Family History and Indexing


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Indexing Tips

Do you know your "Magic Number"?
See last weeks post to find out now.
Handwriting Helps
As an Indexer it can sometimes be difficult to read the handwriting on your image. Below are some usefull sugestions that may help you.
  • Adjust the brightness and sharpen the image. Get the best reading conditions possible.
  • Increase the magnification.
  • Use the handwriting icon on the worksheet to view the alphabets
  • Study the handwriting on the full document. Look for similar names or letters in a name.
  • Focus on the first few letters of a name. The computer can put a name in alpha order if it has just the first few letters.
  • Use the Look-Up tables. Not all of the names may be in this table, but sometimes just putting in the first few, or last few letters you will suddenly realize what the name should be when you see the suggestions in the look-up list.
  • A faint image may also be sharper if it is set at a smaller size of text.
  • Try using the black/white icon that changes the background to black and the writing to white.
  • Try using Google to see if anyone has that name, especially if it is a strange name to you.
  • Index the names last. You will become more familiar with the handwriting and it may make the names easier to read.
  • Be careful not to assume. Put in a "?" if you are unsure of one letter, or an asterisk "*" if there is more than one letter in question.
  • It is ok to mark the field unreadable.
  • There are two people indexing the same batch, and a third person arbitrates or reviews both batches and makes the final decision.

New Search Engine Found
The world's largest free genealogy search engine, MOCAVO.COM , provides genealogists access to the best free genealogy content on the web including billions of names, dates and places worldwide. Existing sites searchable on include genealogy message boards, family trees, state and local historical societies, the Library of Congress, National Archives, Ellis Island, Find A Grave, the Internet Archive, and many tens of thouseands of genealogy sites built by individuals. Click on the link added to my site and check it out.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Ice Cream Social Challenge

This is no Joke!!!
Starting in April The Stake Presidency Presents
An Ice Cream Social Challenge
 for any Ward or Branch in the Oklahoma City Stake
that can double the number of names indexed in a month in 2010.

Read the small print !

This is how it works: I have compilied the number of names indexed and arbitrated by each Ward and Branch on a monthly basis, from May of 2010 to January 1st,2011. The highest indexing month was chosen for the year 2010. That month's number was multiplied by 2 (double the number). The Challenge to your Ward or Branch is to index and/or arbitrate, in any given month in 2011, the resulting number, which will be 2 times your  Ward's highest monthly achivement last year. Listed below are the numbers  that will have to be achieved  in  order to win an Ice Cream Social with the Stake Presideny in your Ward or Branch.

What you will have to do to win,

Clinton = 19344,  Edmond 1st Ward = 9390, Edmond 2nd Ward = 4708, OKC 1st Ward = 31636, OKC 3rd Ward = 16414, OKC 4th Branch = 30, OKC 5th Ward = 8706, University Ward = 1366, Quail Creek Ward = 31198, Village Ward = 17226, Woodward Branch = 504

 Remember that if your Ward or Branch doesn't make it one month, try again. You have till January to make your goal. We post the monthly totals on this blog each month to help you keep track.  You will be hearing more about this throughout the rest of the year and hopefully from you Ward Indexing Specialist.   Good Luck to all!!       

Monday, March 14, 2011

Family History Conference Report

Oklahoma City Stake Family History Conference
11th and 12th of March 2011

Just a brief report on the activities at the Family History Conference that was held last week-end. A big thank you goes to Sister Donna Waddle who serves as the Stake Family History Director and her staff who organized and presented the internet courses. They were great and the one class that I got to attend  gave me a lot of inspiration to start working on my own family history at some new websites. I will list several of these sites at the end of this message. Most classes where attended by about 40 patrons on Saturday. The first class on Indexing Tips could have been better if we would have gotten the indexing program to open up on the internet. As it was we did cover a lot of tips to help you work faster with indexing and handwritting tips. The second class on Records Search was much better after the connection to the internet began to work. I wish all of you could have been there to learn some new tricks.
Friday nights opening session, with our guests from Texas, Brother Kirk Hathaway and Sister Darlene Hathaway who serve as the Area Family History Advisors, was wonderful. They both gave short talks and then showed a video clip of the opening ceremony at the 2010 National Genealogcial Society Conference which was held in Salt Lake City. President Henry B Eyring gave a talk entitled " The Joy of Family History" that was excellent and brought a few chuckles and tears to everyone's eyes. I am planning on purchasing that CD so that I can show that talk again. If your Relief Society or Priesthood group would like me to come and show it for a presentation on family history, just let me know I would be more than happy to arrange that.
I have listed below,  the websites to those interesting genealogy research sites that I learned about at the Conference. They are free except for the last one:

Google Books @   over 12 million books that you can download, more than 100,000 genealogies and local histories that you can search by individual word

Internet Archive @    2.3 million books and city directories, over 50,000 genealogies and local histories, can be searched by individual word

Family Hisotry Archives @     A permanent site with over 60,000 genealogies and local histories, you can upload your own publications to archive them. @   over 1 Billion names, and more than 4300 Newspapers from 1690 to today. 263,000 rare books and documents. Historic Hispanic newspapers from 1808 that were published in the US.  This site is not free, it offers a 30 day trial for $9.95.

Don't forget the FREE Premium Subscriptions available in our own Family History Center at the Stake Building. Such as, Find My Past,, The Genealogist, Heritage Quest Online, World Vital Records,just to name a few. Of course our most amazing and swiftly growing Church Site,   with over 548 million names from indexing, so far!!

Coming in April,
President Baclawski is "Sweetening the Pot"
 and this is No Joke!!!!! Learn more next week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

February Stake Statistics

February Stake Statistics

The Stake Statistics are very good. Everyone is doing a great Job.  The main thing we have to focus on in order to reach our goal of 1/2 million names this year, is consistency!!  Each person signed up to be an indexer needs to index some names each and every month. It all adds up. Please help us reach our goal in 2011.
If you went to Stake Conference last week-end at the OKC Stake Building you may have seen the Poster I created to show the Stake's Progress with the Indexing Program for this year. If not, then look for it on the wall across from the Family History Center. Some people said it looked like an old United Way poster and in a way I think we are all united in our Indexing Way.  Thank you to all who work on indexing and arbitrating those names.

These are the numbers for the Month of February for the Stake, listed by Ward:
Clinton                        7154 indexed
Edmond First:             7362 indexed, 1047 arbitrated
Edmond Second:         1446 indexed, 197 arbitrated
OKC Fifth:                  4485 indexed, 2396 arbitrated
OKC First:                  7839 indexed, 818 arbitrated
OKC Fourth Branch:    
OKC Third:                 5542 indexed, 3567 arbitrated
OKC University:           716 indexed
Quail Creek:                5800 indexed
Village:                        2246 indexed 34arbitrated
Woodward Branch:         53 indexed 

Top Indexing Ward in the Stake in February

Oklahoma City Third Ward

With three indexers doing an average of 1847.33
names each!!   Congratulations Great Job!

Clinton Came in Second with four indexers doing an average of 1788.5 names each. Good Work!!

If you wonder why the OKC First Ward, who has the most indexed names each month, never makes it to the top Indexing List it is because they have the most indexers. There are  19  active indexers so they  index an average of 412.6 names, each, a month. This is a good example of what more indexers can do.  As a Ward our goal for this year should be to add 1 new indexer a month. Do you know someone who would be interested in indexing?

Don't forget the FH Conference Next Saturday, March 12th at the Stake Center in OKC. Starts at 8:30 am - 4:00 pm. Indexing Classes are at 11:00am and again at 1:00 pm.  Ward Indexing Specialist's Training is at Noon in the High Council Room.