I’ve added the Excel Ancestor Inventory Form to the Downloads tab at the top of the screen. Here are a few hints that I’ve put together as I’ve worked with the form:

Page 1:

inventory-1

  • Siblings could be changed to FANs (Family, Associates, Neighbors)
  • The “Notes” area at the bottom could be removed or shortened to make room for additional children. (See “P1 Six Census”) If you have a lot of FANs you are tracking, the “Notes” section could be used for that information.
  • Column C beginning with row 11 is to be used to list all known family members for tracking through census years.
  • Begin the census lists after the marriage year. There may not be room to list all census records for an entire lifetime, but you’re pretty safe if you begin after a marriage. Years that an ancestor was still living with their parents can be listed on P2.
  • If more than one marriage (and if you have space), you can insert a Spouse into the “children” area and begin numbering their children with 1. DOB for the spouse could be changed to DOM (date of marriage).
  • If 10 or fewer children, space can be added to indicate who each child married. (See “P1 9 Children and P1 Six Census”)
  • In each census column, type the name and the age to help you match each person correctly.
  • Shade the boxes for family members who have died. If deceased, type in the date of death and location if known. If married, indicate who they are recorded with and give location.
  • If a person is listed in the household, but is not a child, give the relationship (if known) on the 2nd line.

Page 2:

inventory-2

  • In the first form, space is given for 3 spouses. Any sections not needed can be changed to a different category such as “Children” or “To Do”. (See P2 One Spouse)
  • If some Spouse information is not known, you might want to change categories to “Father:” and “Mother:”
  • Information for various records could be locations or book and page numbers – whichever is most helpful to you. Could also just be “yes” or “no” to indicate if you have the record.
  • All categories can be edited. For example, if an ancestor was born in the US, you won’t need “Passenger List” and “Naturalization”. Most of the ancestors we research did not receive SSNs, so that could be edited out as well.
  • Because Census information is listed on page 1, the Census column on page 2 could be edited to something else. It was included to be a “mini-timeline” of locations without having to turn the paper over.
  • Every census year was included in the list. If you need space, you can edit the list to only include census years for an ancestor’s lifetime, then create a new section at the bottom.

Other:

  • Before you begin to enter information for an ancestor, be sure to click on the “File” tab and then “Save As” a new document with your ancestor’s name so that you will always have a blank form to use again.
  • You might decide to keep an entire surname in one workbook with multiple names. To do this:
    • Select the blank sheet you’d like to use, right click on that tab at the bottom of the screen.
    • Click on “Move or Copy”.
    • Check the box at the bottom that says “Create a Copy”.
    • Select the location you’d like the new tab to be. (You can also rearrange sheets by dragging the tabs to a new location.)
    • Rename the tab with your ancestor’s name. (Right click, select “Rename”.)
  • I’ve created a few different versions of the sheets as I’ve worked with my ancestors. Some families had many children and others did not. “Blank P1” has space for 14 children. There is also a version for 9 children and a version for 10 children. There could be hundreds of variations, so be creative!
  • Most of my ancestors only had one spouse, so space was added to have a list of children (with spouses below, if there was enough space) and a “To Do” list. If an ancestor had 2 spouses, I would keep the “To Do” list because the children are listed on the P1 pages.
  • To type a bullet in a cell, type alt+7. (There are other symbols as well. Play around with the numbers with the alt key to see other options.)
  • Some ancestors did not live during the years in which tax records have been microfilmed. In “P3 Films no Tax”, I edited that space to allow me to make a list of FHL microfilms I’ve ordered or have access to. (These could also be hyperlinks to images available on FamilySearch.)
  • If you want to replace a section with another section (for example, if you need another area for a spouse instead of children in a P2 sheet), you may need to un-merge cells in the section you are replacing because Excel won’t paste into merged cells unless everything is identical to the area you are copying:
    • Highlight the section you’d like to replace
    • Click the “Merge & Center” icon on the “Home” ribbon (this will un-merge everything)
    • Highlight the section you’d like to copy and type Ctrl+C
    • Click the top left cell in the section you are replacing and type Ctrl+V
    • You will probably have to re-merge cells to make the layout work correctly

If you have question about how to do something, feel free to leave me a comment and I’ll try my best to give you some help!

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