Family History and Indexing


Sunday, December 27, 2015

December 2016

Washington DC Temple 2016
photo by Bob Woolley

Showing Gratitude This Holiday Season

After reading a holiday message on the Family Search Blog :   I decided that there are many ways we can, and  we all need to, step up our work on our family history.  Just a brief review of this short article will tell you how. I think that when we look at our family tree and can't find anyone who needs their Temple work done it is because we need to search more records and find more ancestors. 

When your parents or grandparents did the genealogy research they did not have the electronic databases and indexed records to search through. It is so easy these days to find  new records, more and more are added each day as indexing speeds forward. So go into "Search Records" in the Familysearch Tree and get the census records that give family members names (1850-1940) and add those cousins to your tree. You will probably add more names that need Temple work.

You are the beneficiary of this incredible Indexing work,and right here I want to say THANK YOU TO ALL  INDEXERS for making it possible to find more and more records in Familysearch tree. Keep up the great work, keep indexing in 2016.  But start out the New Year by working on your family tree and adding sources and family photos or stories. Another thing you might do is to share Familysearch Tree with others, show them how to use it.

Philadelphia Temple to be dedicated Fall of 2016

Teach someone how to use

Now that I am a family history consultant I am willing to share my knowledge of with members of my Ward or those who come into the Family History Center when I am working. . Part of this work includes teaching classes in the FHC during the second hour each Sunday, on using FamilySearch. There are many new features and documents to find on FamilySearch and I suggest that each Ward should have on-going family history classes, to help everyone to learn how to use the program.

 OKC 1st Ward  is making an effort to help members learn how to find names in their family trees that might need Temple work done. There is a beautiful family tree on our bulletin board in the hallway of the Stake building that displays photos of  the First Ward member families and how many names they have completed in 2015, at the Temple. It represents their dedication to Temple and Family History work.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fallen Leaves

Autumn in the Pocono's taken by Bob Woolley

November brings Fallen Leaves and Turkeys!

Along with a memorial Veteran's Day, this month brings us lots of changing weather, whirling leaves and that big food day when we celebrate and give thanks for our Pilgrim ancestors;Thanksgiving Day. 

Why do we have so much food on the table when our families come home that Thursday to help us celebrate. I feel it is because we, following in the Pilgrim's footsteps, are thankful that we have family and that we have had a year of bountiful blessings, no matter how big or small they have been. We  want to gather our family members together to give thanks to the Lord for these blessings.

Some of my warmest memories of Thanksgiving are having all of my sisters (4) bring their families home. We shared  some wonderful fellowship and memories as a family, thankful for each other and our parents. Some of us this year may not have that opportunity to be with our family, but we can still be thankful for Heavenly Father and His Son, for watching over us this past year.

Since my release as the Stake Indexing Director in Oklahoma City Stake, I have fallen down on my time that I spend on Indexing. It appears that many others have taken a break also. That is ok, but I plan to re-dedicate more time to this wonderful service to the Lord.  I would also like to continue this blog to post some wonderful ideas about Family History work and of course some indexing tips. 

Freedman's Bureau Project

Some of you may have wondered what was going on with the Freedman's Bureau Project. This is an indexing project which the African American community has been invited to index, through efforts made by the Church Public Relations Committee and Salt Lake City. Indexers who know how to index these records could volunteer to help train the african american community members so they can get started indexing. For more information on this please contact Jan Larsen, Public Relations Director for our Stake.

This project includes records that were generated after the Civil War and marks the first time that there are documented records of the slaves that were emancipated. When the Civil War was over depression and poverty levels were very high in the south, not just for the freed slaves but for many white people too, whose names may appear in these records as well.

There are different types of records in this project which  include employment contracts, food records, marriage and school records, just to name a few.  Although we have been asked not to index the records ourselves, we should become familiar with them and how to do the indexing for them. On November 8th there was a open house event at the Stake Center to which over 150 people were invited and several of our Indexers were there to help. I understand that in January there will be a big Indexing event for this specific purpose. When details are available I will let you know when and where.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mid July wanderings

Summer at the Lake in PA.,  taken by Bob Woolley

This photograph exemplifies the beauty and serenity of a lazy summer day. Likewise indexing, to me, is an example of the beauty of providing a service to others, to  our Lord and to our ancestors. A service that has resulted in over three billion searchable records at FamilySearch that help others find their ancestors.  How beautiful is that? How do you feel when you finally find a record on-line that supports your family records? That is only possible because someone took the time to help create a computer searchable index.

