Saturday, April 14, 2012

Two Weeks In - How Is Your Indexing Coming?

Are you part of the Community Indexing Project? How is the indexing going for you? I have been feeling pretty good about my indexing. Each morning after checking my emails and having a cup or two of coffee, I sign in to the Family Search Indexing program, check my stats for the previous day (to see what my accuracy rate is and to check for any errors to hopefully learn how to do it better), and then download three batches of census sheets to index.  About an hour later, I am done with that project and move on to real life projects.

It is been going swimmingly and I have encouraged others to join in.  To-date I have indexed a total of 36 sheets - approximately 1,440 records.  I indexed 11 sheets from Colorado, 1 sheet from Delaware, 7 sheets from Kansas, 2 sheets from Minnesota, 4 sheets from Nebraska, 9 sheets from Oregon, and 2 sheets from Virginia. My accuracy rate is 98%.

I was feeling pretty good about myself until yesterday when, horror of horror ~ I had to return my first batch because I just could not read the enumerator's handwriting and I was getting a bit frustrated ~ so back to FamilySearch went a batch from Nebraska! But I downloaded a batch from Virginia ~ thankfully that enumerator had excellent penmanship and I was back at it again!

What have I learned in the past 12 days?

  • Check out the Community Program and watch the tutorial put together by FamilySearch.org on indexing. It is a great introduction and provides a nice overview to the whole process.  
  • Download the Indexing Manual from FamilySearch.org ~ browse through it and have it available for any questions you may have (it is a great resource).
  • Be sure to pay attention to the tips and explanations included in the right-hand side of the indexing software ~ it answers some of the most common questions.
  • Check in with the Archives website on the 1940 Census.
  • Check out the FamilySearch blog on the 1940 Census. There are plenty of updates and helpful tips.
  • Check in with other indexers on Twitter, Facebook and Google+. There is always conversation and someone to answer your questions.
  • Learn how to use the adjust highlight button ~ it will make your indexing life so much easier!
  • Learn how to use the previous/next page button ~ sometimes it will help you understand your page better!
  • Check in with DearMyrtle's webinars (the first week's webinars were really helpful and DearMyrtle plans to continue the process on a regular basis).
  • Score some points not only for yourself but also your favorite participating society or organization. Thomas MacEntee explains how to do it on his most recent post. I signed up and designated the Seattle Genealogical Association.  Check out which associations and organizations are involved and join one.
I signed up to be a 1940 Census Ambassador ~ so I am going to keep providing updates and encouragement.  Why not join with the rest of us and index the 1940 US Census. There are weekly contests and posts to keep us all motivated ~ so let's all get to it!


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