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Genealogy Volunteer Opportunity

Genealogy Volunteer Opportunity

All those records in Granite Mountain near Salt Lake City are being digitalized and will eventually be available online free.

As you can imagine, there are millions of records which the LDS Church has collected over the years. They have the digitalizing down to a science and anticipate it will be completed in 10 years. That’s the worldwide collection.

The indexing, which is necessary before you can search these records, is done by volunteers, checked and double checked, will take longer. There’s just one problem. At the current rate the volunteers are working it will take 300 YEARS.

You don’t have to be a member of the LDS Church to volunteer to index. You don’t have to go to a Family History Center. You can do it from the comfort of your home. You need a computer and internet access. You don’t have to have a fast internet access. You can chose to work offline but you will need the connection to download the software, download the projects and upload them when you are done.

There is a time limit for each project but if you can commit an hour over the week after you download a project you are fine. Some projects take less than than that but that’s the time they suggest. And once the project is indexed and goes through the checking process it goes online.

To volunteer go to beta.familysearch.org. Sign up and download the software. I strongly suggest you view the training even if you find it simple. The main reason is there are a few instructions in there on the rules for handling specific situations such as when you can’t read the handwriting [and obviously you will encounter this issue]. At the end you’ll find you can actually download the training file and the “handout” for future reference.

If you need help there are FAQS and resources and a forum. The forums are a separate signup although you can use the same name as your indexing user name if you wish.

If you are reading this I assume you read English but if you read other languages remember this is a worldwide project and records come in all languages.

If every genealogist and historian volunteered for one project – one hour – a week it would have an impact on the timeline for completion. What are you waiting for?

FamilySearch

FamilySearch

FamilySearch is constantly adding searchable records.

I tested their records for Cook County, Illinois. I note you cannot right click and save a section but if you have Windows 7 you can use the snipping tool. If you hover over a name you get more information, perhaps spouse, parents and/or children. And if it is a vital record you can order a copy from the Cook County Clerk.

It produced assorted birth, death and immigration records for the surname. I note they have not done a bang up job with the ethnic names or the foreign birthplaces so you need to be flexible. Needless to say, the document may not have spelled things correctly to begin with.

I then tried their Wisconsin records. Hovering produces information which can be copied.

I could not find a Civil War pension index card for my 2g grandfather – there is a widow’s pension application and a dependent pension record. It’s a work in progress and perhaps they haven’t gotten to them.

You need to check back periodically to see if they have added a database you can use. You can also volunteer to help with the transcribing.