Family Timelines and Connecting Dots
Think back to the time when you were learning numbers by connecting numbered dots.
By connecting the dots in the correct order, a clear picture of a dog or a pony would take shape.
If you connected the numbered dots out of sequence, your dog or pony picture took on the resemblance of some bizarre alien life form.
Timelines serve the same purpose as those early ‘Connect the Dot’ learning programs you worked with as a child.
As a timeline of events is established, a picture takes shape. Instead of the proverbial dog or pony picture being the outcome, the result is a biographical sketch of a person or a family’s life.
When ‘connecting the dots’ in your research timeline, writing a biography and sketching narratives about groups of people gets a whole lot easier.
You can turn a timeline like the one illustrated here-
|Date||Fact or Incident||Source|
|12 Feb 1803||John G SNEAD is born in South Carolina (Parents Unknown)||JGS Family Bible Records|
|1807||John G SNEAD name mentioned in 1805 Lottery*||Augusta Chronicle Anouncement|
|13 Jul 1826||John G SNEAD Marries Sarah Beckett JOHNSON**||JGS Family Bible Records, Augusta Chronicl|
-into a biography or a narrative account of biographical events as seen here in the paragraphs below.
According to the Family Bible records of John G Snead , he was born was born 12 February 1803 in South Carolina.
Since there is no mention of his parents in the bible records, there is a popular theory John G SNEAD was an orphan. Adding credence to the supposition is the listing of three SNEAD orphans John, Nathaniel and a sister Charlotte in the 1820 Land Lottery.
On 13 July 1826, John G SNEAD married Sarah Beckett JOHNSON, born 04 October 1803 in Barnwell County ,South Carolina. The marriage announcement was also in the Augusta Chronicle newspaper on 8 October 1826. Sarah Beckett Johnson was the daughter of William JOHNSON, Jr. (b.1760-d.1808) Occupation-Planter and Catherine Mitchell Rhoads (b. abt 1769- d.abt 1826)
A 3 Step Process for Successful Narrative
I wrote the previous two paragraphs using a 3-step process.
- The dates, events and source description were entered and formatted using a database program (Excel).
- The text was transferred to a word processing program (Microsoft Word)
- Textual content and connecting words were added using the rules of Standard English grammar.
The best advantage of using a database and other software programs is having the ability to add, delete, or change events without having to start your timeline all over.
As you can see by the written examples on this blogpost, ‘Timelines’ are not difficult to build and can be a great help in researching your family tree history.
Now, go draw your own picture!
Thanks for Reading.
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Stay Well! William