Saturday, 7 April 2012

Sorting Saturday - Indexing my parish record information

I first went to the North Yorkshire County Record Office last July, and to put it bluntly, I went mental. I flicked through the books and microfilm and wrote down any one with the surname Elders, whether I knew the link to my family or not!

Now I am much more careful with my research; I have learnt to verify facts! I am also spotting links I had never seen before. One was in the 1841 census, where a young William Elders is listed. I noticed the lines on the census and found that they denote people belonging to a separate household. I believe he is the grandchild of the head of the household, nephew of Matthew Elders, my ancestor.

I flicked through my notepad of names and dates and discovered a William Elders born 1835 to Joseph Elders, likely to be the son of William and Ann.

After this discovery I decided I needed to create a database of the details I have found, which is where my favourite program - Excel - comes into its own.

I have created a spreadsheet with three tabs, one of baptisms, one for marriages, and one for burials. I have input all the data found in the parish registers; names, dates, details of parents, residence and occupations. Using the filter tool in Excel, I can then find any children of, for example, William and Ann, and then enter them quickly into FTM2012.

This is especially handy when I find new people as I can cross reference the names with my spreadsheet. Matthew Elders lived with his sister Ann in 1871 for the census. Because of this I knew she married William Legg(e), but after looking back through my parish records, it turns out they were married in Egton in 1864 before their move to Hull.

Just proves that it is worth re checking everything. Something you dismissed 6 months ago might now have meaning due to extra knowledge.

1 comment:

  1. Great post and good advice. I'm starting to feel a bit overwhelmed with only 90+ people in my tree so far...!