I am so very thankful for all of you who are indexing and arbitrating in our Stake. Your contributions are beyond words of mere thanks!! Keep up the good work and help someone else learn how to index too.

Writing a Life Sketch in Family Tree

Have you consider writing a life sketch for your ancestors in FamilySearch Tree? You might want to view these guidelines before you start and maybe you will find the answer as to why you would even consider doing such a thing.  Go to this link to see a one page handout that will be of great help:

Several reasons why I would want to do this are listed below for your evaluation:

  • Life sketches lend stability to the record.
  • It is a brief, about 1,500 words,  thus a sketch - avoid personal pronouns
  • Include facts that will help other researchers
  • Calls attention to the problem of other people merging or editing your information
  • Everyone can see it at the top of the profile

Accidents Happen!

Have you ever added someone to your tree by mistake and you don't know how to get them out of your tree?  I have and it wasn't funny. It took awhile till I figured out how to delete him or unlink him from the parents. I found a great short video that will show you how to handle situations like this. Click on the link below and go watch this video, or visit with you Ward Family History Consultant for help.

Friday, July 3, 2015

June 2015 Stake Indexing Report

Happy 4th of July 

June Stake Indexing Report
YTD CUM 230,012
Ward                                    Total Names
  • Clinton                                             552
  • Edmond First                                   267
  • Edmond Fourth                               3728 
  • Edmond Second                              2499
  • Okc Fifth                                         1103
  • Okc First                                          3394
  • Okc Fourth Branch                              13
  • Okc Seventh                                     3312
  • Okc Third                                         1399
  • Quail Creek                                        350
  • Village                                                739
  • Woodward Branch                                34
  • Edmond Fourth                                     227
  • Okc Third                                                31

Freedmen's Bureau Project
You may have seen in your list of Indexing projects an increase in the Freedmen Bureau batches. You may wonder how that affects you, maybe your family roots don't fall into this category, but these records extend to just about anyone who lived or worked in the south in the years following the civil war.
It includes anyone who needed help after the Civil War. These records reflect the massive effort of the federal government to assist the newly freed slaves and anyone impacted by the war. They provide a look at the legal system and how it worked, or didn't work in those days.
Various records included in this project are: work contracts, marriage records, birth records, school records, wills, food and clothing rationing lists, property settlements, etc.
 More importantly for the black community it was the first time that the names of the children and parents were recorded. The first vital records for this community. These records reflect a massive effort to stabilize the south following the Civil War, and you may even find your ancestors listed there.
Go to the link listed below to hear the Announcement made on June 19th, 2015, 150 years since the day of emancipation,  in Los Angeles, by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and NARA. 

Ever wonder how indexing can help you overcome the world? Watch this short video and see what changes can come into your life through indexing. The Spirit touches each indexers life with power and purpose. Learn to recognize that spirit through indexing.
Just click on the link below to view.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

May 2015 Stake Indexing Report

Washington DC Temple, taken by Bob Wooley

Oklahoma City Stake Indexing for May

Stake Total for May   23,801 
44 active indexers

    Ward                           total indexed and arbitrated
  • Clinton                                                        615
  • Edmond First                                              481
  • Edmond Fourth                                        5,132
  • Edmond Second                                       6,385
  • Okc Fifth                                                  1.222
  • Okc First                                                  4,127 
  • Okc Seventh                                            2,922
  • Okc Third                                                 1,260
  • University                                                      20
  • Quail Creek                                                 395
  • Village                                                      1,083 

  Youth Indexing Totals for May

  • Edmond Fourth                                          90
  • Okc Fifth                                                    51
  • Okc Third                                                   18     

Stake Cum to  31 May 2015

(787,689 to go for 1 Million goal)

Worldwide Arbitration Event May 1 - May 8th

8, 658 arbitrator's - 1,042,454 images arbitrated
and the work goes on
If you would like to become an arbitrator please contact me via email or phone

Sunday, May 17, 2015

May Arbitration Results

Arbitration Challenge 

From May 1 - May 8th, worldwide Arbitrators were challenged to arbitrate the most records that they could during that week. While I am not able to find the report about the total names and records arbitrated during that challenge, I do know that our Stake contributed the following number of names that week.

