Monday, December 10, 2012

A Chronology Cluster

Putting together a family tree is one goal of the genealogy endeavor.  Brick walls often get in the way, and can be frustrating to the tree climber.  When trying to get around some brick walls, a chronology cluster may be helpful.  By this I mean placing your family tree into a chronology that outlines "dates" and "clusters" (groups) the family members into a single view.  The following figures show two methods.
The figure above is taken from my own research showing how one may go about designing such a cluster.  Starting with a blank sheet of graph paper (one of my favorite tools), the dates are placed along the outside margins, top to bottom upon the page.  You can use any sequence of dates, but I usually begin with "50 year" periods. [Assumes a generations is 20 - 40 years.]  Then I place the "known" family members  along the dates that "best fit" these folks. [Using squares and circles.]  Then I connect the family members along this "time line" (Chronology).  It helps to color code distinct family groups, so that a visual picture can be seen.  This also means that if you have an individual out of line, they should become evident.

The above figure takes a more "linear" approach with wider intervals for dates, and keeping the family members in straight lines.  This allows you to add more comments, facts, and information to the family tree as you are trying to put things together.  Again, color coding each family helps keep every group separate as the tree gets bigger and longer.

A chronology cluster I call it...shake some tree branches with it.

For a discussion of "squares" and "circles" see my blog -

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