Saturday, November 29, 2008

1916 Canadian Census indexing project

The following email is from FamilySearch Indexing.

Dear indexing volunteer,

We are currently indexing the 1916 Canadian Census. The project is 43% complete and our goal is to finish by December 3rd. We know that with the help of everyone in our worldwide network of indexers we can reach this goal.

If you have some time available during the next week, between your holiday celebrations, please download, index (or arbitrate), and submit at least one batch from this project.

If you have not indexed recently, the indexing application and help resources are available on the FamilySearch indexing Web site ( Click here to read instructions specific to this project. Updates to the instructions and frequently-asked-questions are also available on the project revisions page.

Thank you for your interest and participation in FamilySearch indexing. If you would like to learn more about the 1916 Canadian Census, including a few fun facts, click here.

Happy Holidays,

The FamilySearch Indexing Team

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 65

I missed indexing the Sunday before last. My cold went into the flu. I also missed getting my flu shot in October. I will never make that mistake again. It took several days to great my strength back after the flu but I am back to normal again. I have also gotten my flu shot and a B-12 shot for good measure.

I am not sure what news I might of missed while I was out of commission. I checked the FamilySearch Indexing website and found this message on there.
November 11, 2008: and FamilySearch Announce Agreement to Digitize and Index Existing Canadian Censuses

[The following is from a press release dated 10 November 2008.] announced a joint initiative with FamilySearch International to improve online access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian censuses. As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize and index Canadian census records that has acquired. These digitized and indexed records will then be made available to members on the company's Web site, and the indexes will be available for free to the public at The images will be free to qualified FamilySearch members and all FamilySearch family history centers.

FamilySearch will deliver images and indexes to for censuses from 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1916, to launch online in 2009. In return, will provide indexes to FamilySearch for the 1891 and 1901 censuses.

[Please note: Qualified FamilySearch members include indexers who submit 900 names in 90 days and receive 90 days of free image access. The validation system that will enable FamilySearch to authenticate qualified FamilySearch members will be implemented in 2009.]
We also had a message in the program's My Message section.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 20 Nov 2008

Indexer's Responsibility

An indexer's responsibility is to make a searchable index of all the records that appear in his or her batch(es). This index is not a transcription of the information, but is meant to help individuals locate their ancestors (in the index) and lead them to the original documents so they may form their own conclusions and interpretations about the information contained in the records.

Occasionally, you may not agree with the information on the image - a name may be misspelled, or a child named Thomas may be listed as a daughter. The most basic indexing rule is "type what you see." Please read the field helps and project-specific instructions carefully to know when to correct misspellings and inconsistencies in the records.

Returning a Batch

While it is your responsibility to index all of the records that appear in your batch(es), at some point you may accidentally download a batch that you do not feel comfortable indexing. You may not understand the language or you simply do not want to index the batch. You have the option to return any batch that you download for any reason.

If you want to return a batch (while it is open) so that someone else can index it, click File on the menu bar. Click Return Batch... and click OK.

If you would like to return a batch to take it out of circulation - because the image is too light, too dark, or for another reason - click File on the menu bar. Click Return Batch..., select the option under the heading "Return this batch and take it out of circulation" that describes your reason, and click OK. If you select Other, you will be asked to e-mail an explanation to your group administrator.

You may also return batches from the indexing start page. Click the name of the project in the My Work section of the page. Then click the Return Batch button in the middle of the start page.
I could of used this piece of information week before last when I was indexing.

How I need to figure out what project to work on. There are batches in English, French, German and Spanish. Since I only do English that narrows things down a bit. But, we have ten English projects.
  • UK - Cheshire - Church Records - 1618-1992
  • UK - Cheshire - Land Tax - 1778-1832
  • Arkansas Marriages III - 1837-1957
  • Belguim - Antwep Foreigners Index - 1840-1930
  • Massachusetts Death Records - 1906-1915
  • Massachusetts Marriage Records - 1906-1915
  • 1916 Canadian Census
  • Illinois - 1920 US Federal Census
  • Massachusetts - 1920 US Federal Census
  • New Hampshire - Early to 1900 Births
Boy, do I wish there was a New York project so it would be a piece of cake to figure out what to work on. This many choices makes it difficult. Well to start I picked working on the Massachusetts - 1920 US Federal Census.

I worked on that batch and then decided to do another batch of the same. Wouldn't you know my luck that page was so faint. I had to have it zoomed all the way up to read it. But, I did managed it. I even indexed a male son named Carol. I knew a Carol that was a male so the name didn't seem so odd to me. It reminded me of the message from Headquarters and how we need to index records as we see them.

