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About Me



Dr. Constance Trisler Shotts is a native of Monroe County, Indiana. She earned bachelor, master and doctoral degrees from Indiana University and completed post-doctoral credentialing course work at the University of Virginia and the University of California, Fullerton. She has engaged in genealogy pursuits as a hobby for more than 30 years. After retiring from a career in teaching and school administration, she completed requirements for certification by the Board for the Certification of Genealogists (BCG) in 2011 and successfully renewed her certification in 2016.


Dr. Shotts is a member of the Association for Professional Genealogists, the North Carolina Association for Professional Genealogists, the North Carolina Genealogical Society, the Virginia Genealogical Society, the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana Genealogical Society, the Monroe County (Indiana) Historical Society, the Kentucky Historical Society, and the Jessamine County (Kentucky) Historical Society.  She is a frequent contributor to various online websites focusing on the posting and exchange of genealogical research information.


Dr. Shotts has published several articles and a book titled If I Live, containing the letters of her relative, William H. Trisler, who wrote home to his mother and father, his sisters, and acquaintances about his experiences as a Union soldier during the Civil War. The book is available for purchase on


Dr. Shotts is a member of the Mecklenburg (Charlotte, North Carolina) chapter and the national chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She has successfully completed application to the Indiana Territorial Guard and was an Organizing Charter Member of the First Settlers of the Shenandoah Valley (Augusta County, Virginia). The Indiana Territorial Guard admits descendants who can prove their lineage to a person who settled in Indiana prior to the granting of statehood in 1816. First Settlers of the Shenandoah Valley is an organization that admits descendants who can prove their lineage to an ancestor who settled in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in the early days of America and was among the first immigrants living in the area. Dr. Shotts’ ancestor, William Alexander, was living in Augusta County, Virginia, before 1750.


Dr. Shotts continues to do research on various branches of her family, and to work with SNA International who contracts with the Department of the Army to research family connections for soldiers who are missing or not definitively identified from World War II and the Korean War. She also contributes to Monroe County, Indiana, research activities, and engages in other voluntary research contributions for organizations such as the DAR and FamilySearch.


From book If I Live [from back cover]

“In June 1861, 21-year-old William H. Trisler, the son of Jacob and Sophia Hoover Trisler, left his Monroe County, Indiana, home to fight for the Union in the Civil War. Through the course of his three years’ service, he wrote letters home to his parents and sisters. For the most part he doesn’t dwell on the battles, which included Antietam where he was wounded, as well as Gettysburg and the Wilderness. His letters began with enthusiasm for the cause, but experiences brought him to the realizations of war, and in the last months, the phrase “if I live” began to appear in his letters.”

“Civil War Letters of William H. Trisler, Company K, 14th Indiana Volunteers”

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