To find a timeline, go to http://www.google.com and enter the following:
surname family historyThe only thing is you have to substitute the surname of interest in place of the word "surname" in the above example. For instance, to find timelines of my family name, I had to enter:
Eastman family historyNext, Google will display all sorts of "hits" and, if you scroll down a bit, you will see timelines. In my case, I had to scroll to the bottom of the first page to see anything about timelines and then I clicked on "More timeline results." Depending how popular your surname is, you may have to scroll down even further.
The timeline I saw shows all sorts of historical events involving people with the same surname as my own. A blue timeline shows how many "hits" occurred for certain years and then the events themselves are listed below the timeline in typical Google fashion.
In looking at the Eastman timeline, I found quite a few "events" in recent years from some fellow who writes a genealogy newsletter.
I then tried my mother's maiden name which is very rare: Deabay. The only people I have ever found of that name have always been close relatives. The timeline didn't have very many events but the listings below the timeline had lots of facts, many of which I had not seen before.
I was amazed to find a 1952 newspaper account of my uncle's being shot in the Korean War (he survived). I knew he was a combat veteran but didn't know he had been seriously wounded.
I also read a few family obituaries as well as reports of several marriages, even those where a cousin served as bridesmaid or best man or usher.
This can be a great resource when you have exhausted other possibilities. Of course, you can search for the names on Google at anytime but the timelines add quite a bit of visual help.