Sunday, October 07, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 11

I was major productive in my FamilySearch Indexing today. Last Sunday my total of indexed names was 724. I just knew all week that I was going to hit the thousand mark and guess what - I DID!!! I am now a pro at indexing with 1024 indexed names under my belt. I do have to admit that after hitting the 300th name indexed today that I was major wiped out.

This Sunday was also different as in it was General Conference time. I decided that I would try some indexing while watching conference today and it worked. I listened to conference and was able to index at the same time. I guess I'm finally at the point in indexing that I can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Conference started at 10:00am here but I didn't start indexing until 10:30am because we were late eating breakfast. I downloaded 3 batches, the most I have ever done at a time. It took no time at all. When noon came I just couldn't help myself and I continued to index. I kept downloading batches as soon as I finished another one. I indexed all through the TV shows about the Church in between conference sessions. I think I finished my 6th batch somewhere at the beginning of the 2:00pm session. So it was real close to a four hour session of indexing.

By the time that 6th batch was done I just had to lay my head down and take a break. Anyone that has dared to close their eyes while listening to conference knows what happened next. Yup, I fell fast asleep. I didn't wake up until the choir was singing. Guess I will have to listen to that session again. Anyways, I did hit my 1000 mark and now I feel like I have a number that means some business.

Since I am forever setting goals I wonder how many weeks it will take me to get to my next 1000? It's very similar to what happens when you start adding people to your genealogy database. I was so excited when I entered my first 100 names into my genealogy database. I still remember the 1,000 mark. After that it was a fast 3,000 names. Then things kind of exploded and I have over 14,000 individuals in there.

The first 100 had a strong learning curve in the use of computers and backup and all the newbie stuff to genealogy programs. It was somewhere in the 1,000 to 3,000 mark that I was adding GEDCOMs from Ancestral File. The number actually was larger at one point but I deleted massives amounts of individuals that were pre-1500s and really messed up. At the finally 3,000 mark I decided to not go the GEDCOM route again and I have hand entered the next 11,000 individuals in my genealogy database. My speed of entry from the first 100 to the last 11,000 has a lot to do with my mastery of the genealogy software programs I am using. I don't know it all of course, but enough to help me speed up the process of data entry.

Now you wonder is the bragging about the size of my genealogy database really necessary when I am writing an article on FamilySearch Indexing? First off I'm not bragging, many, many people have far more individuals in their genealogy databases than I do. Just like many, many people have indexed far more names than I have. The reason for the comparison is to show you how important it is to learn the tips and tricks to whatever computer program you are using to help you speed up and enhance your efficiency in using it.

This past week another blog "The Ancestry Insider" had an excellent article on "FamilySearch Indexing Tip: Keyboard Shortcuts". I am usually a mouse only kind of person but I actually tried using the shortcut "Ctrl-B" to mark a field blank and it really improved my speed of entry. For some reason my census taker thought he should leave the field blank for marriage status for anyone under the age of 12. Of course that meant that I indexed a lot of families with little kids this week. "Ctrl-B" became a close friend today.

Since I learn by repetition I figure if I add one or two shortcuts each week I should get them pretty well down pat. I am really curious about the shortcuts for moving the highlighted field. I know the first thing I do on every batch is adjust the highlights and I don't need my cheat sheet to do it anymore.

For the recorder The Ancestry Insider has another very helpful article "FamilySearch Indexing Hint: Lookup List". I thought it rather interesting this week that a lot of names marked to lookup or review I actually know I had correct this week. It appears that it was a good choice for me to index names in Vermont because I am familiar with many family names there. I could read it just fine, they were not in the suggested lookup list but they were names I had in my genealogy database or had come across in my own research. My personal knowledge of those family names made me feel a little more useful to the indexing project. At least I have something going on in that brain of mine.

I did notice that there are more U.S. Federal Census records for 1850 available for many states out there to index. I didn't see my New York state available yet but when it comes I am going to go to town on it. Those really are my people. I shall be forever grateful to those that did the 1900 New York census records for me. I hope the feeling in mutual for those I have done for you.

See ya tomorrow, for tomorrow is always another genealogy day!

1 comment:

HappyDae said...

Hi Renee,

You and your readers may benefit from a table of keyboard shortcuts (hotkeys, if you'd like) for Windoze XP.

You'll find them on my web site, http://www.ShoeStringGenealogy.com/ssg1.htm under Utilities.

Feel free!

Happy Dae.