I would imagine that there is software out there to make a timeline. Ancestry.com creates a timeline for each person but doesn't combine it on a family level. With the Gaulthair family, I used Excel to combine all the family members into some sort of order. I found it was really helpful.
With the Rhea family, I decided to do the same. I started with Martha Jane McColloam and her parents. I was shocked to find that my great, great grandfather, James Northcross McColloam, left his family somewhere between 1852 and 1867 and went to California. Doing a little research, I found that he was a miner in Klamath County, California. That is a beautiful area and is described as the Redwoods meeting the sea. I don't know if he was a gold miner on his own or worked for one of the larger mining companies. However, I did find that he was still there in 1880, leaving his wife, Mary Polly Gray,
It was certainly a change in career for him as he was a farmer when he headed west. It makes me wonder why he would make such an abrupt change. California would have been a real adventure for him and for all those times I have been there, I never realized that part of the Tennessee family had taken the same paths. While he was there, he experienced earthquakes that were not common in Tennessee. The weather is different. It does snow in Trinidad but certainly not like the winters in Sneedville.
Again we don't know when he came home but when he died in Sneedville, Tennessee, he was 75 years old.