Thursday, 3 July 2014


I don't know about you but I have found the Famlysearch website (and before that the IGI microfiche) most useful resources for my family history research. I have used theses resources provided freely and generously by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) over many years. I have also made use of the Famlysearch Centres in both London and Salt Lake City.

When I was at Rootstech in 2012 there was a big drive by Familysearch (an initiative of the LDS) to find volunteers to index the 1940 US Census that was due to be released in April that year. I considered signing up to be an indexer but because my keyboarding skills are so woeful I did not  join.

Last week I tuned into DearMyrtle's Wacky Wednesday Hangout on Air to find that the topic was Familysearch Indexing. During the program Myrt demonstrated how to log in to Familysearch, sign up for indexing, download the indexing software, set it up, do some indexing and upload your work. It didn't look too difficult at all and there is lots of online support for indexers. After watching the demonstration I thought that I should have a go so I downloaded the software and joined up.

To date I have indexed  200 records in five batches of forty records each, although they have all been at Beginner Level some have been typed and easy to transcribe while others have been handwritten by people whose handwriting left a lot to be desired. I don't know that I'll ever progress to Intermediate Level! To ensure accuracy all  indexing is checked by an arbitrator, so far I have scored between 78% and 100% agreement from my arbitrated batches, I only made a couple of typos but I will try to be more careful. The lower percentages were from the batches of handwritten records I indexed. I am sure that as I get more used to reading tricky handwriting I will improve. I must also remember that quality is better than quantity, I will try to take my time.

With a large family that creates lots of ad hoc commitments I find it difficult to make a commitment to volunteering on a regular basis at a given place and time. Contributing to the Familysearch indexing project (as with doing text corrections for Trove) allows me to do some volunteering say thankyou in some small way to Familysearch for al the information they have given me over the years.

I am looking forward to July 20 and 21 when Familysearch is holding a Worldwide  Indexing Event for old and new indexers to break the record set in 2012 when 49,025 indexers  and arbitrators joined together to index records.

Will you be joining me at the Worldwide  Indexing Event?

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