Sunday, December 23, 2007

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 22

Happy birthday Joseph Smith - I just had to say that because it's the anniversary of my parents and older siblings being baptized into the Church on his birthday. I have always loved the 23rd and think it's my lucky number.

I found it quit interesting that on this day of FamilySearch Indexing I got to index a whole batch of Smiths in the 1871 Canadian Census. Two full pages of Smiths in fact. I tried to download a second batch but the project said no more where available. Could be the projects done or they just finished indexing all the images loaded up for us to index. I guess by next week I will see if the projects gone and finished by then.

I still wanted to do some indexing so I did a batch of the 1850 U.S. Federal Census for the state of Kentucky. No Smiths there but the project went by quick enough. I could of done more but time wise 2 batches for the day where enough. To date I have indexed 2,136 individuals.

I spent the remainder of my time snooping around on the FamilySearch Labs site. This past Friday the site was down while they finished some maintenance and added some new features to the site. If you haven't visited them it is worth the try at

On the FamilySearch Labs site you can see some of the results of our FamilySearch Indexing. It is located in the Records Search portion of the website. It has been totally redesigned and there are more records available for searching. I like the new way they have listed the records. You can see clearly which records are indexed and which are just digitized images.

In the past it was hard for me to find the New York 1900 Census, you had to look under so many links. Now I could just go right to them. I had some trouble moving around the site because I kept hitting the back arrow in the browser to go to the previous page and it would bump me right out to the FamilySearch Labs page. I need to spend more time with the site and give them some of my feedbacks. Right now it appears to need help with the back button and the ability to modify your search and not wipe out everything you put in before.

There is a FamilySearch Labs Blog and here is what they said about the new release.

Record Search Update - Now Available
21 Dec 2007 by Tim Crabb

FamilySearch is continuing to enhance and update Record Search. This latest release continues to provide quick and easy access to find information on your ancestors. Below are the highlights and changes to this release.
  • Search with Events: In previous releases you were able to search on “All Events”. To better scope results that patrons are looking for, you can now search on specific events (birth, marriage, and death). The results when searching on these specific events significantly improve the ranking of results – you are now able to more quickly select correct ancestors. “All Events” has now been changed to “Any Event” and provides the same functionality.
  • Search Results Layout: Results are more detailed with specific information relating to the individual featured more prominently – birth, death, and relationships are more evident. Scanning and comparing for selecting the correct ancestor is quicker and easier.
  • Filtering: Several new filters are now available allowing you to quickly narrow the results set to select your ancestor. These include Role, Birth Date and Place, Death Date and Place, Marriage Date and Place, Record Type (formerly Collection Type), and Image.
  • Individual Collections: These collections allow you to browse down to specific research. Key features that have been added to enhance that experience include:
    • Separate Search and Browse Views: Rather than providing a single list of individual collections with icons denoting the features of each collection there are now two lists – search and browse. Search provides the ability to scope a search to an individual collection where browse provides the ability to view images of historical records.
    • Browse interface: When you browse collections, you can now navigate different levels of documents. The interface provides levels of hierarchy with guides and information as you navigate through the collection.
    • Collection Status: Collections show their last update. For collections that are being added, an “Early Access” status is displayed. This provides a gauge of how complete the collection is and a status as to when it was last updated.
    • New or Updated Status: On the Home Page any collection that is new or was updated in the last 30 days, is denoted by a red asterisk. You can use this to easily determine what is new or has been updated since your last visit to Record Search.
  • Registration and Activation: Users new to Record Search can quickly request access by completing the registration form. This form requires and validates the users email address. The user is then sent a response within 24 hours with their activation key. This key is good for 7 days and once used provides access to Record Search using the validated email address.
  • Search tips on the Home Page: To help improve your search experience we have included several tips next to the search fields.
  • Updated Look and Feel: We have refreshed and updated the entire site. Let us know what you think through FEEDBACK.
It was really nice to take the time to look around on Records Search. It's amazing to see all the progress we have made in Indexing in such a short amount of time. Just think what this new year will bring with so many of us working hard at indexing those records. Exciting things to come in the year ahead and I can hardly wait.

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

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