Family History Individual Timeline

Family History Individual Timeline

Family History Individual Timeline

A Family History Individual Timeline can be extremely helpful to visualise our research and to show any gaps or areas that need to be concentrated on.

It can help you to get yourself organised and assist you to prioritise research paths, tasks and goals. It can also allow you to easily monitor your progress and, if necessary, develop a research plan for you to follow in the future.

A Family History Individual Timeline can also be used to increase your understanding as to why certain actions/migrations were taken by your family members when you tie them into the local area or larger world events.

They also allow you to create a step-by-step picture of your ancestor’s life, each step adding further depth and taking your ancestor from words on a screen to a real person.

How to Use a Family History Individual Timeline

The Individual Timeline should start with the birth date of the ancestor whose timeline it is and then move forward displaying all the important events which have occurred in their life. These can include but not be restricted to events such as:

  • baptisms,
  • employment details,
  • military service,
  • marriage date,
  • children’s births and deaths, and
  • finally, end with the person’s death.

A timeline, if possible, should also record the individual’s age because it may assist in you discovering errors that otherwise may be missed. As an example, if you have multiple people in the family with the same name and you see a birth date that was before or very soon after the birth date of the person whose timeline it is, then you know that it is extremely unlikely that child belongs to the timeline owner.

A more likely scenario is that it is more reasonable to assume that the child belongs to his/her parents. Therefore the child would be a sibling! ( As obvious as this seems, this happened to me and I only picked it up because of the timeline).

So, what is on the Family History Individual Timeline?

  • The name of the person whose timeline it is,
  • The date of the event,
  • The age of the person when the event occurred,
  • The Event/Location/Occurrence itself,
  • Where information was sourced from, and
  • a space to insert extra comments for further clarification.

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