I decide that two batches were enough for the night. I indexed 100 records. My grand total is 9555 names indexed to date. I have 445 records to index before the end of the year in order to reach my goal of 10,000. I really think I can achieve that.

Now I am off to make some pumpkin pies for Thanksgiving. I hope you all have a very happy holiday making new family memories.

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

1875 Norway Census Is Coming

1875 Norway Census

In the first week of December, we will start indexing the 1875 Norway Census. This will be a large segment of the census for rural areas of Norway, but not the entire census. FamilySearch’s Historical Family Reconstitution unit has joined forces with the University of Tromsø in Norway to complete this project. The university is indexing the census records for the urban areas of Norway.

Pass the word along that anyone interested in Norwegian genealogical research is encouraged to help by volunteering as a FamilySearch indexer.

Completed Projects

The following projects have been completed in the past two weeks. Patrons should be able to search them shortly online at FamilySearch Record Search:

Missouri – 1870 US Census

Tennessee – 1870 US Census

Morelos – 1930 Mexico Census

Alabama – 1920 US Federal Census

Arkansas Marriages II

Alabama – 1850 US Federal Census – General

Current Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion Status

1916 Canadian Census English 25%

Argentina Censo 1869 - Buenos Aires 2 Spanish 19%

Argentina Censo 1869 - Cordoba y San Luis Spanish 15%

Arkansas Marriages [Part 1] English 54%

Arkansas Marriages IV English 8%

Belgique – Registres Des Décès (Français) French 14%

België - Overlijdens Registers - In het Nederlands Dutch, Flemish 7%

Brandenburg Kirchenbücher German 29%*

(*This percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Bremer Schifflisten German 0.6%

España Lugo Registros Parroquiales [Part 1] Spanish 8%

Flanders Death Registration FR, Dutch, Flemish 33%

Florida 1945 Census English 96%

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche French 7%

Guanajuato Censo de Mexico de 1930 Spanish 86%

Guerrero - Censo de Mexico de 1930 Spanish 51%

Illinois - 1920 US Federal Census English 31%

Indiana Marriages, 1790 – Apr 1905 English 60%

Indiana Marriages, 1882 – Apr 1905 English 84%

Indiana Marriage Returns, 1882 – Apr 1905 English 48%

Indiana Marriages, Apr 1905 – Dec 1957 English 40%

Massachusetts - 1920 US Federal Census English 44%

Massachusetts Death Records 1906-1915 English 53%

Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915 English 9%

New Hampshire - Early to 1900 Births English 18%

Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records Spanish 8%

Nova Scotia Antig. Church Records, 1823 to 1905 English 39%

Ohio Tax Records – 2 of 4 English 61%

Queretaro - Censo de Mexico de 1930 Spanish 7%

UK - Cheshire - Church Records English 21%

UK - Cheshire - Land Tax English 4%

Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales Spanish 1%

RootsMagic's Holiday Offer

The following is from the RootsMagic Newsletter.

- Our Biggest Holiday Offer Ever

With the holidays coming up, we often get requests from our users about buying copies of RootsMagic to give as gifts to their family or friends. And this year the requests have really come in asking whether the new version 4 will be ready in time for Christmas. Well, there's bad news and there's good news.

Despite working 16 hour days trying to get RM4 out in time for Christmas, it looks like it probably won't be ready in time.

BUT... here is this year's 5th Annual Holiday Offer (with a special twist).

In what has become something of a tradition, RootsMagic owners can buy gift copies of RootsMagic, Personal Historian, or Family Atlas at our $19.95 upgrade price. There is no limit on the number of discounted copies you can buy during this limited time offer which will expire December 19, 2008. You will receive the full program as well as a registration card for each copy
you order.

And here is the special twist... every gift copy of RootsMagic 3 that you buy through this special offer will come with a free download upgrade to version 4 when it is released. So you will be giving version 3 now, with a free download of version 4 as soon as it is released.

PLUS! We are adding an offer we have never made before. In addition to the $19.95 special price, you can also order our RootsMagic Family History Suite (which includes RootsMagic, Personal Historian, and Family Atlas) for just $49.95 (that's $90 worth of software).

To take advantage of this offer, just visit:

or order by phone at 1-800-ROOTSMAGIC (1-800-766-8762).

