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FamilySearch Indexing

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   When was your last “ah ha” moment?  We all have them.  We type a name into a search engine and bingo, the long lost ancestor we’ve been searching for, pops up.  Last weekend was FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing Event.  Did you participate?  Think about it…when you’re working on your family history and you type a name into the search engine, how did those names get there?  Somehow, the information had to be converted to a digital format and added to the database.  Who did it?  

   Back in the old days (pre-2008 for those of you relatively new to genealogy) when I was looking for a birth, death or marriage registration in Ireland, I would have to wait until I was either in Salt Lake City or Dublin to research.  The index books were by year, and then by quarter. Since the Irish didn’t have a clue about dates, you would have to search multiple years for each individual.  To do a search you would pull the book (in Dublin) or the microfilm (in SLC), flip/roll to the surname, then look for the given name in the correct Registration District.    My first indexing project was Irish Civil Registration.  I wanted those indexes so badly!  It took a while for them to get online, but what a joy!  I could type in “Moughty” and come up with all of the civil registrations at one time.  I’m afraid some new genealogists can’t imagine doing it any other way.  

   My point is, that someone has to do it, and if your use the wonderful indexes at FamilySearch, why not you?  There is no subscription fee, FamilySearch provides the information to you for FREE.  Why not give back?

   Last weekend 116,475 people indexed over 10 million records.  You could pick the records you wanted to work on…for me that was Irish Birth Registrations.  Currently we only have the indexes to work with which don’t contain identifying information such as the mother’s maiden name.  Probably like many of you, I have a file full of wrong certificates.  Even after you’ve found a name in the index, you still have to order the certificate from Ireland unless you’re ancestors are in Northern Ireland, where the General Register Office of Northern Ireland has done a great job of indexing and imaging the certificates.  

   So what records do you want indexed?  Sign up for FamilySearch Indexing and join the effort.  Although the annual Indexing Event is over, the need is not and you can work at your own pace.  Even one batch a week will help.  

   Happy Hunting!


It’s not too soon to begin thinking about the Genealogy Cruise next February.  Get out of the cold weather and join Diana and Gary Smith, Dick Eastman and me in the Eastern Carribean on the beautiful Celebrity Silhouette

© Donna M. Moughty 2007- 2017