Timelines can be very useful for genealogists who want to get a “big picture” of how their genealogy research goes together. Unfortunately, unless you have a gigantic whiteboard on your wall, and time to make frequent updates to it, a timeline may be extremely difficult to put together. There are several websites that can help you to create a timeline.
FamilySearch builds a simple timeline for you. Every time you add a census record (or other important record) you can choose to add the information about where a person lived during that year to the respective family record. It goes into the timeline in chronological order.
Ancestry.com has a feature that is on the side of their interface. It incorporates the life events that you have added to an ancestor’s personal page into a timeline format. It also includes the person’s age next to each event.
HistoryLines will instantly create a personal life sketch for your ancestor. It is meant to fill in some of the details about that person’s life that you might not be aware of. Put in a few details, and HistoryLines will create a timeline that shows what life would look like through that person’s eyes. It puts personal events together with historical context.
It is possible to create a ancestor timeline on Pinterest. Geneabloggers has a good walkthrough that takes you step-by-step through the process. Make sure you pin the newer items first and the older items last (because you move around the pins in Board). You can make that Board a “private” one if you prefer. Start by pinning ancestor information, including maps that show where he or she lived.
TimeToast lets you put together a timeline and share it on the internet. You can try out the beta version of their timeline. It appears to be designed to give people a simple way to sort information chronologically. TimeToast was not designed for the purpose of genealogy, but might be helpful if you just want to do a very basic timeline.
Histography is a website that has already created an extensive timeline that spans across 14 billion years of history. You can use the sidebar to select a specific topic that you want to see (and it will automatically remove the unrelated stuff). Genealogists can use Histography to learn about important things that happened in their ancestor’s lifetime. You cannot create your own timeline on Histography.
OurTimeLines is another resource that places historical information into a timeline format. Place the name of your ancestor, his birth year, and his death year, into the generator. Select which type of historical event you would like included. OurTimeLines can be used for free.
Image by pushandplay on Flickr.
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