Renee's note: Remember RootsMagic 4 will be able to sync with new FamilySearch.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Houston Public Library Joins with FamilySearch to Publish Gulf Coast State Histories Online

Gulf Coast State Histories Slated for Online Access

Houston Public Library Joins FamilySearch in Digitization Effort

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH—Thousands of publications that capture the diverse histories of Gulf Coast states will be accessible for free online. FamilySearch and the Houston Public Library announced a joint project today to digitally preserve and publish the library’s vast collection of county and local histories, registers of individuals, directories of Texas Rangers, church histories, and biographical dictionaries. The digital records will be available for free online at and

“Houston Public Library has one of the top 10 genealogy libraries in the nation and a very strong Gulf Coast and international collection,” said Susan D. Kaufman, manager, Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research. “Visitors come from all over the country to visit the library. Researchers will benefit from the convenience of online access to the collection targeted under the joint venture with FamilySearch,” added Kaufman.

In 2007, FamilySearch announced its plans to create the largest and most comprehensive collection of free city and county histories online. Over 23,000 digital publications have been made available online since then. The addition of Houston Public Library and its collection furthers that goal.

Under the agreement, FamilySearch will digitally preserve thousands of Houston Public Library’s historic publications collection and provide free access to the images online. The targeted publications range in date from 1795 to 1923.

The new digital collections published online will have “every word” search capability, which allows users to search by name, location, date, or other fields across the collection. The search results are then linked to high quality digital images of the original publication. Users will also be able to just browse or read the publications as digital books online if they prefer.

The digitization efforts have already begun, and publications are now viewable online. Texas records are the first publications targeted by the initiative, followed by other Gulf Coast states. The project will take up to five years to complete.

Digital publications will be noted and hyperlinked in the Family History Library Catalog at as they are digitized. The growing collection can be accessed currently at (go to Search Records, and then Historical Books).

“We are honored to be part of such an important and beneficial initiative with a world leader like FamilySearch,” said Kaufman. “The digitization and online publication of Houston Public Library’s historic collections will help increase the inquisitiveness of library patrons and create a heightened sense of awareness of the library’s resources—which then brings customers back more often with more research questions. It’s a win-win for everyone,” Kaufman added.

FamilySearch is providing the computers, scanners, and camera operators required to complete the project. FamilySearch previously announced projects with Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana, Brigham Young University Harold B. Lee Library, and FamilySearch’s own Family History Library in Salt Lake City.

The Houston Public Library’s Clayton Library Center for Genealogical Research is also a FamilySearch Affiliate Library. That means local patrons have access to millions of microfilms from FamilySearch’s vast genealogical collection in Salt Lake City, Utah. Patrons can order research material from FamilySearch through the library and use the library’s film readers and copiers to further their genealogical efforts.


FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. has been renamed to dynastree

Family network changes its name to dynastree

Hamburg, 24th November 2008. The fastest-growing family network worldwide got a new name: dynastree. The new name is easier to keep in mind and underlines the cross-generational aspect of the worldwide network.

Co-founder Daniel Groezinger explains: “The new name is an international fusion of the words dynasty and family tree. It symbolizes our network’s essence: connecting the generations by means of the family tree.” Of course, the free network’s services will still be available using the domain

The free genealogy network dynastree continues to grow rapidly: Until today, 60 million person profiles have been added to 6 million family trees worldwide. Future plans are the expansion to Russia and Turkey.

About dynastree
Apart from the English site, the services are available in Germany (, in Poland (, Spain and South America (, Portugal (, Brazil (, the Netherlands (, Italy ( and France ( The platform will continue expanding to other European countries as well as worldwide. is supported by leading Business Angels, Hasso Plattner Ventures and Neuhaus Partners, a well-known venture capitalist.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Family History Lesson Series

The following is from FamilySearch Support.

Family history consultants are often asked to teach family history classes. The Family History Department is developing resources that consultants can use to teach these classes.

A new series of family history lessons is now available through These short lessons are available for download in .pdf format. They may be used as self-study or as supplemental lessons for family history consultants who teach family history classes. The following lessons are available:
  • Lesson 1: Perform Descendancy Research
  • Lesson 2: Conduct Family History Interviews
  • Lesson 3: Involve Children and Youth in Family History
  • Lesson 4: Write a Personal History
  • Lesson 5: Create a Family History
  • Lesson 6: Involve Your Extended Family in Family History
  • Lesson 7: Use the Internet for Family History Research
To access these lessons, follow these steps:

Incline Software Releases Ancestral Quest 12.1

Salt Lake City, Utah (November 12, 2008) – Today, Incline Software, LC announced the full release of Ancestral Quest 12.1. AQ 12.1 has been released in phases since July, 2008, when AQ 12.1 entered the first phase of a roll-out, wherein it was made available to a limited number of users of both AQ and PAF. As of today, AQ 12.1 is available to all users.

