Genealogists have a need to record information from many different sources and we use a variety of forms to do it. Too often, we don't record all the data we should just because we don't have the right form on hand or it is too inconvenient to use it. Gary Minder has put a lot of time and effort into creating some very useful spreadsheets that make it far easier to record census records, passenger lists, cemetery data, family group sheets and much more. Mr. Minder has made all those tools available to other researchers for free. The spreadsheets can all be opened with Microsoft Excel or compatible programs. I have tried Open Office and Google Docs and both of those work well. Many of the tools are also available as PDF files.
Navigate to the Census Tools website at the first link in the resources section below. On that page you will find an explanation of the various forms available for download. You can also use the top menu to view screenshots of the spreadsheets, read the FAQ, learn about software compatibility, access the newsletter archive and more.
Choose the spreadsheets you want to download by clicking "Downloads" in the top menu to get to the download page. Once there you will have a choice of downloading individual spreadsheets or collections of related tools. Enter you name and email address in the appropriate section then use the pull downs to choose and download each item you want.
Save the downloaded files to a directory on your computer. The files are self-extracting achieves so run each one to extract the spreadsheets (or PDF files) to a convenient location.
Open the file appropriate to the genealogy documents you are researching and fill in the data as you retrieve it. Make sure you save your completed spreadsheets with names that will make it easy for you to identify them later. You will find it quick and easy to record the proper data.
- The spreadsheets on the Census Tools website are all free but, if you find them a useful addition to your research toolbox, consider making a small donation to support Mr. Minder's great work.
- Since so many of the genealogy records we use are available on Ancestry.com, Gary Minder has also put together a very handy guide to most of the resources available there. It is linked to in the resources section below.
- If your genealogy software allows it, add the completed document to your database to make it easy to retrieve for reference or corrections.