Timeline (Pre-series )

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Pre-series: pre-2005

Color Code: The color code should help you estimate the relevance of the information in canon, as there are some inconsistencies between the various texts. See Canon Discrepancies for further discussion.

White
TV episodes.
Blue
Online canon source (The Journal or Hunter's Blog).
Yellow
Comics
Light Pink
Tie-in Novels and other books.


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Date Event Episode Source
2005, first week of October Sam's visions of Jess's death begins

Max Miller's telekinetic abilities surface

John Winchester cuts off contact with Dean (John is in Jericho, Dean in New Orleans)

Possession of Meg Masters begins

Andy Gallagher's powers of persuasion begin to manifest
N/A Sam's dialogue in 1.05

Conversation between Sam & Max in 1.14

Dean tells Sam in 1.01

Meg reveals how long she's been possessed in 1.22

Andy discusses his powers with Sam in 2.05
Summer 2005 John teaches Adam Milligan to drive using the Impala. 4.19 Jump the Shark - Adam claims he was 15 when John taught him to drive in the Impala, but that's impossible given that Dean had sole possession of the car while Adam was 15. So, John must have taught him the summer he was 14.
2004, September 29

John Winchester takes Adam Milligan to a ballgame for his 14th birthday.

4.19 Jump the Shark Mentioned in 4.19
Early 2004 Sam begins dating Jessica, after being introduced by his friend Brady.

1.13 Route 666

5.20 The Devil You Know

1.13 Route 666 - Sam said he dated Jessica for a year and a half.

5.20 The Devil You Know - Sam tells us that Brady introduced him to Jess.

2003 or 2004 Dean dates Cassie Robinson in Athens, Ohio, for a few weeks, while she finishes up her senior year of college (at Ohio University) 1.13 Route 666 Personal Opinion - Spring 2003.
2003, Thanksgiving Sam's friend Brady returns from holiday and begins to get into drugs. Sam attempts to help. 5.20 The Devil You Know
Sept 2002 - Sept 2003 Adam Milligan meets John Winchester. 4.19 Jump the Shark Adam states that he is 12 at the time. "DEAN: So, when did you, uh, when did you finally meet him? ADAM: When I was twelve. My mom had one of his old numbers, and—and after I begged her—God, twenty-four-seven—she finally called him. God, when John heard he had a son, he raced to town. I mean, he dropped everything. He drove all night."
Sometime between Fall 2002 and Fall 2005 Dean has sex with a Hunter named Annie 7.19 Of Grave Importance Estimated guess, since Sam didn't know about the hook-up and Sam and Dean have spent nearly every moment since 2005 together.
2005, March Jo transfers her diary entries from hardcopy to the online Hunter's Blog N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
2003, April 10 Jo goes on her first Ellen-sanctioned hunt, as an adult N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
2002 Sam leaves hunting to go to Stanford University N/A First mentioned in 1.01. See Canon Discrepancies for discussion of how long Sam has been at college.
sometime between 2002-05 Dean and Cassie Robinson meet and are romantically involved while Dean was doing a job near her college campus (In Athens, Ohio). Cassie breaks up with Dean after Dean tells her about hunting. N/A Dialogue in 1.12.
2001, August 22 Jo goes on her first hunt, with Gordon, without Ellen's permission N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
2001, March 6 Ash arrives at the Roadhouse N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
1999, Late May/Early June Ben Braeden is born 3.02 The Kids Are Alright
~September 1998 Dean goes on a solo "five states in five days" road trip, but ends up spending most of it in Cicero, Indiana, shacked up with a Yoga instructor called Lisa Braeden.

