Saturday, 31 December 2011

Indexing at FamilySearch

I only recently got involved with indexing at, and was pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is.  You can do as much or as little as you can - and who can't do one page per day, even if (like me) you have a hectic day job and your spare time is already crowded? Or even one page per week?

At the moment I am indexing the 1871 census, and have covered parts of London, Yorkshire, and Lancashire.  Oh, and I have worked on draft cards from Hawaii, too (probably the nearest I'll ever get to Hawaii!).  And, of course, there are loads of other records, countries, and languages.  But the best bit is that you don't have to be some sort of genealogy guru with decades of experience behind you.  If you can read  your own doctor's handwriting - hey, you'll probably be one of their top indexers in no time!

It's just so easy.  People sometimes shrink back at the word 'indexing' because they don't know what it means, and so think that it's probably something incredibly technical.  Hah.  Basically, it means typing out something so that other people can read it.  It gets put into a special electronic format BY SOMEBODY ELSE.  Think of those census forms you have picked your way through, muttering evilly at the beauty of the enumerator's writing.  And then you go to a free site like FamilySearch, and there is all the information you needed to start you off on a Genealogist's Happy Dance.  And not all the enumerators had eye-watering writing.  Some of them wrote neatly and clearly.

So: you don't have to be a technical wizard, you don't have to have decades of genealogical experience behind you - you don't have to be home alone all day every day.  You can just be you - and that's wonderful.  Go to - and give back some genealogical kindness, one page at a time.


  1. Ros, Yes indexing is easy to fit in to small time periods, like 20-30 minutes. Of course, there are times when I sit for a couple of hours also. If we all do a little, lots will get done.

  2. Ros: I happened across your blog by accident (I don't believe in genealogical accidents though). I have done research on the Lethbridge family on my husband's side. His come from Durham, Ontario, Canada. Could your brick wall Lethbridges have migrated to Canada? I would be happy to help and compare notes.



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