Monday, June 02, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 45

I missed my usually FamilySearch Indexing on Sunday so I am just spending Monday night indexing instead. You just have to be flexible when life sends you a curve ball. I'm sure by now most of you know about my issues with my old computer. I don't know if it is laziness or what but I was really dragging my feet transferring over to a "new" computer.

I was lucky enough to have a newer one donated to me by my fellow UVPAFUG board members. Someone in the group got a new computer and I received their old one. The computer only had a 40 gig hard drive in it so I needed to either purchase a new larger one or pull the old one from my old computer. Issues doing that: 1. Money, 2. Knowledge on how to physically install a hard drive. 3. Dreading the whole re-installation of my programs.

Saturday evening I stayed up until 4am working on my old computer. I had been transcribing the minutes from the UVPAFUG monthly meeting and it seemed like every 1/2 hour it would freeze up on me and I would go through the whole reboot and then setting the system clock. Major pain in the butt. I decided late in the evening to go to PCPitstop and run some diagnostic tests on my computer. Everything check out fine but I got this message.

You have 3 AntiVirus applications on this computer! Make sure that only one of them is allowed to perform real-time detection at a time. When multiple AntiVirus applications try to do real-time detection at the same time, they tend to lock up the computer.

I was rather surprised at this message because McAfee was the only anti-virus program I was running on my computer. In fact I had their whole suite. PCPitstop said the programs running were McAfee, AVG Rootkit, and PC Tools Spyware Doctor. To make a long story short I did some research and it appeared that my issue was with McAfee and Spyware Doctor both being "On Guard" and running in the background at the same time. It is a known issue that they will conflict. Simple solution I unistalled Spyware Doctor because I have other anti-spyware programs and I thought the problem was solved. Computer seemed to speed up I was able to get on the internet and surf it much more quickly. I was just soaring on cloud nine.

Then about the time I wanted to start my FamilySearch Indexing Sunday afternoon my computer froze up on me. I just went bonkers. It was everything in me to not pick the whole computer up and throw it against the wall and smash it into a million pieces. No more what if, how do I do this, nothing, I unplugged that puppy and almost dropped it onto the dinning room table. I kind of put it down nicely so I didn't put a dent in the table.

I roared to my son, that deals with computer hardware, that we were pulling the hard drives NOW! Well of course he said later. I just got out my computer tool kit and started taking off the cases. I was going to just figure this out and it was getting done right now. My husband who knows nothing about computers knew I meant business so he tried to assist me getting the cases off. Darn screws! I screams to my son how do you do this? I was so up in arms about the whole thing that he finally came to assist me. We finally got the hard drive and a few other parts I wanted from the old computer moved into the newer computer.

I had to get a little help in reforming the hard drive from my son but pretty soon I could take over and get Windows reinstalled and have the NEW computer up and running. I can do software but not hardware. SO, after this long story I am finally on a new computer. Not all my programs are installed but it is functioning and will let me get on the internet. I was up until midnight last night installing some programs and it will take me several more days to get all the other programs and setting just right again.

One thing that has smoothed the process over to a new computer is the use of an external hard drive. Since I have a lot of files backed up on it it took a while to transfer them over to the new computer, BUT it was a lot less time than if I had used CDs or DVDs to backup from.

I just had to tell you my story of the computer because I am human and I wanted to share. I'm also sure many of you can relate to the frustration that computers can bring to us in our life. I sure love them more than I hate them but Sunday afternoon hating was really pressing up there.

Life is good now I am back to my FamilySearch Indexing. As always I begin my session of indexing my looking at My Message, and I wasn't disappointed.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Two-week Combined Effort
Date: 27 May 2008

To All Indexers and Arbitrators:

Thank you for your continued efforts! The Freedman Letters project is now over 60% complete. We saw a 20% increase over the weekend; something we have never seen before in a project this size. Great work!

