Applying a lesson

A week or two ago, one of my Facebook friends (thank you whoever you were!) recommended this post by Mary from Searching for Stories blog: Spreadsheet Magic – Importing Data from Ancestry.com. Do go and look at the post, and Mary’s many other fantastic posts. I thought I knew a bit about Excel but it seems not.

This week I thought I’d try Mary’s strategies on my Irish research to see how it worked. Following her steps this is what I did.

Sign into Ancestry.com with your own subscription or at a library near you.

My Step 1:

Bring up the search dialogue box and I used the Birth, Marriage and Death records option.

I entered no names and no dates. In the place of birth I simply put “Clare, Ireland”. As I’m mainly interested in those who emigrated to Australia I put “Australia” against the place of death. I don’t care which state so I wanted to pick up as much info as possible. I also ticked the exact box for both, as I didn’t want anything random to come up. Finally, I chose records from Australia as I’m expecting that is the most likely source of useful information -though perhaps not exclusively. I made sure I had the maximum entries per page (50).

import into Excel

Of course, as with all record searches you need to understand (1) what records might include both birth and death information and (2) what records are held within the overall database. As it happens, for me this means a heavy focus on New South Wales. This will be only one component of my research strategies.

Following Step 2, I copied the very long URL into tinyURL.com to give me a short link.See what a difference it makes – from 399 characters down to 26! Thanks TinyURL!

make tiny

Step 3: I opened a blank excel spreadsheet, chose the Data tab and clicked “from web” on the left hand side. In here I pasted my Tiny URL, pressed “Go” to bring up the data, then ticked the box to the left of the data. (in this I’m following Mary’s instructions exactly). Then click “Import”. Voila!

excel import from web

A dialogue asks you where you want to paste it. I think it’s safest to put each batch into a separate page within the spreadsheet. You can do what you want with it later. With some whizzing and whirring, the data is imported to Excel.

Next step

I named that page “Clare no YOB page 1” (my first 50 details)

I repeated the process until I captured all 304 entries. This was pretty tedious I have to agree.

Step 5:

I deleted all the “padding” info at the top and bottom except the line that said items 1-50/51-100 etc.

Repeated this for all six of my page tabs.

Step 6:

As I wanted the names with other data in separate columns beside it, I dragged and dropped “spouse” “birth” and “death” into separate columns for each page, making sure each page was formatted the same.

Step 7:

Collated data extract 2

Extract from my collated spreadsheet of data. Notice the variable information.

I copied each page into one consolidated page so that entries 1-304 followed each other sequentially. I still have a problem with it because if I sort by name it will do so by first name so I will probably end up putting in another column with just surname to sort.

Similarly, the dates will sort by day rather than year and place by the first part of the entry. Is this enough for me? I will probably live with the dates, but will put in a column for state so I can see the dispersal patterns for their migration.

Summary

Was this helpful? Did it save time? Yes, I found it very helpful and I certainly got faster as I went along. The big benefit though is that it saves any transcription errors on your part (but not by the first indexer).

Mary has said the process works with Family Search but I haven’t tried that. I did try it with Trove and my “County Clare” + Obituary search. It worked okay but would require more fiddling with, and as there are MANY entries, there’d be lots of repeating of all the steps.

I tried it this morning with My Heritage but it kept giving me error messages which included that I needed to sign in, which I already was with my current subscription.

Similarly I tried FindMyPast but their search options don’t allow me to have the Clare + Australia option (or am I missing something?), so that didn’t work.

However, I believe this is a super-helpful process for anyone looking for FANs (Friends, Associates, Neighbours) or those of us working on One Place Studies projects.

thanks

MY THANKS!

Once again my very sincere thanks to Mary for sharing her expertise, permitting me to publish how I used her strategies, and giving me a new skill. I encourage everyone to check out her blog.

 

 

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O is for Occupations and One Place Studies

My A2Z 2016 theme is how to pursue an interest in family history/genealogy – I’d love you to join me on the journey.

