Saturday, April 28, 2007

READER'S FEEDBACK: FamilySearchIndexing

From: Arlene
I took your advice and have signed on for volunteering with the indexing of records at It is easy to do. My stake advisor dropped by and gave me some neat clues to use. I done 100 names in a couple of hours after I learned how to properly input. I plan on trying to do 50-100 names each day. Thanks for the encouragement to do it. Arlene - Bountiful, Utah.


THANKS to you and other DearMYRTLE readers who've joined the ranks of genealogists willing to donate time to produce an index of scanned images. There are printable “help” guidelines for each type of record (census, death, etc.) so you don’t have to wait for a supervisor to stop by and help you out. You could live in Timbuktu, and not speak to a soul, but still contribute to a great cause donating just a few hours a month.

Ol’ Myrt just dove in and did her best. Remember 2 people do the indexing for each page, unbenounced to each other, so the results of FamilySearchIndexing are considered highly reliable.

Here’s a sample screen shot so you can see how easy it is to do the indexing. Ol’ Myrt had previously downloaded FHL Film #4118709 batch 650, Sheet A-20 lines 1-50, New Britain Town, Hartford, Connecticut 1900 US Federal Census.

Notice in the screen shot above how the scanned image from microfilm is in the top half of the screen, while the form for Ol’ Myrt to type an abstract is in the bottom half of the screen.

Point “a” is the region of the digitized census microfilm where I am in the process of typing at point “b” the given name “Carrie L” for James Cole’s wife. Note the light blue highlight in the name field which FamilySearch Indexing superimposes on the digital version of the microfilm. This serves to help my tired old eyes easily reference where I am on the census page. After typing the wife’s name, if I press “enter” or “tab” twice on my keyboard, my cursor moves to the relationship field, where I will then type “wife”. Context sensitive help is provided at point “c” and that info changes, relative to the currently highlighted field.

OK – IN PLAIN ENGLISH. It’s easy to:
· zoom in and out on a page
· change to reverse mode (white letters on black background)
· type even parts of a word, like “w” for “wife” if it was the last used word in that column
· type ?? in place of 2 unreadable letters in a name
· mark "u" unreadable, if an item is totally undecipherable
· mark "b" if an essential column item is blank on the original page

PLEASE, sign up, and do at least 50 names a month. On average, a typical indexer submits about 833 names per month. But if each of the 80,000 subscribers/visitors of/to DearMYRTLE’s website, mailing list, message board and blog indexed 50 names each month that would be 4 million names a month. WOW. (I hope my math was correct – it is usually about as bad as my typing/spelling.)

COME ON GANG! Help index. This is more fun and a lot more productive than playing Spider Solitaire.


• DearMYRTLE’s BLOG. Are you indexing your share?

• DearMYRTLE's BLOG. FamilySearchIndexing - 250 names completed & Linux

• DearMYRTLE's BLOG. How to sign up for FamilySearchIndexing

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

(c) 2007 All Rights Reserved.

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