All of the new features introduced in Ancestral Quest version 12.1 are designed to aid a user in comparing and synchronizing local databases with the Family Tree database of, a system being developed by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS). The Family Tree database claims to have roughly 500 million lineage-linked records, and these records become directly accessible to users of AQ 12.1 through these new features. An adjustment has also been made to the way a new user can try Ancestral Quest. AQ 12.1 now provides a 60-day free trial of the program with all features fully unlocked.

Because is still being developed and tested by members of the LDS church, its Family Tree is currently only available to a relatively small number of people. The new features of AQ 12.1 require access to the FamilySearch system through their secure system, and therefore can only be used by those who have access to In the coming weeks and months, as is made available to a growing number of individuals, those users will also be able to use the new features of AQ 12.1. Incline Software understands that the Family Tree feature of will eventually be available to the general public, and therefore that the new features of AQ 12.1 will eventually be functional for all users.

These new features benefit not only users of Ancestral Quest, but also users of Personal Ancestral File (PAF), because the PAF program of the LDS church is based on an older version of AQ. AQ 12.1 is a FamilySearch certified PAF add-in. It will allow a PAF user to synchronize his/her local PAF data with the Family Tree of Once installed Ancestral Quest will appear on the Tools menu of PAF 5.2, and the PAF user merely needs to click on that menu item to start AQ 12.1 to synchronize their PAF data with FamilySearch.

The new features to access require an ID and password that must be obtained from If a user can obtain an ID and password for, he/she can take advantage of these new features in AQ 12.1. Otherwise he/she will still enjoy all the features of AQ 12.0.

Users of AQ 12.0 can download AQ 12.1 for free. Users of older versions of AQ will be able to download an upgrade for $19.95, or upgrade on a CD for $22.95 plus s/h. New users can download the 60-day trial for free, then purchase an activation code for $29.95 or order the software on CD for $34.95 plus s/h.

To find out more about Ancestral Quest or Incline Software, visit the web site

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Volunteers Discover Fun Facts Transcribing Historic Canadian Censuses

Completed Indexes Will Be Free Online

FamilySearch News Release
19 November 2008

Ontario, Canada—FamilySearch International announced its plans to make the indexes to available Canadian censuses accessible online for free with the help of online volunteer indexers and an agreement with The first censuses completed will be those from 1861, 1871, and 1916. Online volunteers are needed to help transcribe select information from digital images of the historical documents into easily searchable indexes. The completed indexes will be available for free at

Famous Canadians in the 1916 Census

What do Art Linkletter, Sir William Samuel Stephenson, and Elvina Fay Wray have in common? They all have ties to one of the three provinces that make up the 1916 Canada Census, and some lucky volunteer may experience the thrill of transcribing their information for the free online index.
1. Arthur Gordon Kelly (Art Linkletter) will be found as a four-year-old child at Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. He was abandoned as an infant and then adopted and raised by a preacher. He hosted House Party and People Are Funny both on radio and later on newfangled television, and he is best remembered for his interviews with children on the television show Kids Say the Darndest Things. His adoptive parents were Fulton John Linkletter and Mary Metzler.
2. Sir William Samuel Stephenson was a Canadian soldier, airman, businessman, inventor, spymaster, and a British intelligence specialist during World War II. Stephenson is best known by his wartime intelligence codename of Intrepid and is considered by some to be one of the real-life inspirations for James Bond. He was born William Samuel Clouston Stanger, January 23, 1897, in the Point Douglas area of Winnipeg, Manitoba.
3. Elvina Fay Wray was born September 15, 1907, on a ranch near Alberta to Elvina Marguerite Jones and Joseph Heber Wray and will most likely show up as a nine-year old-child in the 1916 census. She made her film debut in Gasoline Love (1923), but it was her lead role in The Wedding March (1928) that made her a star. She became a cult figure after her role in King Kong (1933), as the beauty captured by a giant gorilla.
Getting Involved

Interested volunteers can begin helping immediately by registering online at, downloading the free indexing software, and selecting the 1916 Canada Census project. A digital image of a census page will appear. Volunteers simply type in the data highlighted on the computer screen and save it online. It takes about 30 minutes to complete one census page, and volunteers have a week to complete it if need be. Volunteers only need to be able to read, type, and have Internet access to participate.

