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A timeline is the visual representation of the passage of time; that is, a sequence of related events arranged in chronological order, displayed along a line, typically reading left to right or top to bottom. Like other charts and graphs, timelines offer another way of looking at and making sense of information.

Timelines are very useful in genealogy, providing a birds-eye view of an individual's life, helping to visualize life events, reveal patterns, and bring new perspectives. The vertical or top to bottom timeline is often more practical for genealogists, as it can be represented down the length of a page and easily printed. Timelines created on a computer spreadsheet are beneficial, allowing researchers to sort and view data in different ways.

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