Volunteer Indexing on FamilySearch–Get Hooked!

It’s fun, it’s fascinating and it’s almost addictive: I’ve been working on census name indexing with the software from FamilySearch Indexing. I thought it would be something of a chore, and instead found myself loving the data, and wondering about the stories behind them.

For example, in one family, we have Mama and Papa and kids, plus an older lady. The next family has the same last name as the older lady. From the ages, you guess that Mama from the first family is sister to the Papa in the next family, and Grandmama lives with sister, next door to brother. Of course, it would take some research into birth records, marriage records and perhaps even land records to prove that conjecture, but I bet there’s a story there.

Another family has four stair-step girls, a gap of about 5 years, and then a one-year-old boy. Bet there’s the basis of a good novel there!

The process works like this: Each page is indexed by two volunteers, then an arbiter compares the two works, makes corrections, then the final result is uploaded. This volunteer effort is helping to build automated indexes to records from around the world, including census records, church registers, and vital records. The indexes are then put on FamilySearch.org, so that people around the world can access them.  I started out thinking I would do one page a day (40 names) and found I could  not quit with just one. I did five pages my first day. If you volunteered to download the software, and did five pages one day, that’s 240 new names between us. If 200 of us do it, that’s 24,000 new indexed names.

You can choose from these projecrts:

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects

 

Project

Language

1

Alabama – 1920 US Federal Census

English

2

Argentina Censo 1869 – Buenos Aires

Spanish

3

Brandenburg Kirchenbücher, 1789-1875

German

4

California – 1920 US Federal Census

English

5

España Lugo Registros Parroquiales,  1530-1930

Spanish

6

Florida 1945 Census

English

7

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche, 1792-1906

French

8

Guanajuato Censo de Mexico de 1930

Spanish

9

Guerrero – Censo de Mexico de 1930

Spanish

10

Illinois – 1920 US Federal Census

English

12

Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates

English

13

Massachusetts – 1920 US Federal Census

English

14

Minnesota – 1870 US Federal Census

English

15

Morelos – Censo de Mexico de 1930

Spanish

16

New York – 1870 US Federal Census

English

17

Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records, 1879 – present

Spanish

18

North Carolina – 1870 US Federal Census

English

19

Pennsylvania – 1870 US Federal Census

English

20

Quintana Roo – Censo de Mexico de 1930

Spanish

21

Trento Italy Baptism Records, 1784-1924

Italian

22

UK – Cheshire – Poor Law, 1848 -1967

English

23

Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales, 1654 – 1992

Spanish

 
Before beginning to index, you should read the online instructions at: www.familysearchindexing.org. It only takes a few minutes, and  includes:

  1. Training tutorials. These will help you understand how to use FamilySearch Indexing.
  2. Specific instructions for each project. On this page, you can read about current projects we are indexing. Select a project from the list, and click the underlined text.
  3. Ask a Question. Ask questions relating to the software application or specific indexing projects.
  4. FAQs. These are answers to frequently asked indexing questions.

Give it a try. I’ll bet you like it!

About Libbi

Writer for 30 years. Genealogy a hobby for about 40 years. Yes, I'm in my 50's, I learned about genealogy at my mother's knee!
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