Saturday, September 10, 2016
...um, Not That One
Note to self: next time, ask for a sample.
Ever get that feeling you really ought to stop being selfish and volunteer to help out somebody else's project? And then gotten into a really messy problem, when all you thought you were doing was volunteering for something simple?
Yep. This week, that's me.
It's been a bear of a week. Big problem, miserable deadline. Got it all done. And then? Noticed it was time for my regular volunteery promise.
Sure, I'll spring for something simple. I can do mindless; that's all I have left right now, anyhow.
I logged on to the Indexing page at FamilySearch.org. Right away, I noticed there was this big push for doing marriage records, so I figured I could take a look. Pulled up the available projects, and right in the middle of the listings—all pegged at "3," the intermediate level of difficulty—there was this Illinois Marriage Project, listed at only "2."
I'll take it. And up it went. Full blown at one hundred percent of its size, I noticed one thing: a lot of black. Then, somewhere in the hazy spot below, something that looked vaguely like handwriting. Old handwriting.
Ugh. Handwriting. You know how my eyes are. Especially at the end of a long week. I wasn't in the mood to continue. But I did. I'm a stickler for commitment.
I took a look around, and saw the warning that this might have been a batch that had been downloaded by another indexer and then abandoned before completion.
That should have been my second warning sign.
Why, oh why couldn't I get the program to do its normal entries? I could move through the pages, my eyes watering all the more with each illegible page in the sequence, but things didn't seem to be progressing normally. I couldn't make any entries.
It had been so long since I had had to chat with an advisor that I just gave up and did the unthinkable. I ditched the whole batch and started from the beginning on another one.
This time, I didn't let myself get swayed by easier rankings on the difficulty levels. I stuck with my middle of the road "intermediate" level, and pulled up what I thought was a different marriage collection for the same state.
Somehow, I ended up in Hawaii.
Admittedly, that is not a bad place to land after a difficult week. But it was not my intention to index records from Hawaii. I don't have any ancestors who once lived there, and I like to stick with familiar territory. Let's just say, with this week's indexing project, I got to help out a lot of Yamamotos and Higachis with their quest to find their roots in Hawaii. And with all that precisely executed handwriting, I don't suppose I would mind returning for another batch.
It wasn't until I had doubled checked that finished second batch and submitted it that I noticed something: a box allowing the indexer to "see a sample" before deciding to download a batch. This has got to be something to remember before the next time I commit to indexing a collection.
Above: "Landscape With a Stork," 1905 painting by Lithuanian-born Polish artist Kazimierz Alchimowicz; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.