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Census to Excel


Active member
This may be old hat to some but I saw a video a while back on creating an excel spreadsheet/database from the census records on Ancestry.
I can't tell you how helpful this has been when you narrow down your ancestors to a specific area. One branch of my family hail from Pemberton in Lancashire and it's just taken me about an hour to put the entire census enumeration for that area in both 1851 & 1861 (aroung 90 pages total) into excel.

It's invaluable for tracing other family members nearby, tracing ancestors that may not have been with their parents, finding marriage witnesses a few doors away to help validate and a whole host of other things using excel's filter function.

You can watch the video here:

It basically involves going to page 1 (or wherever you want to start) on the census image, clicking the people/text image at the bottom to unlock the transcription then highlighting all the text, copy, paste special, text into your spreadsheet. Move to page 2 and repeat etc. Just remember when you move to the next page to move the right hand scroll bar on the text to the top before copying so you get every record.

I've had a couple of brick walls I've been struggling with and an hour getting these census returns to excel has immediately helped me unlock them. It really is worthwhile.

If anybody needs and help with it, just give me a shout. Or, if you don't have an ancestry sub and need a specific census converting then let me know and (time permitting) I can do it for you.

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