Family History and Indexing


Friday, December 26, 2014

December Indexing and Temple News

Arlington Cemetery, Arlington,VA (taken by Pamela Brown Reid 2014)

Stake To Honor Top 5 Indexers and Top 5 Arbitrators

Mark your Calendars for January 30th, a Friday night at 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM for a social to honor the top 5 Indexers, top 5 arbitrators and the top 5 Youth indexers in our Stake.  These indexers and arbitrators and their families are invited. The Top Indexing Ward, Quail Creek, is also invited. Listed below are the names of those who made the top 5 list. (Next week the year end report will be posted for your Ward.)

Top 5 Indexers:                                                         Top 5 Arbitrators:

Jessie Crawford, Edmond First                                 Judy McGraw, Edmond First
Nora Muzingo, Quail Creek                                     Gene Bushman, Village
Erin LeBlanc, Village                                               Mary Butts, Okc 5th
Wilma White, Okc 1st                                              Charles Howell, Quail Creek
Donna Saxon, Quail Creek                                       Colette Datin, Quail Creek

Top 5 Youth Indexers

Courtney Wilkinson, Village
Bailey Ingram, Okc 5th
Emma Aquino, Okc 1st
Vanessa Aquino, Okc 1st
Falyn Crawford, Okc 1st

I would like to personally thank all of the Indexers in the Stake for their hard work in 2014.  Indexing is a great way to Serve the Lord, from home. The names that we index and arbitrate, provide researchers, perhaps ourselves, with the opportunity to prepare to take our ancestors  names to the Temple.

Gifts: A Progress Report from FamilySearch Blog
August 4, 2014 by Katie Gale - a summation

FamilySearch recently announced that they have one billion images of historical documents available on-line and viewable on Of that amazing number only 22 percent of them are indexed. We still have a lot of work to do, so that we can easily search for these documents. The people at FamilySearch are working hard to make the best use of volunteers' gifts of time and talent.  

Most of the advancements are coming in the new indexing program, next year, but there are several things that you may have seen already. Recently I have downloaded batches that are called "Single-key indexing projects". This means that simple projects, like typewritten records, that are indexed accurately by most volunteers, will only be transcribed once, by one indexer and will not be arbitrated. The quality will be monitored closely and if the quality of a project drops, a peer review or arbitration process will be added.  You can tell if you have downloaded one of these batches, by reading the message that pops up when the download is completed, just before you start to work on the batch. When I get one of these batches, I take my time and check for typos before I submit it. It appears that your accuracy is the key factor in determining if you are eligible to index these "single Key" batches. 

2015 Stake Indexing Goal

 The Indexing goal for our Stake in 2015 is more than a number. While we would like to keep our 2014 goal of 1 Million names, indexed and arbitrated, we are also going to encourage our Stake indexers to prepare Family File names to take to the Temple. Each Ward gets a report from Salt Lake on how many members are doing family file names at the Temple. The percentage is not very high for our Stake. We would like to see an increase in that number as well as in our Indexing results for 2015.

Last week at the Temple, President Hanson told us that he has been asked by the Temple department to increase the number of "Family Baptism Sessions". It seems that this special time, for families at the baptismal font, has been very successful and Salt Lake would like to see more time given for parents to come with their children and family names. 
 As a result of this, President Hanson is adding 8 more Family Baptism times to our monthly schedule at the Oklahoma City Temple.  He said he will add these extra family baptismal sessions, starting in February,  early on Friday nights and on Saturday afternoons, every week . The exact time of these Family Baptismal Sessions will be announced later. There is no need to make a reservation, just show up with your children and your family file names. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

November Indexing Report 2014

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Temple - to be dedicated in 2016

It has been a long time since I have posted any indexing reports to this blog. I hope that I can now get started back at keeping all of our 735 Stake Indexers updated on the valuable service that they are doing. I would like to thank all of you that have indexed or arbitrated this year. We hope to have an even better year in 2015. There are lots of Obituaries to work on and I will be posting helpful hints on how to decide what the relationship to the deceased should be. Please check back here often to see new hints! Obituaries are very valuable and there are tons of them to do. They contain lots of information and many names, , we need your help!

 FamilySearch is looking for anyone who is an arbitrator, to learn how to arbitrate the obituary project. If you can, please take time to arbitrate an extra obituary this month. After Christmas, in January, we will have a training session for all indexers and arbitrators with specific training in obituaries. Thank you again for all that you do to help with this great Service effort.

November 2014 Indexing/Arbitrating Report

53,863 total names for month!
(our highest month this year)
Thank you everyone!!!!! 

Stake Year to Date Indexing/Arbitration
417,558 names  !!!

