Thursday, January 26, 2012

Historic Pathways

If you know anything about Elizabeth Shown Mills, CG, you don't need me to tell you that her new web site, Historic Pathways, is a treasure chest of the best in genealogy writing and reasoning. It includes links to valued sites and to her many books, but for aspiring practitioners the real meat is in 40 previously published articles and reports, most heretofore unavailable on line. That's my count, and it doesn't include a couple of titles promised but not yet posted. The articles and reports are organized by topic, so some are mentioned several times.

You may recognize some characters from one or more of her lectures, including the article ("In Search of 'Mr. Ball': An Exercise in Finding Fathers" with Sharon Brown Sholars, CG) from which sprang the inimitably titled lecture "Margaret's Baby's Father and What He Taught Me."

[Elizabeth Shown Mills and Sharon Sholars Brown, “In Search of ‘Mr. Ball’: An Exercise in Finding Fathers,” National Genealogical Society Quarterly 80 (June 1992): 115–33; digital image at Elizabeth Shown Mills, Historic Pathways ( : accessed 20 January 2012)]

The Association of Professional Genealogists held an experimental on-line Live Meeting this past week about various educational opportunities. We focused on structured opportunities, some expensive, some low-cost.

We didn't get around to totally free opportunities like this -- and there is nothing like this on the web. If you're short of cash and travel time, and if you're tired of the much-recycled and dubiously sourced material that is easy to find on line, then read and reread these articles until you can give an elevator-pitch summary of each and follow the subtleties of the reasoning. You won't get a certificate or a credential, but you will see the genealogy world with new eyes.

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