Saturday, November 12, 2016
Something Incredibly Easy
Call me a reluctant volunteer. I've been burnt before by failure to correctly decipher messy handwriting. I'm a sucker for being considered an "A" student, and checking my stats on that arbitration ratings page for indexing at FamilySearch.org sure hurts when the numbers slide. Truth be told, though, the numbers only slide when the records are impossible to read.
So what does a reluctant indexer do, the next time around? Go for the easy stuff. Natch.
This time around, the selection was for the U.S. Oklahoma World War II Draft Registrations from 1940 to 1945. While I'd otherwise have targeted a level of difficulty right in the middle of FamilySearch's 1 to 5 range, this time I chickened and opted for the easier level 2. Hectic week with travel and all, you know.
Right off, I vetted the collection by clicking the "view sample" button. I realize that option doesn't always work, but I can hope, can't I? Fortunately, hope sometimes does reap a payoff, and I got to see how easy the collection was. Well, at least the first card up in that collection. It was typewritten. I figured this would be a snap.
Not only did the collection turn out to be isolated to Oklahoma residents, but every man listed in the batch was named Robert Underwood. That may not seem like a problem until you realize the first step in the indexing process is to identify the quality of each record to be indexed. The program asks the indexer to signal whether the record is blank, illegible, not applicable to the collection or other such problems. And the program wants the indexer to also flag the duplicate copies.
Checking each page to make sure each Robert Underwood was not the same guy as the previous one kept me on my toes. At least I was treated to a tour of parental creativity as I realized the gamut of middle names thought to go well with that set of given name plus surname.
For once, I didn't run into any frustrating examples which didn't fall into the parameters addressed by the step by step instructions. I seem to have a knack for breaking the rule book—or finding the unpredictable scenarios—but this session went smoothly. If I had had the time to do so, I would gladly have gone back and done a second batch for this week's indexing. Perhaps, if the collection is still there for the taking—after all, the "U" batch I handled was dangerously close to the end of the alphabet—I'll dispatch a few more sets after I return home. I can safely say this was the easiest, least frustrating batch I've indexed in quite a while. A welcomed change of pace, for once!