Tuesday's Genealogy Tip

Tuesday’s Tip – Using Timelines

Timelines Are Invaluable In Your Genealogy Research

Here is an example of a timeline I made for William [George] Haley of Halifax County, VA.

Remember, you can be as high tech or as low tech as you wish.  Find what works for you!

Timeline for William Haley
Sample Timeline

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  • Wendy

    I have a couple timelines. One was created to try to separate two families with the same names (William and Sarah Sampson) in order to figure out which family was mine. The other is just one that has become unwieldy so I’ve abandoned it. I was trying to track my earliest Jollett ancestors and I included too many collaterals. I do like your idea of a timeline for an individual as a way of reminding yourself of what you know and still need to learn.

  • Suzanne PASCHALL

    Hi, Lisa, I’m getting lots of good information from you, but I have a question. I’m writing a family history book (5 generation) for a client and while I’ve done family research for years for four previous books, they were not genealogical histories per se. My goal is for the storytelling to be high quality and the narrative to interweave well with large chunks of quotations from a vast store of letters. There is a great deal of lack of (or incorrect use of) punctuation, especially as it relates to commas and periods, that render the material fairly unreadable. For the digital archive I’m also building for the family, we are keeping the editing of letters to the guidelines of the NARA, but for a book, I feel like we need to edit in order for the reader to not give up reading in frustration. I’m also not sure if the transcriptions we’re using were done incorrectly or not (i.e. perhaps reading periods for commas, etc.). I want to use my best judgment to make passages quoted as readable as possible (and perhaps note this was done in the introduction…?) but I also don’t want to change anything that gives insight into the letter-writer.
    Do you have any advice? Thanks so much!

    • LisaL

      I usually do not change anything like spelling or grammar when I use them in the quotes. I might bracket a correction if it’s something small or include both the original text and a transcript of a corrected version. My main priority is to retain the original grammar and spelling, because I think that adds so much to the ancestor’s story.

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