Saturday, March 2, 2013

Layout of a Life

So we’ve seen the three generations of Davis men in my previous blog posts.  The partial pedigree chart below gives a quick overview of the vital statistics.

Also, I’m a big fan of timelines so here’s one showing the lifetimes of these three guys. 

(Of course there were women in this family and, eventually, I am going to write about their lives and the challenges of researching females in a family tree.)

I generated the timeline from my Reunion genealogy software.  Reunion can also create timelines showing historic events, which can help put your ancestor’s life in context and lead you to potential sources for information. For example, William Hunter Davis lived during the American Civil War, so that’s a clue to look for military service records.  George L. A. Davis’s early lifespan was during World War I, so I’ll look for draft cards and military records for him as well.

I’m starting to transition to RootsMagic software, even though I use a Mac.  Reunion is good, and looks great but they still haven’t added source citation templates like RootsMagic offers.  Source citations are essential to doing genealogy.  If you’re not citing your sources you’re making more work for yourself in the future and not helping your current and future family members carry on research. (I’ll hop off my soapbox now.)  RootsMagic has a timeline view which pairs the horizontal timeline with a rundown of the names and facts.  I'm still learning how to use it, but it's a great tool for seeing the layout of a life.

So next post we’ll look at William Hunter Davis and how I discovered some details of his life.  

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