Saturday, July 5, 2014

FamilySearch’s worldwide indexing event

On July 20-21, 2014, FamilySearch will be having a worldwide indexing event.  The goal is for 50,000 indexers and arbitrators to submit at least one batch during this 24 hour period.  Piece of cake!  Since this is a worldwide event the times are a bit off.   The 24 hour period starts 6:00 pm (mountain time) on July 20th and ends 6:00 pm (mountain time) on July 21st.

If you aren’t already an indexer now is the time to sign up and get some practice under your belt before the event starts.  You can learn more about indexing HERE.  You will need to have a FamilySearch account, download the indexing program to your computer, and go through the tutorials.  They have projects for every skill level.  Not only will you be giving back to the genealogical community, you will be honing your skills.  After you have been indexing for awhile reading old documents will be no problem at all.  If reading handwriting scares you, there are some projects that are typewritten so no worries.  You can work your way up to the harder projects.

Afraid you will make some mistakes?   There are always TWO indexers for each batch.  After you finish a batch the two are compared.  If the documents match 100% between the two then the indexing is finished.   If the two indexers disagree on any item that batch will then go to an arbitrator who will make the final decisions.  You will also get feedback on how many times the arbitrator changed something.  As you gain more experience your percentage of agreement will go up.  It is a great way to monitor your progress. 

I am an arbitrator and I will tell you that most of the mistakes I see are not because someone read the handwriting incorrectly but rather because the indexer did not read the instructions for that particular project.  Each project has its own instructions and it is very important to read them.  These will be under the “project instructions” tab.  When you click on that tab you will get the basic into but you also want to click on the “click here for a summary of project updates.”  This is the most current information and if anyone has asked questions about this this particular project FamilySearch will address that here.  You will also find screenshots and examples.  Many people overlook this very helpful link.

If you pick up a batch and decide it is too difficult you can throw it back into the queue and pick up a different batch.  Even within a skill category (beginner, intermediate, advanced) there is some variation on the difficulty.  

Indexing can become quite addictive.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis

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