Indexing Socials?

IndexingOnce a month, the Laguna Niguel FHC hosts an indexing social which is just what says it is–a chance for people to get together to index genealogy records.

I know what you’re thinking. Sounds exciting, right?

Well, actually, if you’re the kind of person who can give patient attention to detail, who enjoys a good puzzle, and who likes the satisfaction of accomplishing something that’s really worthwhile, then you might enjoy the challenge!

In a nutshell, FamilySearch is digitizing microfilmed records from around the world at an astonishing rate–important things like church registers and probate documents and naturalization papers–and making them accessible for free online. If you’re not familiar with what they’ve done so far, take a look at this list of published record collections.

It’s great to be able to browse through original records online, but it’s even better when you can just type in the name of your ancestor and have the record appear in the search results. In some cases, research that use to take hours can now be done in a matter of minutes. Indexing makes that possible.

Volunteers look at small batches of records and extract useful information, usually names, dates, and places, by typing it an online template. A small effort by lots of people adds up to something great. In 2015, 89,000 contributors indexed 19,315,100 records. Indexing is something that you can work on from your home computer, in short periods of time, whenever the mood strikes.

Check out FamilySearch’s indexing overview, if you want to learn more.

Our indexing socials give you a chance to try indexing first-hand. If you’re new, we’ll walk you through the process and then give you a chance to try it on your own. And that’s where the fun begins. Every record batch you work on will tell a story.

You might be typing the names of infants that were born to Polish families in Chicago in the early 1900s. Or you might be working down a list of names on a Boston passenger list. Or, if you’ve got the language skills, you could even be working on a project like this: España, Granada, Ciudad de Granada, Registro Civil, 1837–1870. Check out the current list of indexing projects.

The nice thing is you never have to worry about finishing a batch. If, for some reason you can’t, your  saved work will just be sent to someone who can continue. And, you even though you should be very careful, you don’t have to worry about making mistakes. Every batch is indexed by two people and if extracted information doesn’t agree, a third person gets to make the call.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably thinking you’d like to give indexing a try. So, join us for the next indexing social and we’ll help you get started!