Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ancestor county tracking - Sorting Saturday

My family's roots are very deeply seeded in the state of Virginia. I have always been drawn there and our family took numerous vacations to the area when I was younger. Two years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Virginia Room, a collection of genealogy resources for the state of Virginia and the Roanoke Valley. Located in the Roanoke City Library, the Virginia Room is smack in the middle of where many of my ancestors came from.

I currently live three states away from Virginia and I was only afforded several hours to research, so my visit needed to be organized. I was also aware of the limitations my genealogy ADD would set for me; my visit would be akin to a kid in a candy store...so many great resources, so little time. And to top it all off I have numerous random family lines throughout the state. In order to get prepared I created a spreadsheet of all of my Virginia lines to take with me. That way, if I found a great resource that may pertain to one or more lines, I had a quick sheet that would help me remember which families lived where.
Click to enlarge
The spreadsheet includes a column for the county name, surname, dates of residence in said county, notes, the surname chain and notes on the county itself. The surname chain is a way for me to remember the links between myself and the particular surname.

I still had a massive research high while at the Virginia Room, but once I was able to come down I found this sheet very helpful. I started researching my particularly difficult line, the Whites, but when I could find so solid leads I moved on to other lines. This has also been helpful when digging through GenWeb or historical/genealogical society web sites.

4 comments:

Susan (Nolichucky Roots) said...

I do love Excel and spreadsheets but you've taken them to another level! Wonderful idea and one I shall appropriate (with proper credit given, of course) for my spring travels. Thanks.

Tessa said...

Quick question - please share how you put your screenshot in your post and have the ability to enlarge. Thanks in advance and I am enjoying these Excel spreadsheets!

Heather Kuhn Roelker said...

Susan, feel free to appropriate. This was so helpful to my genealogy adventure I had to share.
Tessa, good idea, I will post about it this week.

Tony Timmins said...

Thanks for sharing this idea Heather, I love Excel. This will work in the UK for my ancestors. Think I will add it as a worksheet to my existing Certificate & Census workbook.
Tony