Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Create an Ancestor’s Timeline

I love using timelines for intricate or complicated ancestral research. Randy Seaver’s SNGF challenge this week is all about the timeline:

1) Do you use Timelines to help you in your research?  Create a Timeline (a chronological list with dates and events) for one of your ancestors that includes their parents, siblings, spouse(s) and children.  Tell us how you did it, and show us your work.

This was a quick activity because, like Randy, I also use RootsMagic 7 so I followed the same steps he did.

I went to Reports> Lists> Timeline (Chronology) List.

Because I’ve spent so much time lately untangling the Thompsons, I chose Thomas Thompson and my husband’s direct line descendants down to his great grandmother to include in the timeline.

It isn’t terribly long – but it does the job.

I have to admit, though, that when I create timelines, I prefer to use Excel and build it with my own research facts, collected as I work.

The benefit of Excel is that I can enter dates in any order and then sort by date when I am finished.

Thanks, Randy, for this week’s challenge. Timelines are a great, but underused, research tool for genealogists.

3 thoughts on “Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Create an Ancestor’s Timeline”

  1. That’s an interesting timeline of the whole family. I never thought of doing that. Like you, I’d rather do one in Excel or just plain Word, where I can add all kinds of comments and source citations.

  2. I agree with you re Excel – it has much more flexibility. With Family Tree Analyzer, one can export info into Excel for creating a timeline so there’s not so much typing 🙂

    I imagine one can copy/paste a timeline exported from RM into Excel to get a skeleton and then fill in other events.

    The FH one is good for non-genealogists, to share information, as I think eyes glaze over at all the dates in a column…

    So many reports – so little time!

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