Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 - Post 16: Creating a Timeline Report

See all posts in this series at Exploring Family Tree Maker 2012 Compendium.

One of the Individual Reports I really like is the Timeline Report.  It highlights the chronology of the Facts of a Person's life that are entered into the genealogy management software. 

A Family Tree Maker 2012 user can create a Timeline Report for a Person by going to the target person in the "People" workspace, and then clicking on the "Publish" workspace and selecting "Person Reports" from the Collection list.  The selection of "Person Reports" screen is:

*  Individual Report
*  Custom Report
*  Notes
*  LDS Ordinances
*  Task List
*  Data Errors Report
*  Timeline
*  Surname Report
*  Index of Individuals

I picked the "Timeline" report from the list:

"The Timeline Report  lists all of the events chronologically for the focus person. Set the focus person in the pedigree navigation bar at the top of the window. You can include immediate family members (parents, siblings, spouse, and children) and historical events along with the personal events recorded for the person."

Here is the starting view for the "Timeline Report Preview:"

In the screen above, the Facts for my grandfather, Frederick Walton Seaver (1876-1942) are presented in chronological order.  The Facts I have for him are his Birth, Marriage, Census, Death and Burial.

There are five check boxes in the "Timeline Report Options"panel  that can add content to the Timeline.  In the screen above, none of the five boxes were checked.

I checked the first two boxes for "Include event type icons" and "Include family events."  The "Timeline Report Preview" panel was revised, and looked like this:

Icons for the Person are added for the Birth, Census, Death and Burial Facts.  A different icon of a man and a woman is presented for the Marriage Fact. 

Because I checked the "Include Family Events" box, Facts for his parents (Death), Children (Birth, Marriage, Death), and Spouse(s) (Death) were added to the list.  Facts for his Siblings and Grandparents (or great-grandparents or aunts/uncles) were not added to the Timeline.

I clicked on the "Include Historical Events" box in the "Timeline Report Options" panel, and saw:

This option added major "World Events" to the Timeline list, using a globe icon.  The World Events added for my grandfather were:

*  Colonialism - between 1500-1900, in the World
*  World Slave Trade - between 1500-1900, in Africa, North America, South America, Europe, Caribbean
*  Mass Immigration to the United States and Canada - between 1830-1930, in ?United States and Canada
* Women's Suffrage in New Zealand - in 1893, in New Zealand
*  Spanish American War - between 25 April 1898-12 August 1898, in United States and Cuba
*  Ford Model-T Manufactured - between 27 September 1908-1927, in Detroit, Michigan
*  RMS Titanic Disaster - between 10-15 April 1912, in Atlantic Ocean
*  World War I - between 28 June 1914-11 November 1918, in Europe
*  The Great Depression - between 1929-1941, in USA and Europe
*  The Holocaust - between 1930-1945, in Eastern Europe
*  World War II - between 1 September 1939-1945, in Europe, The Pacific

While these events happened during the lifetime of my grandfather, I think that only a few of them affected his life significantly (e.g., World War I, Great Depression).  There may have been other events in United States history (e.g., Depression of 1893, elections of Presidents and state governors, Stoick market crash in 1929, etc.) that affected his life, and sparked his interest. 

Some of the World History Facts need editing IMHO, for instance the Slave Trade affected the Middle East and Asia too;  the Spanish-American War involved Spain and the Philippines also; the Great Depression affected the whole world;  The Holocaust affected Western Europe also; etc.

Obviously, the program looks at the lifespan of the Person, and finds events from a fairly sparsely populated  database of world events and adds them without regard to the person's locality (other than country, I think). 

I will not be adding the "Historical Events" to my timelines, since they are not very relevant to the persons involved. 

I do think that the Timeline should include Sibling Events and Grandparent events because the Person grows up in a family, and the births, marriages and deaths of siblings and grandparents are often important events in the life of a person.


Cousin Russ said...
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Cousin Russ said...


I think the Timeline Report is a great report, with our without the Historical Events. Depending on the time frame, some times that are helpful.

Did you have and Child's event, like a marriage, that happened AFTER the death of the Focus Person. Did that event appear?

For publishing, I think you are right, but some times Historical Events maybe helpful when looking at a sequence of events and you wonder why "they" did something.

Also in the Edit Menu, you do have the ability to Manage Historical Events in FTM2012.