Sunday, October 28, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 14

This is been one of those crazy weeks. My Uncle Lloyd Higgins died on Wednesday. Even though he lives in New York and I couldn't make the funeral I did spend time talking and emailing my Aunt and cousins. I made a nice descendant box chart for his children. It made me think that I should really do that for all my family this Christmas. Who knows it might bring a budding genealogist out of the woodworks for me.

Then my daughter and I went car shopping for her. That is never an easy undertaking. We finally bought the car Friday afternoon. She drove the car from American Fork to Provo to college and the check engine light came on. Never a good sign. Thankfully the dealership said they will fix it so we have to bring it in Tuesday to the shop. I sure hope it is something minor and that we weren't taken or something.

Saturday was my youngest son's 18th birthday. My kids are all adults - that seems really strange but good at the same time. Things just kind of spilled over into Sunday and I just had to take a longer than usual nap. I was almost afraid I wouldn't find the time to index.

Since I haven't been good this week about reading my emails I don't know if there is anything interesting to share about indexing. Please forgive me for a non-newsworthy article this week. I guess the only good thing I can say is it sure is great to have a set time, date and place to keep up the habit of indexing. I know many people do it in little captured moments of spare time. I just know that system wouldn't work for me. I really have to have structure if I plan on getting into the habit of doing anything.

When I finally sat down in the winding up time of the day it was actually a pleasure to just do my indexing. Gave me back the peace of the sabbath day. I did 3 batches of the 1850 Vermont U.S. Federal Census. I indexed 126 individuals and that gives me 1,384 individuals indexed to date. Since this is the last Sunday of the month I looked at my total for the month and saw I indexed 660 individuals these last 4 weeks.

I knew that over time my speed in indexing has increased but I didn't realize how much more drastic the improvement has been over these last few weeks. I almost indexed half of my total in that short time frame. One major consideration has been that I'm indexing near my genealogy research area. The names and handwriting styles are very common to me.

I remember several years ago seeing the prototype for what is now FamilySearch Indexing. I believe it was Stephen Valentine that demonstrated it to the Utah Valley PAF Users Group. One of the things he mentioned was that they wanted people to be able to log on and index in the areas they specialized or were researching in. I thought how cool to be able to index records for New York and do some research from them at the same time. It sure would make me motivated to do indexing. Now I can even see greater wisdom in indexing in your area of research - you are a better indexer when you work in familiar territory.

I know FamilySearch is trying to get people to help index the Spanish records and the need is really great. But personally I am so happy that they have records that I feel much more comfortable in indexing from. In my little road of personal discovery I realized it didn't necessarily mean they wanted all the people currently indexing to drop what they were doing and have them index Spanish records. It would be nice but over-all they need more people indexing not just moving the same numbers around. If you have a talent in a given area you are to use that. If you are blessed with the talent of learning new languages than give it a try.

My gift is writing so I realized what I needed to do was get the word out to more people around me. Our chapel has a Spanish Ward that meets there too. If I wrote up something for our bulletin board I'm sure they would also see it. There really are ways for me to help get more people to work on FamilySearch Indexing. So that's my new goal to help recruit people to do Spanish indexing locally, because I know I don't have the gift for it. If any of you have already made up a flier for your bulletin board, and you are willing to share it, send it my way and we will spread the word.

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

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