Adding historical events to a timeline places your ancestor into perspective. Here is the timeline I created for my great grandfather. Family events are in bold face.
On 28 July 1865, my great grandfather, Carl Mauritz Hendrickson was born in Sweden. He was christened two days later, on July 30 of 1865.
On 29 March 1867 the Confederation of Canada was established and on the following day, 30 March, 1867, the US purchased Alaska
On 12 October 1867 my great granduncle, Helmar Paulinus Hendrickson was born in Sweden and was christened the following day, 12 October, 1867.
In 1869, the Suez Canal opened in Egypt.
On 8 October 1871 the Great Chicago Fire broke out.
Albert Einstein was born 14 March 1879 in Germany.
The volcanic island of Krakatau erupted on 27 August 1883 in Indonesia. The following year, the US had sixty tornados on 19 February 1884.
On 12 March 1888, the US experienced the blizzard of 1888.
The South Fork Dam collapsed in Johnstown, Pennsylvania on 21 May 1889, causing major damage and great loss of life.
Carl Mauritz married Amy Augusta Peterson on 7 July 1894 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Their first child, my grandfather, Axel Mauritz Hendrickson was born 9 March 1895 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
On 15 June 1896 Sanriku, Japan was hit by a tsunami, with great loss of life.
My grandaunt, Amy C. Hendrickson was born in January of 1898. That same year, the Spanish-American War broke out.
My granduncle, Carl Albin Hendrickson was born 12 October 1899 in Barre, Vermont.
The family was still in Barre, Vermont for the 1900 US Census. That same year, on 8 September 1900, Galveston Texas was hit by a massive hurricane and virtually destroyed.
The following year, on 6 September 1901, President McKinley was assassinated.
My granduncle George Raymond Hendrickson was born 9 March 1904
and on 31 August of the same year, the US District Court in Vermont granted my great grandfather’s petition for naturalization.
20 April 1905 my Granduncle Walter R. Hendrickson was born, although there is a conflicting entry of 20 May 1905.
An earthquake destroyed San Francisco on 18 April 1906. Henry Ford began production of the Model T in 1908.
The family was still in Barre, Vermont according to the 1910 US Census.
The Chinese Revolution occurred in 1911.
The Titanic sank 15 April 1912 and my grandaunt Rita M. Hendrickson was born 22 May 1912.
World War I was declared 28 July 1914 in Europe.
My Grandfather Axel Mauritz Hendrickson married Florence Eva Larmour in Morrisburg, Ontario, Canada on 15 May 1915.
1916 was the year of the Polio Epidemic. On 25 February 1916, my Uncle Maurice L. Hendrickson was born in Messena, New York, USA.
1918 was the year of the Worldwide Influenza Pandemic and women got the vote in England.
My Granduncle Carl Albin Hendrickson got married in 1919. World War I ended on 28 June 1919 and my father Carl Grahame Hendrickson was born 1 July 1919 in Barre, Vermont, USA.
The family was still in Barre, Vermont for the 1920 US Census and US women got the right to vote on 18 August 1920.
1921 saw Ireland gain independence from Britain.
My Aunt Helen Hendrickson was born 14 November 1922.
A tornado ripped through three states on 18 March 1925 causing damage and loss of life, earning the title of Tri-State Tornado.
A dam collapsed on 12 March 1928 in Santa Paula, California.
1930 saw the dust bowl devastate farming in the US.
England crowned George IV King in 1937. My grandparents were in Detroit on 2 December 1937 according to my grandfather’s application for a social security number.
On 2 January 1939, a massive earthquake shook. World War II ignited in Europe that same year.
Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of England in 1940.
Japan attacked the US Naval Base at Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941.
A cyclone hit Bengal, India on 16 December 1941.
World War II with Japan officially ended on 2 September 1945.
My great grandfather died on 17 April 1946 in Waterbury, Washington County, Vermont.