In February of 2014 I wrote several posts all about indexing. I even issued an indexing challenge.
Indexing is a vital part of the amazing increase in accessible genealogical records. We ALL benefit from indexers.
I have always had a soft spot in my heart for indexers and their service. But that soft spot grew to bursting this past November when I read an article about a man who had made it his goal to index 1 million records before he died.
Yep, you read that correctly, ONE MILLION records.
He didn’t quite make it.
His name was Jerry. Jerry indexed 952,891 records before his death on 6 November 2016.
Jerry’s family members are planning to index the remaining 47,109 records in his memory.
After reading that, my indexer-loving-genealogy-obsessed heart just couldn’t take the amazingness of Jerry’s service without rededicating itself to more indexing. I didn’t start out with any particular goal in mind, I just decided to index when it worked.
I am guessing that anyone who was conscious at the time, will remember the American turmoil that was going on the 6th of November 2016 and that still continues. Because of all of that, I was watching the news A LOT more than usual, and still do. Do you know what you can easily do while watching the news? Index.
In November and December I indexed about 3,500 records.
When I looked at my stats recently I decided to set a goal for 2017 to index 6,000 records. I know it’s a far cry from a million, but it’s SO MANY MORE RECORDS than I usually index.
As a genealogist who relies on indexers, I express my deepest thanks to Jerry. Thanks for his service and for his example and how it has inspired me.
Thank you Jerry!
Do you index? If you want to join the party you can index for many different organizations. Find one you like and pitch in. Every little bit helps.
You can read more about Jerry here.
12 thoughts on “Jerry, the Super-hero Indexer”
That is amazing! And good for you as well! I have done some indexing, but not in a long while. I really should get back to it—-just need to find the time. Thanks for pricking my conscience and for your own good work!
You are welcome and thank you!
Wow! That really is impressive, and makes me a little shame-faced that while i keep “meaning to” start indexing, I haven’t yet.
No need to feel shame! You do great things too. But maybe now is a good time to just try one batch. 🙂
How do I go about doing that?
Hi Su! Great question. There are so many indexing projects. I like indexing for FamilySearch because their records are free for everyone. They have a main indexing page found here: https://familysearch.org/indexing/
You can “test drive” a simple example, you aren’t really indexing a record, just a sample that takes about 30 seconds.
The “get started” icon shows you the steps to get set up as a FS indexer. You need a FamilySearch account (just a free login, you don’t need to be LDS but you will see that LDS members can just use their existing LDS account info), JAVA, and the FS indexing software. It is free and takes very little space on your hardrive. The instructions are fairly straightforward.
After you download the indexing program it usually suggests a basic record for you to do first. From there you just select a batch from those available that interests you and index it.
One of the things I love is that it is super low pressure. If you download a batch and don’t finish, it will expire in 7 days and FS will just take it back from you. Your work will still be saved and the next indexer to download the batch will just start where you left off.
Ancestry also has an indexing program but I haven’t helped with that in a really long time so I can’t remember any of the beginner steps.
Thanks so much. I like FamilySearch too (always appreciate that it’s free), and I have an account. I’llk let you know how I get on. 🙂
I think it is always best to put our drive into a positive action by focusing on productive outlets for our minds and hearts. It is so much better than being overcome by worry which doesn’t do anyone any good. I commend you for jumping in and getting involved with this project.
I think as you do . I’ve been very angsty for something like 9 years already. I decided not to buy another TV when the old one broke in 2008. The AM radio also broke. I didn’t replace that either. At some point it’s good to step back and clear your mind. Listening to too many of the talking heads in the media distracts a person from their own abilities to sort things out and think them through.
I love that you didn’t replace your TV or radio. That is great! I’ve gone through phases like that where I do my best to remove the outside world from my home life. It’s so peaceful. I agree, positive action is a great way to help deal with worry or stress. It helps put everything into perspective. 🙂
I want to let you know that your blog post is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at http://janasgenealogyandfamilyhistory.blogspot.com/2017/03/follow-friday-fab-finds-for-march-3-2017.html
Have a wonderful weekend!
Thank you Jana!