Saturday, May 5, 2018
Now Indexing...Whoops, Almost Wasn't
After spending a week or so, wrestling with error messages while attempting to work on my family tree at Ancestry.com, I guess it was no surprise to learn that there must have been technical difficulties demonizing the files at FamilySearch, too.
It was time for my monthly indexing project at FamilySearch, and I logged on as usual. My customary approach is to find a project needing indexing which also matches my own research goals. Typically, that means I'm indexing something from New York or Chicago. Strangely, there was no such project available this time, even though the page stated that there were nearly eighty projects just waiting for my help. The website served up only about five or six, and when I acquiesced and clicked on one of those few, it snapped out the computer equivalent of "You can't do that!"
It took some poking around, coming at the choices page from several different angles to try and coax it into allowing me to participate. After all, that was what I had come here to do.
I'm not sure what the problem was, but it sure was a problem.
When I finally found a project that allowed me to click into it, I ended up indexing death records for counties in Iowa from 1941 to 1951. Not that I really have any direct lines I am following with roots in Iowa, but some of my mother-in-law's collateral lines did happen to wander through Iowa on their way to Minnesota from Ohio. I even indexed one record where the deceased's mother's name matched someone in my mother-in-law's tree. I may have been helping myself out even more than I thought, despite not being able to choose the project I participated in this time.
Hopefully, when FamilySearch works out whatever glitch kept me from entering and indexing projects, I'll be able to find more volunteer opportunities like that Iowa project. It's really encouraging when the process moves along as quickly as this one did. I dispatched my double batches in no time—the kind of effort that encourages a volunteer to go back and try some more. Not a bad idea, considering the more people who participate in this indexing project, the more material we all are able to search through online. Computer retrieval of records speeds up the process of research astronomically, and I'm glad to have been a minuscule part of that process through volunteering to index those digitized records.