Archive for February 18th, 2013

Creating a Timeline

If you really want some help in finding a lost ancestor you should create a timeline. A timeline will put the events of an ancestor’s life in chronological order and help you as you locate  and evaluate any information you may find. The process is simple:

  1. Choose an ancestor
  2. List the important dates and events in their life, such as date and place of birth, first wedding day, the births of their children,  any immigration information and finally their death.
  3. Find other historical events for the period of time your ancestor was alive. Depending on where they lived you could add dates of wars, statehood, epidemics, or other historical events.
  4. Organize your genealogical and historical dates in chronological order. From this information, you can create a simple time line by adding important dates with brief comments attached to them. it all depends on how much detail you want to include in your timeline.
  5. Add to the timeline the age of your ancestor when each of these events occurred.

If there are discrepancies in your information they will show up immediately in a timeline. Timelines also help put your ancestor in the context of the time their were living. Example: Norman Bliss

  • 1875 – born Toquerville, Kane County, Utah Territory
  • 1882 – age 7 Father killed, Toquerville, Washington County, Utah Territory
  • 1888 age 12 Mother died Washington, Washington County, Utah Territory Utah
  • 1885 – age 20, married Mary Morris – Rockville, Washington County, Utah Territory

As you correctly add historical events you see that Utah was still a Territory and that Toquerville, changed from Kane County to Washington County. This can be important information as it can identify where you might locate records. It also gives you a picture of Norman that doesn’t readily show up in a Family Group Record. He was orphaned at the age of 12. You then begin to wonder who he lived with after his mother died, and what happened to his younger siblings.

Some genealogy software will help you create a chronology, and there are many historical timelines already on the Internet which will give you the dates of major events that would  have happened in the area your ancestor lived. As you research and refer to your  timeline you will be able  to quickly eliminate people that don’t belong in your family by a simple look at the age your ancestor was at a certain time period. Of course if you need more help making a timeline of your own you can go on the interent to You Tube and search for genealogy and timelines, or chronologies, and watch a number of videos that will step you through the process and give you additional ideas.

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