Saturday, November 3, 2018
Now Indexing: Not in California . . . Yet!
It's time for my monthly indexing project contribution and, as usual, this weekend, I looked at the available projects needing help at FamilySearch.org to see where I could add my two cents. Usually, I search for indexing projects that involve the geographic areas where my ancestors once lived—for instance, the many times I've worked on naturalization records for the New York City jurisdiction. Of course, the list of projects is always changing as volunteers complete those tasks and new projects get added to the catalog.
That's the process I've participated in, month after month, for years now. But last August at the FGS Conference, I got the idea that our local society could form a group of their own, and working in partnership with FamilySearch, we could focus our collective effort on indexing records specific to the area targeted by our society's mission: our own county, located in the Central Valley of California. I mentioned that possibility in my indexing post last month.
Work is now in progress to get our fledgling indexing group off the ground and flying through selected record sets. Right now, our society is working on setting up a training session for our members—especially those members who have never indexed before, but like the idea of "giving back" to fellow family history researchers. Then, too, we are waiting for record collections which represent our specific geographic area of interest—after all, we do have a mission to make such records from our area more available to others wishing to research their roots here.
The waiting game is hard to play. So, in the meantime, for my own volunteer time, I've got to have something to index! I tried my hand at a different set of naturalization records this time. For November, I found a naturalization records indexing project drawn from the Archives of Michigan which is slightly different from the usual sets I've done for New York records. After reading through the instructions specific to this set, I was off—and flying! It may sound silly, but I do like to see the electronic confetti rain down on my computer screen when I finish a set and click "submit."
Hopefully, by December, our society will have set up training sessions for our members who wish to have some hands-on instruction in how to index. Maybe even by then, we'll have selected a project we can all work on. It may be convenient to individually do my part in the comfort of my own home office, but it also is fun to tackle a project collectively and know that we have made a difference through our joint effort. I can't wait to see this group effort take off!