Turn your history knowledge into a Twile timeline

Could you help us add more history into Twile?

Over the last year we’ve added a number of world history “streams” to Twile, allowing you to see your ancestors’ lives in the context of what was happening in the world around them.

We started with a timeline of World War 2, via the American Revolutionary War and most recently a timeline of French Presidents.  We’re adding more of these streams over the next few months, but would like to offer you the opportunity to share your own history knowledge with other Twile users.

If you have a topic you’re knowledgeable and passionate about, please get in touch and we will set up a new (free) timeline for you to build.  It may be something global – war, politics, sport, entertainment – or something local, such as the history of your own community.  You’ll be able to share the timeline online, embed it into your own website or blog and – of course – add it to your Twile family timeline.

Simply add a comment below this article or send us an email to help@twile.com and we’ll get in touch.

3 Reasons Why Using a Family Tree Can Help Children in School

We have undertaken various school projects, to see how we can make family history more interesting for younger generations. Our projects have been embraced by children, who have enjoyed learning about the characters behind the names on their family tree.

Suzie Colver of obituarieshelp.org, is a keen advocate on encouraging children to learn about their family heritage and how it can benefit them, even if they aren’t interested in family history yet.

According to Suzie, aligning family history research with a child’s studies can benefit them in three different ways:

1. It Makes History Come to Life

If  your children are learning about World War I or the Vietnam War in school, it will be much easier to learn the facts if they can associate it with a real person. A great-grandparent or uncle may have served in one of those wars, which will make the information they are learning in school a lot more real.

Find out what era they are studying, and make an effort to find out how your family is connected. The further back you have to go, the more difficult, but it is possible to find family members from a century ago. Even if all you have is vague information such as your family originated in Ireland, it will make that country more memorable in world history.

2. It Teaches Children How to Research

Research is one task your kids will have throughout their school years. Many times, it will be on subjects they consider boring and irrelevant. Make research more interesting by having them help you find out about your ancestors. Teach them how to use the internet and other resources such as the microfiche film at the public library. Show them how to find information from the country records.

As they use these unique resources, it will make research more interesting. Instead of being a required project, it will be more like solving a mystery. As you add names to your family tree, they will feel a sense of pride in accomplishing a complicated task.

3. It Teaches Children How to Organise Information

It can be overwhelming to do a research project and then try to put it all together in a way that makes sense. It may be even more challenging if your child is a visual learner. A family tree is a great way to teach a child how to organise information in a way that makes sense and allows the facts to be relevant.

As your child fills in names and other information on the various people in your ancestry, they will learn how to develop associations. They will also understand how to format information so that it makes sense. Since there are so many different kinds of family trees, they can put as much or as little information as they want. With some, it may simply be a name on a tree. For others, they may include birth and death dates, marriage dates and a lot more.

A family tree project can provide an exciting way to help your child learn in school. It teaches them skills they will use throughout their lives, and it does it in a fun way.

Suzie Kolber created obituarieshelp.org to be the complete online resource for Suzie_Kolber_Obit“do it yourself” genealogy projects. The site offers the largest offering of family tree templates online. A not for profit website, it is dedicated to offering free resources for those that are trying to trace their family history.

Relevant articles

Taking Family History back to school

‘Name That Baby’ competition to teach children about family history

Add alias or “known as” names to your family tree

You probably have at least one person on your Twile family tree who was (or is) known by a name different to their given name.  For example, my grandmother was given the name Dorothy as a child, but was known as Joan all of her life.

Previously, there was no way to enter these “known as” names in Twile, but we’ve now filled that gap.

To add an alias name for somebody on your Twile family tree:

  1. Move your mouse over them on the tree
  2. Click ‘Profile’
  3. Click on their name (near the top)
  4. Enter a value in the “known as” field, alongside their first name
  5. Click ‘Save’
  6. Now their alias name will be displayed anywhere you see that person in the tree or timeline

This has always been a much-requested feature in Twile, so we’re really glad to finally have it in there for you.  Please add a comment below to let us know what you think.