            2696 names arbitrated May 1-8th

A Special THANK YOU to all who arbitrated that week. Please keep up the work as the records can not be made available for searching in FamilySearch until they are arbitrated. While this number is low, I know that we have some awesome arbitrators in our Stake and your work is greatly appreciated.

Payson Utah Temple May 2015

Taken by Lois Gilbert May 14, 2015

While visiting in Utah this week, we had the opportunity to go to the open house of the Payson Temple, on Thursday with our son. We could view three of the five floors and it was very beautiful. The part I liked the most was the huge waiting room for the bride and grooms and their families,who will be waiting for ordinances to be performed.  One comment I heard was "This is a wedding temple".  There are seven sealing rooms and only three endowment rooms. The Celestial room was outstanding with hand sculptured carpet on the floors.It was a wonderful experience to see the beautiful craftsmanship and details that went into building a House worthy for the Lord.

A Conversation with A Church Leader about Mormon Temples
(Click on arrow below)

Sunday, May 3, 2015

April 2015 Stake Indexing Report

Boston, MA Temple, taken by Bishop Bob Woolley

April 2015 Indexing Report

Stake Total  for April 31,979 
YTD 189,131

  • Clinton                         90
  • Edmond First               406
  • Edmond Fourth          2541
  • Edmond Second         9961
  • OKC Fifth                    987
  • OKC First                  5675
  • OKC Seventh             5317
  • OKC Third                 2223
  • University                     61
  • Quail Creek                 577
  • Village                      1027

  • Edmond Fourth            3048
  • Edmond Second              17
  • OKC Fifth                        30
  • OKC Third                       19   

Attention All Arbitrators

 This is the week of the big challenge with FamilySearch to help arbitrate as many of the 6 million backlogged records as possible. The challenge began on May 1 and will continue till May 8th. Please make arbitrating a priority.

          FamilySearch Unreserving             Reservations of Temple Names                   (excerpts from FamilySearch Blog: by Ron Tanner, April 20, 2015)

Blooming at the Temple, taken by Linda Hardy

In the near future, any names that you have been keeping on your reserve list for Temple work, more than two years, will be automatically unreserved by FamilySearch. This is going to happen because there are "nearly 12 million ordinance reservations on hold" and not being completed. An amazing statistic is that "5% of FamilySearch patrons hold 60% of those reservations". 

Unreserving inactive temple reservations has become a priority due to the fact that a large number of those ordinances fit that two-year criteria. People that have a large list of reserved names can do something to help ensure that the work is completed in a more timely manner. Here are some suggestions:
  1. Look at your Temple list and see what might be good candidates for sharing with others. Keep the ones you think you can do. You can see your list by opening FamilySearch and clicking on the tab Temple at the top of the screen. 
  2. It is now possible to SHARE with other family members via email. This is a very easy thing to do and it is cardless. Just select and mark the names you want to pass along to someone else and then click the SHARE tab. At that point a window will open and you can select "share with family" or "share with Temple". If you click family you will enter the person's name and email address. The person you send them to will have two weeks to accept these names. If they don't accept them, the names will revert back to your list.
  3. You can also Share with the Temple so that patrons all over the world can have proxy names.
  4. You could unreserve the names then reserve them again, taking them off the two-year list.
  5. You can do nothing and the names on your list, that exceed the two-year limit, will be automatically unreserved and other family members will have a chance to do the work.
  6. If you do not have a reserved list, then start looking for names of ancestors that might be coming off of others lists.
To Read More About this process, click on this link:

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Calling all Arbitrators

Spring time on the Farm in PA, taken by Bishop Bob Woolley 2014

Mark Your Calender

Six and one-half Million images await arbitration ! Familysearch is promoting a Worldwide Arbitration Event in May. Please consider helping out if you are already an arbitrator or contact me to find out how you can become one. (  or 405-367-7159)
  1. The Goal is to help more ancestors be found and to reduce the number of images awaiting arbitration by two million or more. This process must be accomplished before all of those indexed records can be released for publication and we can find our ancestors.
  2. The start date is May 1, 2015, that is coming up soon.
  3. The end date is May 8, 2015 - one week

Here are four tips that will help you to get ready for this event:
  1. Read the Instructions, field helps and project instructions, even if you have read them before. Review, there have been many changes including an abbreviated guide for indexing obituaries.
  2. Record Match!   I consider this the most important thing you can do. Make sure indexer A and indexer B are on the same line. Be sure to hit the"finished" key after record matching or your arbitration work will NOT be saved.
  3. Start now, in April,  by Indexing a batch from each project you plan to arbitrate.
  4. Arbitrate in your own language, unless you have gotten special training in another language.
Plan to do a first-class job arbitrating. What you are doing is a crucial role in helping others to find these images online. 

