“Our Family History Timeline,” Ensign, Apr. 2004, 72–73
I have a historical book that shows yearly timelines, linking people with events, literature, arts, science, and more. Since this format was helpful to my understanding of history, I thought, “Why not adapt this for our family?” Using a table format, I created our family history timeline.
To begin, I chose 9-by-14-inch paper, though other sizes would work, and divided the page into columns and rows. In the first column, I listed years. Across the top in the first row, I wrote categories such as “General,” “Parents,” “Child.” To personalize a timeline, you could list names. For me, these categories best organized the information, making it easy for me to tell what had occurred in a specific year for each person in our family.
In the “General” column, I recorded family events like “Grandmother’s 70th birthday party” or worldwide news such as “Neil Armstrong walked on the moon.”
Under “Parents” I listed events that affected the entire family as well as things that were specific to us as parents.
In our children’s columns, I listed their births, the years they began school, various achievements, their graduations and marriages, careers, moves, and their children’s births. Since I wanted to include events they felt were significant, I asked for their input.
When I finished gathering the information, I created a table of our timeline on a computer and saved it on a disk. Now I can update the chart easily and print copies for my children. Our family timeline provides a useful record for us now as well as an accurate history for future generations.
Constance L. Brown, Red Deer First Ward, Red Deer Alberta Stake