Timelines in Genealogy: A Valuable Tool & Definitely Worth the Time

Diane L. Richard, MEng, MBA

Hit a brick wall? Wondering why your ancestors did what they did? Need to separate out several same-named contemporaries? Learn about timelines and how they might help you solve your puzzles. Creating a chronological multi-columned matrix can help you focus on missing gaps, clarify seemingly contradictory information, discover previously invisible relationships, and identify paths to future discoveries. Color-coding, or other distinguishing methods, can also highlight locale or surname overlaps, related records, and more. These are not the timelines you learned to make in school. This visual representation presents complex information in an easy-to-see format. Timelines are dynamic tools you will never regret making. They are as unique as each project you undertake.

(Image source: “A Medieval genealogy traced from Adam and Eve”, by Gutun Owain – National Library of Wales, licensed under Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, via WikiMedia.)

Available in the NCGS online store is North Carolina Research – Genealogy and Local History, the text for the NCGS Webinar Series. For more information about the speaker, please see our flyer (pdf file).

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