Add PDF documents to your milestones

One of the most-requested features for Twile is the ability to attach PDF versions of documents to milestones – the wait is over as we’ve added that feature today.

For a while, you’ve been able to add documents as JPEG photo files to timeline events, but no other formats were supported.  As of today, you can also upload PDF files.

You could add wedding, birth or death certificates to family milestones, newspaper clippings, wedding invitations, cruise tickets or anything else that will help to tell the story of your family history.

To upload a document:

  1. Open an event on your timeline by clicking on it
  2. In the ‘Add something’ section, click ‘Document’
  3. Select a PDF or JPEG file from your computer
  4. That’s it
  5. You can also add comments to the document if you want to include notes or other details

Documents in a Twile event

Control which photos show on your timeline

We’ve recently made some changes to the way you control which photos appear on your Twile timeline.  Here’s how it works…

Photo event on the timelineWhen you have an event that contains photos, Twile will automatically select up to three of those photos to show on the timeline.

If there are more than three photos in the event, the timeline images will be selected at random – and you’ll see a count of how many other photos are available inside.

Love photos to show them on the timelineIf you have some preferred photos that you’d like to see on the timeline, simply open the event and click the heart “love” icon on each photo you like.

Twile will give preference to any photos you have “loved” when selecting the three images to show on the timeline.

A fresh, new look for the Twile timeline

Today we’ve launched a new version of the Twile timeline, designed to make your family history look even better!

We’ve introduced a number of changes to make everything clearer, brighter and easier to use.  Your milestones have more colour, your photos are larger and you can see more about each event without having to click and open it.

New design for a Twile eventThe new design makes photos stand out more and shows how many photos are waiting for you inside the event.  We’ve removed some of the clutter on the timeline events to return the focus to the most important information.

Descriptions on the Twile timeline

And you’ll also see that any descriptions or comments you’ve added to your events will now show on the timeline – this makes it easier for you to tell the story of your family history and add context to photos.

You don’t need to do anything to see the new changes – they’ll be there for you when you next login.

As always, we’d love to hear your feedback on our latest changes.  Please let us know what you think of the new design by adding a comment below or sending us an email to help@twile.com.

Timeline of the Tour de France

Halfway through this year’s race, we’re celebrating the Tour de France with a timeline of its 114-year history.

The Tour de France is an annual bicycle race in France, which occasionally passes through neighbouring countries too. It started in 1903 with a 2,428km round-trip route from Paris and has been held every year since, with the exception of the years during World War One and World War Two.

This year’s Tour de France started from Düsseldorf in Germany on 1 July, following a 3,540km route to the Champs-Élysées in Paris on 23 July.

Our Tour de France timeline shows the evolution of the race and the sport, as the route has lengthened, the moustaches have shortened and the clothes have tightened. Follow the story from the first race, via the World Wars, Lance Armstrong’s doping controversy, right through to Britain’s Chris Froome winning the 2016 race.

GlaswegAsians – the history of South Asian Communities in Scotland

Today we’re launching a timeline of the history of South Asian Communities across Scotland, in collaboration with Glasgow Museums and Colourful Heritage.

The timeline coincides with the opening of the new “GlaswegAsians” exhibition at the Scotland Street School Museum in Glasgow, which explores how South Asian people came to Glasgow and how the city has grown and changed as a result.

This is the first timeline we’ve launched as part of our relationship with The Association of Leading Visitor Attractions (ALVA), who represent members that include museums, heritage sites, zoos and palaces.  We’re working with other ALVA members right now to bring more history timelines to life.

The timeline runs from 1855, with the arrival of Maharajah Duleep Singh in Perthshire, to the present day involvement of women in politics, and takes you through the evolution of the South Asian and Muslim community in Scotland.

Preserving South Asian and Muslim Heritage in Scotland, it explores the challenges of coming to a foreign land in the 19th century, how they moved from peddlars to multi-millionaires and how the early mosques and community facilities were established in Scotland.

Twile users can overlay the Colourful Heritage events onto their own timeline and see how they affected their Scottish ancestors.

If you think there is a moment that should be captured in the Colourful Heritage timeline, the museum would love you to help populate it. Share your interesting facts and images via email on info@colourfulheritage.com. Every event shared is an additional strand that weaves into the colourful tartan fabric of Scottish society!

