Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 55

I was just having to much fun Sunday watching the Olympics with my family to work on FamilySearch Indexing. Monday was my first day at my new job at WorldVitalRecords.com and it was great! I spent time researching on their site Monday evening so I never had a chance to do indexing. Tuesday isn't that bad of a day to index; I just have to keep this habit up.

When I tried to open up the indexing program it has a little hiccup. I had a notice that a special update was installed. Then it wouldn't open. I had to go out and open it again and the second time it worked. I'm not sure what the update was to the program.

I looked in My Messages and we have the following:
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly message
Date: 15 Aug 2008

Tips to make indexing easier:


In table Entry view, you can auto-fill a whole column with the information from the field above. To do this:
  1. Click in the field directly below the field you want to copy.
  2. Move to the bottom of the column.
  3. Press and hold down the Shift key, and click the last field in the column.
  4. Press Ctrl+D.
Hide Fields

You can hide or unhide fields using the Organize Fields window. To open the Organize Fields window and hide a field:
  1. On the menu bar, click View.
  2. Click Organize Fields...
  3. Click the name of the field.
  4. Click the right arrow to move the field to the Hidden Fields list.
To unhide a field:
  1. Click the field in the Hidden Fields list.
  2. Click the left arrow.
Note: After doing this, you may want to reorganize the fields using the up and down arrows
I did receive an email from a reader a couple of weeks ago that I wanted to share with you. It's kind of long but very informative. I am so impressed with what this group of indexers are accomplishing. I don't even know who my Stake Indexing Director even is!

I was the anonymous that suggested that everyone do the new tutorial. If you haven't done it, I recommend it highly. It is extremely well done. I think you will want to encourage others to at least have a look at it. Many people would benefit from doing it. Less arbitration would be necessary.

It seems you have been having trouble with your highlights. I have the ultimate solution for you. It works every time when you can't get to an entry. I tried to get you a screen shot of this but couldn't because as soon as I took the mouse away the highlights disappeared. I'll try to describe it. What most people don't know or realize is that there is a red rectangle or square depending on how your screen is that surrounds the yellow highlights that show up when Show Highlights and Adjust Highlights plus placing your mouse over the area of the screen. If this red line is either too low at the top or too high at the bottom, or too wide on either side, your highlights will be off and you won't be able to access some entries or parts of entries. There are red dots on each corner and another red dot in the middle of each side of the rectangle. These change to double pointed arrow when you put your mouse on them. Furthermore, you can get a double pointed arrow in each corner to make the box bigger or smaller. When describing the highlights, no one ever mentions this red rectangle or square. You can also access this by holding Control + the mouse pointer. You don't have to have Adjust Highlights turned on under View.

When you are having trouble trying to get to a name, just do a Control + Mouse pointer and look to see where the red line is. it isn't where it should be you should be able to fix it with the information I have given you.

Indexers shouldn't feel that they are doing the indexing in vain because there are so many errors in ancestry.com that we need to do it right so people will be able to find things. I believe that our search engine is going to be far superior to any that are in use today. As I understand it, you are going to be able to use wildcards if you aren't absolutely sure of a spelling. I wouldn't start with the 1920 census, I would suggest the 1870 because it is much simpler. The 1920 has a lot of superfluous stuff in it.

Do the arbitrator's part of the tutorial so you will know what is involved with being an arbitrator. Then contact your Stake Director (that's the correct term rather than Coordinator) and ask about being an arbitrator.

I am the director in my stake, Bloomington Utah Stake. I have been working in extraction for the past 31 years. I was the trainer for the pilot program for extraction conducted here in St. George starting in Apr 1977. I worked in the basement of the St. George Tabernacle for 15 years. For a period of five years I was the Stake Family History Consultant but did extraction on the side. Now I have 50 indexers and eleven Old English extractors. I don't want many more than this number of people because I want to spend a lot of time teaching them to be better extractors. I am interested mostly in quality, but with good teaching, my people are extremely motivated. I am attaching a copy of our monthly report for July. We will probably add another 3,000 to the total you will get by the end of this last day of the month. Nevertheless this will give you a good idea of the kind of workers I have. They are so hooked on extraction they actually have a hard time cleaning their houses.

We have done more in seven months in 2008 than we did all last year. Check out the totals for the indexers and the extractors. Three of the indexers have done more than 10,000 records this month. Bee Wood in the Fourth Ward is 93 years old and has done over 4,000 entries this month. Look at the arbitration figures. We aren't at fault for not doing enough arbitration!
Had to brag just a little about our wonderful group.

I'm sure that with quality instruction people feel more confident in their indexing ability. When you feel confident in what you are doing you are more apt to want to produce more. I can't even imagine doing old English extraction. Let me just say Bee Wood is awesome, I'm sure she out indexes most of us. I was amazed that this group has indexed 655,365 records in seven months. Thanks so much for inspiring us with what indexers can really do.

I did have another email from a reader, that I can't find now. They were letting me know that two New York projects are listed in the upcoming projects. WAHOO! I can't wait until I can do some New York indexing. Unfortunately we don't have them now. I decided to work on some census records even though I saw my old friend the Louisiana 1850-1954 Death Certificates still on the current list.

There are quite a few census records available to index right now. You can work on the 1870 or 1920 U.S. Federal Census. I chose the Massachusetts 1920 U.S. Federal Census. I think one of reasons I picked it right now is because it's easier to watch the Olympics while working on a census. I really get so absorbed when I work on the death certificates.

I surprised myself and did two batches while the Olympics were on. That means I indexed 100 names. It gives me a grand total of 8097 records to date. I haven't even indexed in over a year the numbers some people in St. George are doing in a month. That doesn't make me feel bad, we all have to do what we can. I sure wish I had some stats on the overall achievements of all indexers to date. I guess I need to write FamilySearch.

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

1 comment:

Katie G said...

I read on familysearchindexing.org that the special update you saw yesterday was supposed to resolve issues they were having last week with launching the application and something about certificates.

I heard a lot of volunteers were having troubles which created the need for the "special" update. It shouldn't affect anything else.