Do you or your local genealogy society want to extract hundreds, perhaps thousands, of census records? Any experienced computer user who attempts to extract census records quickly realizes that the records are a natural for a spreadsheet application, such as Excel. You can create titles for each column and then starting typing in the rows of data.
Creating a spreadsheet with titles is not difficult. However, different people will use different column names and data layouts. If two or more people are involved in the project or if there is a need to merge data with other researchers, problems quickly arise. The best method is to standardize the layouts before extracting any data. One person can create a master copy and then share that with others. Even better, if the person who creates the spreadsheets is an Excel expert, he or she can add extra functionality to the spreadsheets so that all can benefit.
Gary Minder has now done exactly what I described: he is an Excel expert who created spreadsheet layouts for census records and is offering them to others free of charge. Quoting from Gary's web site:
After years of frustration over disorganized census records on paper, I decided to create a simple and easy to use electronic spreadsheet to record, archive, permanently organize and preserve my hard earned data. No more lost paper! No more digging through files to find the record I need!
I now have 39 spreadsheets available covering the U.S., Canada, England, Ireland and Scotland! Among my U.S. collection are spreadsheets for all federal records as well as the states of Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Wisconsin.
The U.S. Federal Census spreadsheet has separate pages for each census year from 1790-1930, including the 1880-1920 Soundex. Each page is formatted to faithfully match the actual census for each year. It's a great way to finally organize your census records of an entire family for up to 140 years!
I created the Census Tracker to supplement the Federal Census spreadsheet. It allows a researcher to document all available census data for an individual on a single worksheet! At a glance and in a very professional appearing report, you can trace the important aspects of your ancestors' lives. Your pile of census data, difficult to analyze and evaluate when buried in drawers and paper files, comes alive when properly organized!
The U.S. Census Checklist simplifies the tedious job of keeping track of the location of photocopies, as well as image and spreadsheet files.
My newest creation is the U.S. Special Schedules spreadsheet which features worksheets for the 1850-1860 Slave Schedules, 1850-1880 Mortality Schedules, 1883 List of Pensioners, the 1890 Surviving Veterans and Widows Schedule and Dawes Roll.
My growing state census spreadsheet collection includes Iowa 1836-1925, Kansas 1865-1925, Massachusetts 1855-1865, Minnesota 1849-1895, New Jersey 1855-1915, New York 1825-1925, Rhode Island 1865-1935 and Wisconsin 1836-1905. And more are on the way!
The Canadian 1851-1901, English 1841-1901, Irish 1821-1911 and Scottish 1841-1891 census spreadsheets are similar to the U.S. Federal in design and cover the available census years in each country. I have also designed Census Tracker and Checklist spreadsheets for each country!
I used Microsoft Excel 97 to create my spreadsheets and they should be compatible with most any recent full-featured spreadsheet program out there. Check the compatibility page for the latest info on whether your spreadsheet program will properly open my files.
Note that Gary's spreadsheet templates are available free of charge. However, he does accept donations to help pay for the Web site hosting expenses. Such donations are strictly voluntary.
You can download Gary Minder's spreadsheets at http://www.censustools.com