How Would You Use a Timeline on Your Family History Blog?

Dan Lawyer has been talking about Timelines for displaying on your family history site or blog.

One of the focus areas for some prototyping we plan to do in the near future is an effort to allow users to explore timelines of their ancestors that combine a richness of data into an easy to understand format. This is really hard to do. To give you an idea, here is the type of content we’d like to pull together automatically for any random ancestor a user would like to learn about.

Timelines are critical to help you understand your ancestor’s lives in relationship to chronological events.

Personally, I’d love to see timelines built directly from GEDCOM files for easy insertion into web pages or blogs. This way, I could see how a single member of my family’s life intersects with other members of the family during their life time. For instance, how old was Sally West when her brother was born? Or how old was she when her mother or father died? When did her family move? All those things play an important role in the life of a person and how they reacted, responded, and survived the events.

I’d also love to see a way to integrate current events at the time in the area or country in which they were living. Wars, plagues, massive immigration, all play important roles in people’s lives whether or not they were directly affected. And maybe they were. Maybe they didn’t go off to war but they lost friends and neighbors to the war.

Timelines are very important and currently there isn’t an easy way of including them on web pages. They can be created manually, but there is little software to assist you. I see this as an invaluable tool for genealogy and family history sites on the web.

Don’t you?

What would you use a timeline for on your family history blog?

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About Lorelle VanFossen

Lorelle VanFossen hosts Family History Blog covering her ancestors and related family members. She is one of the top bloggers in the world, and host of the Lorelle on WordPress, providing WordPress and blogging tips for bloggers of all levels. A popular keynote speaker and trainer, she is also editor, producer, contributor, and official disruptive thinker for Bitwire Media which includes WordCast, Making My Life Network, Stories of Our Journeys, Life on the Road, WordCast Conversations, and the very popular WordCast Podcast.
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