Monday, March 11, 2013

Tika & Time Lines

Tika squirmed and stretched in the spring sun and even yawned when I was attempting to teach her about using timelines in family history. "But they are so important," I said. Another yawn. "Why?" she finally said. So I explained, using her short little life as an example:

A timeline is a way to establishing an accurate depiction of an ancestor's past. By employing a timeline, we see where they lived, when they lived there, and by deduction we might can learn why they were living there. Also using a timeline helps us "plug in" dates to organize the life of that ancestor to give you clues and ideas of where to look next for what record.  So here is Tika's example:

Age..............Date............... ....... Event.................................Source

0                  1 8 Sep 2008      She was born                           Her papers
6wk               21 Oct 2008      Placed at NW Pet Shop           Her papers
6wk               23 Oct 2008      Adopted by Donna!                  Pet store receipt
6mo                3 Mar 2009      Visit the vet for spaying             Vet receipt
1                          Jul 2010      "Sister" dog, Dolly, adopted       Her papers
2                   17 Aug 2010      Visit the vet for eating bad bones  Vet receipt
3                         Sep 2011      Stayed with Gramma Kay          Our travel diary
4                        Mar 2012       Stayed with Gramma Kay          Our travel diary
4 1/2                   Feb 2013      Visit the vet for teeth cleaning      Vet receipt

Yes, this is quite simplistic but hopefully you get the idea. There are dozens of ideas on the hows and whys of keeping timelines but this simple formula has always worked well for me.

When I work on a timeline for an ancestor I always include every date/place/fact for everybody in the family for everybody can be placed in a family and we go through life with our families. I believe in using timelines!

By the end of the lesson, Tika was fast asleep in the spring sun.

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