Update on New Indexing Program

The new indexing program is coming later this year, here are some of the things you can expect to see: [taken from the FamilySearch Blog page; see Aug 4, 2014 by Katie Gale for more details]
 click here:  FamilySearch Blog
  • Single-key indexing of selected projects. This will involve simple projects, like printed or typewritten records. These records are indexed accurately by the majority of indexers so only one person needs to index them, and no one will arbitrate them. Rather than our current system where two people index the same thing. There will be an audit process that can catch major indexing mistakes and if the audit sees a lot of mistakes a peer review or arbitration process will be added.
  • Single-key indexing plus peer review. A single indexer will index and a second indexer will review the completed work. In some projects the second indexer can add corrections to the values, and both entries will be included in the searchable index.  As an indexer you will have to index a minimum number of records before you are allowed to review others' work. Familysearch will decided who can do the peer reviews.
  • Single-key indexing by field. This involves fields such as Age or Event Year, which are generally transcribed accurately by most indexers and do not need to be reviewed or arbitrated. The new system will bypass these additional steps and cut down on the number of items that arbitrators need to look at, thus speeding up the process.
  • Single-key indexing by qualified volunteers. More experienced indexers sometimes reach a point where review or arbitration of their work may actually increase errors. Indexers who reach this level of quality will have their work directly routed to publication, bypassing any reviews. Familysearch will determine who these indexers are and will run periodic audits to ensure the quality of their work.
I am sure you will love this new indexing program when it is finally released. For those of you who are Group Administrators, and yes you still are one even with our Stake reorganization, please go into the Beta version and play around with batches so you can see what the changes will be like. Nothing you do in the Beta version is going to be saved or published, it is just a "sandbox", a place to practice. I personally like the peer review, because it enlists the help of other indexers, even though they are not arbitrators. This should reduce the workload of the arbitrators.

Please keep Indexing and Arbitrating, our activity has really fallen off in April. Be sure to put in your new Ward name in your personal profile, so the new Ward can get credit for your work.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

March OKC Stake Indexing Reports

Happy Easter to the Oklahoma City Stake Indexers and Arbitrators

Easter weekend is here and what a perfect way to remember Jesus Christ. Click on the Link below to watch this wonderful, short, video from

185th Semi-Annual Conference of The Church of 
Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Saturday April 4th and Sunday April 5th

photo taken by Lois Gilbert from the roof 
of the Conference Center Salt Lake City

Broadcast times in Oklahoma are
 from 11:00am - 1:00 pm
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday with Priesthood meeting 
on Saturday night from 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
You can view these sessions at the Stake Center or from you home.
There may be other Church Buildings that are going to show these sessions so contact
a Ward leader to find out.

March Stake Indexing Report

          WARD                              #INDEXED       #ARBITRATED
  • Clinton                                                          262
  • Edmond First                                             1888
  • Edmond Second                                         8289                                   3106  
  • Okc Fifth                                                    1299                                    4678
  • Okc First                                                    6050                                    1592   
  • Okc Fourth Branch                                       16
  • Okc Third                                                   2347                                    
  • Quail Creek                                                2694                                    3761
  • Village                                                         1785                                    2618
  • Woodward Branch                                        11 

  • Youth Edmond Second                                   14
  • Youth Okc First                                               75
  • Youth Okc Third                                             60
  • Youth Village                                               2260 

Stake YTD Indexing
156,707 names

Every name you index, you change that person's life Forever!!

Those "Shaky Leaves" at or "Hints" at FamilySearch Tree, have you seen them? They are there because Indexing facilities them! That's right, you and I make it possible, by Indexing.

 I am attracted to them, they pull me in just like a magnet. Almost everyday that  I go onto those sites to look at something I find some more. Right now I have 3956 Shaky leaves in my Ancestry tree, and 859 in my husbands tree!  I even see them on notices sent to my email!!!  Then my whole day, sometimes, is spent checking out the new record finds and adding them to my trees to document my ancestors life. 
It is fantastic how easy it is to do that. It is even more fantastic that you can do it all from home. Have you signed up for your free subscriptions to You should because it is now possible to coordinate both your Ancestry tree and your Familysearch tree. To read about this great option click on the link below.

