Sunday, January 06, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 24

I had a difficult time getting on to FamilySearch Indexing today. I kept getting the message that the server was unavailable. I finally waited about 45 minutes and then had no problem getting on. I wonder if there are a lot of people out there that made FamilySearch Indexing one of their New Year resolutions?

I saw the message that Headquarters had for us. I meant to give the F1 a try but I forgot. Maybe because I really didn't have any questions on my batch this week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Indexing and Arbitrating Tips
Date: 31 Dec 2007

REMEMBER: If you have general questions about how to index or arbitrate, try pressing F1 while in the FamilySearch Indexing application. The information contained in that database may just answer the questions you have.

Please keep up the good work. We greatly appreciate all your efforts in creating these important indices

Happy Holidays!
I chose to index the Massachusetts 1850 US Federal Census - Mortality. I did two batches for a total of 70 individuals. Making my grand total to date 2290 names indexed. I feel like I am a little behind even though I haven't really set any goals yet. I guess that would be a good idea to finally use that tool and set some while indexing this year.

The Mortality Schedule was very interesting. I don't think I've ever really used them before in my genealogy. It has very useful information and I think I better look for them in my area of New York. I had the census with only one page. From the project notes it appears that their are two types. One with one page and another with two pages. I had to use the ruler to keep track of what line I was on. It didn't have the highlight tool available for the project. You also needed to add lines to the table for all the entries. I knew of the option to add a line at the end of the indexing but this project only had 3 lines to start with so you had to set up more lines in the beginning. The project went fast, was different enough to be interesting, not difficult to complete and gave me more experience in records to use in my research. Overall it was a successful indexing day.

This past week I received an interesting email from Kip Sperry, letting me know about one of his students in his BYU Religion 261 class for the fall 2007 semester. Kip has all of his Religion 261 students index one batch of names as an indexing assignment. One of his students went far beyond that assignment and indexed 10,000 names in a few short months.

We wanted to recognize their terrific effort but the student has requested that their name be withheld. They wanted to promote the idea of doing FamilySearch Indexing but not have anyone compare themselves to them in particular. I asked for their story and here it is.
Brother Sperry,

I just wanted you to know that I have reached my goal for the number of names indexed this semester. It was 10,000 names. I just completed the 10,028th name.

I did 1133 names in the 1868-1892 Marriages - Ireland Civil Registration; 3318 in the 1871 Canadian Census; 42 in the District of Columbia - 1850 US Federal Census; 210 in the Illinois - 1850 Census; 1505 in the Irish Birth Indexes 1864-1883; 3389 in the Irish Death Indexes 1864-1884; 375 in the Irish Marriage Indexes 1868-1892; and 56 in the Michigan - 1900 US Federal Census.

Thank you for introducing us to the program. I love it. Thanks again for the class. It was just what I needed.

All the best for the New Year.
A Student
Here is how they described the experience to me:
I think it was great fun to do. I just thought about how sometimes I don't use all of my time as efficiently as possible. When I discovered that it only took me about fifteen minutes or so to do an 1850 US or 1871 Canada census batch, depending on image quality, I decided that I could easily fit in a batch or two after my scripture study and before my day really got going. You know, my bit of service for the day. I think days go much better when I've done some family history.

It just happened that I'm between semesters at school right now, so I had more discretionary time than I'll probably have for a while, so instead of doing some lame activity like watching a movie or some other recreational activity, I instead decided that indexing was very recreational, and I would spend an hour or two indexing. Took me about an hour to do one of those Irish projects (375 +/- names).

The projects are so simple. Whoever put together the system made it very user-friendly. I was able to get someone to help when I had a real question. All-in-all, I'm just hooked!

Whatever you do with my information, please try to not make it look like what I've done is something everyone should do. Not everyone is in the same place. In fact, in a week or so I will be back to full-time studenting and my production will need to dip significantly.

But I will still probably do at least a small batch or two every day, leaving the big ones for Sundays when I don't do schoolwork anyway.

And congratulations on over 2000 names! I think that is a great achievement in itself! Just think, if out of those 2000+ names, even only one faithful person received their saving ordinances, how great will be your joy.... Actually, all of our joy, as surely we will rejoice together.
Kip Sperry's student appears to be one special person. I look forward to embracing her in the next life as we rejoice together in having worked together in this wonderful project. Usually when I find someone that has done 10,000 names I ask you to post a message on their website. Since this student wants to remain anonymous you can leave your messages for them on my site.

If you have a special person that has done a fantastic job in FamilySearch Indexing let me know I would love to recognize them. We all have 24 hours in a day and it's amazing what some people are able to accomplish in it.

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


Lori Thornton said...

I'm very impressed that a student could find time to transcribe 10,000 names with all the papers and research projects required! Congratulations to this person on his/her achievement.

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Anonymous said...

I too am very impressed by this student's dedication to Indexing.
I also want to applaud Bro. Sperry for using Indexing as an assignment in all his classes. What a great way to reach his students by having them make a big difference in Indexing(although, they may think it is small). AS the saying goes every little bit helps!!