Add notes and words to your timeline

Sometimes you just want to add some words to your Twile timeline, to help tell the story or to describe an event that you don’t have any photos for.  Our latest addition to Twile allows you to do just that.

Adding a text event to a Twile timelineNow when you click the ‘Add’ button at the top of your timeline, you’ll see a new option: “Add an Event”.

Choose that option to open up a new, empty event – ready for you to add a title, description and anything else you like.

Any “words” you add to the story will be displayed on the timeline, so it’s a great way of adding a narrative to your family’s story.

Timeline of British Prime Ministers

As the United Kingdom gears up for the general election on 8th June 2017, we have launched our timeline of British Prime Ministers.

From Sir Robert Walpole, who holds the record as the longest serving Prime Minister in British history, to the present incumbent, Theresa May, British politics has seen some interesting characters along the way.

Robert Peel, regarded as the father of modern British policing, established the Metropolitan Police Force for London based at Scotland Yard. The constables employed were nicknamed ‘bobbies’ (a term still used today) or ‘peelers’.

David Lloyd George was the highly energetic Prime Minister of the wartime coalition government during 1916-22. He was a major player at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 that reordered Europe after the defeat of the Central Powers.

Perhaps one of the most famous British Prime Ministers was Winston Churchill, who led Britain to victory during World War Two and was re-elected six years after the war ended.

220px-Margaret_ThatcherAnd of course we have to mention the first female Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, who led the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. The longest-serving British Prime Minister of the 20th Century, the ‘Iron Lady’ was a controversial figure, but one of the most influential in British history.

Take a look at our timeline of British Prime Ministers at:

twile.com/timeline/britishprimeministers

To add British Prime Ministers to your family timeline…

  • Click the ‘In View’ button at the top of your timeline
  • Move the ‘British Prime Ministers’ slider on the right hand side to choose ‘Key’ or ‘All’ events
  • Click ‘Done’

You can view all of our world history timelines at twile.com/timelines

 

Timeline of French Presidents

As Emmanuel Macron prepares to assume the French Presidency on the 14th May, we have launched our new timeline of French Presidents.

If your family has French heritage, find out more about what was happening in the world of politics around them. What influenced their life choices and the direction that your ancestors took?

From Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, who was the first Head of State of France to LouisNapoleonBonapartehold the title of President,  to Albert Lebrun who was the last President of the Third Republic and Charles de Gaulle who was a dominant figure during the war years, our timeline gives an insight into the volatile nature of politics in France and will give some context to your family story.

Take a look at our timeline of French Presidents at:

twile.com/timeline/frenchpresidents

To add French presidents to your family timeline…

  • Click the ‘In View’ button at the top of your timeline
  • Move the ‘French Presidents’ slider on the right hand side to choose ‘Key’ or ‘All’ events
  • Click ‘Done’

Why not explore some of our other timelines including a timeline of British Prime Ministers and a timeline of American Presidents.

We are going to be adding more streams soon. If you have a suggestion, please contact us at help@twile.com 

 

Cover photo licensed by the French Government under Creative Commons

New feature for managing access permissions for your family

We’ve just added a new feature to Twile that lets you control how other family members can contribute to your tree and timeline.  Until now, people you invited could edit your family tree (which isn’t always what you’d want), but weren’t able to make changes to events on your timeline (though you might sometimes want them to).

Permissions when inviting family membersWhen you invite people now, you’ll see a simple slider control that lets you specify whether that individual can add, edit or delete people on your tree and events on your timeline.

If you choose ‘Add’, they will be able to add people to your tree and add their own timeline events (or photos to yours), but won’t be able to change or remove anything you’ve added.

If you choose ‘Edit’, they will be able to add their own content and also make changes to what you’ve added to Twile – for example, correcting names, places or dates.

If you choose ‘Delete’, they will be able to add their own content, make changes to your people and events, but also remove people and events that you’ve added.

The permissions you grant your individual family members will only affect people and events you have added.

