Genealogy Timelines

making a genealogy timeline
A simple genealogy timeline, made with Genelines

We are all pretty familiar with the standard trees, charts and tables that come with genealogy research. Have you considered using a timeline to help further organize your ancestors and their lives?

This time of linear chart can give you a great new visual perspective on your family tree. Creating a line of events in chronological order, you can see the underlying flow to your family’s history. Vital events like births, marriages and deaths can be charted as well as changes in residences and immigrations. Add in other significant events of local or international history, and you can really see how your family fits in with things.

Some genealogy programs have various types of timeline features, though it is not as common a tool as other types of charts. Features may be limited but it’s worth looking into anyway. If you are really interested in creating and maintaining genealogy timelines for your family, there are additional software tools you can check into. Some may be designed to work only with certain genealogy programs and some are able to just access any typical GEDCOM file.

The details I’m giving here were current when I wrote this page, but make sure to check out each one to see if there are newer versions available at a later time.

Genelines – This program is put out by Progeny Genealogy and it’s a great one for making timelines. It will accept a mix of file types including the universal GEDCOM, so you should be able to work with it no matter what other programs you are using. There are 7 different types of charts available with Genelines, and there are some historical downloads you can get to add some additional “depth” to your timelines. You can download the program from their site for $30, or get a CD shipped to you for $35.

Ok, when I first sat down to write this page, there were a few other genealogy timeline options out there but they have since disappeared or become obsolete. I still wanted to write this even though I don’t have much to offer besides Genelines at the moment. So consider this a suggestion for your future charting needs, and hopefully your existing genealogy software can accommodate. As I discover new timeline tools, I’ll add them. Some sites list SmartDraw and TimelineMaker as good choices but neither will work with GEDCOM files and they are both extremely expensive. Hopefully I can find some other more reasonable options soon.