The National Institute for Genealogical Studies

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

The National Institute for Genealogical Studies - LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION

Research A-Z ~ Timelines

For the month of April, we have highlighted some of the 225+ genealogy and research courses offered at The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. There are a variety of themes and topics to choose from. Hopefully, we will feature some courses that you were not aware of and pique your interest to explore further.

T is for TIMELINES

A timeline is a valuable tool for tracking life events in your ancestors’ lives. It can be a simple table in a word document, a spreadsheet with detailed columns, or just a sequential list of specific events. There are several styles and purposes for timelines, but it needs to be whatever works for you to chronologically record, and then, analyze the information you have gathered. Timelines are utilized in several of our courses and really should be created for each person in your research in order to see their life events at a glance.

The following courses may help you to develop Timelines for your ancestors and their families:

Discover Your Family History 
Forensic Genealogy  
Google for the Wise Genealogist  
Life of Our Ancestors 
Methodology – Part 1: Getting Started 
Methodology – Part 2: Organizing and Skill-Building 
Methodology – Part 3: More Strategies 
Methodology – Part 4: Effective Searching and Recording 
Methodology – Part 5: How to Prove It 
Organizing a One-Name Study  
Organizing a One-Place Study  
Research: FamilySearch Resources – In Person and Online 
Research: Grandmothers, Mothers & Daughters-Tracing Women 
Research: House & Farm Histories 
Research: Social History 
Research: U.S. Colonial New England Ancestors 
Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls  
Skill-Building: Evidence Analysis and Evaluation Using Case Studies  
Skill-Building: Nuts & Bolts of Reporting Research  
Social Media Tools for the Wise Genealogist 
Writing the Genealogist’s Memoir 
Writing Your Family History Book

Course Packages

You can customize your own package of courses. This is especially helpful if you have already completed some of the courses above. Register for the balance of the courses needed to complete your desired genealogy theme.

Course Package – 4 Courses 
Course Package – 7 Courses 
Course Package – 8 Courses 
Course Package – 10 Courses 
Course Package – 13 Courses

Research A-Z 

Timelines are a resource that should be in every researcher’s Genealogy Toolbox. They can show gaps in information, reveal conflicting information which is out of order, compare same name individuals to identify overlaps, and much more. Be sure to develop timelines for your research projects.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 
The National Institute for Genealogical Studies offers quality online education with over 225+ courses to choose from. Some of our courses are topic/country-specific, or provide insight into research methodology, while others are skill-building courses to maximize your research time. The first Monday of a new month means another rotation of courses will start. Most courses feature 6 modules over an 8-week period, easily adapted to most busy schedules. Many courses have been bundled into packages to provide discount options. Take a look at our course calendar and see which courses will accomplish your genealogical education goals. Register today! 
—————————————————- 
Visit our website for a complete list of online courses offered by The National Institute for Genealogical Studies. Check our Course Calendar here. List of Packages available here.
Follow us on Social Media: BlogFacebookTwitter, Pinterest
*Note: Please be aware our social media accounts are monitored regularly, but NOT 24/7. If you have any questions, please contact the office directly. 

Contact information:
1 (800) 580-0165
Email: admin@GenealogicalStudies.com 
Website: www.GenealogicalStudies.com
Blog: blog.GenealogicalStudies.com

LEADERS IN ONLINE GENEALOGY EDUCATION since 1997 

Timelines are Important

Why Use Timelines 

A timeline is a visual representation of events in sequential order. Timelines are often used in genealogy to place an ancestor in a historical context giving us a better understanding of their lives and how they fit into the world around them. Timelines can help break down brick walls allowing us to see: 

  • Where a person was and when. 
  • Gaps in time where information is missing. 
  • Instances where two people of the same name might be combined. 
  • Possible scenarios (for example, finding a large gap in the birth of children during the Civil War period). 

But also keep in mind timelines are a great basis for writing biographies and genealogies, as well as a visual component to share with others.

via Canva.com

Timelines are great tools to help us put our research in a different perspective. The visual nature of a timeline often reveals clues for additional research. There are three general types of timelines: basic, comparative, and historical.  

With our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn more about building your own timelines and how to use them in your research.  

 

Analyze Your Timelines

Time to Analyze  

Once you have developed your timeline, take a step back and really study it. What does it tell you? Are their gaps in your timeline that need to be accounted for? Is there a new location you are not familiar with? And perhaps most importantly for brick wall busting, has the timeline revealed an answer to your question, and if not, do you have some leads to follow up on? You will use this analysis to record your thoughts and plan your next steps.

via Canva.com

The timeline gives you a period of time to investigate and locations relative to the period of time. Put your analysis and plan of action in writing, this helps to keep all of your thoughts organized. As you uncover new items of information, be sure to update any timelines you have created and review and analyze them again with the new data.   

Also, keep in mind that timelines may identify other questions that either need answering or something you might want to explore to understand your ancestor better. The timeline can easily be your basis for developing a plan related to these new research ideas. With our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn how to develop these timelines and analyze your results. All helping you to break down that brick wall.  

Timelines

Comparative Timeline 

Comparative timelines can be used to compare two or more people/families. For example, the objective may be to determine the migration of two separate families joined together by marriage. A timeline showing both families will help to focus the research.

via Canva.com

Unlike a basic timeline, a comparative timeline shows each year, whether there is an event or not. Constructing a timeline whether simple, detailed or comparative, can help illustrate gaps of time. The timeline can help determine where to look for records. 

You can take comparative timelines a step further by adding additional family members or associates to the mix. For example, you could follow, and ultimately compare, children, siblings, in-laws or even neighbors, to see if other connections can be made.   

A comparative timeline is also useful when trying to sort out identities. Sometimes we run across instances of name changes or aliases, and of course, we all have those female ancestors with unknown maiden names or parents. A comparative timeline can help you track each of the individuals to see if any fit the pattern to be your ancestor. For more information on Comparative Timelines and our Skill-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course.

Basic Timelines

Building a Basic Timeline 

More often than not, you will want to create a basic timeline for your problem ancestor. Start with information about all of the events in their life, including their birth and death dates, any marriages, birth and death of any children, the death of a spouse, and death of parents. You might also want to incorporate relevant information about the locations you are working with, for example, boundary changes.

via Canva.com

You may choose not to indicate the source to begin with or you may use footnotes to cite the source. Creating footnotes in a spreadsheet program cannot be done with ease so you may want to include a short source reference instead.  

One of the other uses of a timeline is to help illustrate instances where two people may have been combined. You can usually see this by just looking at the dates and locations and notice that something does not quite add up. 

In addition to helping solve tough genealogy problems, this type of basic timeline is a great tool to keep handy when doing research. There are multiple ways to approach timelines and with our Skills-Building: Breaking Down Brick Walls course you will learn more.  

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: