Saturday, November 01, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 63

I missed indexing on Sunday. I was trying really hard to NOT focus on genealogy. Why you ask? Because I was trying to prevent myself from having genealogy withdrawal symptoms. It had been a week since my son had reformatted my internal and external hard drive and lost all my data, including my genealogy database files. I did have data on DVDs made in July but I lost a lot from July on. I was downloading all my backup files from Mozy and trying to concentrate on other things while the time passed.

One thing I did work on was testing several financial and budgeting software programs. I finally found a free one I really liked called "AceMoney Lite" and was busy Sunday entering a years' worth of check book entries into it. I know I could of started with October but I wanted to see my expenses by category for the whole year. I had started with a different budge program earlier in the year but it didnt' have an export option. I don't know if doing your budget fits into recommended Sunday activities or not but that's what I was doing last week.

Now your probably wondering why I'm indexing on a Saturday evening. It's because I had a reader tell me that the indexing site would be down on Sunday. I went to the FamilySearch Indexing website and found this notice. It is also available on My Messages within the software.

October 27, 2008: Notification of System Downtime

The FamilySearch indexing server will be down for scheduled maintenance for approximately 24 hours starting at midnight on Sunday, November 2nd. You will not be able to download or submit batches, or access the Web site and administration portal during this time.

If you plan to index during this downtime, you can download up to five batches before midnight on Sunday, work on them offline, and submit them when the system is back online. Get the batches as early as you can, so they have plenty of time to download completely before midnight.

The scheduled maintenance involves moving the indexing servers to a new facility to prepare for future growth. We estimate this process will not take the full 24 hours to complete; however, depending on circumstances, it may take longer. Please be patient and we will bring the servers back up as soon as we possibly can.

So it's not until mid-night Sunday that the site will be down. You really shouldn't plan on indexing from the site on Monday. Oh, well I had it in my mind to do it Saturday this week so Saturday is when I am indexing.

There was another message on the FamilySearch Indexing website for us this week.

October 28, 2008: Fantastic Achievement
Working together using the FamilySearch indexing system, we have completed 100 million names so far this year. Congratulations on an incredible feat! Keep up the great work.
Isn't that fantastic 100 million names indexed this year. We are doing GREAT!

I had a reader post a comment this week.
Will The indexed information and the images that are being worked with The Societies, be available for all people? Or just for the ones who indexed them?

Well, Anonymous I thought to help clarify this I would re-post what FamilySearch has said about this subject.
October 2, 2008:
Access to Indexes and Images

All indexes created by FamilySearch volunteers will be available free to the general public through Access to any images with a “convenience fee” provided under FamilySearch affiliate agreements (e.g., with,, and will be available for free through any family history center worldwide, to LDS Church members, and qualified FamilySearch indexers (a volunteer who indexes 900 names in a 90 day period will have 90 days of free image access).

FamilySearch is testing a validation system that will enable it to authenticate qualified FamilySearch members. It will be implemented in 2009.

To search indexes and images freely now at FamilySearch's pilot site, click here.
It will really depends on what arrangements were made with record holders as to how certain groups of individuals access the images. Everyone will always have access to the free indexes.

Now I finally get to work on indexing. I am curious to find out what records are available. There are nine projects for the English language. Nothing for New York. There are also no 1870 U.S. Federal Census projects left. You can work on the 1920 census for several states. Massachusetts and New Hampshire have some vital records. There was also a 1850 U.S. Federal Census for the state of Alabama. I thought the 1850 census project was all done? The other English project was for the UK - Cheshire Church and Land Records.

What to index? I decided to help finish up the 1850 U.S. Federal Census records for Alabama. Oops, it says nothing available. Well I guess the Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915 sound good. I worked on the batch and it took so loooong to complete. It was nothing like the Irish Marriage records that I did. These are very detailed.

I only did one batch with 18 records. I got so tired and my eyes so heavy that I knew it was time for bed. Gosh 18 records indexed seem so tiny, but it is all I can do for this session. 9355 total records indexed to date. As I ponder over my day, I have accomplished a lot, just not much in the indexing field. Maybe Sundays are better for me after-all. Well, it was a good learning experience.

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


Anonymous said...

According to Record Search (, it looks like the 1850 U.S. Census is 92% complete. I'm not sure what is missing, but I guess we have a little more work to do.

Anonymous said...

I don't want to burst your balloon because every name indexed is important, but our stake has done 1,101,649 names since Jan 08 with less than 60 indexers. One of our sisters did 18,257 names in October! As director, I ask everyone to try to do one batch a day. This keeps everyone up to date on projects. We like to get at least a 1000 per month from each indexer.