Friday, 27 January 2012

Extracting Marriage Data Made Easy

I have received a number of requests for details on how I use Outwit Hub to make data copy and pasting easier.  I will explain here how I used this Firefox Add-on to simplify the extraction of marriage information from Find My Past.  The image below is what can be expected once the data is exported to Excel.  The data collected here is being used for the One Name Study of my TIMMINS surname.  The data would normally have taken a few hours to copy and paste into my Excel spreadsheet, but by using Outwit Hub it took less than 15 minutes.


The extraction method is not perfect, you will need to delete some unnecessary columns and tidy things up a bit when you get it into Excel.  I collected these 724 Worcestershire Timmins marriages in about 15 minutes.

The instructions below look daunting but they are fairly straight forward, definitely worth the effort when you see the result.

I would urge you to do the Outwit Hub tutorials, they really are good.

First you will need to download the scraper file Marriages from FMP.xml

How to use:
  • Import the xml file into scrapers, make sure it is the only active scraper, Source type: Original.
  • Go to scraped : ensure Clean Text and Catch Selection are the only options ticked.
  • Make sure you are signed in to FMP as it has a tendency to keep signing you out.
  • Call up your search in FMP, the first 50 matches to your query should appear.  DO NOT execute scraper.
  • Go to tables: in the filter area - select row if “column 8” “equals to” (type in) “view”, make sure your cursor is flashing after the w in “view”
  • I have noticed that the selection sometimes does not highlight, if this happens clicking again in the field (after the w in view) should fix this.
  • Right click on the multiple selection
  • Select Auto Explore Selected Link
  • Select Fast Scrape (Include Selected Data)
  • Select Automatically Select Scraper
  • You now should have the first 50, check in scraped window
  • Go back to tables
  • Click the first blue button from the left – (load next page in series), wait until the page is loaded (animated circles should have stopped)
  • Again make sure that the cursor is positioned after the w in view
  • Right click on selection
  • ................ and so on until you have all the data.
  • Go to scraped, now Export in your preferred format.
  • Note that there is no need to use any Catch button in this process.

I’m sure this process could be further enhanced by using Outwit's Macro’s, but I haven’t got that far in my learning curve just yet.


My original blog post on using Outwit Hub can be found here.

Note of Caution - Always check a service providers Terms and Conditions before extracting data.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Timmins One Name Study

Today I launched a new Blog to support the One Name Study (ONS) of my TIMMINS surname.
This is just a short post inviting friends and followers to click the link and see the new blog and perhaps follow me in yet another Ancestral journey!  Timmins - A One Name Study

Ancestral Wormhole will still be the main outlet for my Family History blogging but anything related to the TIMMINS ONS will be over in the new blog.

Happy New Year



Guild Of One Name Studies - Member #5946