This article was written by Devin Ashby.
In November 2010, members of the FamilySearch Indexing Workforce Development team went down to South America to visit with and come to better understand the needs of indexers in this area of the world. We were able to hold training meetings and broadcasts; meet with genealogical societies; work with national archives; and visit family history centers in Argentina, Chile, Peru, and Colombia.
We witnessed firsthand the importance of moving forward with a three-fold focus on recruiting and retaining volunteers in order to produce more data for more people more quickly.
In each country we heard the following message over and over again: “Internet indexing affords us the opportunity to give back to the genealogical community.” Indexing provides published information for all to access.
We visited with many groups who want to become better organized in their efforts to index. We saw youth groups participating in indexing parties, met with groups who wished for more online training, and listened to another group plead for particular microfilms to be published.
It is true that much of the work in genealogy is happening now in groups. Indexing and other resources can assist societies and groups in becoming more unified in their efforts to see data published while experiencing increased visibility. If you haven’t already, create a FamilySearch or LDS account, join a group, and give back today!