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FC 66 A Discussion with Elizabeth Shown Mills

This week on Fieldstone Common our featured guest is Elizabeth Shown Mills, best known as the author of Evidence Explained. In this episode we will be having a discussion on slavery, race, research and writing centered on her two books, Isle of Canes and The Forgotten People which both focus on Cane River’s Creoles of Color.


Elizabeth Shown Mills is an internationally acclaimed historical researcher and writer who has spent her life studying American culture and the relationships between people–Elizabeth Shown Mills on Fieldstone Commonemotional as well as genetic. Featured on BBC, CNN, PBS, and other networks in the U.S., U.K., and Australia, she has been widely cited as “the genealogist who has had the most influence in the post-Roots era.”

Her 13 prize-winning books range from reference works such as Evidence Explained: Citing History Sources from Artifacts to Cyberspace to the historical novel, Isle of Canes, which chronicles a family of freed slaves across four generations, and is drawn from Mills’s own research in the archives of six nations. She is also the editor of Professional Genealogy: A Manual for Researchers, Writers, Editors, Lecturers, and Librarians.

In 2011, Elizabeth Shown Mills launched an academic website called Historic Pathways that houses digitized versions of articles she has published. The site broadcasts her fascinating and important work to a worldwide audience.

You can also follow Elizabeth on the Evidence Explained Facebook page and the Evidence Explained website.

Book Summary

Isle of Canes and The Forgotten People both focus on the Cane River’s Creoles of Color. The Isle of Canes is a fictional account and The Forgotten People is an academic work of non-fiction. Both provide and exceptional view into the lives and culture of the Creole people of Louisiana.

Book Info – The Forgotten PeopleThe Forgotten People by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Title: The Forgotten People: Cane River’s Creoles of Color

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press (Nov. 2013)

Trade paperback; 416 pages with bibliography, index, end notes and a photo essay.

The Forgotten People is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

Book Info – Isle of CanesIsle of Canes by Elizabeth Shown Mills

Title: Isle of Canes

Publisher: Turner Publishing (2006)

Trade paperback; 583 pages.

Isle of Canes is available for purchase from Amazon.com and other booksellers.

The Interview

In this interview we get into a discussion about the complexity of slavery, race, religion and culture and then segue that into a discussion about research and writing.

Prize Winners

Five books by Elizabeth Shown Mills were given out to the Fieldstone Common audience courtesy of the publishers – Turner Publishing, The Louisiana State University Press and the Genealogical Publishing Company.

The winners are:

The Forgotten People – Brenda Lybbert of Washington

Isle Canes – Lori Lynn Price of Massachusetts

Evidence Explained (3 winners)

  • Libbi Crowe of Florida
  • Crystal Cuelho of California
  • Bill Nelson of Massachusetts

Congratulations to our winners and thanks to Turner Publishing, The Louisiana State University Press and the Genealogical Publishing Company for their generosity in donating the books!

Make sure you qualify to win the giveaway next week by signing up for the Bonus List! Once you sign up your are in the running each week!

News & Announcements

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Question: What’s that’s new stuff in the Fieldstone Common title (FC 66)?

Answer: That makes it easier, especially for iTunes and other podcast listeners, to keep track of which episode they are listening to. FC stands for Fieldstone Common and 63 is the number of the episode.

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