“The 1916 census was selected first because it is the most recent and smallest of the three censuses targeted in the first phase. It included three of the western provinces (Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Alberta) and has about 1.7 million names—so it will not take long to complete,” said Stephen Young, FamilySearch project manager.

There are other hidden benefits to volunteering. Volunteers become familiar with historical documents, the valuable stories they can conceal, and their usefulness and application to genealogical research.

Indexers do not need to worry about their skill level at reading censuses. Each census page is transcribed by two different indexers. Any discrepancies between the two entries will be arbitrated by a third indexer. The result is a highly accurate, free index of tremendous value to family history enthusiasts. Young says the more online volunteers that help, the quicker the free census indexes will be available online for all to enjoy and benefit from.

One indexer recently commented, “I am intrigued with how the people come alive for me as I index. I indexed a household . . . containing a family with young children, grandmother, maiden aunt, and a couple of unmarried siblings. They had five servants, and I visualized a well-to-do household; the married son working maybe as a lawyer or doctor, taking care of his extended family. I see both sad and happy stories.”

FamilySearch manages the largest collection of genealogical records worldwide. In 2007 it announced plans to begin digitizing and indexing its collection for broader, online access—starting with popular collections like Canadian censuses. FamilySearch has digitized the 1916 Canada Census and is seeking online volunteers to help create a searchable index for it and other census and non-census Canada projects. The 1861 and 1871 censuses will be next.

Libraries and Archives Canada (LAC) owns and is providing the digital images for the Canada census projects.

About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mark Your Calendars - UGA Meeting!

The next meeting of the Utah Valley Chapter of UGA will be Friday, Nov. 21st, at 7 pm at 85 N 600 East in Provo

The presenter will be Haybron Adams, who will be telling us about Legacy 7. One of the main reasons people are interested in this program is that it uses the Shown-Mills sourcing format. It seems to be a reasonably priced, easy to use program that is being installed in several of the local Family History Centers. The program comes with a video instruction as well. Come see what you think about it!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

FamilySearch Indexing Update: Seven (7) New Projects Added

10 November 2008

Seven new indexing projects were released during the past two weeks:
  • Argentina 1869 Census – Buenos Aires (Part 2)
  • Argentina 1869 Census – Cordoba y San Luis
  • Massachusetts Death Records
  • Massachusetts Marriage Records
  • New Hampshire Birth Records
  • UK – Cheshire – Church Records
  • UK– Cheshire – Land Tax
To help with these or any other indexing projects, go to (and click Index Records) or

Current Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion Status

(Note: Percentages below may refer to a specific portion of a larger project.)

Argentina Censo 1869 - Buenos Aires (Part 2) - Spanish 8%

Argentina Censo 1869 - Cordoba y San Luis - Spanish 8%

Brandenburg Kirchenbücher - German 13%

California - 1920 US Federal Census - English 77%

España Lugo Registros Parroquiales - Spanish 8%

Florida 1945 Census - English 66%

France, Coutances, Paroisses de la Manche - French 7%

Guanajuato Censo de Mexico de 1930 - Spanish 78%

Guerrero - Censo de Mexico de 1930 - Spanish 46%

Illinois - 1920 US Federal Census - English 25%

Massachusetts - 1920 US Federal Census - English 32%

Massachusetts Death Records 1906-1915 - English 21%

Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915 - English 4%

New Hampshire - Early to 1900 Births - English 7%

Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records - Spanish 8%

Trento Italy Baptism Records - Italian 30%

UK - Cheshire - Church Records - English 10%

UK - Cheshire - Land Tax - English 2%

Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales - Spanish 0.4% and FamilySearch Announce Agreement to Digitize and Index Existing Canadian Censuses

Initiative provides online access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian censuses

Toronto, ON—, Canada’s leading online family history Web site, is pleased to announce a joint initiative with FamilySearch International, a nonprofit organization that maintains one of the world's largest repositories of genealogical resources. The joint initiative will allow the organizations to improve online access to a comprehensive collection of Canadian censuses.

As part of the agreement, FamilySearch will digitize and index Canadian census records that has acquired. These digitized and indexed records will then be made available to members on the company’s Web site, and the indexes will be available for free to the public at The images will be free to qualified FamilySearch members and all FamilySearch family history centers.

