Welcome, fellow genealogists! My blog will teach you about U.S. land records and United Kingdom research. My family has roots in Niagara County, New York; Norfolk, England; and northeast Germany.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wisdom Wednesday: Timeline of British Wars

I highly recommend making a timeline for each of your ancestors or for a family, usually not more than two parents and their children.  They are a great research tool – a person’s or family’s life in outline form. You can see at a glance what information is missing, and it can also serve as an outline for that book you are writing. I also think you will love timelines because they are portable when on a research trip.

Whatever your purpose, you may want to include events that happened in the outside world. What things influenced your ancestors’ decisions? Did the depression send them West looking for greater opportunity, for example?
I keep timelines of historical events that I find in books or online in a file.  I recently was looking at an old paperback I own titled, Kings and Queens of England, edited by Eric R. Delderfield.  I keep it handy when I’m watching royal movies because it has a brief bio of all the monarchs beginning with William, the Conqueror.

To my surprise, there is a list of ‘British Wars and Campaigns’ near the end. Some were given unfamiliar names so I went to Wikipedia to check names and dates. That website had a much longer list of conflicts, and the dates sometimes varied widely with the first source so you may want to do much more research, if you have anybody in the British Armed Forces. What is listed below is an amalgamation and summary of what I found for the 1700 and 1800s:

War of the Spanish Succession      1701-1714 (Queen Anne’s War)
Seven Years War                               1756-1763
American Revolution                       1775-1783
War with Revolutionary France     1793-1802
Napoleonic Wars                              1803-1815
                Peninsular War                 1808-1814
Second Anglo-Maratha War           1803-1805
War of 1812                                      1812-1814
First Anglo-Afghan War                  1839-1842
Crimean War with Russia               1854-1856
Indian Mutiny                                   1857-1858
Second Anglo-Afghan War             1878-1880
Anglo-Zulu War                                1879          
With Egypt                                        1882
Sudan Campaign                              1881-1898
First Boer War                                  1880-1882
Boxer Rebellion                                1896-1900
Second Boer War                             1899-1902

I hope this list is helpful or gets you thinking about the other world and national events that influenced your family.

Note: Sometimes very local happenings are the impetus for action, and they will not appear on a list. For example, my great grandfather was a blacksmith who worked on a bridge over the Niagara River near The Falls, according to family lore. I was able to consult several history books about The Falls to see if a bridge was being built when he was a new immigrant. When it was finished might coincide with his move to a farm in the center of Niagara County. Now I have avenues to pursue.

Delderfield, Eric R., editor. Kings and Queens of England. New York: Stein and Day 1972.

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