Saturday, April 17, 2010

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - Family Timeline

Original post at: Genea-Musings: Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - a Family TimelineThis is my first time participating in Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, and I found this an interesting exercise. First the basics:

1. My genealogy software is Reunion (v.9.0b) and I created this timeline using the standard timeline report and made some very minor edits. The edits I made were mostly with the colors. The timeline default report was generated with each individual marked as a different color. Since the men and women are already distinguished from each other by the shapes of their bars (men are rectangles, women are rounded rectangles), I changed the colors to designate family lines. Reunion allowed me to save this chart as a JPEG. I then pulled it into Photoshop to crop the excess white space.

2. The timeline (sorted by birth date) shows my paternal grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great grandparents. My grandfather and his line are green, while my grandmother and her line are yellow.

My grandfather was born in 1917, when his mother was 41 and father 44 years old. In 1917, his two older siblings (born 1901 and 1904) were already in their teens. So I was curious to see what visualizing the generations would look like, knowing that he was born to older parents. I put in my grandmother's line in as a comparison to see how the generations of her family were compare to his. Looking at the timeline, Ann's parents, are noticeably younger than Richard's, by a good 10-15 years. And the age differences between their grandparents (my great-great grandparents) spans another 10-15-20 years.

So what does this mean to me? When I think about my family generationally, I tend to assume similar life experiences in terms of culture and politics of the day, but in looking at ranges of years they actually lived, with 10-20 year spans in difference, I wonder to what extent their life experiences (in terms of politics and outside influences) might have varied more than I image.

* Disclaimer: I haven't yet proven (or disproven) that Thomas and Margaret McCormick are John S. McCormick's parents, but for comparison (and out of curiosity) thought I'd put them in.

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