By Claire Brisson-Banks
As the clock ticks closer to the release of the 1940 US Federal Census, individuals are working together to interest people, communities and societies to help with indexing these valuable records. This particular census is being released as ‘free digital images” from the National Archives.
This community project is a joint effort between Archives.com, FamilySearch, FindMyPast.com and many other organizations. While access to these records will be made available on April 2nd, searching them will be only through browsing until the indexing is completed.
Using the FamilySearch Indexing software, individuals will be able to participate in bringing these records to light for the millions waiting to be found. A more in depth explanation of what is in this census and the statistics and rich history attached to it are available on a website titled “1940 US Census Project“.
Indexing is no stranger to those who use and know genealogical records and databases. Over the years, dedicated individuals have transcribed more than a billion names from just about any type of record source one can think of. These names are either put into book form, created as a CD or added to a database. Today this whole process has been streamlined through the FamilySearch indexing process. The story of a whole family of indexes was recently shared in the FamilySearch Blog entitled “A Family of Indexes” and worth the read.
FamilySearch Indexing has its own Facebook page where individuals share their stories and comments and get additional information. Additionally, they have an Indexing website and a FamilySearch Indexing forum for questions and answers. FamilySearch Support is available through phone, chat and messaging along with video guides and tutorials to help individuals at all levels of computer expertise.
In today’s vernacular one often hears, “There’s an app for that” and so too there is an application that has just been released for Indexing. This free app is available for both Apple and Android platforms. While this app is in a beta form, it is fully functional and allows individuals to use snippets of time to index one name at a time.
With all these great resources available at one’s fingertips, the time is now to become part of a worldwide volunteer force to make historic records searchable online for free!