Friday, April 24, 2015

HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 3: An English Story

I wrote HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 1: First Look on Wednesday, and HistoryLines Launched This Week - Post 2: Custom Events  on Thursday. 

bgwiehle's comment on the Wednesday post asked:  " would be interesting to see what you get if you use one of your non-American ancestors or relatives (Canadian, English, etc.). Are there events that are included that don't appear in an American profile of the same era? Are the texts worded in a way that explains a different view-point of a shared event?"

In response, HistoryLines principal Jeff Haddon emailed me with this information:

"In preparation for your next post on a non-American ancestor, I wanted to make sure you know that HistoryLines currently covers the following countries, with many more coming in the following weeks and months. We're adding countries in order of priority based on surveys of our users.
  • United States
  • Canada
  • England
  • Ireland
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Denmark
  • Germany"
My thanks to Jeff for the input.  

Fortunately, one of my test trees input to HistoryLines over the past three months was for my third great-grandfather, Samuel Vaux (1816-1880), born in England and died in Kansas.  [I say fortunately because when I tried to do a new tree person HistoryLines asked me to subscribe...I haven't done that yet!]

Here is the top of his HistoryLines Story:

And the next screen down:

The Story elements created by HistoryLines for Samuel Vaux (1816-1880) include:

*  Samuel born, 1816 (custom event)
*  England, 1816
*  Princess Charlotte Dies, 1817
*  Childbirth
*  Death of King George III, 1820
*  Childhood
*  Education
*  Industrial Revolution
*  Hygiene
*  Clothing
*  Religion
*  Slavery Abolished in UK, 1833-1834
*  Factory Act, 1833-1834
*  Marriage
*  Diet
*  Medicine
*  Opium Wars, 1839-1860
*  Improved TransAtlantic Mail, 1840
*  Entertainment
*  Household
*  Transportation
*  Communication
*  Crimean War, 1853-1856
*  Military
*  Politics
*  India Under Crown Rule, 1858-1947
*  Commerce
*  Education Act, 1870-1871
*  First Boer War, 1880-1881
*  Immigration to the United States, 1860-1880
*  Samuel Dies, 1880 (custom event)

Here is the end of Samuel's Story on HistoryLines:

I have not added any custom events to this Story to date.

The Story assumes that Samuel spent his entire life in England.  I don't know what would happen if I inserted a migration story into the file, and then added information about Samuel for his life in the USA.  Would the Story elements change to be USA based?

I learned a bit more about English history and lifestyles by reading the stories in Samuel's Life Story above.

I don't know that I've answered bgwiehle's question completely, especially about the differentp oints of view.  For instance, we would need two persons who lived in the 1770s to see the American side and the English points-of-view about the Revolutionary War; or two persons who lived in the 1910s to see the Irish and the English points-of-view of the Irish independence.

Jeff has provided answers to my questions posed in the first two blog posts about HistoryLines, but I'll save them for next week in hope that Jeff will answer my question above.

The URL for this post is:

Copyright (c) 2015, Randall J. Seaver

Please comment on this post on the website by clicking the URL above and then the "Comments" link at the bottom of each post.  Or contact me by email at


T said...

You will have to put in a custom event in the place it happened for History Lines to change the story. The free stories were only until it went pay per view. Then I think you were stuck with whatever stories you had made while it was in beta. Those should still be there unchanged. I don't think they will update with information you put in concerning other countries unless you subscribe. I did mess with it in beta but I won't be subscribing.

Jo Henn said...

Thank you for posting this explanatory series about the new HistoryLines website. It looks interesting. I appreciate the way you explain this step by step and show me what it looks like; it helps me to se the visual too. I wanted to tell you that I’ve included your post in my NoteWorthy Reads post for this week: