Family History and Indexing


Saturday, February 26, 2011


Spring is around the corner! !

Ward Indexing Specialists
I am listing below the Ward Indexing Specialists that have been called or who are helping in that position. These are the people in your Ward that you should call when you have a question or need help indexing. Not every Ward has this position filled yet, so make sure you are calling the correct person. If you can't reach them you can call me, or the Help Desk in SLC @ 1-866-406- which is a toll free number.
  • Kathrine Burton OKC FIrst Ward
  • Holly McIntosh OKC Fifth Ward
  • Lajuana Reichman - Clinton Ward
  • Sister Jacks - OKC Third Ward
  • Judy McGraw - Edmond First Ward
Last week I told you that you could reach the Help Desk in Salt Lake City on a 24/7 basis. I was wrong. After consulting with SLC I can report that these are the official hours:
Monday - Thursday 6AM - 1 AM Utah time
Friday 6AM - 10 PM Utah time
Saturday 8AM - 4 PM Utah Time
At other times of the day or night there are voice mail options and they will return you call ASAP. I am sorry if this caused anyone an inconvenience.
If any of you have tried indexing the PA WWII draft cards you may have noticed some weird abbreviations for the counties or towns. Below are some things that I have seen and that might help you determine what those abbreviations stand for. ( I have an advantage because I was born and raised in PA)
Alle or Agh = Alleghney
Pittgh or Pgh = Pittsburgh
Law = Lackawanna
Ly = Lycoming
Scr = Scranton
Phil = Philadelphia
These are just a few that I have seen. If you aren't sure try putting in the first letters and using the look-up table to find names using those letters. If at all possible you should have the full name. When you see an address like RD2 Tannersville, the town is Tannersville.
Remember not to put in the county name if you know it, but DO NOT SEE IT WRITTEN on the image. We can not assume. Just think of it this way: A person searching the records wants to read exactly what is on the image, not anything you might add.
Batches that have only one name per image , or single image records, there is no need to do a Records Matching. In fact it will not be one of your choices when arbitrating. You will just arbitrate the images. PA WWII Draft cards are a perfect example. Please familiarize yourselves with the look-up table on place names for those abbreviations mentioned above. You should always use the full name of the place, but if you can't make a determination go with the abbreviation.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Indexing Tips and Helps

Stake Family History Conference
Saturday March 12th, 2010
8:30 am to 4:00 pm

Peddle on over

The Stake Family History and Indexing Directors will be holding an Internet Conference dealing with family history and Indexing. All Indexers in the Oklahoma City Stake should consider attending these classes.

The Family History classes will be presented through the Internet giving you the opportunity to learn from experienced national speakers. topics include: Genealogy Bootcamp and Genealogy Bank.Com; Research Logs; Journey Takers; Inferential Genealogy; and a live lecture by Cory Russell on Immigration and Naturalization.

Indexing classes will be taught by me in the High Council room starting at 11:00am . The first class will be "Tips on Indexing and Hand Writing Helps". The second class at 1:00pm will be about " Records Search: all those names we are indexing". All indexers should plan to attend these two classes. I think you can learn some new tricks to speed up your indexing skills.

The Conference is FREE, but pre- registration is necessary for logistical purposes. You may pick up a registration form at the Stake Family History Center or you may call Sister Waddle at 405-225-8700. A lunch may be ordered for the cost of $10.00 or you may bring your own. Conference registration begins at 8:30 am and the conference is over at 4:00 pm. You may attend as many classes as you desire.

If you are indexing the census records and you see some unusual terms in the Relationship field. Like adopted son, assistant pastor, or maybe nun. It is important that you type those terms actually as you see them in the relationship field, not in the title or terms field.
This information was not found in the Project Information page, or Field Helps, but I called the Help Desk at 1-866-406-1830 to verify what action to take.
You may call the help desk 24/7 when you have a question. That may be a good idea now that I am at work and not available to answer your calls during the day. You can still call me at night or email me and I will try to help you. If it is something that needs attention right away, call the Help Desk in SLC. It is a toll free call.

I have added a new link on my gadget list It will lead you to the Family Search Blog. It has interesting messages on it about genealogy. Also my daughter Elizabeth Miller has a blog page titled "Tripin Over Your Ancestors" and I have posted a link to her blog. Liz is getting a degree in Family History at BYU and her major area of interest is Spanish research. If you are interested in her research in Spain you can click on that link and read about her research experiences . She is going back there next week to do more research.
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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Indexing the U S Census Records

Help with Indexing the 1930 U S Census Records
Recently I was working in the 1930 Michigan Census records and found
an unusual thing. In the field for Father's place of birth it said "FULL", and in
the Mother's place of birth it said "OTTAWA".
My first thought was to follow the golden rule of indexing, you know "Index what
you see". But I was wrong!!
After opening the tab for "Project Information", which is located on the lower right
side of your work sheet, I discovered that there were unique instructions
to deal with this specific situation. It seems there are several families of Native Americans listed in those Michigan Census records and usually what was written in the place name fields was the degree of Blood and the tribe. These terms are NOT TO BE INDEXED. You should enter "BLANK" in those place names.
It is always a good idea to read all the Project Information details when you start indexing a new project. This applies to projects that are similar but maybe in a different state, like census records. Each project is different, and may have unique problems with specific directions. Please take the time to read all helps and project information, it might save you from having a returned batch that wasn't indexed correctly.
I just want you to know how much I appreciate all that each of you do for the indexing program in our Stake. We are doing a great job and together we can reach our goal of 500,000 names in 2011.
Good news for all of you family history slueths. Ancestory. com is going to be available for use again, free, in the Stake Family History Center!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Week-End Indexing Challenge

What a great week-end of Indexing in the Oklahoma City Stake!

When Stake Conference was canceled because of all the snow we had earlier in the week, and the weather man was predicting even more snow to fall, everyone must have read their email and found that they could participate in some wonderful service for the Lord from the comfort of their own home. I am very impressed with all the work that was accomplished in just 2 days.

The Stake Super Week-end Indexing Challenge started about 2:30 pm on Saturday, Feb. 5th. Due to a major computer problem at my house and my new work schedule, I was not able to get the count after the week-end until tonight, Monday Feb 7th. The amount of fantastic work that all of you did amounts to just over 48 hours of effort. This whole idea came about because of one interested indexer, Sherri Furber. Sister Furber thought we had a golden opportunity to make a meaningful contribution to the indexing program in lieu of Stake Conference meetings. She was right and you all did a wonderful job. Thank you so much for even one more name that you may have added.

The absolutely fantastic results for 48 hours, just 2 days, was 8400 names Indexed and 546 names arbitrated. At this rate, if we could do it everyday, we would reach our Stake Goal of 500,000 names in 120 days, which would be June 8th !!!!!

Thank you to all who participated in this challenge. You may see some more activities like this in the future.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Help with 1930 Census Records

Help with 1930 Census Records
Many times I have been asked what should be done with 1930 census records that say "this batch may be partially indexed"?
When you open the batch you find that there are several data items already indexed, like names, gender, sometimes race or color is there and a few places of birth are shown, but not all.
What does that mean to you as an indexer? If you click on the right hand side of your worksheet, above "Field Helps" where the "Project Information" tab is, you can read all about the working partnership that Family Search has ongoing with
These partially indexed records came from Ancestory. We are enhancing the 1930 census by using their (Ancestory's) current published information. We are asked to add things such as, line number, Family number, title or terms such as Jr or Sr, all the missing data, and the date of immigration. We are also asked to please verify ALL existing data from They did make mistakes so please take time to look at the spellings on the names. There are a few tips I will share with you that may make this indexing record go a little faster for you.
  • If you see a capital H, next to or above the wife's given name: do not index the H. It stands for wife of head of household.
  • If you see a lower case "ab" written after a given name: do not index the ab. It stands for "absent" from the home when the census taker was there.
  • Check to see if everyone on the page was the same race or color: If they are you can enter the correct term in the first persons line, then right click on the term and you will get a drop down table that, at the bottom, it says: "Ditto Fields Below". Click on that and it will populate all fields below. After you scroll down to make sure all Race or Color fields are filled, you can right click on Race or Color, the header, for that field and you can choose to "Hide Race or Color". That removes it from your work sheet, but saves it so when you submit that batch it will be added to your data items. Why do that?? Well if you can reduce as many as possible fields you shorten up the work space and have less items to tab over. It goes a lot faster. Just make sure what you ditto applies to every person on the record. You won't want to do that with Sex or Martial Status.
  • If you scroll across the record before starting and see that no one immigrated, so there will be no year of immigration to add; then Right click on the header for that field and hide the year of Immigration field.
  • On the far right of your work sheet there are two fields that we do not have anything to do with. That is PID number and Enumeration District. You can just right click on the headers for both of those fields and Hide them from your work sheet.
  • Fields that you HIDE, can be restored by clicking on VIEW at the top of your screen and go to the bottom of the drop-down list to "Organize Fields". It will show you which fields you hide. If you highlight the one you want to see on your worksheet again, and then hit the left tab button, it will move it back to your list of selected items and put it on the bottom.
  • Remember that all Federal Census Record worksheets are set for 50 names. Sometimes there may be fewer than 50 names written on the original document. You MUST enter something for all 50 lines. So if there are only 6 names written on the original document then you must enter 44 "Blanks" for the remaining 44 lines.

Arbitrators:'s info is always in Key A. If you must choose a PID number accept Key A. If there is no PID number in Key A, but there is one in Key B, then you would accept Key B. If neither batch, A or B, has a PID number and you are prompted to select one, enter BLANK. Most times you don't have to choose a PID number so don't be too concerned about it.

I hope that these tips help you understand what you can do to speed up your indexing work. Please read the "Project Information" before you start any new work in indexing. They have lots of suggestions and helps available to everyone.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Indexing Statistics

Oklahoma City Stake January 2011 Indexing Statistics

30,469 Names Indexed

8913 Names Arbitrated
Charles Meixsell
1845 - 1915
Statistics by Ward:

Clinton: 6156 Nanes Indexed; 0 Arbitrated

Edmond First: 2090 Names Indexed; 614 Arbitrated

Edmond Second: 284 Names Indexed; 126 Arbitrated

OKC 5th; 4551 Names Indexed; 0 Arbitrated

OKC 1st: 6681 Names Indexed; 1215 Arbitrated

OKC 3rd: 3098 Names Indexed; 6535 Arbitrated

University Ward: 532 names Indexed; 0 Arbitrated

Quail Creek: 5003 names Indexed; 0 Arbitrated

Village Ward; 1764 names Indexed; 423 Arbitrated

Woodward Branch: 310 names Indexed; 0 Arbitrated
Who's Number One Statistically
Clinton Ward is the number one Ward for indexing this month, based on the number of names ( 6156) vs the number of indexers ( 4). Which means they averaged 1578 names each. Great Job!! Keep up the good work
OKC Third Ward is the number One Ward for Arbitrating this month, based on the number of names arbitrated by one person. Great Work!
Thank you everyone for all that you do for Indexing. Each name is greatly appreciated.