In the meantime, John & Sam "tie up a hunt" in Orlando, Florida.
N/A Dialogue between Sam & Dean in 3.02 The Kids Are Alright (Dean says it happened "about eight years ago".)
1998, Summer While John and Dean are off hunting a Kitsune, Sam stays in Lincoln, Nebraska, and does research for them. While there, he meets a girl and has his first kiss - only to discover that John and Dean's hunt has circled back on him. 7.03 The Girl Next Door
~1998 Sam is a mathlete 4.04 Metamorphosis
1998, January 17 Gordon starts frequenting the Roadhouse N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
1997, November Sam and Dean attend Truman High in Fairfax, Indiana, for 3 or 4 weeks, while John is on a hunt that was originally supposed to be 2 weeks but ended up taking longer than expected. (Dean is in 12th Grade. It is the third school they have attended since September.) 4.13 After School Special There is an inconsistency in After School Special, because it informs us that it is 1997, and Sam says it's November, but in the High School there are "class of 97" banners everywhere, which would indicate that the graduating class is going to graduate in June 1997, which would make it November 1996. That being said, the caption on the episode itself informs us that it is 1997.
1997, Summer The Winchesters hunt a werewolf 4.13 After School Special There is an inconsistency in After School Special, because it informs us that it is 1997, and Sam says it's November, but in the High School there are "class of 97" banners everywhere, which would indicate that the graduating class is going to graduate in June 1997, which would make it November 1996. That being said, the caption on the episode itself informs us that it is 1997.
1996/1997 At the age of 13, Sam experiences a brief phase where he wants to be a magician. 4.12 Criss Angel Is a Douchebag
1996, July 4 Sam and Dean “burned down that field” when they set off their own fireworks display. 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon
1995, May 16 Death of William Anthony Harvelle. John Winchester stops coming to the Roadhouse N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog, dialogue of Ellen and Jo in 2.06.
1995 (approx) Dean: ... So, picked up this crossbow, and I hit that ugly sucker with a silver-tipped arrow, right in his heart. Sammy's waiting in the car and, uh, me and my Dad take the thing into the woods, burn it to a crisp. I'm sitting there and I'm looking into the fire, I'm thinking to myself... I'm sixteen years old. Kids my age are worried about pimples, prom dates... I'm seeing things they'll never even know. Never even dream of. So right then I just sort of...

Gordon: Embraced the life?

Dean: Yeah.
N/A This exchange occurs in 2.03.
1994, November 24 Sam has his first traditional Thanksgiving dinner at his friend Stephanie’s house. He has been attending a school called McKinley for two weeks. 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon
Summer 1994 Sam and Dean spend a portion of the summer being looked after by Donna, a babysitter (and maid at the Mayflower) in Housatonic, Massachusetts, while their father hunts. On one occasion, John is gone for two weeks. It is the summer before Sam enters 6th grade, and he assigns himself a summer reading list. Dean possibly has a crush on Donna. 5.12 Swap Meat Year estimated by assuming Sam was 11 when he entered 6th grade.
1994, Februrary 19 John Winchester visits Harvelle's Roadhouse, not for the first (or last) time N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
1993, December 2 Kevin Tran is born. 8.05 Blood Brother Seen on Sam's laptop while he's trying to track down Kevin
~1993 Bobby Singer and Rufus Turner stop talking to each other. This may have been when the mysterious "Omaha" incident occurred that soured their partnership.

3.15 Time Is on My Side

6.16 ...And Then There Were None

~1992 Sam tells John he is afraid of the monster in his closet and John gives him a .45 1.01 Pilot
1992 John buys a Playboy featuring Anna-Nicole Smith, both boys end up reading it. 7.22 There Will Be Blood Anna Nicole appeared in Playboy in 1992. Dean was 13 and Sam was 9. Given Sam’s age, I personally think that it’s more likely Dean hung onto the magazine and Sam found it at a later date.)
1991, December 25

Sam (8) and Dean (12) are at a motel in Broken Bow, Nebraska. John is hunting while Sam and Dean spend Christmas alone together.

Sam reads John's Journal and finds out that Mary's death was supernatural, monsters are real, and that John hunts them. He confronts Dean, who confirms it.

Sam gives Dean an amulet.

3.08 A Very Supernatural Christmas Flashback in 3.08
1991 John encounters and defeats a Woman in White outside Durant, Oklahoma N/A BoM
1990, September 29

Adam Milligan is born.

4.19 Jump the Shark Mentioned in 4.19
1990, January

John is injured on a hunt in Windom, Minnesota, and goes to the hospital, where he meets Kate Milligan.

4.19 Jump the Shark Mentioned in 4.19: "SAM: Dean...listen. There's an entry in Dad's journal. From January of 1990, saying he's headed to Minnesota to check out a case. That's, roughly, oh, about nine months before the kid was born."
1989, November 2 The Winchesters are in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Sam (age 6.5) believes that Mary died in a car accident.

John is hunting.

Dean (age 10) knows how to drive.
Origins 1 (back-up story) The back-up story in Origins 1 gives the date & location, dialogue between Sam and Dean .
1989/1990 (approx) John is hunting a Shtriga in Wisconsin when he leaves Sam and Dean alone in a hotel room. Dean gets bored and goes out, and comes back to find the Shtriga attacking Sammy. John returns in time to scare the Shtriga off. 1.18 Something Wicked Dean recounts the events to Sam in 1.18, saying they occured "16 or 17 years ago".
~1989 Bobby takes Dean to the park to throw a ball around rather than training him on a double-barrelled shotgun as John had requested. Bobby and John later argue about it over the phone. 7.10 Death's Door
~1987

John takes Dean and Sam on a donkey ride through part of the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Dean’s donkey is very flatulent much to Sam’s amusement. The trip isn’t very memorable for Dean, who only remembers it when Sam reminds him.

