In this final installment, I want to share two spreadsheets that I wish I could claim credit for imagining. The first is very basic, but its usefulness is immeasurable. My friend Laura created this one, and I am discussing it here with her permission. I give you … Genealogy At A Glance!
The purpose of this spreadsheet is twofold. First, as its name implies, it allows you to see, at a glance, the information you are missing for your relatives. I am only using it for my direct ancestors, but you could certainly use it for whomever you choose. There is no special formatting, so I don’t feel the need to paste a link, but I will explain a couple of the columns. In the fourth column, labeled “R2M,” is the person’s relationship to you. I use an M or P to indicate whether it’s a maternal or paternal ancestor, then “3GM” for third great grandmother, etc. Also, dates are a little funky in Excel – particularly anything prior to 1900. For that reason, the dates are entered yyyy mm-dd. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a number that means nothing. It also makes it easier to sort.
The remaining columns are self-explanatory, but I draw your attention to the last column. This is where I put the next steps I need to take to find the missing information.
The second spreadsheet was the result of a photo that I posted on Facebook where I had mapped out the entire township where my 2nd great grandfather received his land patent (South Dakota uses the rectangular land survey system).
A couple of people asked me if I had a template for that. I just printed the plat map from the BLM-GLO website to do this one, but because (1) the plat maps are pretty small for all the detail; and (2) all of the land entries don’t have original plat maps available, I went ahead and created a template:
Feel free to download it from Google Drive and use it to your heart’s content. I have indicated portions down to the 1/4 section. From there, you’ll have to get the smaller parts.
I hope you have enjoyed this little series, and that you see how spreadsheets can be used for more than just accounting. If you need a form and can’t find one already made, consider using a spreadsheet to create one!
Do we share ancestors? Email me: lostancestors AT gmail DOT com
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