    • Clinton                        734
    • Edmond First           6821
    • Edmond Second       5612
    • OKC Fifth                 2820
    • OKC First              16,404 
    • OKC Third               3492
    • Quail Creek              5676
    • Village                        6502
    • Woodward                  3211

 OKC Youth Totals for November 

  • Okc First Ward              2591
I would like to Challenge all of you to help us make it to 500,000 names by December 31st!

Obituary Helpful Tips:
These tips come from  mistakes that I see when I arbitrate obituaries. The most common mistake is trying to determine the correct relationship to the deceased. Since you can not determine the gender of an individual by the name, you have to decide if you will need to use a generic relationship term. 

For Example: when do I use Parent verses when do I use Mother or Father?
  1. If the obit says: daughter of John and Mary Metzger Smith 
          You would index it as: Relationship =  parent for both names;
Parent = John (given name)  Smith ( surname)
Parent =  Mary Metzger (given names)  Smith (surname)

You can not determine the gender from the given names. 

  2.  If the obit says:  daughter of John and Mary (Metzger) Smith
       You would index it as: Relationship would be Father, then Mother 
          Father = John (given name) Smith (surname)
 and  Mother = Mary (given Name), Metzger Smith ( surnames)
You can determine that Mary is a female by her maiden name in Parentheses 

3. If the name of the Deceased (always entered as the #1 name in all obits) is shown to be Ruby Mary Metzger Smith, and you can see the name Metzger with her father's name, ie., John Metzger, then you can use Metzger Smith as the Surname of the Deceased. But, you can only do that if you see that  the father's surname matches. You should read the whole obit before you start indexing.
 It would look like this:

Deceased: Ruby Mary (given Name)  Metzger Smith (surname)

If the Father's last name is different and does not match that of the deceased,  then it would be entered this way:

Deceased: Ruby Mary Metzger (given names) Smith (surname)

Monday, May 12, 2014

First Quarterly Indexing Report 2014

Salt Lake City Temple, Feb 2014

Where does Indexing fit in??

Indexing is family history. It turns the hearts to the Father's and helps to provide the way for members of The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to find their ancestors records and prepare a way to take those names to the Temple.

 Indexing increases the work of Salvation. Indexing is a tool to increasing spiritual righteous and to hasten the work. It took 78 years to produce the first (1) Billion searchable records for Family Search. It took 7 year, with indexing, to make the next billion records available. 

The 2014 invitation to you is to submit one name to the Temple, if you are indexing, and to index one batch if you have already submitted that name, this year. This is something that I believe every member of our Stake can do.

Family History Video - click on link below

Quarterly Indexing Report
Jan - March 2014

names indexed and arbitrated

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The RootsTech 2014 report

April Garwood, Helen & John Lehman, Lois Gilbert
At RootsTech 2014 in Salt Lake City,UT

The Roots Tech Conference 2014 was an overwhelming success. We all learned new things about Family History work that we are more than willing  to our share with our Stake members. This year there were over 10,000 people in attendance, plus 4,000 youth from Utah coming in Saturday for a full day of classes. The youth  were very excited to be there and John Bytheway was the Keynote speaker in the youth session.

Keynote speakers for the Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning sessions included, but not limited to: Dennis Brimhall, who is the President and CEO of FamilySearch; Ree Drummond who writes "The Pioneer Woman" blog; Judy Russell who writes "The Legal Genealogist" blog; Dr. Spence Wells a leading population geneticist for the Genographic Project affiliated with National Geographic; Todd Hansen reporter and host of "The Story Trek" on BYU TV; and Stephanie Nielsen popular blogger and author of the bestselling book, "Heaven is Here". All very exciting and well received speakers. Stephanie Nielsen was the only one who received a standing ovation after her heartfelt story of her long struggle recovering from 80% burns suffered in an airplane crash.

You may ask what did the keynote speakers have in common with a family history conference? STORIES: they are telling their stories in their blogs, in their lectures and their books. It demonstrated the point that you should start now to record your own story. Stories can be about anything in your life and start at any point along the way of life.  Stories are the key factor to welcoming the Spirit of Elijah into your heart. That spirit is what will motivate you and your descendants to want to work on your genealogy.It is now possible to add  Stories and Photos, now called "Memories", to your ancestors on  your FamilySearch Tree. Think about this, if you don't write your story, who will, and what will they say about you? A story is much more interesting to read than names and charts.

Besides the great Keynote Speakers, there where many classes that I attended on DNA as a tool for genealogy; Writing a family history that will have lasting value; Creating a Valuable Family History Blog; and of course classes on What's new in FamilySearch Tree; Indexing Changes coming our way; Indexing Obituaries, the new Indexing Project in 2014. Saturday was LDS day and Elder Alan F Packer gave a wonderful talk on "Igniting Family History in Your Ward, Quorums, and Groups". It was a very inspirational  learning experience for all of us and we are grateful that we were able to attend.

