Thursday, March 24, 2016

Birthplace Pedigree Fun

Yesterday on Facebook, my genealogy friend, J. Paul Hawthorne, posted a cool birthplace pedigree chart, using Microsoft Excel. I created one as well, and posted it on my Facebook timeline:

Click to enlarge
I created a blank pedigree chart in Excel which I uploaded to Google Docs. You can download it, edit it, create a screenshot from it, and post it to Facebook or your own blog. Here are the instructions:

1) Go to Google Docs to view the blank template.

2) Once the template is loaded, click on File, choose Download As, then choose Microsoft Excel (.xlsx).

3) Use Microsoft Excel to open the template after it is downloaded to your computer. If you don't have Excel, you can do several things:
  • You can sign into (or create and then sign into) your own Google Account, and then use Google Docs to upload the template you just downloaded.
  • You can use a free spreadsheet program, like OpenOffice's Calc. 

4) In Excel (or your spreadsheet program) use the bucket tool to fill each cell with your color choice, then edit the text.

5) Go to the View tab and uncheck Headings, Formula Bar, and Gridlines to make full use of your screen.

6) If you need to zoom out a little to capture the whole image in your screenshot, go to View, Zoom, and reduce the size (I used Custom to reduce to 80% on my laptop).

7) Hold down your FN (function) key and your PRTSC (PrintScreen) key to create a screen shot. Paste the image into Paint or any photo editing program on your computer and save as a .jpg or .png file.

8) Upload to Facebook or your blog.

9) Some ideas to use:
  • Color the cells according the the state, provincial, or national flag colors of where the person was born.
  • Make a chart to show where your ancestors died.
  • Make a chart to show the causes of death for your ancestors (good medical info!).
  • Show your ancestors' faith denominations (Methodist, Presbyterian, Catholic, etc.).
Have fun!

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NanaAncestor said...

Oh my what an interesting and informative new way to display ancestor information. Absolutely wonderful. And that you provided us with a template is awesome. Thank-you so much for sharing this.

Miriam Robbins said...

You are most welcome, NanaAncestor! Thanks for stopping by!

Double Karma said...

Here's my (well maternal grandfather's) birth place chart

Miriam Robbins said...

Very nice, Ania. Thanks for sharing!

Deb said...

Thanks Miriam. I love it

Miriam Robbins said...

You are most welcome, Deb!

Tina Telesca said...

This became a BSO as I was suppose to be working on my Heirloom inventory list. LOL But had fun making this and realized I had more people from Alabama then I expected. Thanks so much. Here's my post:

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, Tina,

Thanks so much for posting your comments. I'll go take a look at your post now.

Danine Cozzens said...

Thank you for affirming that the only way to get a chart like this out of Excel is to resort to a screenshot!

Miriam Robbins said...

You are welcome, Danine!

Unknown said...

Greetings. I like this concept. I managed to follow your instructions to the point of filing the template on my computer's Excel. I then opened the spreadsheet and tried to do your point #4 but am not familiar enough with Excel to know where the "bucket tool" button or dropdown is located. Can you tell me where it is located. Thanks much. Sam Foster

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, George,

If you have a newer version of Excel, go to the Home tab on the "ribbon" (which is the toolbar at the top of Excel). You will see a paintbucket icon in the Font section, to the middle left of the ribbon. This icon is called a "fill tool."

I'm not sure where it is located on older versions of Excel, but it is has been a fairly standard feature of Excel for quite a long time.

Best of luck!


Dana Leeds said...

Love this! And, thanks for the step by step instructions... which I badly needed! :)

Miriam Robbins said...

You're welcome, Dana! Thanks for stopping by!

Unknown said...

Nice Miriam! The instructions were easy, I have followed them in Excel and tagged/coloured the elements for easy identification. I will use this to post about my ancestors and hopefully they will be featured on I think I found my favourite blog of this month :)

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you!

Vera Marie said...

Thanks so much for the template. Although I'm a little late, I wanted to add, that I have Windows 10 on a Dell laptop, and I found I had to press the Windows key (the one with four rectangles like window panes) at the same time as function and prt scrn buttons to get it to "take." I found the easiest way to save was to let One Drive save all screen shots. Since it is a png shot and most programs (including wordpress) need jpg, there was another step involved to make that switch, too.

Since my first five generations back don't really show the most interesting migrations of my ancestors, I'm looking forward to finding time to taking each of my great-grandparents and tracing back their family's moves to get earlier generations.

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, Vera Marie,

Interesting about your way to get your computer to "take." I, too, have Windows 10 on a Toshiba, and have had no issues with downloading it. It might have a lot to do with your downloading settings. Or not. Who knows? :-)

Glad you liked the template!


Unknown said...

I really like this. Thank you, Miriam.

Miriam Robbins said...

You're welcome, Barbara! Thanks for dropping by!