Join Worldwide Indexing Event to Help Make Ancestors Easier to Find

  • 3 October 2017

Young adults do indexing together.

“Indexing is a fun and engaging way to provide meaningful community service, to get involved in family history and historic records preservation and access.” —Alison Hadley of FamilySearch

Whether you’ve indexed before or are new to indexing, FamilySearch invites you to participate in the annual Worldwide Indexing Event October 20–22, 2017.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to serve people worldwide,” said Allison Hadley, FamilySearch indexing marketing specialist. “Indexing is a fun and engaging way to provide meaningful community service, to get involved in family history and historic records preservation and access.”

What is indexing?

Indexing is the process of entering information from the world’s digitally scanned historical documents into a database, making it easily searchable. People around the world can then search these indexed records to find their ancestors.

Hadley explained that every record contains the names and stories of real people—the deceased ancestors of millions of living descendants today—just waiting to be discovered and added to the family tree by their posterity.

“If you have ever received a record hint in Family Tree, you can thank an indexer for that hint showing up,” said Jim Ericson, a product manager with FamilySearch.

Indexing is easier than ever using the new FamilySearch online indexing tool that doesn’t require you to download any software and lets you index on a tablet. (See related story.)

To participate

Anyone with a computer or tablet and internet connection can index records. Many families, organizations, and adult and youth groups choose to use the event as an activity to do together. While FamilySearch is not setting a goal for this year as it has previously, LDS stakes and wards are invited to, Ericson said.

Hadley said volunteers with non-English language skills are particularly needed at this time.

FamilySearch has over 200 digital camera teams photographing historic records worldwide from non-English speaking countries, Hadley said. The effort has created a huge need and opportunity for indexers to make these records freely searchable online.

Volunteers can choose from projects of interest from all over the world. The web-based tool and event are available in English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Polish, Swedish, and Dutch, and promotional materials for the event can be downloaded in EnglishSpanishFrenchGermanItalianPortuguese, and Russian.

If you’re interested, visit FamilySearch.org/indexingevent2017 to get started.

The 2016 event far surpassed expectations: over 100,000 volunteers indexed more than 10 million historic records. 

“From its beginning on Thursday in Southeast Asia and Australia to its conclusion Sunday night in the Pacific, the event attracted a wide range of participants,” said Hadley. “Volunteers contributed online from home or participated in locally organized events from Zurich, Switzerland, to the Rocky Mountains in the United States.” (See related story.)

The 3-day event and continued efforts by volunteers throughout the year create millions of personal ancestry discoveries for others, Hadley said.