This article was written by Rodolfo Derbez.
Great things have been happening in Mexico this year. Family history and indexing leaders in local Church groups created an exciting program for the youth in the area called “Indexing-mania.” The goal of each group? To recruit 100 volunteers and index 100,000 records in 3 months. The program started in April. Five months later, over 2,000 volunteers have participated and indexed over 1,500,000 records.
Here are some frequently asked questions from youth and local leaders, along with corresponding answers:
Q: When and where do the volunteers in these groups index?
A: Saturday and Sunday nights at their local church meetinghouse.
Q: How long do they index?
A: One or two hours.
Q: What about the equipment?
A: Groups used computers available in the family history center or brought in personal laptops. Work can be done online or offline (if there is limited Internet access), and you can download 10 batches at a time.
Q: Who can teach me to index?
A: Yourself! To take the indexing lessons, go to indexing.familysearch.org. Select your language. Click the Help tab, and then click the Training link.
Q: What should I do if I can’t understand the handwriting?
A: Don´t worry! Ask any adult to help you. While you’re new to the process, working with someone who can read the handwriting will help improve your skills. Think of the story of Moses and Aaron in the Bible, where the two worked together to accomplish the will of the Lord. If you can type and understand the indexing program, and the adult can read the documents, you will be the perfect combination. After 4 or 5 batches, you will be able to read the handwriting better.
Q: What are the most important things I should know before I start indexing batches?
- Read the project instructions carefully and identify the image.
- “What you see is what you write.”
- Don´t type punctuation (commas [,], periods [.], semicolons [;], or colons [:]). You can use only apostrophes (’) and hyphens (-) when they are written in names such as O’Connor or Bi-ja-e.
- Don´t write titles (such as Sr., Sra., Mr., Mrs., MD, Jr., Captain, and so on) unless there is a specific Titles or Terms field.
- If you find the word ditto or the mark “, copy the information that was dittoed or quoted.
Q: What do I do if I need to create a FamilySearch or LDS account?
A: Go to the indexing website at indexing.familysearch.org, and then click Register. Follow the on-screen instructions.
Q: Where do I go to get the indexing computer program?
A: Go to the indexing website, and then click Get Started.
Q: How do the young people feel about indexing?
A: A Church leader in Mexico City related the following:
“We were experiencing technical problems with our computers and as a result the final youth group scheduled that evening was notified that they would not be able to perform any indexing. One young woman who had not received word of the cancelation arrived and with an anguished look on her face asked, ‘Brother, are we not going to index any names today?’
“I responded, ‘No, we are having problems with most of the machines.’
“ ‘Please,’ the young sister replied, ‘allow me to index just one name. It is important to me. I feel I should do it, even if it is for just one person.’
“I granted her request. I was deeply touched that she was so concerned for just one name that represented one soul.”
Q: When can I start?
A: Now! Take part in this worthwhile effort by signing up to become an indexer today!
As these young people have learned, we can accomplish so much more by working together. Our combined indexing efforts make it easier for individuals around the world to discover their family history.