It’s a new year and a great time to look back at the achievements of the past indexing season and forward to preview the exciting future ahead. So pat yourself on the back for last year’s success, and get ready for indexing’s best year yet!
FamilySearch Indexing’s Past
Is there anything more fun than the afterglow of a job well done? Remember the 1940 U.S. census community project?—132 million names, four months, 100 percent volunteer produced. Need we say more? Even though the 1940 census project happened in 2012, the good feelings and enthusiasm carried right into 2013.
For many, the U.S. immigration and naturalization community project followed. The records weren’t as easy, but volunteers still rose to the occasion. More than 42.6 million passenger lists and immigration card records were indexed and arbitrated in 2013. All those ancestors would be so proud!
Remember April 19? How could you forget? That was the day we hit ONE BILLION RECORDS indexed and arbitrated since FamilySearch indexing launched in 2006! With the average record containing two or three names, that’s two or three billion people who can now be found by their descendants. How many millions of people have found their ancestors as a result? Who knows? Hopefully you are one of them! Here’s a big “thanks a billion” from a handful of grateful researchers.
How about that new experience for patrons of FamilySearch.org? Photos! Stories! Family Tree! Are you contributing in these ways as well? It’s all part of the FamilySearch culture of giving—everyone benefits from each others’efforts. Give a little today—get a little tomorrow. Before you know it, we’ll all be connected to our ancestors!
Have you fully explored the new indexing website? It’s the latest addition to the experience for FamilySearch patrons that began last April. The new indexing site makes it easy to get the information you need about indexing and arbitration, available projects, and training for your volunteer role. But guess what? The best is yet to come!
FamilySearch Indexing’s Future
The new website is only the foundation for the really significant improvements you’ll see later this year when FamilySearch launches its new browser-based indexing program. No more downloading a program to your computer. No more wondering where project instructions and updates are located. No more wishing you could index on your tablet device. All this and more will be available in the new indexing program!
If you’re in Salt Lake City during February 6–8, you are invited to come and try an early version of the new indexing program at RootsTech 2014. The exhibit hall is free and open to the public, so stop by and tell us what you think.
Over the next few months, we’ll highlight some of the key features of the new program in future newsletters. The first feature is browser-based indexing.
What Is Browser-Based Indexing?
Simply put, browser-based indexing means indexing will soon be accomplished online using any major Internet browser currently supported by FamilySearch. You will not have to download a program anymore. Instead, indexing will happen on the same FamilySearch.org website where you go to upload pictures and stories, add names to Family Tree, and search for your ancestors.
Now when you get stuck in your research on FamilySearch.org, a simple click or two will let you jump directly to your indexing without opening a separate program. When you finish a batch, another click or two will let you jump to adding photos or stories or right back to your research.
With the indexing tool built into the FamilySearch.org website, everything you need for indexing will be conveniently located in one place. That includes project information, messages from FamilySearch and your group administrators, explanations about which projects are most in need of help, handwriting and other helps, news about group challenges and accomplishments, and more. You will be able to learn about a project, open a batch, read the instructions, index, arbitrate, and get help—all without leaving the FamilySearch.org website.
So there you have it—the old and the new of FamilySearch indexing. In the next issue, we’ll discuss new training, help resources, and mobile device support.