Since 1894, when the Genealogical Society of Utah was established, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has gathered genealogical records to help members research their own family history. The Granite Mountain Records Vault in the mountainside above Salt Lake City now contains nearly two and a half million microfilms from 110 countries and principalities. Very little of the information contained in these films is available online. FamilySearch indexing creates indexes to this information and makes it available to everyone on the Internet.
Records containing information about your own ancestors are probably included in this vast collection of unindexed microfilms. FamilySearch indexing will make it possible for you to find your ancestors’ names on the Internet through easily searchable electronic databases.
To Preserve a Heritage
FamilySearch indexing was first introduced to a few stakes through their stake extraction programs. Nancy Hendrickson was surprised when she was called as extraction director for her Utah stake. “I am not a computer person; I’m not technically savvy. I don’t need to be, because the indexing program is so simple to use.” She attributes her success to the Holy Ghost and to her strong testimony and her commitment to family history work. “Indexing has been such a blessing in my life. When you’re involved with anything that has to do with redeeming the dead, the Spirit of the Lord comes into your life.”
Indexing helps to preserve the heritage of families by recording the lives of individuals who have passed on. Sister Hendrickson explains: “I’m going to sit down and do just one batch; I’ve only got time to do one batch. Then before I know it, I just keep going. It’s as if there are people standing in line saying, ‘Please do one more name, just me, just one more.’ ”
How Does It Work?
Anyone interested in helping with family history is invited to be a volunteer indexer. You can begin indexing right away. Go to the FamilySearchIndexing.org Web site and click “Volunteer” (Register now). Then follow the instructions to install the program onto your computer. You can work when you want to, at your own speed, and you can even choose which records you would like to index.
The FamilySearch indexing software was designed for busy people who have only short blocks of time to devote to family history work. Each batch consists of up to 50 records that you can download using your home computer or a computer at a family history center. Usually, a batch takes only 30 minutes to index, but you have a week to finish it. There is no paperwork to keep track of, and the program remembers what you have done so you can stop when you need to and start again where you left off. If you have felt intimidated by doing family history research, indexing is a simple way to become involved in the important work of redeeming the dead.
People aren’t waiting to be called to work in the Family History Program—they’re volunteering! Doing temple work at home.
EVERY PERSON MATTERS. Perhaps it is this feeling that prompts millions to seek out their family history. For most, records of their ancestors provide key links to their past. An army of volunteers from around the world is now helping to save and make these records available. Using our online system, they are able to easily extract data from valuable records and provide free searchable indexes—all from the convenience of their homes.
YOU CAN HELP. No special skills or fixed time commitments are required. Volunteer when you can. Just register, sign in, and follow a simple process:
1.Select a “batch” of records to download to your computer.
2.Enter the requested information (names, dates, events, etc.) in the corresponding spaces.
3.Submit your completed index to the online system.
I hope you will check it out and volunteer your time for this important work. Best regards!