Wednesday 19 June 2024

Smart tables for your family history

Think of a spreadsheet as a smart table for sorting and organising your accumulated data. Whether you're using Google Sheets, OpenOffice Calc, Microsoft Excel, Apple Numbers, or other programs, use the power of digital tables to manipulate your family history data.

10 uses

  1. Track certificates bought and/or ordered
  2. Timelines - for individuals and/or families
  3. Census data across the years
  4. Tracking DNA data matches / DNA contact list
  5. Land records
  6. Research plans
  7. Records downloaded from a particular dataset 
  8. An index of photos digitised
  9. Progress sheet of biographies/ blogposts/ reports written 
  10. Checklist of resources for a particular area/country

This is a compilation list, some of the best explanations of how and why to use a spreadsheet program for your family history data. 

This post first appeared on

Saturday 26 August 2023

One option for printing DNA matches

DNA matches - Print to PDF

Keeping track of notes added, most common recent ancestors and other useful information added to one's DNA matches across a variety of sites can cause the odd frustration.

Ancestry has no easy solution for printing a list of chosen matches such as those to whom one has added notes. For example, when choosing the matches where notes have been added, the printout from a computer will show the matches but not the notes added.

Why a printed list you ask?  A list printed to PDF that can be stored on one's own computer provides an essential backup. 

I have some siblings who have tested with Ancestry and while they have no desire to log in to look at the matches, they are interested in who the cousins are and how we are related. This provides a means for me to share that information with them via a PDF. 

Here's a method to generate such a list using an iPad. 

Log in to Ancestry via a browser not a mobile app. This method works with both Chrome and Safari.
Choose DNA matches - Notes
Choose to Print

Once the resulting file shows up in the side panel, pinch out on one of those pages in the side panel to convert it to PDF.

Now use the Share menu to choose where you want to save the file.

Now you have the list with all notes attached.

Unfortunately this method is less successful with MyHeritage, as notes do not display unless one selects an individual match. However when DNA matches are sorted by label e.g. a Most Common Recent Ancestor Couple (MCRAC) a list can be generated to print. 

At the bottom of the My Heritage matches page, set Results per page to 50. 
This should ensure that you catch the DNA matches that you have identified for any couple.
Now choose Filter by Label to generate the desired list.
Choose to Print as above.
Pinch out to generate the PDF.
Use the Share menu again to choose where to save the file.

By the way, this method works with any web page. If you have Shortcuts enabled on more recent iPads there is a shortcut for Print to PDF.
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Saturday 27 May 2023

Charming buildings in North Queensland

During the past two weeks, we enjoyed a driving vacation up north. We were once again delighted by the breathtaking views along the coast and through mountainous regions. There were many fascinating places to explore. Additionally, we were captivated by the old hotels in Queensland that were constructed many years ago. I captured some of these on my phone.

These hotels used to accommodate a wide range of people. They were once a home away from home for travelling salesmen. They catered to prospectors who were on their way to the prosperous mineral fields of central Queensland, and individuals who visited towns with the intention of spending their hard-earned money.

Some of these hotels have been lovingly preserved, with the ornamental iron railings restored and painted. Others have endured the effects of time and weather. As mining booms came and went, populations dwindled, and storms wreaked havoc, some hotels suffered the consequences.

Here's a selection from some towns of North Queensland.

Royal Private Hotel, Charters Towers
built by Ben Toll in 1888 for former miner William Romberg

Commercial Hotel, Clermont
This building was moved to its present location after a flood in 1916

Molly Malone’s, Townsville (est. 1863)
originally Tattersalls Hotel

Yungaburra Hotel, Yungaburra 
2nd largest timber hotel in the southern hemisphere opened in 1910

Exchange Hotel, Mossman
built for Irish publicans Dennis and Teresa O’Brien in 1896

Crown Hotel, Innisfail

Malpass Hotel, Home Hill
Opened October 1924, named after its owner Joseph Malpass

Grand View Hotel, Bowen (est. 1864)

The queen of them all in Rockhampton
Heritage Hotel, Rockhampton (originally Commercial Hotel)
Built 1898 - History

And a last one along the highway that amused us. Yes, that is a crocodile lurking above the entrance but thankfully not a live one!
Koumala Hotel, Koumala
1939 - Koumala: Where's that?

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