Let’s Index!



The whole world has slowed way down.


[Except for health care workers, bless them!]


But, most of us are at home.  We are working from home, homeschooling, and just being home.  I’ve had lots of people reaching out to me asking what family history activities they can help their children participate in during this downtime.

What a great question!!

There are several answers, but today, let’s talk about indexing.

What is indexing?

Indexing is the process of making records searchable.  Indexers look at record images, read information from the record and type that information into the indexing program.  That record then becomes searchable.  Indexing feeds all of our family history discoveries.

Right now, FamilySearch is flooding the indexing portion of their website with batches.  That means we can all help out!  There are plenty of projects.

This video is an overview of where to go to learn about indexing, and a few resources you can use to teach your children and youth about indexing.




These videos are great starting places to learn what indexing is and why it matters:






What do you need in order to index?


A free FamilySearch account and a computer or iPad.


Access FamilySearch indexing here.

(iPad minis are hard to use for regular indexing, but phones and iPad minis work GREAT for record linking — learn more about that here,


Don’t be afraid of making mistakes!  Just do your best.  You will learn so much about record types, reading old handwriting, and so much more.  Indexing helps make family history so much better for everyone!

As a beginning indexer, it is a great idea to read all of the project instructions and then index several batches from the same project.  Once you feel comfortable and want to try something else, switch to a different project.


Moms — bless you!  I know you are trying to keep your children and youth busy.  I’m right there with you!  Maybe have an index-a-thon as a family or extended family.  Make it fun.  Have rewards or prizes of some kind.  If your children love competition, make it a competition.  If they need something calmer, set a family goal and track everyone’s batches so it’s a big celebration of every single person’s participation.  If you have teenagers and elementary school children, pair them up and have them index a batch together.  Let your older ones help the younger ones have simple successes.  We can all work together.

Tomorrow I will share a basic lesson regarding preserving memories using FamilySearch and the FamilySearch app.



Now, let’s all index!!



9 thoughts on “Let’s Index!”

  1. Are your kids doing this?

    And let’s not forget the delivery people, the people working at grocery and drug stories, and all the others whose businesses are considered essential—banks, gas stations, post offices, veterinarians, etc. So many people risking their lives so that we can continue with ours. Sigh.

    1. My little one has helped me index. He is remarkably good at reading cursive handwriting for an 8yo. He reads those, I type, then he types the numbers. My big boys, well, I haven’t even brought indexing up to them! They are very busy with schoolwork right now. Ryan is preparing for finals and Carter just finished catching up on his college math class from his post-surgery down time.

      YES! All of those essential jobs are so important. I feel sick everytime I read reports of low wage, essential workers falling ill and passing away. I wish I could avoid the store to reduce the load. I am, as much as possible, but feeding growing boys requires much food so some grocery trips. Sigh.

      1. It must be a challenge trying to stay safe and feed and entertain three boys. We are having challenges with just the two of us! Stay safe, my friend.

  2. Thanks for posting this, Amberly. I am going to set aside some time to try this for the first time! Just this past month I found records that were just indexed in mid-Feb! I was so excited and grateful that they were now searchable. I have been looking for a way to contribute to the genealogy cause and this is right up my alley. Thanks again and stay safe and healthy!

    1. You are welcome, Grace!! Yes, indexing is a great way to give back and a great way to help more records become available for your areas of interest. Good luck! I hope you and yours are all well and healthy. xoxo

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