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.