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01 February 2013

Follow Friday: Timeline Tip from the Armchair Genealogist

Evaline Townley Peak Geiszler
Evaline Townley Peak GEISZLER
circa 1920, Scanned copy, Original in possession of Nancy Wasson
This morning I was working on enriching the story of my great grandmother Evaline Townley Peak who married George Joseph Geiszler. I use Roots Magic and created a narrative report which has this couple in my father's third generation going backward.

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 time lines, 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 k now I was learning something a head of her post for a change.

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