FamilySearch will deliver images and indexes to for censuses from 1861, 1871, 1881, and 1916, to launch online in 2009. In return, will provide indexes to FamilySearch for the 1891 and 1901 censuses.

Karen Peterson, marketing manager for, comments, “Teaming with FamilySearch will enable to significantly reduce the time and costs involved in delivering these important historical records online for our members. Also, it will free up resources for to invest in other historical records our members want made available online.”

Paul Nauta, public affairs manager for FamilySearch, stated, “FamilySearch is committed to providing free or economical access to more historical records quicker. The Canadian census project with is in alignment with that directive for Canadian records and will be well received by anyone with Canadian ancestry.” is committed to providing Canadians with the most thorough collection of Canadian censuses to its members, and the partnership allows it to better deliver this access.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing - Week 64

I didn't do any FamilySearch Indexing Sunday because I was resting with a cold. Still have it but I am functioning. I had a 5 hour nap today so I guess it was time to get up and do something.

The first thing I check for is any messages on the FamilySearch Indexing website. There is one with an update on the new servers.

November 4, 2008: Indexing Servers Back Up and Running

We successfully moved the indexing servers yesterday faster than we had planned. The system was back up and running by 3:00 PM MST. You should be able to open the application, download and submit batches as you did before.

If you have any issues opening the application, first try to click the Start Indexing button in the bottom right corner of this screen. If that doesn't open the application for you, click here for further suggestions.

The other place to check for messages in within the program itself in My Messages.
From: Headquarters
Subject: Semimonthly Message
Date: 04 Nov 2008

An announcement was posted on the FamilySearch indexing Web site (, on October 28th, stating that so far this year we have completed 100 million names using this indexing program. Great work, everyone!

Occasionally, there are messages that are posted to the indexing Web site that are not or cannot be posted here in this message area. Check the Web site now and then to keep up with these exciting and important announcements.
I guess that means we have to keep checking two sites to get all the latest FamilySearch Indexing news. You could always just read my blog and I will check for you.

Before I pick a project to work on this week I wanted to share a comment that was left on my blog this past week. It is referring to my goal of reaching 10,000 names indexed by the end of this year.
I don't want to burst your balloon because every name indexed is important, but our stake has done 1,101,649 names since Jan 08 with less than 60 indexers. One of our sisters did 18,257 names in October! As director, I ask everyone to try to do one batch a day. This keeps everyone up to date on projects. We like to get at least a 1000 per month from each indexer.

Wow, this is fantastic! I can't imagine having the time to index 1000 names per month or 18,000 plus for that matter! That is one devoted group of indexers. It sure makes my goal seem small in comparison but you're right every name indexed is important.

Ok, now it's time to pick the batch I will index this week. I worked on the Massachusetts Marriage Records last week and that almost made me fall asleep. Massachusetts also has Death Records and the 1920 US Federal Census. You can also do the 1920 Census for California, Illinois and Florida. Then there are the UK - Cheshire - Church and Land Tax Records. Which to do, which to do?

I think I'm going to jump the pond and travel to the UK - Cheshire - Church Records. YIKES! my record is in a foreign language. I don't do foreign languages. I read the project helps and it says that some records are in latin. I don't do latin. It says: "It is anticipated that with the helps, you will be able to index Latin forms, but if you feel uncomfortable doing so, simply return the batch." Ok, call me chicken but I returned the batch. I am not brave enough to start learning latin with a head cold.

YIKES, when I try to return the batch it asks if I want to take it out of circulation. I just want to return it and not do it so I'm not sure what's up with that. I said the reason was other and then it tells me to call my group administrator and explain why I am returning this batch. I think this is the first batch I have ever returned. At least now I have a number and name for my group administrator.

I decided to give my group administrator a call and make sure I was sending the batch back correctly. I had a lovely discussion with her. Everything was fine with the way I was sending it back. I guess you call your arbitrator so they have a chance to make sure you understand what you are doing.

So now I have to pick a new batch I decided to work on the the U.S Federal Census. I think I'll work on the Massachusett ones. Yes, it's in English! I worked on it and boy was it hard tonight. It was really difficult to read the writting. I downloaded two batches and they appeared to be written by the same census taker. You could not tell the difference between a "W" or an "M". I finally had to decide if they were married or a widower just by the family group. I also assummed everyone was white and not malotto since they were from Massachusetts. There were other letters hard to decipher and I just had to use the "*" on some.

