Import Genealogy Information in 2 Columns in Excel

By DD / October 23, 2016
Genealogy Excel
import genealogy information in 2 columns

Genealogy Excel

I have found that many people looking for their family do not have intermediate Excel skills. To be able to sort leads it is often helpful to be able to sort information into 2 separate columns or multiple columns. At her blog, Mary Kircher Roddy, author Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them. In the following article she gives very good instructions and screen shots about how to separate information in to multiple columns. If you run across records where the first and last name are both on the same line, you will want to know how to do this. In “Spreadsheet Magic Importing To Excel and Avoiding the All In One Column Syndrome”, she breaks it down into easy to follow steps. She uses the website for her example. The data comes down in one column (see below).  She walks you through separating the data with great screenshots.  I like the way she breaks up the instructions into very small pieces with a shot of each step and the way it will look at that step.

From the article “It’s great to be able to do a search in a database and input the results into a spreadsheet for further analysis. Once you have the data in your spreadsheet you can sort and filter it to your heart’s content to crack it open and find the patterns that will help you breakdown your brick walls.

Import Genealogy Information in 2 Columns in Excel – Important Trick To Learn

Some websites such as FamilySearch will allow you to directly export from the website into a spreadsheet. I have written about this on my blog at With other websites, such as, you can use the “Get External Data from Web” feature on the data ribbon to import the data into Excel. I’ve explained how to do this on my blog at”.

If you are already fairly good at Excel you can probably skip down to Step 5 where the formula is given for separating the columns. Read the original article if you want to go from:











And change it to this:

There are videos online at Legacy Family Tree that will show you how to do this trick and others if you are a member. Videos are free for members. You can also learn new Excel tricks at Microsoft Support website at but they will not be explained as well as on this blog and this blog is focused on genealogy so the examples are more helpful to someone looking for family and getting downloads with names and records information.

About the author


I found my birth family after 40 years of looking for them. I used DNA tests, software to sort DNA match results, family trees, contacting DNA matches and several website tools. We want to provide you a "one stop shop" with all your resources to help YOU find YOUR family.

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