Family History and Indexing


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thoughtful Indexing Thursday

pinned from

New FamilySearch/ Agreement

Today as I was enjoying the sound of thunder and rain in the background my attention was drawn to some recent posts on the FamilySearch blog page, The Ancestry Insider blog and  on my favorite blog, Genealogy's Star.
 A new announcement from FamilySearch recently talked about a new agreement they have made with It appears that, which is a for profit genealogy company, has offered to put up over $60 million dollars over the next five years to help Familysearch bring on-line approximately 1 billion global historical records that have never been seen. You can read about the new agreement at the FamilySearch blog or on .Why would they do that? For several reasons, that I can discern.

It costs a lot of money to prepare the digitized images for Indexing and Arbitration at FamilySearch. Also in the past many records have been shared with Ancestry so that they can be accessible to a bigger, worldwide, market place.  Does that mean that those of us who are indexing for FamilySearch will have to pay to now see what we have done? NO.  The records will still be available for FREE.

All historical records that are indexed and arbitrated are available to anyone for free on just has they have been in the past.  They are also free on if you come to a Family Search Center and use the on-line portal. Tim Sullivan of said "the two will share international sets of records more collaboratively...... A significant part of our vision for family history is helping provide a rich, and engaging experience on a global scale." FamilySearch officials said " We look forward to more exciting developments as we continue to work with leading organizations in the genealogy community."

My thoughts are that I will still continue to index and arbitrate records because I love to help people experience the joy of finding their ancestors.  Volunteer indexers play a vital role in genealogy research. Our help will be needed for many more years. Even a small donation of time and talents will make a big difference for an unknown researcher. We all benefit from our indexing efforts, in more ways than one. It is good therapy for cold rainy days or  nights when you can't sleep.

Our Ancestors are Waiting

My cousins taken in 1930's in Pennsylvania

If you are researching for the records of your ancestors you may find that  you come up empty-handed. Don't be discouraged as all records are not on-line. You may have to visit the county that they lived in to find their records.  But that can all change if we index and arbitrate the images that we can get. Your dedication to the work may provide the records that can lead researchers to their ancestors.
As you know each batch is indexed by two people. If they both agree then no more work needs to be done and they can be published. If they do not agree than a third person will compare the two batches and fix the differences. This is called arbitration. Most arbitrators have indexed at least 2000 names and have at least a 95% - 97% arbitration rate.

As reported by Jennifer Anderson, in the FamilySearch Indexing Newsletter, "FamilySearch Indexing  is behind in arbitration by nearly four million images. That represents some 10 million individuals who names cannot be published."  If you are currently an arbitrator, thank you and keep up the good work. If you have not been arbitrating for awhile, then there is a new arbitration tutorial that helps you review the instructions. Just click on Help, next time you log into indexing, and look for the New Arbitrators video.

If you would like to become an arbitrator please contact your Stake Indexing Director or the Ward Indexing Group Administrator. Arbitration is a very vital part of the Indexing Program.Training is available.

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