Thursday, January 20, 2011

Using a Timeline

Creating a timeline for your ancestors is one of the tools I have been hearing about more recently.  I confess when I first heard of timelines, I felt is was just one more thing on the long list of things to do with my research.  I was slow to embrace them until ...

I started to hit brick walls in my research.  When I encounter brick walls - big or small - I have learned to look back at what I know. (This works well in other areas of life as well!)  "Back to what I know" has become a much used technique for me.  Even doing this, I still had difficulty gaining new insights and directions for my research.  I decided to give the timeline technique a try.  I gained a whole new perspective on my ancestor(s).  Many of the genealogy software programs have an option to create a timeline for an ancestor.  I played around with that feature, but still could not quite get the perspective I was seeking.  I then got out my paper, pencil and ruler to create my own.  Something about putting an ancestor's life in order myself  made his life "click".  I could see where age discrepancies existed.  I discovered where I thought an ancestor spent most of his life was only a small part of his life.  I saw where the gaps in my research existed. While the timeline itself did not break down a brick wall, it created new ideas for avenues of research. Isn't that what scaling our genealogy brick walls is all about?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...