts” there are a wealth of clues we can mine to solve our worst problems with identity, origin, and parentage. This session is for advanced researchers who think they “already know all about census records” and for newer researchers who want to avoid the mistakes most researchers make.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 19 minute recording of "Census Clues: Sweet Potato Simon, White Potato Willie, & Cows that Grow Wool" is now available to view in our webinar library.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 2,152 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 8,252 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2024 webinar brochure here.


Register for Friday's "The Best of ESM" series members-only webinar — Census Clues: Sweet Potato Simon, White Potato Willie, & Cows that Grow Wool by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

Register for Friday's "The Best of ESM" series members-only webinar — Census Clues: Sweet Potato Simon, White Potato Willie, & Cows that Grow Wool by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL

Census records are the most used—and yet the most underused—of all genealogical resources. Every major provider offers them, along with an index so we can easily find our people. Aside from a year here or there, when a pesky ancestor seems to have eluded the census taker, the use of censuses seems fairly straightforward: We use a search engine to find our person and we copy down the data. There, done!

No. Not at all! Censuses provide “facts,” but in between those “facts” there are a wealth of clues we can mine to solve our worst problems with identity, origin, and parentage. This session is for advanced researchers who think they “already know all about census records” and for newer researchers who want to avoid the mistakes most researchers make.

*** This class requires an active webinar membership to attend. ***

About the presenter

Across a long career, Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, has been an innovator of research methods and strategies. Published widely by academic and popular presses, she edited a national-level scholarly journal for 16 years, taught for 13 years at a National Archives-based institute on archival records and, for 25 years, headed a university-based program for advanced researchers. A past president of both the American Society of Genealogists and the Board for Certification of Genealogists, Elizabeth is the author, editor, and translator of 14 books and over 600 articles in the fields of genealogy, history, literature, and sociology. She has delivered over 1,000 lectures internationally, has appeared on radio and TV talk shows on three continents, and was featured in BBC’s 20th and 30th anniversary specials on the novel Roots.

Test Your Webinar Connection

To ensure that your webinar connection is ready to go, click here.

Can't make it to the live event?

No worries. Its recording will be available for a limited time. Webinar Subscribers have unlimited access to all webinar recordings for the duration of their membership.

Webinar time

The webinar will be live on Friday, March 22, 2024 at:

  • 2pm Eastern (U.S.)
  • 1pm Central
  • 12pm Mountain
  • 11am Pacific

Or use this Time Zone Converter.

Here's how to attend:

  1. Register at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com today. A webinar membership is required to register.
  2. You will receive a confirmation email containing a link to the webinar.
  3. You will receive a reminder email both 1 day and 1 hour prior to the live webinar.
  4. Calculate your time zone by clicking here.
  5. Check your GoToWebinar connection here.
  6. Click on the webinar link (found in confirmation and reminder emails) prior to the start of the webinar. Arrive early as the room size is limited to the first 1,000 arrivals that day.
  7. Listen via headset (USB headsets work best), your computer speakers, or by phone. 

We look forward to seeing you all there!


Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records — replay of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records — replay of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

The recording of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, "Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/ESM with a webinar membership.

Webinar Description

The records we use are filled with “trivia,” bits and pieces of information that seem to have no “genealogical” value—at least not until we become more innovative in our research and analysis. Each piece of trivia in every document is an opportunity waiting to be connected to something else. Our ability to resolve problems depends upon our ability to make those connections. This class explores eighteen types of records and the kind of hidden clues each offers to help us resolve problems of identity, kinship, and origin.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 16 minute recording of "Using Evidence Creatively: Spotting Clues in Run-of-the-Mill Records" is now available to view in our webinar library (webinar membership required).

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 2,112 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 8,046 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)


Turning Witnesses into Evidence — replay of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

Turning Witnesses into Evidence — replay of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

The recording of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, "Turning Witnesses into Evidence” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/ESM with a webinar membership.

Webinar Description

Witnesses are not afterthoughts tacked onto the end of documents. Although they filled a routine role for our ancestors, they are significant informants for us—once we learn how to use those names to develop evidence. This session approaches the topic in two ways: theory and application. It explores record types that offer witnesses, ways in which witnesses were used, situations that affected the choice of witnesses, signals that indicate whether a witness would be important to our research, and methods to apply in our development of the clues they offer. A challenging case study presents an unmarried freedwoman, never named in any census, who died about 1817—and applies key strategies to determine her death and burial sites.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 24 minute recording of "Turning Witnesses into Evidence" is now available to view in our webinar library (webinar membership required).

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 2,040 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 7,742 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2023 webinar brochure here.


Problem Solving in the Problem-Riddled Carolina Backcountry — replay of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

Problem Solving in the Problem-Riddled Carolina Backcountry — replay of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL now available for webinar members

The recording of today's webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, "Problem Solving in the Problem-Riddled Carolina Backcountry” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com/ESM with a webinar membership.

Webinar Description

The Carolina backcountry is known for its genealogical roadblocks: from social and geographic challenges to record destruction, to the failure to create records in the first place. This session begins by examining the cultural influences that have created the problems—influences we need to understand if we are to develop alternative resources and approaches. Building on this foundation, Mills then explores thirty-two strategies for overcoming research obstacles, using a variety of short case studies and little-known materials to illustrate key points.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 19 minute recording of "Problem Solving in the Problem-Riddled Carolina Backcountry" is now available to view in our webinar library (webinar membership required).

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 2,028 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 7,673 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2023 webinar brochure here.


Samuel Witter vs. Samuel Witter: Separating Same Name Men, War of 1812 by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL - replay of today's webinar now online for webinar members

Samuel Witter vs. Samuel Witter: Separating Same Name Men, War of 1812 by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL - replay of today's webinar now online for webinar members

The recording of today's members-only webinar by Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, CGL, FASG, FUGA, FNGS, "Samuel Witter vs. Samuel Witter: Separating Same Name Men, War of 1812” is now available to view at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com for those with a webinar membership.

Webinar Description

Online research today is immensely rewarding. Major genealogical data sites and software perform automatic searches for us and suggest documents bearing the names of people we are pursuing. However, every document we collect presents an identity issue we have to resolve before we can validly use it to build our family tree. This presentation demonstrates why, using three men named Samuel Witter whose descendants have all claimed for him the same War of 1812 service. As Mills separates the three Samuels, she explores the standards that govern our development of evidence, the Congressional laws that must guide our decisions, and the strategies needed to differentiate between men and correctly assign military service.

View the Recording at FamilyTreeWebinars.com

If you could not make it to the live event or just want to watch it again, the 1 hour 25 minute recording of "Samuel Witter vs. Samuel Witter: Separating Same Name Men, War of 1812” is now available to view in our webinar library when signed in as a webinar member.

Webinar Memberships/Subscriptions

Webinar Members get:

  • On-demand access to the entire webinar archives (now 1,990 classes of genealogy education)
  • On-demand access to the instructor handouts (now 7,587 pages)
  • On-demand access to the live webinars' chat logs
  • 5% off all products at www.FamilyTreeWebinars.com (must be logged in at checkout)
  • Access to all future recordings for the duration of their membership
  • Chance for a members-only door prize during each live webinar
  • Access to register for bonus members-only webinars
  • Ability to view which webinars you are registered for
  • Use of the playlist, resume watching, and jump-to features

Introductory pricing:

  • Annual membership: $49.95/year

Become a webinar member here.

Register for our upcoming webinars (free)

Print the 2023 webinar brochure here.