Just in case you need another reason…

General George Washington

I’m a BIG fan of indexing.

Indexing makes the genealogy world go ’round.

But, just in case you need another reason to index, sometimes, you come across a little gem like this.  And then, you get to giggle.  Giggling is good.  Indexing is good.  Indexing this record was doubly good.

Make your own day, index!


26 thoughts on “Just in case you need another reason…”

    1. Amy, I’ll jump in here because I’m also a huge fan of indexing!

      Basically you transcribe documents. Any organization that has documents needs indexers to transcribe the information on the document so it is searchable. Ancestry has indexers. Family Search has indexers. Billion Grave has indexers. I’ve indexed for all three, and there are many more places to index.

      It’s also a way to give back to the genealogy community in general. And it’s fun, as you can see from Amberly’s above post. 🙂 I’ll leave the “how” part for Amberly to explain.

      1. Thanks! How do you get to be an indexer? I’ve just retired so I have some time I could do this, but I am not in Utah so not sure how I could help either FamilySearch or Ancestry.

        1. Hi Amy, great questions! Mary shared a lot of good information in her comment. Let me add a bit.

          You can index for FamilySearch and Ancestry from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to a computer and internet. The process of getting records online and searchable has many steps, here’s a simplified list of the steps involved.

          First the original records must be digitized. The records are then put into batches. An indexer downloads a batch. The computer program shows you an image and has fields to type the information into. The fields are preset by the organization you are indexing for. So in the above record, there would have been a field for first and middle name, another for last name and so on. As the indexer I read the record and type the information into the appropriate fields. The form within the program to enter data is similar to a simple spreadsheet. Once you have completed your batch, the system has you check anything they have flagged as a potential problem. After checking those items you submit your work.

          Some people are afraid they aren’t good at deciphering handwriting and may make mistakes. FamilySearch has every record indexed by two different people. The computer then compares their results, if there are differences, the batch is sent to an arbitrator to determine what is accurate. So no need to worry and stew about mistakes.

          Indexing is a great way to give back to the genealogy community. I have written about it many times. If you click on my ‘Tips & Tricks’ tab at the top of my blog, then scroll almost to the bottom, there is a list of the posts I have written about Indexing. There you will find some more answers and links to various indexing opportunities.

          I am partial to indexing for FamilySearch for a few reasons. One – they provide their records for free so I know that my efforts benefit a large crowd. Two – their system is user friendly. Three – they offer great training helps. I have also indexed for others and felt like my previous indexing for FamilySearch helped prepare me for indexing on projects whose instructions were less clear. It’s a great place for a beginning indexer. I hope that answers your questions! Please feel free to ask more if you have them. 🙂

          1. Thanks—that is very helpful! I will definitely look into doing this, and I agree that FamilySearch is a deserving place to offer some help. Since they do not charge for access and since they offer records for free, I feel very indebted to them.

            So just one more question: who do you contact to volunteer to do this?

            Thanks! I always wondered how all those records got indexed. 🙂

            1. You don’t have to contact anyone. Follow this link:
              Do the test drive, it’s really fast and helps train you. By fast, I mean about 2 minutes. Then click on get started and it will prompt you to download their indexing program to your computer. And then you can download a batch and get started. They have other training videos and helps if you need them on this page. Good luck! Let me know if you have any other questions.

                1. Just did my first batch! I have a whole new respect for the indexers. I had one first name that was a pure guess on my part! Very interesting and very sad. Lots of children. People died of worms? Live and learn!

                  Thanks for introducing me to this!

                2. Hooray! I’m so glad you gave it a try. It does get easier the more you do it. Don’t stress about the name you had to guess on. Thank you for indexing!! Indexers make genealogy so much better.

  1. I started indexing because of one of your previous blogs…6000 records later, I’m hooked. Anyone indexing who would like almost instantaneous answers to questions should join the Facebook group Share Batch Indexing, ETC. They are a wonderful group who will answer questions, review your batch, or send you virtual chocolate if you get a bad arb score!

    1. Hello Elaine! Thank you for stopping by. I checked my email just before I went to bed last night and read your comment. It made my night and I’ve been thinking about it this morning. I’m so glad that you shared this with me. I feel honored that you would attribute your AMAZING indexing efforts to something that I posted. Thank you! And mostly, THANK YOU for indexing!! It really does make the genealogy world so much better.

  2. You are welcome! I feel like my efforts will help someone else and maybe just maybe, someone will index my husband’s elusive Davis ancestors. Indexing is the perfect way to volunteer when you feel you are too busy to commit to one day a week at something. Between a 95 year old mother, 3 grand kids who I love to babysit, and a recently retired husband, indexing is a perfect fit for me to give back. I can index anytime I have a few free moments!

    1. I agree completely, it is a great, low key way to volunteer. It’s 100% determined by you, the indexer, when, where and for how long you work. I hope your Davis records pop up soon! 🙂

  3. To anyone hesitant to begin indexing, why not participate in a webinar about it? It’s hosted by Legacy Family Tree, it’s free, and will be presented on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 [1:00 pm EST].

    The webinar is called Welcome to FamilySearch Indexing!
    Indexes created at your fingertips! Be part of an international initiative to index the world’s largest collection of genealogical records. This class will give you indexing background and basics to help you understand where to begin, how to help, and what we can achieve.

    It is presented by Devin Ashby from Family Search. You can read more about it here:

    Check it out!!

  4. Do you happen to know if indexers are allowed to index records that were written in other languages? I became a bit suspicious when I read the originals of some German church records indexed by familysearch. Some of the “translations” really made me laugh. As far as I know, familysearch doesn’t offer German documents to Germans, so I wonder how they do it.

    1. Anyone can index. Indexers index in whatever language they choose. FamilySearch recommends that you index only in your native language or a language that you speak fluently and are familiar with the history and culture or the place. But, volunteers do as they please. 🙂

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