Sunday, March 09, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 33

Last week after I posted my weekly article on FamilySearch Indexing I received the following message:

I know that your time is limited, but you might try indexing the Irish BMD indexes. They are extremely easy and are all typed and a cinch to read. There are fewer columns and you do a lot of tabbing across. The only drawback for you might be that there are 375 names in a batch.

Pat in FL
I had thought about this all week, wondering if I could possible do 375 names in a batch on a Sunday afternoon. That's more than I have every indexed in a day. Pat did say it was extremely easy and I was up to anything that easy. I decided to take up the suggestion and actually worked on the Irish Marriage Indexes 1922-1958.

They were easy to do but no necessarily EXTREMELY easy. That is because I was stupid at first. I was moving the scroll bar over to see the volume and page number. I was about 20 people into this method until I realized I could just reduce the zoom level to 75% and see the whole line to index on my screen. That was a duh moment. I sorta giggled at myself for being so stupid.

The information to be indexed was all from type written pages. That does make is simple do transcribe - but, that is if you can read the type. From previous experience working with type written images sometimes the letters get filled in and it makes it difficult to tell if it's an a, e or an s, m's and n's can get hard too. On this page it was also challenging to determine if it was an 3 or a 5. Still overall not a bad project to work on - thanks for the heads up Pat.

My batch had 2 pages with only 2 columns on each page. It started with "I" and ended in the "K's". There were big gaps of space where nothing was written when a new letter of the alphabet was started. You are suppose to have 375 lines to transcribe and when I was almost done I had 279 lines indexed. There were some floaters on the page handwritten so I added them and now I was up to 285. Which meant I had 110 lines to mark blank. I felt like I had cheated after getting credit for having indexed 375 names. It did make my humble efforts in indexing look better with 3,551 names indexed overall.

Since that project wasn't bad I will give it a shot again - UNLESS they put out the NY State Census or the NY 1870 Federal Censuses or something. On the other hand now that the secret is out on how quick the Irish BMD indexes are to do they will probably all get indexed before I start again next week. (hehe)

We did get several messages from Headquarters this week. The first one gives us our figures so far for the year. WAHOO!

From: Headquarters
Subject: General Indexing Tips
Date: 06 Mar 2008

Thank you for all of the time that you devote to indexing. This year, you have already indexed over 25 million names!

Here are a few tips to remember as you continue:
  • When opening a new batch, please scan the entire image(s) to locate all of the records. You can do this using one of the following two options:
  • Scroll all the way to the right and down.
  • Zoom out by clicking the icon that looks like a magnifying glass with a - sign on the toolbar until the number to its right changes to 10%.
  • Some images may appear blank at first glance, but actually have records on a second page to the right. If the first page on the left does not contain a form or it contains a form with no line numbers, ignore the first page and start indexing the second page on line 1. Mark any remaining entry lines at the end of the batch as blank. If the first page includes a blank form with line numbers, mark all of the lines as blank and then index the information for the second page.
  • When indexing the line number, type the number just as it is printed on the line. Do not add a zero in front of single digits.
Thank you again for all that you do. The other message you received today from Headquarters includes some project-specific indexing reminders. Please be sure to read those as well.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Project-specific Reminders
Date: 06 Mar 2008

Project-specific Reminders
  • In the 1850 U.S. Census project, yet-to-be released 1870 U.S. Census project, and the South Dakota State Census projects, do not type United States in the Country field unless it was written in the Place of Birth column.
  • In the 1855, 1875, 1885, and 1895 Wisconsin State Census projects, pay special attention to the Field Help for the Town or Locality field. Within this field, and after the name of the locality, index any recorded designation, such as Town, Village or City.
  • In the Irish Indexes projects, if the given name was listed as (male) or (female), type this word in the Given Name field without the parentheses.
Thank you again for your continuing dedication in creating these quality indexes.
Before I end my article for this week I thought I would let you know that Aaron has started an article on FamilySearch Indexing in Wikipedia. He posted this on the LDS Tech website this week.
Hi all.

I have added a Wikipedia entry for FamilySearch Indexing at if anyone wants to help.

It could use some work, so feel free to pitch in. It is also currently an orphan, so I could use some help with getting it linked from other articles.


The beauty of a wiki is that the community at large can edit it. I really should stop by and try to contribute, just not sure when I will have the time. I'm going to BYU's Computerized Genealogy Conference this week. WAHOO - two conferences in two weeks time. I just love it.

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


Anonymous said...

I know this is a bit of a dumb question, but when will John Q. Public be able to start to access some of this stuff?

One of the few bad things about the LDS church is their lack of information to the public on new releases, upcoming releases etc. I hear it'll take 6 years to digitize what they have, but I'm really keen to start using it.

Renee Zamora said...

If you go to and click on the link "Records Search" you can access what has already been indexed and some of what has been microfilmed. The site is still in beta testing right now.