8.21 The Great Escapist Sam recounts the story and Dean approximates their ages
1985, April 7 Birth of Joanna Beth Harvelle (Jo) N/A Jo's Hunter's Blog.
1985-86 (approx)

Dean is "6 or 7". John takes Dean out shooting for the first time, using bottles as target practice. According to Dean, he "bullseyed every one of them."

Dean cites this story as one of the fonder memories of his father

N/A Story told by Dean to Jo in 2.06.
1984, January 24 Birth of Jessica Moore N/A Jess's headstone, with her birthdate, is shown in 1.02.
1983, December 25 Police close investigation of Mary Winchester's death. N/A The Journal (diary entries).
1983, December 23 John Winchester leaves Kate & Mike Guenther's, and possibly Lawrence N/A The Journal (diary entries).
1983, December 17 John Winchester meets Missouri Mosely N/A The Journal (diary entries).
1983, November 2-3 weeks following Mary's funeral (which John does not attend) - Missouri seeks John out, leads him to a supernatural death. John, Sammy & Dean are staying with Mary's best friend - Julie. Julie is killed by a supernatural evil that also threatens Sam and Dean. Origins 1 The events of Origins 1.
1983, November 6 Mary Winchester's funeral. Her uncle arranges a headstone despite lack of remains. N/A The Journal (diary entries) and dialogue between Sam & Dean in 2.04.
1983, November 2 Death of Mary Winchester Sam is 6 months old 1.01 Pilot Events of 1.01, documentation in The Journal (diary entries).
1983, between May and November John and Mary have a fight and John leaves home for a few days. 5.16 Dark Side of the Moon
1983, May 2 Birth of Sam Winchester N/A Sam is 6 months old when Mary dies on November 2, 1983 (1.01). Sam's police record in 1.15 also states his birth date.
1979, January 24 Birth of Dean Winchester N/A Dean's police record in 1.15 states his birth date
1978, around May Anna attempts to kill John and Mary Winchester. They end up with no memories of the encounter or the two Hunters that helped them. At this time, John and Mary live at the address 485 Robintree, Lawrence, Kansas. It is not the same house as the Sam and Dean’s childhood home. 5.13 The Song Remains the Same
1973, May 2

John Winchester proposes to Mary Campbell

Samuel and Deanna Campbell are murdered

4.03 In the Beginning
1973, April 30

John Winchester buys a 1967 Impala on the recommendation of a stranger.

 

4.03 In the Beginning
1972, October

8 Nuns are disemboweled at St. Mary's Convent in Ilchester, Maryland.

 

4.22 Lucifer Rising The newspaper Sam reads this from is dated October 16th, 1972.
late 1960s-early 1970s John Winchester serves as a Marine in the Vietnam War N/A See John's page for speculation and reasoning behind suggested dates. In 1.01 we see John wearing a Marines shirt, and Dean's dialogue in 2.09 confirms this in more detail. 1971- Early 1973 – John Winchester serves in the Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He is in Echo 2/1 company and finished as a Corporal.
1967, April 24

The Impala rolls off the assembly line in Janesville, Wisconsin.

 

5.22 Swan Song
1958, August 12

Henry Winchester, John’s father, leaves their home in Normal, IL, in the middle of the night never to return. John’s mother eventually gets remarried to a mechanic and they move to Lawrence, Kansas.

 

4.03 In the Beginning

8.12 As Time Goes By

1955 Birth of Mary Winchester N/A Origins 1 back-up story. It is 1989 - Dean tells Sam that Mary would have been 34.
1954, December 4

Mary Winchester (Nee Campbell) is born.

2.04 Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things

2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be

The article on the plane crash in the DjinnWish-verse in WIAWSNB is dated December 5th, Newspaper report on events the day AFTER they happen, which means that the plane crash actually occurred on December 4th, therefore when Dean watches (I’m assuming the 11 o’clock) news after celebrating Mary’s birthday in the DjinnWish-verse and they say that it is one year anniversary of the crash, it would mean that it is December 4th
1954

Possible birth of John Winchester

 

2.20 What Is and What Should Never Be In the alternate reality experienced by Dean in 2.20 John's gravestone indicates he was born in 1954.
1861, March 4-5

Two very clean strangers show up in Sunrise Wyoming looking for Samuel Colt.

 

6.18 Frontierland