Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Family Search Indexing

Family Search Indexing is a volunteer-based indexing project to index the digital images of the 2 million rolls of microfilm stored in the Granite Mountain Records Vault near Salt Lake City, Utah. These indexed digital records are then available for free to everyone at the Family Search Pilot Site.

To index, volunteers extract details from the digital images of historical documents.

Family Search's digital image library is organized into a different worldwide projects. Here is what is being indexed now, and here is what is coming in the future.

Since everyone can volunteer to help bring these records online for free, I decided it was time for me to join the volunteers who are creating indexes to family history records. Once I saw that FamilySearch had indexed Philadelphia death indexes and was working on Philadelphia marriage records, records that will help my genealogy research, I knew it was time to help and give back to others.

Personally, I am a little disappointed that they are indexing the US census as that is already indexed by Ancestry.com (every name) and Heritage Quest (head of household) since there are many other microfilms to be done. But small quibble.

So here goes. I downloaded the tool from the Family Search Indexing site where volunteers can download a batch to index, work on the batch, and then submit the batch when completed. I then viewed the tutorials. It took about a half an hour to go over all the lessons. After going through the tutorial lessons, not only did I feel ready to start indexing my first batch, I had a very deep appreciation for all that has gone into this project to make it work.

After the tutorial, I felt ready to start my first batch. I selected "download batch" and got Indian Territory--1900 U.S. Federal Census. There are 20 records per image and specific instructions for these records. OK, so I'm not particularly interested in Indian Territory, but maybe I'll learn something.

The images I got are very clear and I can read the handwriting. I did the first record. I'm usually a pretty fast typist but since I'm double checking everything I type, it is a little slow going at first. I'm sure as I get used to it, I will get faster.

This is something I can do, enjoy doing, and feel good doing. What took me so long to get started?

More about Mormon Genealogy and the wonderful results of all the volunteers who have helped with the indexing for the new FamilySearch site.


Finn said...

By pushing the the "Download From" button instead of the "Download" button you can select the project that you want to index.

Miriam Robbins said...

Get ready for the blogalanche! You'll be getting a ton a visitors now!

Miriam Robbins said...

Apparently, I can't spell, or at least I can't proofread my own writing! That last comment should have said, "You'll be getting a ton of visitors now!"