I completed two batches of 50 each. That gives me a total of 100 names indexed tonight. My grand total to date is 9, 455. that means I need to index 545 records by the end of the year to reach 10,000. I think I can make it. For now I am going back to bed to get enough rest to get over this cold. Hello winter!

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

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Family History Library making its training available worldwide

The following is from FamilySearch Support.

The Church’s Family History Library has been providing classes to patrons for many years. In the past, a patron would have to travel to the Library to take advantage of these classes, but no longer. The Library will begin testing different methods of exporting these classes to patrons who reside outside of the Salt Lake City area. The first method to be tested is a set of five lessons in a classroom setting in a video format. These lessons are now available on and cover the basics of getting started with family history research in England. The five lessons are called

Lesson 1: Research Overview

Lesson 2: Census Records

Lesson 3: Civil Registration

Lesson 4: Church Records

Lesson 5: Find Your Ancestors

We invite you to visit, view these lessons, and then give us your feedback by using the feedback link there on the online classes’ page.

Simply go to and click on the link for Family History Research Series Online or click here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

MyHeritage Adds Nine New Languages, Supports More Than Any Other Family Web Site

London, England and Tel Aviv, Israel – October 31, 2008 – MyHeritage, one of the world’s most popular family Web sites, today announced the launch of nine additional languages on its website, bringing the total to 34. The new languages include Danish, Romanian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, Lithuanian, Malay, Arabic and Persian.

“Families everywhere want to learn about their history and stay in touch with relatives who may be spread around the world,” said Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage. “We are committed to making MyHeritage the most inclusive online destination for families, regardless of their location or language.”

MyHeritage helps more than 26 million people around the world connect and communicate with their extended family network and easily research family history. Its impressive growth is based on an increasing desire of families to stay closely connected, learn more about each other and regularly share photos and news online. MyHeritage can be accessed through the Web site ( or by downloading a simple piece of software for free. MyHeritage also offers new technology that automatically recognizes and labels faces in digital photos, making it even easier and faster to organize, search for, and share pictures with your family and friends.

About MyHeritage

MyHeritage is one of the world’s leading online networks for families, and the second largest family history website. MyHeritage is available in 34 languages and home to more than 26 million family members and 280 million profiles. The company recently acquired family social network, and is based in Bnei Atarot, near Tel Aviv, Israel and London, UK. For more information, visit

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Adventures in FamilySearch Indexing: Week 63

I missed indexing on Sunday. I was trying really hard to NOT focus on genealogy. Why you ask? Because I was trying to prevent myself from having genealogy withdrawal symptoms. It had been a week since my son had reformatted my internal and external hard drive and lost all my data, including my genealogy database files. I did have data on DVDs made in July but I lost a lot from July on. I was downloading all my backup files from Mozy and trying to concentrate on other things while the time passed.

One thing I did work on was testing several financial and budgeting software programs. I finally found a free one I really liked called "AceMoney Lite" and was busy Sunday entering a years' worth of check book entries into it. I know I could of started with October but I wanted to see my expenses by category for the whole year. I had started with a different budge program earlier in the year but it didnt' have an export option. I don't know if doing your budget fits into recommended Sunday activities or not but that's what I was doing last week.

Now your probably wondering why I'm indexing on a Saturday evening. It's because I had a reader tell me that the indexing site would be down on Sunday. I went to the FamilySearch Indexing website and found this notice. It is also available on My Messages within the software.

October 27, 2008: Notification of System Downtime

The FamilySearch indexing server will be down for scheduled maintenance for approximately 24 hours starting at midnight on Sunday, November 2nd. You will not be able to download or submit batches, or access the Web site and administration portal during this time.

If you plan to index during this downtime, you can download up to five batches before midnight on Sunday, work on them offline, and submit them when the system is back online. Get the batches as early as you can, so they have plenty of time to download completely before midnight.

The scheduled maintenance involves moving the indexing servers to a new facility to prepare for future growth. We estimate this process will not take the full 24 hours to complete; however, depending on circumstances, it may take longer. Please be patient and we will bring the servers back up as soon as we possibly can.

So it's not until mid-night Sunday that the site will be down. You really shouldn't plan on indexing from the site on Monday. Oh, well I had it in my mind to do it Saturday this week so Saturday is when I am indexing.

There was another message on the FamilySearch Indexing website for us this week.

October 28, 2008: Fantastic Achievement
Working together using the FamilySearch indexing system, we have completed 100 million names so far this year. Congratulations on an incredible feat! Keep up the great work.
Isn't that fantastic 100 million names indexed this year. We are doing GREAT!

