Find My Ancestor Blog

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.


Update on Memorial Grant for Young Genealogists

The following press release was just sent to me by Denise Levenick of the Family Curator Blog:
Update on Memorial Grant for Young Genealogists Deadline for Applications February 15, 2011 Do you know a student genealogist who would like to attend the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank this June? Would he or she like to receive $500 to help with expenses to attend the conference? Please help spread the news about the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Grant for Student Genealogists – applications are being accepted until midnight February 15. The winner of the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant will be attending the 2011 Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree in Burbank, California with free registration to the event, courtesy of the SCGS Jamboree. The SCGS Jamboree has become a premiere regional genealogy conference offering national speakers, workshops, and demonstrations. More than 1700 genealogists attended the 2010 event in Burbank, California. Suzanne Freeman was an enthusiastic attendee at the Southern California Genealogical Society Jamboree and a life-long supporter of youth activities and volunteerism. The 2011 Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Student Genealogy Grant pays tribute to these interests by offering a $500 grant to a young genealogist attending the 2011 SCGS Jamboree.

Denise Levenick with Suzanne Freeman, 2009 SCGS Jamboree GeneaBlogger Bag Project

It’s a great time to be interested in genealogy. Popular TV shows like Who Do You Think You Are, new DNA tests, and mainstream media attention are focusing a spotlight on family history. We know that young people are catching genealogy fever, too, and the Suzanne Freeman Grant hopes to encourage even more young genealogists to stand up and be counted. Any genealogist who is between the ages of 18 and 25 and has attended school in the last 12 months is eligible to apply. The winner will receive free three-day registration to the conference, courtesy of the SCGS Jamboree, and $500 cash. Complete guidelines and application are available online at The Family Curator blog Deadline for applications is February 15, 2011; the award recipient will be announced March 1, 2011. Contributons to the Suzanne Winsor Freeman Memorial Fund may through PayPal at the Grant Webpage or at Wells Fargo Bank, 360 W. Continental Road, Green Valley, Arizona 520/625-1222.


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.