Sunday, 2 September 2012

FamilySearch Indexing

Last weekend, I attended the One World, One Family conference. This year's conference was in Kitchener. These conferences are well organized, well attended and offer great value for the money ($20 for a full day of workshops and a boxed lunch!)

I have read a lot about the FamilySearch indexing and wanted to know more about it. FamilySearch volunteers indexed the entire 1940 US census and have it freely available on their website at

I went to the workshop that was offered on indexing. This was not the best part of the day. The workshop was chaotic to say the least and really more of a Q&A, except that the questions were from people unfamiliar with indexing who were too impatient to wait for the presentation.

Undaunted, I came home and went to the website and watched the indexing video. It was really very well done, in spite of what was said about it at the workshop, and was also quite detailed. The video was everything that the workshop wasn't. So, I decided to "give it a try"

The indexing is remarkably easy. All of the items are graded and the beginner levels are all given a 1. These are the best ones to start with. The other plus of the interface is that if you download a batch you really wish you hadn't - you can simply send it back for someone else to tackle. No fuss, no stress, no obligation. 

The records are generally downloaded in batches of 25 at a time and take less than half a hour to index. It doesn't take a full time commitment and really can be something you do just a couple of hours (or less) each week. And it works on your schedule.

One of the other great things is that indexing can be counted as required community hours for students who need 40 hours of volunteer time to graduate from high school. This is also a great way to get the next generation involved in family history and genealogy.

Here's the link:

You need to download software, but that only takes a minute and will make your next attempt that much faster.

Give it a try. If you like it, awesome. If not, no worries, just send the batch back and carry on with your other family history initiatives.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so glad you still decided to give indexing a try. It really is an easy way to help the whole genealogy community. Thanks for spreading the word! -KG