Monday, June 16, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 47

Well it looks like I wasn't alone last week in wondering why there were so few English language projects to index. Here is a little little insight from one reader.
The lack of English projects is due to the push to complete the Freedman Letters. I called one of the managers of the Indexing at the church offices on 11 June and complained. He said there were a lot of 1870 US Federal Census records left to do and some should be posted by Thursday, 12 June. I have been told to notify him if they don't appear and he will fix it. Count on it! It isn't a matter of supply—we have the whole vault to index. They were trying to "encourage" everyone into doing Freedmen. Guess it worked, but it's time to give us more English projects.

I was sure that the Freedmen Letters were already indexed by now. How many English language projects would there be available on FamilySearch Indexing today? Here's what I found:
  • Connecticut - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Georgia - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Illinois-Cook - Birth Certificates 1888-1915
  • Louisiana - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates
  • Missouri - 1850 US Federal Census
  • Ohio - 1870 US Federal Census
  • Trento Italy Baptism Records 1784-1924
I don't know, that last one on the list doesn't seem like it would be in English. My guess is that someone made a mistake. It would seem logical that Italy Baptism Records would be in Italian.

What did I pick? I was kind of at a loss here. First there was no New York records. Ok, first I'm crying about English language records and next it's about not having New York records. I know I can't have everything but I'm just letting FamilySearch here know that there is a high demand for New York records ;)

I was next kind of torn between the Illinois birth certificates and the Louisiana death certificates. I was really touched this week by all the stories I have read on various message board regarding the release of the Texas Death Certificates on FamilySearch Record Search. I just want the same experience with some New York Death Certificates, which are NOT listed in the FHL Catalog by the way. I would expect that might be one reason they are not being indexed. Anyways, I was touched by people stories and wanted to help make these types of vital records available to others.

Before I forget has anyone else noticed that if you go on there is now a little orange box on the right hand side.

Sneak PeekTake a look at millions of records and great new search features.

I tried to visit it at my FHC on Friday but it needed a application that wasn't on their computer and I couldn't download it without admin rights. At home I was able to see that the GO button takes you to FamilySearch Record Search - Pilot Site. It's nice to know they are starting to link this into the old FamilySearch site so people can find things. Well you physically need to search in two different places but at least you can find the link. I am sure there are plenty of people that don't read mailing lists and aren't aware of what FamilySearch has been up to lately.

I picked once again the Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates. I guess I have claimed that project as mine own now. It's to bad it took over 20 minutes to download and then was painfully slow. The rest of my computer is working at a good speed. I just don't know that the deal is. I decided to try indexing while off line and the first couple of records where still slow, then all of a sudden it was back to normal speed again. Since it took so long I didn't want to risk doing another batch so close to bed time. I indexed 20 records and now have indexed 7693 records to date.

We did have a message from Headquarters this week.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 16 Jun 2008


In order to create consistency and to help with arbitration, please follow these guidelines for indexing punctuation:

  1. Do not type periods, commas, or semicolons after initials or abbreviations for either names or event places.
  2. Use the following punctuation when it is normally part of a name, place, or phase
*Hyphen. For example, in names such as Wilson-Gaston, or in a relationship such as daughter-in-law.
*Apostrophe. For example, in a name such as O'Farrell.
Birthplace Fields in the 1870 US Federal Census

Because the index should accurately reflect the record, please do not type United States in the Place of Birth: Country field unless it is actually written on the document. Do not assume countries based on cities or states.

Multiple-Image Batches

Press the down arrow to go to the next image in the batch. If there are multiple records per image, you will have to press the down arrow a few times to get to the next image.

"Would you like to choose what project you work on each time you index?"

Press the Download From... button at the top of the application's start page, choose the project you would like to work on, and click OK.
As one last thought this week I wanted to put out a request that you spread the word about FamilySearch Indexing and it's by product Record Search. I was sort of nervous when I read the Ancestry Insider's article Ancestry Indexing Project Beta. It's great that Ancestry will make the indexes that are created by volunteers available for free to everyone. I just hate to have FamilySearch Indexing volunteers leave and go index for the competition. We need every hand that can type.

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

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