I posted an Excel trick on the Organized Genealogist, Technology for Genealogy and the Excel-ling Genealogists Facebook Group pages. I was completely overwhelmed with the response. In less that 24 hours there are over 200 Likes and over 70 comments.
A little background… I am doing a One-Name Study on the Glaentzer surname. You can read about it HERE. I have a distant cousin in Germany that is also working on this surname and we collaborate. She has two trees on Ancestry.com. I wanted to compare what she has with what I have. She could send me a gedcom but I don’t want to import a gedcom into my file because it would mean a lot of cleanup work because of the duplicates. Trying to look through her tree is also not a good option because she has a lot more information in these trees besides just the Glaentzers. Here is what I did.
1) I went to the first tree. How you get to the right screen depends a bit on whether or not you are using the beta version of Ancestry. Here is where you want to be. This screenshot is from my DNA tree. You want to click LIST ALL PEOPLE from the dropdown menu.
2) This is what you will see. This too is from my DNA tree.
3) I needed to filter this list to only include Glaentzers and variations so I typed “Gl” in the Last Name field to filter the list. If you want to put the entire tree in Excel then you will skip this step. Here is the filtered list, this time from one of Christina’s trees. This is the actual data I was working with.
4) Notice that the names are hot links to that person’s page in Christina’s tree. I copied this list and then pasted it into Excel. The links transfer with no problem. You can see in the above screenshot that there are two pages. You have to copy and paste each page one at a time.
5) Once you have the data in Excel, you will need to adjust the column widths and the row heights and add column headings. I also froze the headings.
6) Now is where it gets fun. After I pasted all of the names I needed from both of her trees and cleaned up the spreadsheet, I did a custom sort. I sorted by the Name column first, then by the Birth Date/Location column second. Now I have the names in the exact order I want. Here is what it looks like.
7) You can see that the names are still hyperlinks and you can see which ones I have already clicked. As I check each entry, I can color code them showing which ones I have looked at. The reason this is important is if I ever decide to sort the list in a different way the ones I have checked won’t necessarily be at the top anymore so this will show me which ones I have done.
This has been a real timesaver for me.
Copyright © 2015 Michele Simmons Lewis