Sunday, 17 August 2014

Excel for Genealogy

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  

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?

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