I had a reader post a comment this week.
Will The indexed information and the images that are being worked with The Societies, be available for all people? Or just for the ones who indexed them?

Well, Anonymous I thought to help clarify this I would re-post what FamilySearch has said about this subject.
October 2, 2008:
Access to Indexes and Images

All indexes created by FamilySearch volunteers will be available free to the general public through Access to any images with a “convenience fee” provided under FamilySearch affiliate agreements (e.g., with,, and will be available for free through any family history center worldwide, to LDS Church members, and qualified FamilySearch indexers (a volunteer who indexes 900 names in a 90 day period will have 90 days of free image access).

FamilySearch is testing a validation system that will enable it to authenticate qualified FamilySearch members. It will be implemented in 2009.

To search indexes and images freely now at FamilySearch's pilot site, click here.
It will really depends on what arrangements were made with record holders as to how certain groups of individuals access the images. Everyone will always have access to the free indexes.

Now I finally get to work on indexing. I am curious to find out what records are available. There are nine projects for the English language. Nothing for New York. There are also no 1870 U.S. Federal Census projects left. You can work on the 1920 census for several states. Massachusetts and New Hampshire have some vital records. There was also a 1850 U.S. Federal Census for the state of Alabama. I thought the 1850 census project was all done? The other English project was for the UK - Cheshire Church and Land Records.

What to index? I decided to help finish up the 1850 U.S. Federal Census records for Alabama. Oops, it says nothing available. Well I guess the Massachusetts Marriage Records 1906-1915 sound good. I worked on the batch and it took so loooong to complete. It was nothing like the Irish Marriage records that I did. These are very detailed.

I only did one batch with 18 records. I got so tired and my eyes so heavy that I knew it was time for bed. Gosh 18 records indexed seem so tiny, but it is all I can do for this session. 9355 total records indexed to date. As I ponder over my day, I have accomplished a lot, just not much in the indexing field. Maybe Sundays are better for me after-all. Well, it was a good learning experience.

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

FamilySearch Record Search Update: Over 30 Million New Records Added

Over 30 million names or record images were added to FamilySearch’s RecordSearch pilot. Significant data was published from 3 U.S. Census indexing projects (1850, 1860, and 1870). Digital image collections were added for Massachusetts, Argentina, Brazil, Czech Republic, Louisiana, Russia, Spain, and Vermont (see the table below).

The entire collection can be searched for free online at or through the Search Records feature at


Digital Images

Indexed Records


1850 United States Census (Population) - index & images


Added Georgia, Mississippi, and Virginia

1850 US Census (Slave)


See description online for state list.

1850 US Census (Mortality)


See description online for state list.

1860 US Census


All states. Partials for Alabama and Pennsylvania.

1870 US Census


Added IN, MI, OH, and WI

1865 MA Census


City of Boston

1855 Argentina, Buenos Aires Census,


See description online.

Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Civil Registration


Covers years 1889 to 2006.

Czech, Republic (Opava) Church Books


Covers years 1650 to 1900.

Louisiana War of 1812 Pensions Lists


Covers years 1812 to 1815.

Russia, St Petersburg Lutheran Church


Covers years 1833 to 1935.

Spain, Ciudad Real Catholic Diocese


Records from 1530 to 1930.

Vermont Enrolled Militia Records


Covers years 1861 to 1867.

Training and Resources Tab Now Available to All

The Training and Resources tab in the Help Center in the new FamilySearch is now available to everyone who uses the new FamilySearch. Anyone who selects the Help Center option will see the tab and have access to helpful resources, including the new FamilySearch E-Learning courses.

Although all members will benefit from being able to go through the new FamilySearch E-Learning courses, the lessons will especially help members who use the new FamilySearch in languages other than English or Spanish.

Currently, the Overviews in the new FamilySearch are available only in English and Spanish. The new FamilySearch E-Learning courses are available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Although the E-Learning courses are not exactly the same as the Overviews, their content is very similar.

Family history consultants should encourage the members in their wards or branches, especially those who use the new FamilySearch in Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, to go through the new FamilySearch E-Learning courses so they can become more familiar with how to use the new FamilySearch.

To access the new FamilySearch E-Learning courses, members do the following:

· Log in to the new FamilySearch at

· Select Help Center.

· Select Training and Resources.

· Select E-Learning Courses

The E-Learning Courses link gives all members access to a portion of the courses available to family history consultants and others with family history responsibilities. Consultants will continue to have access to the complete set of courses and resources when they select the same link.