When I work with an ancestor to tell their story, I put a lot of time and effort into it. One of the tools I use is a timeline. This gets things into perspective for me, so I know where I've looked and what I've found. Its also a great way to review documents and their information.
Anyway, I've been trying to slowly go through my relatives and do their timelines as best I can do. It is a slow process especially if I'm currently researching them or find something else to add to their timeline as I go. This does include putting historic or history into their timelines to illustrate just want is going on in their lives and what could affect them.
My goal is to eventually have all of my relatives on a page with a timeline. Now that's going to be a trick and may take the rest of my life but it s a goal!
Anyhow, I've recently finished up my paternal grandfather's timeline, Mathias or Matthew Schmitz. His timeline is now published but beware! This is a live document and can change if I find further information.