Timeline Tip Writing Tip from the Armchair Genealogist

Evaline Townley Peak GEISZLER
circa 1920, Scanned copy, Original in possession of Nancy Wasson

Now, the narrative reports help get the ball rolling for writing your personal family history. I love a good place to start. I can’t seem to get the RTF export to work so I have to export this report to a PDF file. Then I copy and paste the information from PDF to OpenOffice Writer and I have the skeleton for my family history writing.

So… what does this have to do with a timeline tip from the Armchair Genealogist? Well, I’m getting to that.

I wish I could have saved the three starting paragraphs for Grandma Evaline Geiszler. Had I done so, then I could have visually shared how 3 paragraphs swelled to two pages based primarily upon the Timeline feature that RootsMagic has. Sure I had to jump back to Evaline’s father’s timeline for a bit of information. And I had learned about a few people that are not directly connected (a godfather, a fiance that died prior to her meeting George, and that fiance’s mother for instance). I referred to their timeline as well. With a few extra timelines, I was able to create a richer story about Evaline.

I used the timeline to realize that in the 1920s, a lot of deaths happened to Evaline’s family members and friends (the godfather and deceased fiance’s mother). However, in the 1940s, her children married and blessed Evaline with 4 out of 6 grandchildren.

After spending an hour expanding Evaline’s story, I thought it would be awesome to write about how Timelines can truly enlarge a story. This afternoon, on my Google Reader, it seems that the Armchair Genealogist had the same thought with her post: Gathering Family Facts on a Timeline. I find The Armchair Genealogist a wonderful inspiration for writing my family history. It feels good to know I was learning something ahead of her post for a change.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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