Permissions inside a person's profile on the family treeOnce a family member has been invited, you can always change the permissions they have at a later date.  You’ll find the same slider control inside the profile for each person on the tree.

Move your mouse over a person and choose ‘Profile’ to see these options.

As always, we’d love your thoughts on this new feature.  Does this give you the control you need?  Any suggestions on how to make this better? Please add a comment below or click the ‘Talk to us’ button when you’re logged into Twile.

Timeline of Pitch@Palace

This week we’ve launched our Timeline of Pitch@Palace, the programme founded by The Duke of York to help tech startups get their business ideas in front of a global audience of influencers.

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Twile CEO Paul Brooks at St. James’s Palace for the final of Pitch@Palace 6.0

We were fortunate enough to take part in Pitch@Palace 6.0 last year, which was an incredible experience in many ways.  We attended the final at St James’s Palace, where we rubbed shoulders with many influential individuals (including The Queen herself!) and have since been introduced to many incredible organisations, such as ALVA (Association of Leading Visitor Attractions).

ALVA represents many of the UK’s visitor attractions and heritage sites, including the Museum of London, the National Trust, V&A Museum, Glasgow Museums, Historic Environment Scotland and many more.  We are working with these attractions to build timelines for them and for the historical topics they are experts in.

The support we’ve received from the Duke of York’s team has been fantastic – with regular alumni networking events and introductions to valuable contacts – so we’re happy we’ve been able to show our thanks in a small way by building a dedicated timeline for Pitch@Palace.

Want to learn more?

 

Celebrating St George’s Day with a new family history infographic

Proudly based in the North of England, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate St George’s day this weekend with a red and white version of our family history infographic.

If you have English ancestry, take a look at the statistics that make up your family tree, such as the average number of children per family, average age of marriage and the most common surnames.

If you already have a Twile account:

  • Start at your Twile family tree: www.twile.com/people 
  • Click the ‘View Infographic’ button
  • Select ‘English’ to see your red and white infographic

If you aren’t yet registered for Twile, it’s completely free of charge to create your English infographic.

Our infographics were designed to help you share your research in a fun and exciting way with your family and we have had some great feedback from our customers:

“Since I created my 2 images for free with Twile, some of my younger family members have expressed an interest to know more about genealogy, and a desire to create their own graphics.  Sometimes, the hardest part of doing genealogy is trying to get other family members interested and engaged!” Dixie La Pierre, US (cocktailsandswagger.com)

“Gotta love an infographic! A great way to get the people whose eyes normally glaze over, interested in family history” (@FamilyTreeUK via Twitter)

“The tree and timeline features will have even the most reluctant genealogist participating in family history in no time”, Amie Bowser Tennant, (The Genealogy Reporter)

You can also order a print of your personalised infographic to make a wonderful birthday, Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift. If you’re quick, you can take advantage of a 40% discount on printing until the end of April 2017!

Add an Easter milestone

It’s Easter weekend and we’ve just added a new Easter milestone to the Twile timeline.  Add your photos and memories from this Easter or from previous years.

We often get asked by genealogists why we have such “unusual” milestones on our timeline – they’re familiar with births, marriages, deaths, census, emigration, etc., but aren’t sure why they’d want to add holidays, Christmas or house moves.

At Twile, we believe that recent family events are as much a part of your family history as those from 100 years ago.  If you don’t tell the story of your own life and your parents’ lives, future generations will never know the details.

I’d love to know about the various houses my grandparents lived in or where they went on holiday in their lifetime, but no census records or certificates can tell me that.  I add these types of milestones to my Twile timeline so that my grandchildren will know what my life was like.

So whatever you get up to this Easter, take some photos and add your memories to your Twile timeline.

To add an Easter milestone:

  1. Click the ‘Add’ button at the top of your Twile timeline
  2. Click ‘Add a milestone’
  3. Click ‘Easter’ within the ‘Holidays’ section
  4. Set the date, location and add any photos you have
  5. Click the ‘Add’ button