, indexing

My thoughts – FamilySearch Indexing Day

WorldwideIndexingBadge_EnglishDid you participate in the Worldwide Indexing Event hosted by FamilySearch?

My teenagers and I did.  I was honestly surprised that they were willing to join in.  This is not something they have an interest in.  They know what indexing is.  They have participated in helping index a batch or two on Family Night, but that’s it.

So why were they willing?

Well, FamilySearch did such a good job pushing this event.  It was announced repeatedly at our church.  The day the event began there was an especially detailed announcement at church.  Something about being challenged to participate by someone other than mom or dad softened them up.

After church the boys said they were willing to give it a try.  I went in before the event began and downloaded ten batches for each of the three of us so we could work offline if the system had trouble with volume.  Thank goodness I did!  The first several hours were rough on the system.  But we got work done anyway.  For a few hours we rotated turns on the computer and each of us indexed several batches.

I discovered something.

My 13 year old is a natural!  That kid was able to read almost everything on every record.  He would call me over occasionally to look at a name or a place.  Most of the time he already had a guess that was correct.  There were only a few names I had to spell for him.  I was very impressed.  Now if only I could figure out how to get him hooked on some form of genealogy.  🙂

The final numbers for the event are impressive.  5.7 million records were processed during 24 hours by 66,511 participants.  Amazing!  You can read more about the final numbers here.

What a fabulously successful event.


The number of records on FamilySearch is growing much more quickly than they are being indexed.  The FamilySearch blog recently had a post detailing some of the changes in the new indexing program that will launch soon.  This paragraph is eye-opening:

“FamilySearch recently reached a significant milestone: one billion images of historical documents are now viewable on That’s one billion pictures of documents. Of those images, how many would you say are indexed and searchable by name? All of them? Half of them? Would you believe less than 22 percent?”

The article goes on to explain ways the new system will streamline things to allow for indexing and arbitration to be accomplished more quickly.  You can read more about that here and here.

One billion images?! 


But only 22% are indexed?

We have work to do my friends!  Some good indexing work is in order.

And FamilySearch?  How about making that Worldwide Indexing Event a regular thing?  Like maybe quarterly, or even better – monthly.

Because it seems that – If you plan it, they will come.  All 66,511 of them.

4 thoughts on “My thoughts – FamilySearch Indexing Day”

  1. It’s wonderful that these items are getting indexed–and it’s awesome how volunteers are working virtually to make it happen.

    1. I agree Sheryl. I love spending time with microfilm and doing some serious hunting but, the more I can do from home the better and faster I can be. I love indexers. They are true genealogy superheroes.

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