Bill's Genealogy Blog

Bill Buchanan is a long-time genealogy enthusiast, living in Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada. This blog will describe my experiences as I research my family history and help others.

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Location: Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada

I am a retired online school teacher. I love family history. Since 2007, I have spent much of my time providing part-time support for the world's largest free family history site This is very rewarding. I have helped others with the Family Tree and related FamilySearch products.
In 2010-2018 Iserved in the Edmonton Riverbend Family History Centre. I have a FHC blog at Bill's Family History Center Blog For information the Latter-day Saints and family history click

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Irish Census Meets Microsoft Excel

My Buchanan family left Ireland in 1847, so what interest could I possibly have in census records from 1901 and 1911? We have found a perfect 67-marker Y-DNA match between our family and the Buchanan family of Kirlish, Drumquin, Tyrone. This family and various other Buchanan families from the area are in these censuses. How do we sort them out?

Firstly I searched the 1901 and 1911 census for all people with surnames starting with Buchan, to include Buchanan, Buchannan, Buchanon, and other variations. But our family name is always spelled "Buchanan"! Not really, it was spelled however the clerk decided to spell it on that particular day! So I am trying to cover the bases. 

Then I copied and pasted the search results into an Excel spreadsheet for that particular census.

Then I sorted the records by decreasing age (I want the parents listed first, then the children).
Then I sorted by townland to separate the families.
I now have all of the Buchanans living in Tyrone in 1901 listed by families, and the same for 1911.

Now I need the help of local people (probably interviewed by Darlene and Virginia) to tell which families are related to each other and what the connections are. I hope David can get us started with this.

It is a way to maximize the benefits of a genetic match in terms of real people.


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