©2024 Donald R. Snow -- Page last updated 2024-03-31
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ABSTRACT:  A timeline is a chronological list of events with their dates so you see what happened in context.  The  free website will generate a timeline of world events that occurd during a person's life.  You can add up to 10 personal events about the person and these are shown in the chronological list, as well.   This class will discuss how to use the website and how to save the timelines it generates.  These timelines are color-coded
bar graphs of how long that event occurred.  The notes for this class and related articles, all with active internet links, are on Don's website .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( ) of Provo, Utah.
  2. These notes, with active internet links and other related articles, are on Don's website .
  3. Tips:  (1)  Easy to put an icon on your desktop for these notes or any other webpage; just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser to your desktop.  (2)  To open a link from here in another tab, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. The problem for today:  Discuss the free website showing what it is and how to generate and save he bar graph timelines of a person's life.

  6. Website -- is a free website to generate a timeline of world events and some personal events  of  a period you specify -- to start click on TIMELINE (upper left side)
  7. Enter the name and birth and death years and click Generate Timeline. 
  8. It forms a brightly-colored bar chart timeline of events during that period which shows:
    1. World events from birth year to ending year.  
    2. Colored bars show the length of time the event went on.   
    3. Colors represent different types of events (See color codes by scrolling down before you generate the timeline.)
    4. Underlined events are links for more information about that event. 
    5. The person's age during the event is shown at the end of the line. 
    6. Earliest year you can enter is 1000 AD; latest year is the current year.
  9. The website has other features such as prominent people born in that year and what events occurred on a particular day of the year. 
  10. These timelines will be illustrated by examples.

  12. You can enter up to 10 personal events such as marriage, children, military service, schooling, career, etc. 
  13. To enter personal events scroll down and enter the event, years, and check the type of event, so the bar is the right color to represent it.   
  14. For personal events such as births and marriages, I find it helpful to enter a starting and ending year (usually the death year, so the bar has the length of that event and is not just a slim bar at the starting year.
  15. If you know something about html programing (computer jargon about showing things on the computer screen),  you can enter more than 10 personal events and include or remove items.   
  16. To get around the 10-personal-event limit, you can split a person's life into segments and have 10 personal events in each segment.  
  17. To correct personal entries after generating a chart, use the Back Arrow and/or the Down Chevron (both in upper left corner) to get back to the entry page.

  19. The box labeled Printable to the left of Generate Timeline makes the chart black and white to print, so it saves ink, but doesn't have the beautiful colors.       
  20. I prefer to save the colored charts, but Saving to PDF changes the colors for me; try it and see if it works for you.       
  21. The colored charts can be saved by some screenshot programs that save scrolling windows, e.g. FastStone Capture (shareware) and GoFullPage (a Chrome browser extension).      
  22. The colored charts can be saved as html files as follows: 
    1. Right-click in any blank area in the chart.   
    2. Select Save As > Single Webpage mhtml and tell it where to save the file and what to call it. 
    3. Clicking on this mhtml file will open it in your default browser and show it just as if it were on the internet. 
    4. With a knowledge of html you can add or delete items here.   
    5. This file can be copied or emailed and all the links will work.
  23. asks that you include a note about how it was generated -- see the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) .      

  25. Copies of timelines can be attached to the memory option of people in your genealogy database and FamilySearch Family Tree. 
  26. Timelines with world events give you an overview of a person's life in context of what was happening then and may lead you to other records about the person, e.g. military records, if a war was going on.
  27. For people born near the end of the year, you may need to enter their birth year as the next year so the ages show correctly.  Example: Joseph Smith was born 23 Dec 1805, near the end of the year, so if you enter his birth year as 1805, the generated timeline shows his events as one year later, e.g. it says the 1820 First Vision as occurring when he was 15, not 14; entering his birth year as 1806 gives the correct ages for his life events.  The problem seems to be the day in the year that uses to compute the person's age.
  28. Other features on the website
    1. Peers and Contemporaries -- shows prominent people born in the same year; this helps put your ancestor in perspective  
    2. Birthdays -- see who else has a birthday on that month and day.
    3. FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions -- lots of helpful information about the website


  29. This website is easy and fun to use and helpful in personal and family history.  The authors and sponsors are to be thanked for such a free website.
  30. Try yourself in it to see what has happened in your own lifetime.
  31. For ancestors, you'll be surprised at what happened during their lifetimes.

  32. Return to the  Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page  or  Don's Class Listings Page .