Find My Ancestor Blog

RootsTech 2011 – Day One

As I am sure you have read from many bloggers yesterday that the RootsTech Conference going on in Salt Lake City right now is amazing!! Yesterday was such a fun, interesting and educational day. This conference is unlike any other genealogy conference I have ever attended. The first thing that caught my attention because it seemed so out of place was the "Microsoft Playground". This playground houses a few pool tables, ping pong tables, chess tables, couches and a few big TV's with XBoxes. Now you may be thinking to yourself exactly what I was when I first say it... at a genealogy conference?? I laughed and thought to myself that they probably won't be used much, but I was proven wrong. In between classes and all throughout the day there were alway a huge group of people gathered and relaxing a bit. The more I thought about it, I think it is a good idea to have an area like that for people to relax. Sometimes these conferences can really tire you out and having a place to sit back and play some games for a bit is a great way to take a break in between classes and wandering the exhibit hall. My class I taught yesterday, Mobile Apps for Genealogy, was really great! I will have to blog more specifically on my class later on. Yesterday night Bright Solid sponsored a great party at the Clark Planetarium where we were able to enjoy food, music, visiting and awesome 3D movies and a laser light show. The planetarium obviously had nothing to do with genealogy, but like the Microsoft Playground it was a great time to be able to relax and visit with other genealogists. As far a classes other than mine go, I was not able to attend classes every hour yesterday due to the fact that I was helping out at the Utah Genealogical Association booth for a good deal of the day. I will be able to post more about the classes and exhibit hall for Friday and Saturday in the next few days.


Over 35,000 Names Completed in One Week

As you know from my previous posts, my Young Single Adult Ward (LDS Church congregation) has started to do FamilySearch Indexing. We started doing indexing the last week of January and wanted to have a little competition with one of the other wards who had been doing it all month. In just one weeks time (literally), we were able to index 25,936 names and arbitrate 9,956 names totally to 35,892 names! We all had a lot of fun learning how to index, teaching each other tricks and tips and of course the food we ate while doing it! I personally was amazed at the response we got when we announced  that we were going to get everyone registered and have the goal to continually work on indexing in our ward. There was a huge increase in the numbers of people we had already signed up to do indexing and even the numbers of people that got together and had little "Indexing Parties" was great! Every time we had one of these little parties at least one person would say how fun indexing was and that they were hooked! Now this month, the competition isn't with the other wards in our Stake (group of LDS wards), but rather a competition to get more than we did last month. That number can easily be obtained, especially if we worked as many hours as we did last week, but I think many of us will slow it down a bit due to the fact that many of us lost hours of sleep! I myself feel like I could sleep for two straight days just to get all the time back... Regardless of the competition and the many hours of sleep some of us lost, I am glad that we were able to have this experience. I believe it truly has opened doors for some people who may not have been interested in doing their family history before. It was a great experience to also know that the work we are doing is leading to more and more records available for us do do our family history research. Many lives will be blessed in multiple ways because of everyone's involvement in helping the genealogical community being able to access more records.


Thousands of Names Indexed by Young Single Adults

Earlier this week I posted about my University Ward (church congregation) gathering together to index names using the FamilySearch Indexing system. On Monday we gathered for some Cafe Rio and started to get everyone registered and taught them how to index. That night we had about 2400 names indexed by roughly 45 people - not too bad for getting people registered and teaching them how to do it all in one night. We wanted to keep our momentum of Monday night going so we also go together on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday night. This is going to be a weekly event from now on. Anyone who wants can come and learn how to index, meet new people and accomplish a great service. For those of you who don't know much about FamilySearch Indexing, all of the names that get indexed from original records get put into the FamilySearch database which then allows us all to access millions of names and records for free on On Tuesday we ended up only having a few people show up but we were still able to get roughly 1,000 names indexed that night. On Wednesday we had about 12 people come and go throughout the night and we were able to get roughly 1,800 names indexed. Then on Thursday we had about 8 people show up and index roughly 2,000 names. From Monday to Thursday night we had about 6,200 names indexed at our little "Indexing Parties".

Chelsea, Michelle, Dave

Chelsea, Michelle, Dave

Brittani, Emily, Ameri

On Monday night when we started we only had about 1,500 names for the month. Take those 1,500 names and add the 7,200 from the Indexing Parties and that equals 8,700 names. Now, when I checked our stats this morning we had 12,534 names indexed and 1,151 arbitrated. This means that there were roughly 5,000 names done just this week from people at their homes, in their spare time! Amazing! Below is a graph showing our numbers through the week. I must admit, I never would have imagined my ward getting this involved and having this much fun! I am proven wrong. Everyone on my ward who has done indexing has said how fun it really is. Now that they realize indexing is fun, I just have to get them to start their own family history research!


Give Them Food And They Will Index

Last night in my Student Ward (LDS Church congregation) we had an indexing extravaganza! I would say there were over 60 university age young adults gathered together for some food and indexing with the FamilySearch program. Of course one of the biggest enticements to gather that many young adults together to do indexing was the food, but regardless of the food, we had a great time getting people registered, software installed on their computers and indexing like crazy!

By the end of the night we were able to count over 2400 names indexed and submitted! That doesn't include all the names still in progress being done by all those who were unable to finish a batch. Last year our Stake (a group of LDS Wards) indexed 137,102 batches and arbitrated 13,191 batches! The Bishop of our Ward wants us to step it up even further this year and I believe we are all up to the challenge! To help accomplish this great task we are having indexing parties every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings as well as on Sunday during Sunday School. I think this is a great opportunity for young adults to get interested in doing their genealogy. There were quite a few people last night that mentioned how fun indexing was. A few of them even said that they thought they were hooked! What are all your thoughts? Do you know of someone who has gotten interested in genealogy because of either FamilySearch Indexing or the Ancestry World Archives Project? Do you have kids or grandkids that you can introduce to indexing? If you are interested in learning more about FamilySearch Indexing and how to sign up, visit the FamilySearch Indexing website. Click on Get Started to sign up and download the application on your computer. Both members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and non-members can sign up to do indexing.