In the next two weeks, we are instigating a combined effort, worldwide, in order to complete the Freedmen Letters project. Please spend as much time as possible indexing and arbitrating this project so we can meet our goal of finishing by Sunday, June 8th. Click here for further instructions and helps to guide you in this process.

Please be aware, batches for this project will be assigned for only four days. Please be certain to save all of your work to the server each time you finish indexing.

Thank you for your participation in this project. We are seeing the impact of our efforts as we work together towards a united goal.
Because of this need I did one batch of the Freedman Letters project. It only contained 11 names in the whole batch but I am sure my little efforts helped.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 02 Jun 2008

Project Revision Pages

Project revision pages have been created for most projects. Links to these pages are included in the instructions for new projects. Important reminders, frequently asked questions, and arbitrator helps are added to these pages as needed; check back often for additions. If you do not find this link in the instructions for the project you are working on, find the page by doing the following:
  1. Go to the FamilySearch indexing home page, .
  2. Click the Help tab.
  3. Click the Ask a Question link.
  4. Type the name of the project in the box.
  5. Click Ask.
  6. Click the link for the project.
Note: There may be two scroll bars on the right side of the screen that you need to use to view all of the information.

Terms in Field Helps

Be careful to distinguish the difference between the terms image and page when reading the project instructions and field helps.
  • Page: A page from a book.
  • Image: A photograph on your indexing screen, on which you might see more than one page.

Font Size

To change the font size on the data entry screen:
  1. Click the Tools menu.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click the Text Size tab.
  4. Select the size you prefer.
  5. Click OK.
Note: If you change the font size while working on a batch, you will have to close the batch and open it again to see the change.
I found the Project Revision Pages very useful. I think this is a wonderful addition to the projects. They have answers to questions people are asking about the projects and that is very helpful. The one on the Freedman Letters gave a great understanding for why we are doing this project.

I must be a very morbid person but I just love doing death records. After my article last week I was happy to see I am not alone in this fascination with how people died. I had two comments posted on my blog about other people's experiences with them that I couldn't help but share them with you.
I just did those death records yesterday. They really are difficult, but I just kept reminding myself how happy I've been to have the Ohio death certificates online. In working on a distant line (using the Ohio death certificates in Record Search) I found a 7 month gestation baby who lived 3 hours. That really hit me because I have a 10 month old 30 weeker...born on the SAME day and month! If I had lived then I would have a death certificate instead of a baby nursing to sleep as I type with one hand. I found out all I could on the family and put them in nFS. The baby was born within the last 95 years, but I'll be watching and if that work isn't done in a few years when that's past I'll make sure it gets done. (They are related, but distantly.)

Isn't it great to know that Record Search the by product of our indexing efforts is helping people to connect with their relatives!
I've been working on the Louisiana death certificates for several months, and I, too, have had many emotional moments. A father and young son both dying in a house fire made me wonder if the father was trying unsuccessfully to rescue his son.

But on a more practical note, when there is a baby that only lived hours or minutes, you record the age as "1 day."

I would of had the same thought if I had indexed those death records. It's almost like you can play a vision in your mind of what could of happened. Indexing can be as entertaining as watching television at times but much more productive.

I indexed one batch of Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates. There were 20 records but one was a duplicate. That brings my grand total of records indexed up to 7,654. I had 3 babies die at birth. One lived to 4 hrs and 30 minutes and it was at 5 1/2 month's gestation and that's in 1950. I made sure I noted them as being 1 day old.

There was one certificate that I found interesting. The man died of a bowel obstruction and the death information was given by his wife. She didn't know the names of his parents or his date of birth. I'm sure she was just to grief stricken to even be able to think of accurate information. It just goes to show you how reliable the information can be at times. The only piece you can be pretty certain is accurate is the death date itself. Just remember that when you are doing your research and have to weigh which documents are reliable for what events.

I would of spent more time indexing but I need to get back to installing programs on my computer.

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

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