Like photos, timelines can provide a window into the lives of your ancestors.BenFranklinTimeline-green

Paul Rhetts of LPD Press gave a talk on Using Biographical Timelines to Better Understand Your Ancestors at the October 2018 NMGS/AGS conference, and the AGS Program Committee is bringing him back to give the talk to us on May 8, 2019. We’ll add his example timeline to this blog; first, here is an Excel template timeline on the life of Ben Franklin: timeline-template-example
I like two things about this template:  it incorporates some images for interest, and it includes ‘current events’ from the life of the individual.  Such events can add context to your ancestor’s life history.
One of the commercial products to assist the writer is Personal Historian, which includes generating timelines and much more.  Although this product is owned/sold by RootsMagic, you don’t have to be a RootsMagic user to use it.
Here is a link to the Personal Historian description, which includes this nice warm-up:

Personal Historian takes the seemingly monumental task of writing a personal history about yourself or another individual and breaks it into small, manageable pieces and then reconstructs it into a complete, publishable document.

Personal Historian comes with an extensive library of LifeCapsules– timelines, historical events, cultural fads, and memory triggers covering a wide-variety of subjects.  LifeCapsules add color and context to your history, giving you insights into what was happening in the world at any point in your history.

Personal Historian builds upon the work that you’ve already done.  You can easily import word processor documentsphotographs, and other data.

Personal Historian can even bring in events, dates, and notes from your genealogy software so that all the important events in your life and the life of your family are automatically there, ready for you to write.

Please note that you can download Personal Historian Essentials for free!  Now that’s worth doing, isn’t it?
A free online source for many subjects is WikiHow. (note: skip the ads on Wikihow, just read the articles!)  Here is their 13 step article on How to Create a Timeline in Excel.  I like a timeline template using Excel; haven’t re-found that, but here is Wiki’s the 4-step article on using Excel to create a timeline.  And here is another source for How to make a Timeline in Excel.

For other examples of Paul Rhett’s approach to Biographical Timelines, see Michael Wilson’s book, available to you in the Genealogy Center, Aisle 929, Albuquerque.  I like what Michael did, as his timeline is for his ancestors (more than one) in a county.

Reference for obtaining the list of events in a year, a month, a day, or any length of time:  www.onthisday.com