For 26 weeks I will take you on a family history journey through the alphabet, one letter at a time. I have decided that each post will be educational in nature, focusing on topics related to resources, methodology, tools, etc. Although the challenge is complete, there are still some people who are finishing up and Alona, the host, is encouraging others to participate anyway. Additional information on the challenge, can be found at Take the ‘Family History Through the Alphabet’ Challenge.
Indexing projects are a huge benefit to genealogy. Indexes can be created simply as a finding aid to help us get to the original record or to enable us to search images that are available online. We all know that indexes are not perfect, things get missed or transcribed incorrectly, but for the most part, these tools help save us time with our research.
As members of the genealogy community, we should all find time to do some indexing work to “pay it forward.” Even just a few entries here and there can go a long way to contribute to the greater good.
There are two popular indexing projects available: Worldwide Records Indexing through FamilySearch and World Archives Project through Ancestry. Both projects have a variety of record sets to choose from. Each has its own indexing application that you download to your computer. From the application, you download batches, key the data, and then submit the batch when complete.
These projects each have their own set of criteria for how information should be entered, but for the most part, the philosophies are similar. When you begin indexing for either project, be sure to read their instructions so you know how to correctly enter the information. Also note that each record set may have additional “rules” to follow, so be sure to read those too.
In addition to the indexing projects through FamilySearch and Ancestry, several genealogical societies have indexing projects. For some, you have to be local, but more and more, societies are setting up projects that can be done wherever you are, just like those offered through FamilySearch and Ancestry. Here are a few society projects I am aware of:
- Ontario (Canada) Genealogical Society
- Oakland County (Michigan) Genealogical Society
- Hamilton County (Ohio) Genealogical Society
There are plenty of projects out there. You should inquire with the societies you belong to, or those in your local area. You can also do your own indexing project and submit your information to websites such as USGenWeb.
Do you participate in indexing projects? Which ones? What has your experience been like? Leave a comment and let me know. Also, if you know of other societies that are currently running indexing projects, feel free to provide some information in the comments…we can’t help if we don’t know about the project!