A friend of mine had a brilliant idea. She decided to do a timeline of her own life as part of her genealogy. Now that she has it created, every year she adds the highlights to the year—grandchild born, trip to Missouri, special events, etc.
Timelines help us organize our family story and add structure, but we often don’t think about doing them for ourselves or for people that we have known all our life. We know our parents from when we are small, throughout our life. After my friend’s mother passed away, she realized there was a significant number of years that she didn’t have information about—namely those years prior to my friend’s birth.
As she created her mother’s timeline, she did due diligence by finding genealogy evidence to support stories about her mother’s country school teaching. These in turn pinpointed locations and dates where her mother lived.
Timelines become condensed diaries of life’s important events. While some of you might be lucky to have great grandma’s diary, most of us are not as fortunate. As we too will be part of history one day, your timeline will be a gift to future generations as they learn more about you.
Did creating your own timeline, give you research ideas for your ancestors? I found that it made me want to look for more details beyond the dates such as places, schools, neighbors—all those things that help us create a more interesting family story. Enjoy exploring your timeline!
“Time has a wonderful way to show us what really matters.”
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With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.