For those of you who do family history research regularly, you know the name FamilySearch.org. For those who may not be as familiar, FamilySearch is owned and operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (the Mormons). The Church owns one of the largest collections of records in the world, and has been digitizing it and making it available for free for years now. Its digitization has been a crowd sourced effort.
FamilySearch offers their indexing program as a free download, run from your desktop. At any given moment there are dozens of records in a variety of languages and difficulties posted for download and conversion. Basically, the program displays a scanned image of a record, and the indexer fills out fields related to the image.
But, we’re not done there. Once you submit the batch that you downloaded, it goes to an arbitrator who double checks your work. This ensures the highest possible quality of information on their website. Here’s the interesting part:
FamilySearch will be hosting a worldwide indexing event on Saturday, July 20. The previous record is 49,025 indexers working together in one 24-hour period. This year they’d like to break the record and get over 50,000 indexers working together.
If you’re a regular FamilySearch user, or have used it even once, I would like to impress upon you the need to help support them in this goal. Not only could your records help another genealogist break through a brick wall, but participating in this event (it only takes one batch!) could bring FamilySearch unprecedented media coverage, helping them expand even further.
And, remember, searching, indexing, it’s all free!