Timeline of the Wimbledon Championships

To celebrate the start of Wimbledon this week, we’ve created a timeline of the history of the Championships, the oldest tennis tournament in the world.

Held at the All England Club in Wimbledon since 1877, the English Royal family have attended the event since 1907, with King George VI actually once playing at the venue as a competitor in the men’s doubles in 1926!

Our new timeline of the Wimbledon Championships takes a look right back to 1877 when Spencer Gore defeated William Marshall in the only event of the championship, the Gentlemen’s Singles competition.

1st Winner of Wimbledon, Spencer Gore
1st Winner of Wimbledon, Spencer Gore

Women’s championships were added to Wimbledon in 1884, when Maud Watson defeated her sister Lilian Watson. The same year also saw the first non-British and overseas players enter the championships.

Scanning through the timeline we see changing fashion and hairstyles of the time, advances in technology such as colour photography and television, records being made and broken. The drive and determination of players continues to increase…the tournament’s first winner wasn’t too sure that it would catch on!

We’re glad it did and we’re of course rooting for the UK’s Andy Murray again, who was triumphant last year along with Serena Williams.

We look forward to updating the timeline with this year’s winners!

Articles of interest:
Titanic Tennis Star Survivors

King George VI competes at Wimbledon 

 

New family history infographic for Independence Day

If you are celebrating Independence Day in the US today, we have a version of our infographic especially for you!

American Family History InfographicOur family history infographic – designed to help you share your research and engage younger generations – is now available in red, white and blue, with the American stars and stripes.

The personalised family infographic is free and – whether you are currently using Twile or not – you can create one at twile.com/numbers/american.

If you’re new to Twile, all you need to do is import your FamilySearch tree or upload a GEDCOM file to automatically generate your infographic.

We designed the infographic for sharing online with your family – it includes fun statistics such as the average number of children per family, the most common surnames, the ratio of men to women and the average age of marriage. Now available in the colours of Ireland, England and America, you can create a digital version or order a print to celebrate your family’s heritage.

In addition to the new infographic, Twile users can see our timeline of the American Revolutionary War.  The timeline shows the story of the American Revolution and you can also overlay the timeline onto your own family history timelines, to see the lives of your ancestors in the context of what was happening in the country around them. You will be able to see your ancestors’ milestones alongside events such as the Boston Tea Party and the first Independence Day Celebration in 1777.

We hope that you enjoy this new feature!

Big new features in Twile in 2017

We’re halfway through 2017 and we think it’s a good time to look back at everything we’ve added into Twile this year. Our development team have been working hard to bring you lots of new features over the past six months and – just in case you missed them – here is a quick round-up:

freeTwile is now completely free!
At the start of the year, we removed the subscription fee for using Twile and our family timeline is now free for everyone!


World history timelinesExplore timelines of world history
In January we opened up our timelines of world history to everyone, whether they use Twile or not. Since then, we’ve added many new timelines, including:


Family history infographicYour family in numbers
We launched our personalised digital family infographic at RootsTech in February. A colourful graphic, made up of numbers pulled from your family tree, you simply click a button to see information such as the average age of marriage in your family, popular surnames and the average family size! We designed it to be easy to share digitally or we also offer a printed version.  So far we have added some colour options including Irish and English and we will be launching a US version in time for Independence Day next week!

Import from facebook into TwileImport your photos from Facebook
We made some big improvements to our Facebook import earlier this year, which lets you create a timeline out of the photos and memories you have in Facebook.  Click the ‘Add’ button in Twile to try it out.

Access permissions in TwileControl what your family can edit in Twile
We added a feature that lets you control how other family members can contribute to your tree and timeline.   When you invite your family, you can choose whether they are allowed to add, edit or delete people on your tree and events on your timeline.

Add words to your timelineAdd notes and words
If you want to add some words to your Twile timeline, to help tell the story or to describe an event that you don’t have photos for, you can! We added this new feature earlier this month.

Alias or known as namesAdd alias or “known as” names to your family tree
If you have anyone on your family tree who was (or is) known by a different name to their given name, you can add an alias name.

Lots of TLC
We’re constantly tinkering with Twile to make it quicker and easier to use or to fix pesky bugs that get in the way of your Twiling.  We are always looking to make Twile better.  Please keep telling us what you like (or don’t like) about Twile and we will keep working on the improvements.

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