The BCGS Members’ Tip for June is: use timelines!
Have you found yourself with a thorny genealogical research problem?
Often working up a detailed timeline on your relative’s life will help you not only to see contradictions, but also to identify gaps in your research, a census you haven’t looked at, for instance. These gaps may lead you to think of new records you might search.
You can use simply a sheet of paper to write out a chronoloogical list of all known events in the individual’s life, including the dates and places. Add the names and any relevant brief details about other people who were involved in each event with your relative, for example, the age of the mother at the birth of any children, or the occupation of a father.
You can also use an Excel spreadsheet or a printed family timeline like this BCGS Chronological Chart. (.pdf format)
Always leave enough room in the timeline for additions and notes. This will be a ‘work in progress’. It might not be neat!
At RootsTech In April 2013, Lisa Louise Cooke interviewed British Columbia’s own Dave Obee, a genealogist who advocates timelines as a family history research tool.
“10 Top Tips for How to Bust Through Your Genealogy Brick Wall”, GenealogyGems, 13:29 minute video.