Last year I wrote about volunteer indexing at Family Search on my blog but could not find my post here. So I looked back and it was on my other blog which I have since combined with this one but apparently left a few things behind. Since there is nothing here on indexing I’ll fix that now.
Family Search provides a wonderful free resource to the genealogy community by providing free access to many of the records held by the LDS. For those who have not seen it, the website is familysearch.org.
Now that I’ve done a several sets of of records, I can tell you a bit more about my experience. As I said then you can do it at home on your computer. It involves installing a small program from Family Search and that it easy to do. They start you off with some small batches of fairly simple records. You download an image of the records to be indexed.
Then when you are ready, you get to choose from a variety of projects with various levels of difficulty assigned. So far I’ve stuck to beginner records and there are several ongoing projects at that level. They are not hard but sometimes the handwriting is difficult to decipher. If you consider a batch too difficult or unclear, you can return it.
My understanding is that 2 indexers do each record and if they disagree, a third more experienced indexer looks at the record. So I don’t worry that if I am wrong on something, the index will be wrong. My work is checked one way or another.
So far, I’ve looked at English and American census records, WW1 draft registration records, and marriage records. It is not hard and you can spend as much or as little time as you like. This is a great way to contribute a little bit of time to make it better for all of us in the genealogy community.