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Genealogy is a branch of history. In compiling the history of a family, the search of one generation leads to another so that, in time, we can build up a family history of ancestors which goes back for several centuries. These ancestors were part of the events that took place in their time. A few may even have played an important role in those events.

By viewing each ancestor within his or her contemporary setting, we can bring history to life and make it more relevant to our times, The lessons of history are too important to be lost and we are but products of past events.

A useful aid to this end is to make a timeline of the principal events - an ambitious task which will take time to achieve, particularly as genealogy is no respecter of borders and several countries could be involved.

A good period to start  with is the 14th and 15th centuries in the Italian pensinsula which  must be one of the most fascinating. On the one hand we have the Rinascimento, which saw the renaissance of civilisation and the  great explosion of art and culture; on the other,we have the turmoil created by the division of Italy into innumerable feudal states generally warring against each other at the other extreme of civilisation.  Some of the names which made history then, such as Lorenzo de' Medici, Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Galeazzo Maria Sforza, Pope Julius II della Rovere, Alfonso d'Este and Lucrezia Borgia found in the database, are familiar  names even to  this day.

The timeline for that period can be accessed on Italy 1301-1492.

A French timeline covering the same period appears under France 1300-1491.

Acknowledgement with thanks:

These timelines are based on databases found on the Medieval Web Link