FamilySearch needs hundreds of additional arbitrators to help with the new obituary projects, both to help publish the records and to help others get past the learning curve for this new record type.
Follow these six easy steps to become a master obituary arbitrator.
- Commit the indexing tips found in “2014: The Year of the Obituaries” to memory. You need to be even more knowledgeable with those steps and the instructions than the indexers. Index as many batches as it takes to memorize the instructions.
- Read the project instructions, field helps, and how-to presentations. Answers to many situations you will encounter while arbitrating obituaries can be found within the instructions.
- Do record matching first for every image! You will be able to accurately arbitrate the batch only after you do record matching. Make sure to remove records for individuals not specifically named in the obituary (see #8 in the list of indexing tips).
- Organize the record matching fields. When starting to record match, you might not see the given names and surnames of the relatives and nonrelatives, making it difficult to match them up. If this happens, organize the fields so that the name fields are visible by doing the following:
- Click the View menu.
- Click Record Matching Fields.
- Scroll down to the bottom of the Selected Fields list.
- Select Given Names.
- Click the up arrow about 16 times until Given Names follows Deceased’s Titles or Terms.
- Repeat steps 3 through 5, but this time select Surname and move it until it follows Given Names.
- Click OK.
Now the given names and surnames of the relatives and nonrelatives should be visible so you can record match.
- Continually refer back to the project instructions and updates. Refresh your memory now and then to be sure you are making accurate arbitration decisions. This is especially important because indexers will rely on your decisions to learn how to index these new types of projects correctly.
- Arbitrate <Blank> vs. <Empty> records. If you have to arbitrate between an empty record and a blank record, press Ctrl+Shift+B to mark the record as blank.
When in doubt, ask for help. There is always more help available if you need it. You can contact your local stake indexing director, group administrator, or FamilySearch Support. To find their contact information, while in the indexing program, click the Help menu, and then click Contact Support. You can also work with a friendly arbitration mentor.