Global Online Event Aims to Make It Easier to Find Ancestors
FamilySearch International announced its Worldwide Indexing Event held October 20 through October 22, 2017. The annual 3-day initiative unites individuals and online communities globally to create awareness and help make billions of historic records freely searchable online by family history seekers. Whether an experienced online volunteer indexer or first timer, interested individuals are invited to participate at FamilySearch.org/indexingevent2017.
Indexing is the web-based process of entering information from the world’s digitally scanned historical documents into an online database, making them easily searchable online. Family history sleuths around the world can then search these volunteer-indexed records to quickly discover their ancestors. Anyone with a computer and internet connection can help index historic records and offer meaningful community service to those seeking their elusive ancestors.
The 2016 event far surpassed expectations. “From its beginning on Thursday in Southeast Asia and Australia to its conclusion Sunday night in the Pacific, the event attracted a wide range of participants. Volunteers contributed online from home or participated in locally organized events from Zurich, Switzerland, to the Rocky Mountains in the United States,” said Allison Hadley, FamilySearch indexing marketing specialist.
Over 100,000 volunteers indexed more than 10 million historic records during the 2016 event. Hadley explained that every record contains the names and stories of real people—the deceased ancestors of millions of living descendants today—just waiting to be discovered and added to the family tree by their posterity. The 3-day event and continued efforts by volunteers throughout the year create millions of personal ancestry discoveries for others.
Hadley said volunteers with non-English language skills are particularly needed at this time. She said FamilySearch currently has over 200 digital camera teams photographing historic records of our ancestors worldwide from non-English speaking countries. It has created a huge need and opportunity for indexers to make these records freely searchable online. Volunteers can choose from projects of interest from all over the world.
“This is a wonderful opportunity to serve people worldwide,” said Hadley. “Indexing is a fun and engaging way to provide meaningful community service, to get involved in family history and historic records preservation and access.”
The web-based tool and event are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch.
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 5,000 family history centers in 129 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.