Friday, June 3, 2011


Okay, so everyone knows I've been doing family history stuff for the last few months . . . to the exclusion of just about everything else. Trust me on that one.

Well, last week I ordered the FamilyTree Maker software from Ancestry. Best $$ spent in a long time. The software is nifty beyond nifty and lets me create all sorts of reports - descendant reports, places reports (showing all the places my ancestors have lived - NEAT-O!), and, best of all, the Timeline Report.

The Timeline Report, for an individual, will show all the events that happened in the span of a person's lifetime.

Take my Great Grandmother Maggie Morris Sweat . . .

When I ran the report on her, I learned the following information . . .

1800 - 1900: US History - Western Expansion
1830 - 1930: World History - Mass immigration to US, Europe, and Canada
1869 - Birth of my great grandmother
1893 - World History: Women's Suffrage in New Zealand
1898 - Spanish American War
1901 - William McKinley Assassination - September 6, 1901, Buffalo, New York
1903 - Wright Brothers First Flight - September 17, 1903, Kitty Hawk, North Carolina
1903 - Ford Model T Manufactured
1912 - RMS Titanic Disaster
1920 - death of great grandmother

Here's the neat thing for writers: with a click of a few buttons, I'm able to get a sense of what was going on in America, and the World, for a specific time frame, and have it right at my fingertips as, say, I work on an historical mystery loosely based on a real life event, i.e., the disappearance of my great-grandfather.

So, as I write out the chapters, I can include some of these things in the book. Woo-hoo!

So, for anyone doing historical novels, you might want this software, perhaps solely for the timeline aspect, but perhaps more so to do your own family history research.



A.M. Swan said...

Cool. This could be really helpful for me. How much does it cost?

Anonymous said...

Whoooooo. That is so interesting. I never thought doing a "family tree" could yield results other than names and dates of birth. You are relate it to the historic facts of the time is amazing.

Lola X said...

Such a great post! Love visiting your blog!

Lola x

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to do a family tree. But it seems like so much work!