Today’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge from Genea-Musing‘s Randy Seaver involves timelines.

1) Do you use Timelines to help you in your research?  Create a Timeline (a chronological list with dates and events) for one of your ancestors that includes their parents, siblings, spouse(s) and children.  Tell us how you did it, and show us your work. 

This timing of this challenge is perfect! I’m currently trying to figure out whether Howard Hutchinson who drowned in the Missouri River in 1905 is part of my Albert Hutchinson family. If his age is reported correctly, this Howard Hutchinson was born in 1881. Since this is a difficult time period to find records showing family relationships, I need a timeline to help figure out where the members of the family were living between 1890 and 1905.

I tried using the timeline report from RootsMagic.

This report is too wordy for this particular task – especially when I add the children and spouses of Albert Hutchinson. Thus, I turned to a spreadsheet. Since my goal is to determine who was living where at a particular time, I limited the information I entered to those events that place a person in a particular community. I then color coded each of the children and his second wife. Once I had the data entered, I sorted the data by date and then by location.

This spreadsheet proved what I subconsciously knew about this family: they lived on both sides of the Missouri River between Kansas City and St. Joseph, Missouri. It also provides hints of where to look for a 1900 census record for Howard Hutchinson or for a death notice outside of St. Joseph, Missouri for Howard Hutchinson.

Thank you Randy for challenging me to actually get this spreadsheet created.

One thought on “Timelines

  1. I also used RootsMagic for this SNGF challenge, but my first preference is Excel as it can be manipulated in many way.

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