O is for OCCUPATIONS

View of the Roma Street Railway Station in Brisbane 1931 SLQ

A view of Roma Street shunting yards 1931, John Oxley Library Image 63242. Copyright expired.

Where, how and what we work at can be an important part of our identity and certainly takes up a lot of our waking hours. How much more so for our ancestors who started working when they were only children, or if they were lucky, early teens and worked as long as they were physically able, given limited access to assistance.

It’s no surprise then that finding out as much as we can about our ancestors type of employment. This can be in two types: specific staff registers and more general information.

If your person worked for a large business perhaps that still exists, they may have their own archive and have retained staff records or even have photos as part of their history.

Military service and government service are usually well documented. Governments do tend to like to know where their money goes <smile>. In fact “follow the money” is probably a great tip to apply with all your research. Government archives, state or national, are your best bet for finding these records if they still exist.

Decades ago I got staff card copies of past generations of my railway workers, as well as further information from the archives. And yet, when I applied for my father’s records, those more recent ones had been destroyed…go figure. It’s a research lottery but you “have to be in it, to win it”.

teacher 2Government gazettes may also give clues to occupations associated with government employees as they list succinct information.

For professionals (nurses, doctors, teachers, clergy etc), look at the relevant registration agency as well as checking out what records the archives hold.

For labourers, consider whether they were part of a union. Is there oral history about it? Newspapers can be a source of great clues about Union work…I had no idea about some of my grandfathers’ union commitments until I found newspaper stories.

If you would like to read more about specific types of occupation records you can do read some in my Beyond the Internet posts.

O is for ONE PLACE STUDIES

Often people come to One Place Studies (or OPS) as an extension of their family research. Others start from a long-held interest in the place where they live, or where their ancestors lived.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Looking over Lough Doon from near Ballykelly townland, Broadford, Co Clare.

For more information about OPSs and where people are researching I can recommend the Society of One Place Studies website.

Some do it better and more extensively than others…you can explore the different studies through the link above. I have an interest in emigrants from the Bavarian village of Dorfprozelten, Irish Emigrants from East County Clare, Ireland and Murphys Creek in Queensland, Australia. It would be fair to say I’ve spread myself too thin. Perhaps a case of “do what I say, not what I do”?

Thank you for visiting me on this journey. I love comments <smile>  

There’s a plethora of reading choices on this year’s A to Z Challenge, so my challenge to you is to visit the sign-up page and select one (or more) blogs to read between the numbers 1600-1699.

Congress 2015: Don’t forget your Research Interests

thanksThanks to Judy Webster’s recent post on the Top 3 things to do before a genealogy conference, I was reminded that Congress 2015 is offering delegates the chance to post their research interests. Without Judy’s prompt I suspect I’d have dropped the ball on this, so I’m sending Judy a huge thank you.

If you’re like me and haven’t submitted your interests here’s what you need to do.

Congress 2015To enter the Research Interests Register, click down through from the Registration tab on the Congress front page, you will need to submit a request. Once this has been approved you’re good to go.

Like Judy, I’m putting my list into Excel and tweaking it there, then adding details into the Congress page.

If you see anyone who researching the same family as you, all you do is click on the Show button which gives you more details. Send the person a comment and then you can be in email contact to follow it up, and to meet at Congress.

logo_One Place StudiesIf you’re doing a One Name Study or a One Place Study you will also want to look to see if any of those on the research list come from your place, or have your name.

Why not join me, and Judy, in submitting your details? You just never know when there’s a rellie out there and it will give you a chance to become mates before you arrive. And if your families come from the eastern half of County Clare, especially the small town of Broadford and surrounding townlands, I’d love to include a story about them on my East Clare Emigrants blog, so please do get in touch.

Also a reminder to check out the Delegates Zone: just submit your details from when you registered.

A Google Earth map of Broadford and surrounding areas, including the townland of Ballykelly.

A Google Earth map of Broadford and surrounding areas, including the townland of Ballykelly.