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First Born


Here is your assignment, should you decide to accept it (you ARE reading this, so I assume that you really want to play along – cue the Mission Impossible music!):

1)  Lorine McGinnis Schulze, in her blog post “Who Was Your First Canadian or American Born Ancestor?” asked that question.2)  Let’s broaden it a bit to “Who was your first ancestor born in your chosen county, state, province, or country?” based on your known ancestry.

To tackle this task, I elected to put my computer to work to pull the data for me. For this task, I used my genealogy software program, RootsMagic, and Excel.

In RootsMagic, I

  • created a group of my ancestors going back 10 generations
  • created a custom report with the name, birth date and birth place
  • ran the custom report for my marked group of ancestors
  • saved the report as a text file

In Excel, I

  • opened the text file and indicated that a comma was a delimeter (to separate the columns)
  • manually inserted cells where needed to get the states to line up in one column
  • inserted a column for the year of birth
  • used a formula to pull the year from the birth date (right 4 characters)
  • sorted the data by state and year
  • copy / pasted the ancestor with the earliest birthdate for each state into a new spreadsheet
  • took a screen shot of that spreadsheet
  • inserted the screenshot into this post

2 thoughts on “First Born

  1. Wow! You totally used technology. I love that you have such a broad list of places. I went completely in the other direction, looked at a paper pedigree chart for my earliest New England born ancestor, and knew my other choices off the top of my head.

    • I started looking at my pedigree on FamilySearch — but it was hard to compare. I also wanted to limit my response to those I’ve actually got information for. Thus, pulling the data from RootsMagic seemed the easiest way to figure out the answer. (Note: until I retired, my job centered around making sure computers worked correctly and working with data and databases. Thus, the technology aspect was easy for me.

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