ago, we developed a Timeline database for our own personal use in our genealogical research
of the Rowe
Family of Nassau County, Florida.
We found that
most of the available genealogy software was great for recording family information -
primarily the vital statistical information - and for organizing this information according
to family relationships, pedigree charts, family group sheets and family trees.
was no easy way for us to include family stories, information on
"suspected" family members, oral histories, and - most importantly - specific
information on historical events that were important to us. And, at the time, these
software programs offered only limited space to record certain types of information.
If we wanted to include a complete transcription of a Land Record or of a Will, we had to
use a variety other software.
we began to develop our own database. We started by looking at the different Type
Events we wanted to record. Then we realized we were collecting information
about several different Relationships - or family
lines. Plus we wanted to record a variety of historical information - including
presidential administrations; monarchies; inventions and discoveries; wars and rebellions;
epidemics and disasters.
How do we
organize the recording of such a variety of information
without having to go from one screen
to another on our computer?
We decided to use
the "Who, What, Where, and When" approach to classify/categorize each event.
As a result, ALL of our events - personal and
historical - are recorded in
one place -- the Timeline.
Then, we designed
Reports (a selection of printed Timelines) so that we could select the specific information we want -
whether for a specific person; family group; place; period of
time; or a specific type event. We can print our entire database or a timeline for one
individual. We can select a report listing only our information - as an example - on Lee's surrender at
Appomattox; or Marion's Men; or just the events that took place in New Bern, NC or the events
that took place in Alachua County, FL. There
are over 60 type Reports to choose from!
course, we also needed a way to easily cite our sources. We designed the Library
Log so that we could record our source documents - one time, in one place -
and then have a list of all of our sources immediately available as we record events in the Timeline
we continued to use The Genealogy Timeline, we decided to expanded the Library
Log to include a way for us to keep track of where we have filed our documents.
This feature alone has now become our most valuable genealogical tool!
Over time, our
database developed into quite a handy program; not only as a Timeline that
includes both family and historical events, but as an analytical tool and
a great system of organizing our files!