Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 72

I wasn't feeling well enough to do my FamilySearch Indexing on Sunday. Now seems to be a good time, even though I am watching American Idol while indexing. I have a hard time just watching TV and doing nothing else. OK, that's only partly true because I really want to watch the show. Though I seem to listen to TV more than I actually watch it. Promise!

As always I first look for messages from Headquarters for us. The FamilySearch Indexing website had nothing new for us. I did find one message in the FamilySearch Indexing Application.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Updates to the Indexing Application and Web Site
Date: 02 Feb 2009

On Monday, there were several valuable changes made to the indexing application and Web Site. An outline is provided below. For a more detailed description of the changes, click here.
  • The icons have been redesigned.
  • Four tabs appear in the Field Help or Quality Checker area:
  • Field Help
  • Quality Checker
  • Project Information
  • Image Navigation
  • Handwriting help is available in the indexing application.
  • Clicking the Save icon saves the indexed data to the indexer's computer and, if they are online, to the FamilySearch indexing server computer.
  • Whenever an indexer leaves the indexing screen, the data is saved as though the Save icon had been clicked.
  • An "Indexing Resource Guide" has been added to the Web site.
  • A "Ditto Fields Below" function has been added to the Edit menu.
  • A right-click menu with frequently used options is available when an indexer right-clicks on a field.
  • The add Record(s) dialog, which appears when you press Tab or Enter after indexing the last field of the last record, has changed. No records will be added to the image when the indexer clicks OK.
  • A mark has been added to required fields.
  • A field that has a red wavy underline also has a colored background.
  • The Highlights menu items (Show, Adjust, Reset and Move) are grayed out (or inactive) when no highlights are available for a project.
  • The Previous/Next Image viewer has its own Close button.
  • The links under the Projects tab on the Web site have changed to FamilySearch Projects and Partner Projects.
Please note: Bookmarks or shortcuts to any of the pages on the indexing Web site may need to be updated because many of the site addresses have change.
Now this has me curious to see what the actually application looks like. First I needed to pick a project to work with. I was surprised there are no US Federal Census records to index. I have been so used to them being there. I decided on the Massachusetts 1865 State Census instead.

Hey, wait a minute! This batch is all in Spanish. I don't read Spanish. I looked in the title field and I have the Argentina Censo 1869 - Buenos Aires. Definitely not what I asked for. Now I'm not sure if it's the program with the problem or me. Did I choose the wrong project to download? Now I have to send the batch back and pick the Massachusetts 1865 State Census again. It just could be a problem with me watching American Idol while I'm doing this.

Ahh, much better, I have the right census now. I decide to finish watching American Idol before I actually do the indexing this time too! Boy, the icons are way different, kinda cool looking. The actual census image looked like it was written with magical fading pencil lead. Everyone was listed with just an initial for the given name. Sure would make it difficult to find your ancestor with that.

I actually completed two batches. Each batch had 84 names to index. My total tonight is 168 names indexed. Grand total to date is 10,641. I have to say the writing was so illegible that I am so glad I am finished indexing for the night.

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


Henry said...

The changes for arbitrators are a little more puzzling and I am not sure I have quite mastered an efficient way to arbitrate to match my previous output. To begin with I could not understand why the arbitration fields were only showing the first 2 fields of Index A and Index B and could not discover a way to enlarge to compare.
I did eventually discover how to do this although it may be my own inability to absorb the explanation. The instructions could have been clearer I thought. I am still not convinced that I have a productive routine but keep trying.
For handwriting helps there is an omission for English records which is a common mistake for Victorian and earlier handwriting. "fs" equals ss so that Burgefs as a surname is in fact Burgess. It would have been helpful to include this as this is probably the most common transcription error found.

Henry said...

I have continuing email with FSI about a couple of technical issues encountered in the past week one of which resembles Renee's.
It is always possible that by leaving the Argentine Census highlighted inadvertently you get a page downloaded; however in attempting to download UK records (well down the project list and with the correct record set highlighted) I have received Argentine Census one page when 5 was highlighted for download.
I offer this as a potential glitch requiring attention in case others have shared experience. This has happened in both Indexer and Arbitrator download for me.