Over the last 2 days I have been watching hangouts & reading discussions about using Excel for genealogy. I have learnt how genealogists use Excel to make research logs, to do lists, simple timelines & timelines to answer specific questions.
I started to use Excel for genealogy to create databases of baptisms. I have been researching family surnames in Sussex lately & decided to make a database for baptisms for each surname that I am researching. I thought that recording all instances of a surname would be more beneficial than simply identifying events of known ancestors. This will enable me to reconstruct family groups as I continue my research.
I watched Lisa Alzo's webinar Research Recharge: Turning Old Clues into New Leads on Legacy Family Tree Webinars & she discussed using research logs. She showed an example of Thomas MacEntee's genealogy research log, which is a free Excel spreadsheet available at http://www.genealogyresearchlog.com.
DearMYRTLE has been focusing on using Excel for genealogy in her Wacky Wednesday Hangouts on Air this month. On August 12th's Wacky Wednesday hangout, More Excel for Genealogy, +Julie Goucher shared her presentation on how she uses Excel for research logs & to do lists. Julie has made this video, as well as a copy of her Excel research log spreadsheet & her presentation on how she uses them on her blog, Anglers Rest.
I have never used a research log before as I didn't need one, but earlier this year I had a few months when I didn't have the time to research. When I did have the time to continue, I found it hard to pick up where I'd left off. Using a research log would have helped a lot in this situation.
Another potential use for Excel would be in creating timelines for my ancestors. I have found a few good examples of how people have used them for this purpose & I can see how they would be beneficial to me. Jenny Lanctot discusses how she uses Excel for simple timelines & also how she uses timelines to answer specific questions in her blog, Are My Roots Showing?.
How do you use Excel in your genealogy research?