Saturday, March 9, 2019

Now Indexing: A Quick Batch sometimes has indexing projects with leftovers. Small batches of a particular group—less than the usual "serving" of records for volunteers to index in one sitting—make up these shrunken collections. The term FamilySearch uses for such a collection is a Quick Batch. Sometimes, the Quick Batch contains only a few records—instead of ten, say, it might only have three records of the same type that need to be indexed. In other cases, the project had already been started by another volunteer who, for whatever reason, was unable to complete the batch; they just needed to find someone willing to finish the job.

No matter which way these Quick Batches find their way on to the list of available projects to index, one thing is for sure: by the time the volunteer reads through the instructions and gets started doing the actual work of indexing, the task is quickly done.

In cases like that, I find myself rolling through two, three, or more such sets. Once I've read the instructions for one Quick Batch, it is like an investment: makes more sense to keep doing more of the same than to mount the learning curve all over again with a different type of record set.

For this month's indexing, I decided to roll right through a Quick Batch for World War I Draft Registration cards for the state of Ohio. Why not? I have roots there, so it's a way to help the cause. We've all been in a centennial mood over the one hundred year anniversary of the end of World War I anyhow, so I just got in the spirit again and typed away. In a snap, I was done with the first set and clicked the submit button. Yay! Confetti. And then the question: Would you like to complete another batch just like that one?

You know my answer would be, yeah, sure. And blip, blip, a few more batches were dispatched. It helped pass the evening, and I know it will eventually be a help to whoever will be researching those World War I ancestors I indexed today. With all of us doing just a little bit on a regular basis, over time, the contribution certainly does make a difference. I know I certainly am glad I can click through digitized record sets online instead of cranking through an entire roll of microfilm in hopes of finding that one solitary name I've been hunting. Participating in indexing projects helps get more of those records out there where they are viewable online—and searchable.

Yes, it is true that not everything we researchers seek is online. By regularly indexing, we are chipping away at that mountain of paper and microfilm, transforming it into searchable images. Someday...someday... that last little record set will be chipped away at until the whole pile is gone. I like to dream like that, but in reality, someday it will be achieved.


  1. Thanks for your work at Through them I have found death certificates that provided missing names needed for my family tree(s). FL's records can be somewhat disappointing when there are death indexes rather than death certificates, but even then, dates are verified.

    Thanks again.

    1. Yes, FamilySearch is turning out to be the go-to place for Florida death certificates, although I discovered the frustrating fact that some images are not pinpointed but only give an approximate location for the researcher to browse through.

      I just found the death certificate for Louvenia Stockton, King's wife, for instance, by going through, page by page, for about 40 documents...a slow process, but in the end, worth it. There is so much detail encapsulated in those certificates that isn't necessarily included in the indexed report that it is worth viewing the actual document. Much easier, though, when it appears directly at the click of a mouse. We are spoiled, aren't we?!

    2. Yes, we are. Another interesting thing about the death certificates in FL is that they are listed by county. So, if you're not sure if the person died in Suwannee County or Columbia County you have quite a few clicks to make. Truthfully, one of my great uncles had death certificates in both counties. The decedent's brother-in-law, who was my great-grandfather, provided the information on both death certificates. Great-grandpa Frank's mother-in-law's maiden name was listed as what looks like Sims on one death certificate and Simmons on the other one. Also, one had her first name as Lara while the other one had Laura. I ended up going with Laura Sims in my family tree.

      Like you, I can't find the cemetery noted in the death certificates. It was Sipros Lake in one, and Siprom Lake in Suwannee County in the other one. Could it be misspelled Cypress? :-)

      Everything answer we find leads us to another question. We'll never stop learning.

    3. That is an interesting example you mention, and one that is quite rare, I assume. Handwriting woes compound the problem as well, as your cemetery example illustrates. Sometimes, I just have to view the certificate, myself, to determine what that handwriting was trying to convey. (I'd go with Cypress, by the way--if there was such a cemetery in the county.)

  2. Thank you so much for all your time at Family Search. I found my Ohio great-grandfather's "Old Man" draft card from WW2. It spoke to a family myth. As a child someone told me he was "a drunk that fell off a train and cut off his leg". Well, his card lists his left lower leg as missing. So now I am digging for a newspaper article for the incident. Our tiny town had 3 newspapers back in the day. I bet it is there somewhere.

    1. I always love hearing research victories like your story, Miss Merry.

      There may be more resources to corroborate that story than just the newspaper, by the way. I ran into a similar instance where it turned out the man was actually a railroad employee, giving more research options for records.

      And you are right...a lot of these great discoveries follow stumbling upon a hint through FamilySearch, which is why volunteers' indexing efforts are so important. And FamilySearch welcomes everyone who is willing to help indexing--at their own pace and skill level. It's a wonderful way to give back to the community.


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