Written by Byron Bailey, a delegate to the MGC

There is a new FamilySearch indexing project, sponsored by the Michigan Genealogical Council (the MGC). The U.S., Michigan—County Marriages, 1820–1956, project is open to everyone, and we encourage everybody, especially those with an interest in Michigan genealogy, to volunteer in the indexing. Also, volunteers who are not currently associated with another indexing group or stake are welcome to join the Michigan Genealogical Council group where they will receive updates, tips, and other project-related information along the way. (Instructions on how to join a group can be found at the end of this article.)

The Michigan project is a large one, including over 216 rolls of microfilm. It is classified as an intermediate project, since there are a variety of forms, many of which are handwritten, and indexers will receive 3 points for each record keyed. When completed, both the indexes and images will be available on familysearch.org for free.

The MGC is a nonprofit umbrella organization serving approximately 75 member genealogical societies in the State of Michigan. It was organized in 1972 and operates out of Lansing, Michigan. For more information on the MGC, go to http://mimgc.org.

A note from FamilySearch: If you belong to a society and would like to sponsor a FamilySearch indexing project, contact us today at indexing.societies@familysearch.org.

How to Join a Group
(Note: Volunteers not currently associated with a group or stake may join a group.)

If you are new to indexing:

  1. Register for an account.
  2. Download and open the indexing program.
  3. A pop-up box will open asking you to join a group. Select the Another group option.
  4. Use the drop-down list to select the name of the group you want to join.

If you have signed in to the FamilySearch indexing program before:

  1. Go to the indexing website at indexing.familysearch.org.
  2. Click Sign In.
  3. Enter your user name and password, and click Sign In.
  4. On the My Info page, click Edit.
  5. Next to Local Support Level, select Group or Society.
  6. Next to Group, select the name of the group you want to join.
  7. Click Save.

Comments (16)

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  1. How can I see the answer to these questions? Or are they just "Blogs" to get stuff off your mind? I can't see answers to some of these detailed questions. Help me understand how it works.

    Leah 02 April 2011
    9:12 pm
  2. I think this is a great idea Information from Michigan is so hard come by, I wish you the best success in this effort. A couple of things are important to remember One, there was no Wisconsin until after the Civil War, so if you have that area of concern, you still have to look at Michigan records(i.e., Michigan Territory). I had worked on my great grandparents for two years before I discovered this not well known item. Also, I dont know how many Michigan colleges there were about 1850 or earlier. My great great grandfather passed the Michigan Bar exam in 1849 or 1850 but I cannot seem to find any verification. Three Native American ancestry is somewhat available on articles about the Oneida Indians who went through a sort of northern Trail of Tears when they were expelled from New York state and sent to Green Bay, Wisconsin (Michigan, back then). It is extremely difficult to find any roster of names or where they lived after relocation. If I am not too clear on some of these subjects, not being an historian, then take it that this is exactly why these updates are so important.

    Helen Cawyer 23 March 2011
    12:51 pm
  3. I have not been able to do any indexing since the program has come back on. I have not been able to send the batches in that I did while you were off line. Tell me what I have to do to start again. When I download a batch it will never open up.

    Battie Kunz 11 March 2011
    7:00 pm
  4. I have been successfully indexing and it does feel rewarding in doing so. However when I tried to submit 2 batches today it wouldnt let me, stated I had to update. Then it gives me error messages.. Is there something going on with the programing. I use Apple Safari and even tried Firefox browser. Firefox said down for maintenance. I really want to get these batches to you.

    Leslie 09 March 2011
    5:48 pm
  5. Hello, I was born and raised in Michigan, so Im really excited about this project. I do have some issues that I believe need enlightening The batches that Im getting for this project appear as a starting point image 1, record 1-15. example, I received as my 1st record of my batch, the right side of page 123. I indexed the informaiton on that image, yet their was required information that would have appeared on the image before. Next image, image 2, record 1-15 pushed me onto Page 124, but only the left side of the whole image. Continuing, the right side of page 124 appeared for recording information image 3, record 1-15. Thus my images are only 1/2 filled, is there a computer that will be combining these records? Please help in more fully explaining why image 1,records 1-15, Im only suppose to record 1/2 the information. thank you

    Kathleen Dye 05 March 2011
    11:39 am
  6. Since I was born in Grand Ledge and raised in Lansing and Jackson, Michigan I would be happy to help with this project. I have many ancestors who came to Michigan from New York and Vermont states. How do get started? I have a FamilySearch LDS Account.

    Richard Tyler 04 March 2011
    8:39 pm
  7. I would love to volunteer for any records for Michigan.

    Vicki Scott 04 March 2011
    6:50 pm
  8. BEspiau - The first choice would probably be your best bet - "Give to Other Indexers." That will return the batches so they will go out to different indexers.

    Katie Gale 02 March 2011
    2:54 pm
  9. I have returned 2 batches that I had difficulty with the instructions or the previous indexers input did not agree with what I saw. The choices for returning a batch did not agree with the scenarios.

    BEspiau 02 March 2011
    6:41 am
  10. Rose, Nancy, and Marilyn - Glad you're interested in participating! You (and other indexers) should be able to find the Michigan project on the same Download Batch list that you use for all other projects. On my list, the project is between US, Kansas - 1930 Federal Census and US, New York - 1930 Federal Census. You might need to select the option to "Show all projects" when you are looking at the Download Batch list. If you have questions about the project once you get started, you can send them to fsindexing@mimgc.org. Happy indexing!

    Katie Gale 01 March 2011
    4:55 pm
  11. I would love to index any and all records for Michigan. This is the state where most of my family resided at one time.

    Marilyn Graham 01 March 2011
    4:41 pm
  12. May I work on the new Michigan indexing site as well as continue to index for the general site as I have for the past several years?

    Nancy Kubik 01 March 2011
    12:38 pm
  13. I would like to voluntee, I have been volunteeing for familysearch for a almost a years

    rose 01 March 2011
    9:38 am
  14. The project completion chart had been updated. You can see the updated information at http://wiki.familysearch.org/en/FamilySearch_Indexing_Updates.

    GaleK 01 March 2011
    1:43 am
  15. Michael- The 1868-1925 Michigan marriage collection contains the marriages held by the State Department of Health. The project being indexed now contains the records held at the county, rather than state level. Also, to FamilySearch When will the progress completion chart be updated? It has been nearly a month since the last time it was updated. Thanks

    Konstantinos Hovhannisyan-Desjardins 28 February 2011
    4:50 pm
  16. How will this compare to the marriage collection for 1868-1925 which also includes images? I see this project covers more years. I am wondering if the new database will duplicate indexing work for that period. That would seem like a waste of valuable indexing time to redo 1868-1925? Why not specify only 1820-1867 and 1926-1956 are to be indexed still? Or are these marriage records a different jurisdiction? I mean are these images not the same as the other collection?

    Michael 26 February 2011
    10:11 am

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