All good suggestions.
I thought Gannt Project was going to be the way to go, but I have found in this program and also the GANTT2 program that they are limited in how far back in time they go.
It seems you can't have a project start date more than a few days before the current calendar date. I an understand how this works and certainly Gantt tools are for organizing into the future, however, as you can imagine this does not help me with timelines. So it appears that Gannt software is off the list unless I can find a program a little more flexible in this regard.
Otherwise, if anyone is interested Gannt Project is quite nice - very straight forward and relatively intuitive. For those of you who need a portable app, then GANNT2 will fill the bill.
Regarding Timeline Maker Basic, yeah it's certainly cheaper but still more than I would pay at 50 bucks.
I had a brief look at the "Alternative Methods" link and if I can't find something specific in software, this is likely the way to go. The methodologies seem largely to do with mocking up something by hand in a spreadsheet and there are certinly dozens of pages dealing with that 'round the net.
If anyone comes up with additional suggestions, I'm all ears (but I ain't no Mickey Mouse!).
BTW, if it's any help, I want to use this to make a timeline of history to a roleplaying game in which I'm involved. Ya ya, some of you are now mocking me - fill yer boots, I'm used to it
Once again, thanks to all of you who have made suggestions!