If you were unable to attend the Class I had on Feb 15th at the Stake Center on the changes coming to Indexing in 2014, you can pick up a list of those changes at the Family Search Center in Oklahoma City Stake Center. You may see some minor changes after February 26th, but the rest of the program has not changed. The major changes will be available around August of this year.


There will be an Indexing Workshop on Saturday March 8th in the High Council Room at the OKC Stake Center, from 10:00 am  - 12 Noon. Please bring your lap top if you can and you would like to have a hands on experience with OBITUARIES.  This new project has may new rules and we will review those rules and try our hand at indexing them. Later this year we will be able to create an Obituary Indexing Group and have our own webpage to communicate with each other and track our progress. This is one of the new features coming to Indexing in August. If you are an Arbitrator, please do not try to arbitrate these records unless you have indexed a few batches. 
There is an indexing blog that has lots of negative posts recently about the bad job the arbitrators are doing on the obituary project and I am sure it is because the arbitrator did not try indexing the records and learning the new rules.

Generations Genealogy Conference
 and Fireside
Friday Night Fireside at the Stake Center in OKC, April 25th,  for ages 8 - 100. Guest Speakers will include Stake Youth and Elder Michael Southward, area Seventy. Time 7:00 - 8:00 Pm
Refreshments to Follow 

Saturday Conference, April 26th starts at 8:00 am - 4:00 pm in the Stake Center in OKC; Registration available at 
or print off the registration form and mail it in.
There will be broadcasts of selected RootsTech Conference classes available for viewing through out the day as well as many live classes . More information to follow on this blog.

Monday, January 6, 2014

End of the Year Report 2013

BURR! It's cold outside (January 2014)

Stake Indexing Year End Totals 2013

583,126 names
Arbitrated and Indexed

Totals for each Ward for the Year
  • Clinton                                 20,697
  • Edmond First                      49,849
  • Edmond Second                  55,691
  • Okc Fifth                              34,578
  • Okc First                               71,681
  • Okc Fourth Branch                  383   
  • Okc Third                             53,665
  • University                                 300
  • Quail Creek                    119,780
  • Village                                    64,907
  • Woodward Branch                76,352  
Youth Totals for the year
  • Edmond First                        4577
  • Edmond Second                      464
  • Okc Fifth                                 2239
  • Okc First                                3865
  • Okc Fourth Branch                  157
  • Okc Third                               1773
  • Quail Creek                            3273
  • Village                              15,974 

Primary Indexing
  • Okc First Ward                             164
  • Quail Creek Ward                       223

The 10 top Indexers and Arbitrators will be announced this year at Stake Conference, Saturday night session, this month.

Thoughts about our efforts

  I am very pleased with the efforts that you all made with Indexing and Arbitrating this year, and I thank you for every name that you indexed or arbitrated. Our Stake  goal for 2013 was 2 Million names. Maybe that was too high. As you can see we did not make that goal. As a  goal oriented person that was a little disappointing to me. I could have worked at it a little harder but I didn't.  Sometimes life gets in the way of our best intentions.

We had 311 Stake members who indexed this past year, out of 683 who have signed up to be indexers.  I am trying to think of a way to help those who are not indexing become active again. How can we encourage them to want to index again?

In a letter from the First Presidency in 2012  it said, "[Church] members are encouraged to participate in indexing, which is Vital to family history and Temple work". Vital can mean essential, or important, but other meanings include Energetic, Vigorous and Vibrant. Vital was an interesting choice of words  for the First Presidency to use.

I can agree that indexing energizes family history work. There are times when I have seen patrons find a record of their ancestor that was only available on the computer because someone had indexed it and then arbitrated it.  If watching someone feel that joy of discovery of an ancestor was the only gift we would receive that would be wonderful. But indexing is the "Gift that keeps on giving", and it blesses the lives of those who give the services as indexers and arbitrators  by turning their hearts to the family and to the Temple. Once you have a testimony of eternal families and Temple ordinances you are  hooked on Indexing. 

2014 Stake Indexing Goal
This year we are setting our goal on 1 Million names. We did it before and we can do it again. I have faith that our Stake is capable of reaching this goal. This year there will also be changes coming about the way we Index.  These changes will start sometime in the New Year.

 I am going to be attending the RootsTech 2014 Conference in Salt Lake City in February and I will be learning what all of those changes will be. They will be rolled out during the year, not all at once. Starting in February there will be some Indexing Days at the Family History Center for anyone who wants to come and index or receive help. Hopefully this will be a monthly event and all are invited. Dates and times to be posted later.

Look for information on the Indexing program on this blog  or go to the  FamilySearch Indexing Blog Page or the face book page, to read the latest news.