Sunday, February 17, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 30

I almost didn't do my FamilySearch Indexing today. My internet was down. Yesterday I needed to fill my printer ink and in doing so I happened to crash stuff into my phone jack. Normally I wouldn't think anything of it. Then I tried to use my phone and the line was dead. I tried a phone in a different the part of the house and it was working. I started that lovely process of trying a different phone in that jack - still nothing just silence. I went to bed thinking: "Oh great, now I need to call a repair man." I use DSL and the connection for it is with that jack.

I awoke Sunday morning to try and string a phone line from my computer room to the phone jack in in my son's room. I get everything done and then I try it - the line was dead. I went back to my son's room his phone was dead too. I was thinking at that point maybe it was more than just my jack out maybe it was that side of the house. I was getting ready to string a longer phone line to a different part of the house. Then this little light came on inside my head and said why don't you see if his phone worked before I tried to switch it to the doctored up line I just ran to it. Sure enough his phone worked great when I didn't use my strung line to it.

After some more trouble shooting I discovered that there was nothing wrong with my jack in my computer room at all it was the DSL filter that had gone bad. Thank goodness I had an extra one and just replaced it and was back in business. It was to late to start indexing before church at this point so I vowed to do it when I got home. After a good nap, time with family and the reading of my emails I finally got the process of FamilySearch Indexing under way.

First I was disappointed that New York's 1850 Federal Census was not on the list to index. It's possible the project might be completed or they just ran out of images for now. I should be happy at the prospects of it being completed but I wanted to work on my New York. I finally decided that New Jersey was close enough so I did two batches of the 1850 Federal Census.

With the completion of 2 batches, and being on week 30 of indexing, I have now indexed 3018 names. A hundred names a week is my average, so I am working at my normal pace. I had set the goal of indexing 400 names this month and I have only 64 names to do to meet that goal. I feel good about my slow but steady pace.

I was talking to a friend of mine that started indexing about the same time as I did. She made great strides and was massively indexing. I stopped asking her how many she had done because my figures where so pitiful next to hers. I saw her this week and inquired on her numbers. I was surprised to see that she had burned out over a month ago and hadn't done anything lately. It made me think of the tortoise and the hare and how slow and steady wins the course. Granted it will take me several years to catch up to where she ended and I sure hope she comes out of burn out before then, but I am still pressing happily along.

I wasn't able to attend the St. George Family History Expo on Feb 9th but Shanna Jones posted over on FHCNET a nice report on the FamilySearch Indexing stats.
"The digitizing is going really well, it takes 20 minutes to digitize one microfilm. 125,000 are indexing, 74.1 % are LDS, 30,000 are community members. They are indexing 1.25 million names per day on average. The 1880 census took 17 years to index and Ellis Island took 7 years. The 1900 census is bigger than both of those combined and it was indexed in 12 months and that was at the beginning. With the number of indexers working now, it could have been completed in 6 months. More indexers are needed and especially experienced ones can arbitrate. The indexes are superior at 98+% accuracy. They are working with several genealogy societies to increase the amount of records. Records will begin being released at a faster and faster pace."
It's great to see how well we are doing. The average would be 10 names indexed a day or 70 a week. It's always great to reinforce the idea that you are an average person working at an average rate but you know I'm anything but the average bear. That sounds so random but it's time for this bear to go hibernate for the night. (It's really 11pm and past my bed time.)

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

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