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The Library


I have a gift for you tonight. One of the projects I've been focused on is to compile a sortable reference list of names of people associated with the colonists and the native people of the area where they may have assimilated in NC. There are numerous documents available which have buried data in them. I have several and I know other people do too. However, the item in question is never available and findable it seems when someone asks about it.

In the past people have asked about the source of the list of people of interest. In many cases, they are of interest because they are known to be
native and known to be where the colonists are thought to have been, assuming they survived, so these native people may well be colonists or
their descendants, which is of course why they are of interest.

We have adopted this format because it is sort able on any number of fields. In this case, in the file attached, I've sorted this by name.

We have references, links, dates, names, the text itself, and more. This is how I'd like to build our data library.

Please note that I've left an example in the spreadsheet with the intention of giving you some direction to work with. I've also listed some other words to use in "position or role". Sometimes that will be something rather unusual, like FPC for free person of color. Use your judgment. One thing that is important is to list a woman by her maiden and her married name. So a reference to Susan Jones, daughter of James Smith, would generate three entries. One for Susan Jones, one for Susan Smith, and one for James Smith. If Susan's husband is listed, then a 4th person is added to this item. That way you can find Susan no matter how she is listed.

One thing that is important is to maintain the same item number for all of the entries in an item. So if you have 5 people named in an item, you would cut and paste that item 5 times with the name being different in each line. Maintain the same item number for all 5 items.

When you've added your data, send your data to me and I'll add it to the master spreadsheet. 

If you'd like to volunteer to index historical documents, like Larry did, please let me know. Larry said he really enjoyed doing this and it was truly a labor of love.



(NOTE: These are actual documents and may upload/down load slowly. To return to this web page use your back arrow.)

1. Families of interest template - Link (excel document - save to your computer for use)

2. County Resources - Link (excel document - save to your computer for use)

3. Families of interest master index - Link (excel document - save to your computer for use; to return to the website use your back arrow on the toolbar.) 

4. Families of interest master index - PDF file. (PDF  document -Requires Adobe PDF reader which is free.  click here:

to return to the website use your back arrow on the toolbar.) 


 Genealogy Excel Spreadsheet Instructions


I am including a short Excel lesson here - this assumes that you already know how to do the basics with Excel. I in no way mean this to be offensive, so if you already know all of this, super.

How the Spreadsheet is Organized

The goal of this project was to create a reference list to be able to organize and catalog data, and to quickly see associations. To that end, I created a spreadsheet that is sortable not only by individual and by every column on the spreadsheet so that you can sort by county, or by stream, or whatever best suits your research. This is the exact same organization tool I use for my own personal genealogical research data and it has proven invaluable over the years in establishing family units and relationships between families.

I suggest that as you read this, you refer to a printed page of the spreadsheet. Print page one and follow along.

When sorting Excel spreadsheets, they don't always behave the way you think they should. You might want to make yourself a backup copy. Worst case, you can always download a new copy from the website.

As you look at the columns, you will see that there is an item #. Let's say itís a deed with 7 different names in it. There would be 7 different entrys (rows), all with the same item number, for this item. This allows a separate line
for each name mentioned in the deed, but a way through the item number to reconnect them again. 

This feature (a separate row for each person and an item number grouping a specific transaction) makes every name separately sortable, so you can sort for all occurrences of the name "Beasley" for example, to determine how often, when and were that particular name occurs. A very important clue is who was associated with your ancestor. Sort for them and see if you see any connections you didnít know about previously.

This is extremely useful for building patterns and identifying associated people. Recently, in my own personal data base, I did this sort for all of the people within 10 houses of my ancestors on the 1850 census. I found all sorts of connections, brothers, sisters, aunts and uncles, etc.

The Source column is the published or private document the data was extracted from. Book and page is from within that source, of course.

The Position or Role column means relative to this transaction, whatever it was, what did they do - were they the witness, the seller, etc.

Geographic Places refer to places named within the document itself. You can sort of this column too and it can be an eye opener, especially since land was settled on river courses and creeks, etc. I have found much of the relevant
land today using USGS topo maps. 

What not to do when sorting - DO NOT HIGHLIGHT THE ENTIRE COLUMN you want to sort!! If you do this - you will sort just the items in that column, and the rest of the spreadsheet will stay exactly the same. Yes - you heard me right - and this will destroy the spreadsheet integrity - because unless you can hit the "back" button immediately - it is a done deal. The biggest problem is that you'll accidentally highlight the entire column and it will be done for 3 or 4 sorts before you realize you have a scrambled problem. Let's hope you haven't saved yet. If you have, it's time to go and get that backup copy and name it something else (so you still have a backup copy).

To sort correctly, highlight (select with a click) only the column heading name cell. If you want to sort by name, I sort by first name, then by last name, which gives you a sorted list by first name within last name. To do that,
highlight the row 1 cell only (not the column) that has the word "first" in it.

Then go up and click on the a-z button. This sorts in alpha order a-z. Then select the cell only that says "last name", then click on the a-z button. Now the spreadsheet is sorted and you can scroll around and check things out.
Scroll down to the Estes names (beware alternate spellings) and look around.

Look at George Durant Ė the text indicates he is involved in a real estate transaction. To see all parties involved, note the item number, 10, then go back to the top, highlight (select) the cell only that says Item #, then a-z which will sort in item number order. Scroll down to see item 10 and you will see all individuals involved in this sale with George Durant.

Building the Spreadsheet

Please consider contributing your relevant data to the Lost Colony Families of Interest Spreadsheet. Please send research data in this format to me and Iíll include it in the next version. It is by collaboration that we will solve the mystery.

Roberta Estes


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