Sunday, October 21, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 13

It's Sunday again and that means indexing time. I spent my sabbath indexing time hiding away in my computer room, door closed with a space heater blaring. I was probably the only one in the house comfortable on this crisp, snowy autumn day. You see we just discovered this pass week that our furnace is not working and we need a new one. It won't be until Tuesday before the new one is put in. In the mean time I am freezing. Ok, it's only been really cold in here since after church but I just don't like being cold.

When I prepared to download the FamilySearch Indexing project that I wanted (Vermont 1900 U.S. Federal Census) I was disappointed to find it was completed. Now I don't know if that means they finished the whole project today or if it is just finished with the images loaded. Either way I had to pick something else. So naturally I chose the 1850 Vermont U.S. Federal Census.

At first I was kind of in a panic the handwriting was so weird to me. Every once in a while there was a real stumper for a name that even the "Handwriting Helps" for the project couldn't match. I just had to put "Unknown" in the field. Thank goodness I had seen some of that weird handwriting before so I knew "Maps or Mafs" was really Massachusetts. It did make me wonder how many people new to indexing would stick with it when the handwriting can be so difficult.

On one hand - some letters were difficult to figure out, on the other hand they were beautiful to look at. Very graceful and flowing, nice penmanship. Overall since there were less fields to enter per person a sheet full of names did go by very quickly. Except I did have one problem I would randomly leave out the "y or m" after the age because that was a new concept for me. It was time consumming to have to re-check but it was better to be safe than sorry. I only did 2 batches or 84 names today. My grand total of indexed names to date is 1,258.

I did have a few items to relate to you about FamilySearch Indexing. One comes from a reader:
Hi Renee,

You and your readers may benefit from a table of keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys, if you'd like) for Windoze XP.

You'll find them on my web site, under Utilities.

Feel free!

Happy Dae.
Hot-keys are very popular for me right now. I have been such a mouse addict that I didn't understand what I was missing not using these short-cuts. I grew up with DOS and was very happy to move into a windows environment when it became available. I guess there is just something to be said about using some old formats.

The other item is a press release from FamilySearch. I wrote about their need for bi-lingual Spanish/English indexers in my article "Do You Read Spanish". Just this pass week FamilySearch sent me another press release on the same article. I can only think that they are desperate for the assistance. They are looking for 10,000 Spanish reading indexers. So do me a favor and pass that info along because their is a great need.

I also learned that the Utah South Area Family History Training Center is going to hold a class to teach indexers how to read enough Spanish so they can assist in this project. If you live in the Provo, UT area give them a call at 801-356-9114 and they can tell you more about the class.

The last item on my list to mention was a new mailing list that has been created to help people with their indexing questions. This is a Yahoo Group called "FSIndexing". You can visit the site at and join there. If you don't want a lot of emails just pick the digest format. There has been some good discussion on there already. It is a nice friendly environment for newbies to FamilySearch Indexing to ask their questions. Like people say the only stupid question is the one you don't ask! Give it a try.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

No comments: