Monday, June 01, 2009

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 82

I have been so slothful about doing my FamilySearch Indexing. I think I need to develop the habit once again. Though summer time is a terrible time to discipline yourself. I am planning a trip to New York for a family reunion in July so that won't be a perfect month either. Lets see if I can be good at least in June.

This is off the subject of indexing but I like to share what's been happening in my life in these articles. It's just my adventures in life, and one of my ways to preserve it. I just bought and installed the "Magic Jack" today. I have been wanting to get one for quite a while now. My work uses them for a personal phone line for managers. So, I know they work.

I've read everything I could about the Magic Jack. There are a lot of opinions both positive and negative about them. The bottom line is if it will work with your computer you can save tons of money on your phone bill. It cost $39.95 for the Magic Jack which also covers your first year of unlimited phone calling. You get your own phone number so people can call you too. Each year it cost $19.95 for service. They do have a special, 5 years for $59.95 that I might take them up on.

The Magic Jack is a little box with a USB connector on one end and a phone jack on the other. You plug your phone into the Magic Jack and the the Magic Jack into the USB port on your computer. It has the software already installed on the MJ so it automatically loads onto your computer. Everything ran smoothly.

I couldn't wait to make my first phone call. I was so surprised everything was crystal clear. I actually had to turn the volume down. I had people call me back and I played with testing it. I was so impressed. Then my sons got on the internet and it slowed things down. My call to my Dad in Florida had a garbled section. I can see more experimenting is needed for a decision is made if or when to get ride of my landline phone.

Though I am leaning right now on switching completely over to the Magic Jack. Gosh for just my landline phone service I pay more a month that I did for the Magic Jack itself plus a year's coverage. If I just paid for the fastest internet speed I'm sure it would make up the difference when I'm using the Magic Jack while the kids are downloading things off the internet. Anyways, time will tell.

OK, now I can work on indexing. First I have to check to see if there are any messages for us. Yup, we have several. Here they are in order.
From: Headquarters
Subject: New York - 1905 State Census
Date: 15 May 2009

Please remember that most images in the New York - 1905 State Census have 2 pages with up to 50 names on each page.

When indexing the line numbers, please index them as they are recorded or typed on the document. The application automatically increases the number in this field from record to record; however, the line number for the first record on the second page should be indexed as 1, no 51.

Thank you for all your great work. This project is currently 7% complete.
I noticed that on my first batch. I had to go back and change the line number on the second page. Here is the second message.
From: Headquarters
Subject: System Downtime
Date: 26 May 2009

The FamilySearch indexing system will be down for maintenance on June 1st from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (MDT, GMT-6). Please do not try to download or submit batches during this time.

If you plan to index during this time, you can download up to five batches before 9:00 a.m., work on them offline, and submit them when the system is back online.

Below are brief descriptions of some of the new and updated features that will be introduced. To learn more about these features, click here.

Tip of the Day. A dialog box titled "Tip of the Day" will greet you when you sign in to the indexing application.

Batch Sharing. This exciting new feature allows volunteers to collaborate on a batch.

Project Selection Dialog Box. The Project Selection Dialog Box (which appears when you click the Download From...button) will have the option to show all projects or only those that match your preferences. It will also display the difficulty level of each project.

Fields Marked for Review. You can choose to display either the red wavy line or the colored background in fields marked for review. You can also change the color and transparency of the background.

Image Type. Image Type will now be the first field in every batch. You will select the description of each image (such as Normal, Blank, or Duplicate) from the list provided.

Header Data Tab. A new tab in the data entry area will enable indexers to enter information that applies to an entire document just once. Not all batches will include this tab, but if it is included, it will open first when you download a batch.

New Icons. The icons used to mark a field or record unreadable will have a blue question mark on them instead of a red slash.
Well, I didn't see those changes when I signed into the FamilySearch Indexing application tonight. Oops there's an update.
From: Headquarters
Subject: System Downtime - Delayed
Date: 29 May 2009

The system downtime scheduled for Monday, June 1st, will be delayed for up to one week. Feel free to index as usual on Monday. We will notify you at least 24 hours in advance of when the actual downtime occurs.

If you return to index in the next week (or after more than a week) and you have any issues with the indexing application, close it if it is open, and go to the FamilySearch indexing Web site at Click the Start Indexing button to reopen the application. This should resolve any issues that may occur.

If you need further assistance, contact Indexing Support toll free at 1-866-406-1830 in the U.S. and Canada (for international calls, click here), or by e-mail at
Now it's time to work on my New York - 1905 State Census - WAHOO!! I am so glad that the project is still available. I had one problem early on. I missed a line and wanted to go back and add it, but every time I went to add a line, where I needed to, it would instead add the line at the bottom of the list. I finally had to retype over all the names so I could add the name where I needed. It's a good thing it happened within the first dozen lines because it would of been a pain if I noticed it later on.

I indexed one batch with 100 names on it. That brings my total of names indexed to date to 11870. It sure felt good to get some indexing done. Now I just have a ton or email and blog articles to get caught up on.

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

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