Sunday, April 01, 2007

How to sign up for FamilySearch Indexing

If you'd like to become part of the solution (rather than part of the problem) consider signing up as a group or an individual with

Ol' Myrt's previous blog posting: cites an example from the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) that includes links to scanned images statewide deaths 1917-1954, fully search-able because of the index created by workers at FamilySearch Indexing.

The website explains "volunteers extract family history information from digital images of historical documents to create indexes that assist everyone in finding their ancestors." You may have heard that during the beta testing for this massive indexing project, one needed to be a member of the LDS Church. But that was then this is now.

So DearREADERS, it would behoove us to consider joining in this massive indexing project. You can do a little or a lot. Just think: if only 5 index entries were made monthly by EACH of the 8.5 million unique visitors who typically visit Ancestry* each month:

8,500,00000 active researchers
x 5 index entries
x 12 months in 2007
510,000,000 ancestors names would be indexed and fully search-able by 31 Dec 2007.

NOTE: It takes Ol' Myrt here about an hour to index a page of some 50 names, and accompanying info) from the 1900 US Federal Census for the state of Washington. If we each did 50 entries... well, you get the message.

Ol' Myrt previously mentioned that she is working on the 1900 US Federal Census for the state of Washington. It was easy to sign up, by going to and choosing the project I wanted to work with.
  1. Click the VOLUNTEER button to complete the sign-up process, that includes choosing your user name and password.
  2. Install a 29MB program file by clicking the INSTALL NOW button
  3. Double click on the FAMILYSEARCH INDEXING icon on your computer desktop to sign in.
  4. Decipher the handwriting for an entry on the top of the screen (the scanned image of the census in my case.)
  5. Fill in the blanks on the bottom of the screen by typing what you've deciphered.

NOTE: When I clicked for step three above just now on my new Windows Vista computer, 14.6MB of "update" files were downloaded.

NOTE: Do not worry, you are not the only one who will index each entry on each census page. The FamilySearch Indexing project provides for a blind, double-entry process. You'll also see suggestions if you spell something irregularly based on other entries in your particular indexing project.

Additional help for my specific census indexing project includes:

  • Read project-specific indexing instructions.
  • See brief field-by-field helps.
  • Find out how to get help.
  • View handwriting helps.
  • Learn about the history of the United States in 1900.

When last Ol' Myrt wrote, there were only 4 indexing projects.


  • Alabama - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Boston, Massachusetts State Census - 1865
  • Boston, Massachusetts State Census, 1855
  • California - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Connecticut - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Georgia Death Certificates - 1919 to 1927
  • Illinois - 1900 U.S. Federal CensusIndiana - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Indiana Marriages, 1790 - April 1905
  • Indiana Marriages, April 1905 - December 1957
  • Massachusetts - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Mississippi - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Missouri - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • New York - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Ohio Tax Records - Post 1825
  • Ohio - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Ontario Deaths 1927-1929
  • Salt Lake County Deaths, 1933-1949
  • Texas - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Texas_Death_Certificates_1951-1976Virginia - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Washington - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • West Virginia BirthsWest Virginia Marriages - 1


  • Colorado- 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Freedman Letters
  • Georgia - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Hawaii - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Iowa - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Kentucky - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • North Carolina - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Oklahoma - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • Salt Lake County Births 1908-1915
  • Tennessee - 1900 U.S. Federal Census
  • West Virginia Deaths
  • Belgie/Belgique Overlijdens/Deces
  • Ohio Tax - 2 of 4
  • Ohio Tax - 3 of 4
  • Ohio Tax - 4 of 4

THE COMBINATION OF SCANNING AND INDEXING OLD DOCUMENTS makes the internet a valuable tool for family historians.

CONSIDER SPENDING 1-2 HOURS A MONTH VOLUNTEERING in your pajamas (a la Robert Ragan from the comfort of your own home! That is a FRACTION of the time you spend climbing your family tree. Let's give others a "leg up" by doing some FamilySearch indexing NOW!

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
DearMYRTLE,Your friend in genealogy.

*This includes,,, and Family Tree Maker. In total, The Generations Network properties receive 8.5 million unique visitors worldwide and over 400 million page views a month (© comScore Media Metrix, January, 2007).

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