Thursday, May 24, 2012

The 2nd American Civil War Blog Challenge - and FTM2012 Timelines

Timing is everything.

Yesterday, I posted a Blog entry on the Timeline Feature of Family Tree Maker. In reading a Genea-Blogger friend's blog, Bill West put this challenge out to us.


 I used the timeline feature last year, when trying to find the Parents of a Civil War ancestor. His name was mentioned in a PBS series of Gettysburg. Over the course of a couple of months, I found out who his parents were along with a lot of other interesting pieces of information about this soldier.

One of the Finds that I found was the history of his unit.

2nd Infantry Regiment Maryland

Since that article listed all of the Battles that the 2nd Infantry (CSA) faught in, I thought that I would enter it into Family Tree Maker, so that I could track what battles he fought in, and what battles he was NOT in. As it turned out, he was wounded in Gettysburg, but returned to be wounded again about a year later in another battle.

In the link above, listed the dates and places of the battles. That entered, here is what the timeline looked like.

Using the Timeline Report (Publish Workspace), Person Collection, the two battles are there and based on the information on this soldier, I made a note as to his two woundings.

How was this done? Simply created a New, Unrelated "person". To be able to show how long the Unit has been in place, I added a "birth" and "death" fact, for the unit, as the Organizational Date and Muster Out Date. That would tell me that he was wounded during the 7th month that the unit had been established and again at 21 months.

Looking at this soldier's Timeline, we see that he had enlisted into the CSA before his unit was formed, at the age of 18. He was wounded at 19 (the first time)

Looking down the timeline a little further, we see the 2nd wounding and his final "retirement" from the CSA. His Civil War Record showed that he was absent on August 14 because he was in a hospital in Charlottesville. Returned to Duty September 1863.

 The on August 19, 1864, he was wounded "in action" where the upper portion of his right thigh was amputated.

He lived to be 83 years old.
________________________________________________________________ Copyright © 2012 by H R Worthington


  1. This post got me thinking: what if instead of a fake person, you create a fake place for the regiment? You can then create a "2nd regiment inf. MD history" category of timeline events to document the regiment's history and link that to the fake regiment place. for each person that served in the regiment, you add a hidden "served in" fact with the fake regiment place. You can then use the timeline feature if you want to see the person's facts in the context of the regiment history.

    1. Yvette,

      I have thought about something similar, but may be easier. That is, to create a temporary relationship between your CW hero and the regiment, then use the Family Events to be added to either persons timeline.

      Thank you,


    2. Hi Russ,

      Ah, I hadn't thought about that. However, I think I personally prefer not to make artificial relationships and rather keep a hidden fact. That way I don't have to remember to delete the relationship after I'm done. But it's great to know different ways to go about this!

      I thought of another advantage of my approach, you could create a "MD companies in the Civil war" category of hist


    3. Yvette,

      I think the question is, at least for me is, What I am trying to accomplish, when / how would I use it. There is some extra work involved here.

      I have not used the TimeLine feature for two unites in the Civil Was, and I did one for a Revolutionary War ancestor.

      The RW ancestor, was put into a book that I created for my mother when she passed away, and wanted to show that she has some 'interesting' ancestors. Had she wanted to, she could have joined the DAR on this gentlemen.

      The first CW guy, was for a project to help break a brick wall. This 2nd one is to allow me to link up Letters that my Great-Grandfather wrote home, while he was in the CW.

      At this point, I am not into the Civil War, but wanted to track these two people. As I go on, I may end up doing as you suggested. Your choice of Maryland, might really be interesting, as Maryland was a border state, meaning they had folks on both sides of the war. Baltimore, where my first example was from, clearly was a divided state.

      Thank you for the suggestion.


  2. (Accidentally hit enter too quickly, please disregard the last paragraph of my previous reply)

    I thought of another advantage of my approach. You could create a "History of MD regiments in the Civil War" event with all the MD regiment fake places as locations.

  3. (Accidentally hit enter too quickly, could you please disregard the last paragraph?)

    I thought of another advantage of my approach. You could create a "History of MD regiments in the Civil War" event with all the MD regiment fake places as locations.


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