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Create a Historical TimeLine on Your Ancestors

Pile of photosThere is always something new out on the Internet to add sparkle and interest to your family research. The site titled OurTimeLines has a charming and super simple method to put together a timeline of historical events that any particular ancestor may have experienced or lived through. Once you see and then study further some of the local, national and world events and exactly how old your relative was when those proceedings occurred, you’ll have a greater appreciation for their life.  There will be occurs you may have never known of when you studied history in school, but may have had a major impact on your relative’s daily life.

The site is very easy to use. Scroll to the bottom of the homepage and click ‘Here’. There will then be a box in which you type in the name of an ancestor. It can be anyone in any location during any time period.  The only restriction is that the relative was born after 1000 A.D.  After the name place the birth and death years to give the timeline spread. Then click ‘Generate Timeline’ and in a second appears your ancestor’s name at the top of the page and just about every world historical event during their life.

As you scan down that timeline, note some events are underlined, which means they are linked to a site online that provides details on that moment in history.  Some events covered many years, such as wars, so a listing of the years are given as well as a bar graph showing how long the event took place.

Reading along you will see that your ancestor’s age is provided when each event happened. When I placed an ancestor who lived from 1712 to 1798 there were occurrences such as Daniel Fahrenheit invented the mercury thermometer in 1714, sign language was developed in 1749, Capt. James Cook circumnavigated the Antarctica in the early 1770s, indoor lighting using gas started in England and Germany in 1786, George Washington became America’s first President in 1789 and in 1796 a vaccination was developed for smallpox.

With an ancestor who lived from 1821 to 1903 besides historical also technical advances can be added. During this timeline there were listings the United States population was 9.2 million in 1821, the first railroad in America was in 1828 (something that ancestor was later part of with the B & O Railroad), a major cholera pandemic was from 1829 to 1851, the telegraph was developed in 1833 but the first message sent in 1844, in 1859 was Darwin’s Origin of the Species, President Lincoln was assassinated when my ancestor was age 44, in 1873 were developed colored photographs, x-rays were made in 1887, in 1900 Hawaii became a U. S. territory and in 1903 an airplane was flown at Kitty Hawk by the Wright brothers.

This free site offers so many possibilities to learn more about those periods of history from a few years ago to hundreds.  Another option is to click on ‘peers and contemporizes.’ This will provide names of  famous individuals who share the same birth year with your ancestor. It also has the option to make a hard copy or a print copy of the timeline on that ancestor.  An excellent site for any family history researcher.

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