Have a wonderful week-end. Please go into your Familysearch Indexing account and change your Ward name to match the Ward that you now attend. I think this is exciting news, that OKC Stake has grown so much we can create two new Wards. I look forward to getting Indexing going in all the Wards. Please do not stop indexing, this is a Celestial Calling, not a Ward calling!!! Happy Easter to all.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

February 2015 Indexing Reports

taken by Lee Schuler - Pennsylvania

Oklahoma City Stake Indexing Reports for Feb 2015

Stake Cum YTD 115,456 names

February Indexing Stats by Ward:
    Ward                                                         Indexed        Arbitrated
  • Clinton                                                       203
  • Edmond First                                          3017                  3006
  • Edmond Second                                      6892                  1684
  • Okc Fifth                                                 1625                   4449
  • Okc First                                                 7815                 14199
  • Okc Third                                                 617                       21
  • Quail Creek                                            5024                   3814
  • Village Ward                                          2425                   4780
  • Woodard Branch                                       37                       51        

Youth Indexing By Ward:

Ward                                                              Indexed              Arbitrated
  • Okc Fifth                                                      66
  • Okc First                                                       50
  • Village Ward                                                                         4930

Oklahoma City Stake Indexing Social 

Thank you to all of you who could attend the Indexing Social last January 29th, 2015, for the recognition of  the top Indexers and Arbitrators and  the top Youth for the year 2014. There were about 28 members in attendance that night and we had a good time.  You may have seen the article and photo  in the Stake Winter Newsletter that recently was sent out. 

Thank you to everyone for a fantastic kick-off of 2015 Indexing and Arbitration. Looking at the report for February, I see that we have arbitrated more names this month than we indexed. We have never done that.  Good work! I am trying to increase the number of Arbitrators in our Stake. Right now we have about 5% Arbitrators out of all those signed up to Index, and I would love to see it jump to 10%. So if you would like to learn about arbitration please contact me or your Ward's Group Administrator.

Dennis Brimhall, the CEO of FamilySearch said at RootsTech 2015, that every name you index  means you have changed that persons life forever!!!  I have been pondering that statement and it changes the way I think about the time spent indexing. We should also be preparing the names of our ancestors to take to the Temple.

Check out the new poster on the Family History Center Bulletin Board at the Stake Center for 2015 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

End of the Year 2014 Report

Stake Conference January 24th, and 25th.

Oklahoma City Stake Presidency
Pres. Howard Haralson, Pres. Tom Gray, Pres. Darren Waltman

OKC Stake Year End Indexing & Arbitration Totals

                    Ward                            # Indexed                # Arbitrated

  • Clinton                                              4715                                  
  • Edmond First                                  42523                         28662
  • Edmond Second                              25745                           9361
  • Okc Fifth                                           6164                          33438
  • Okc First                                          52755                         43965
  • Okc Third                                        14967                           3383
  • University                                               15
  • Primary Fifth Ward                                2
  • Quail Creek                                     55616                         57191      top Indexing Ward 2014
  • Village Ward                                    21505                        38482
  • Woodward Branch                            2638                          7568

  • Edmond Second                                   320
  • Okc Fifth                                             3086
  • Okc First                                             8263                              2010  top Indexing Youth Ward 2014
  • Okc Third                                             544
  • Village                                                 1471                              3162

Total Number of Names Indexed and Arbitrated in 2014 for the OKC Stake


Top 5 Indexers, Arbitrators and Youth Indexers in 2014

Sunset at 7R Ranch,Texas

Taken by Brother Robert Silvers 2014

Below you will find the names of those in the OKC Stake who made the Top 5 List for 2014. This is based upon the total number of names you either Indexed or Arbitrated. It is not based upon the total "points" that you earned. All numbers were provided by FamilySearch.  These people will be honored at the Stake  Indexing Social on Friday night, January 30th at 7PM at the Stake Center. Congratulations to all of you for your hard work and I hope to see even more people indexing in 2015.   

Top 5 Indexers in 2014 are:

Edmond First = Jessie Crawford - 28,503
Quail Creek   = Nora Muzingo    - 23,582
Village Ward = Erin LeBlanc      - 11,853
Okc First        =Wilma White      - 11,714
Quail Creek    = Donna Saxon     -   8943  

Top 5 Arbitrators in 2014 are:

Village Ward  = Gene Bushman - 38,482
Okc 5th Ward = Mary Butts       - 33,253
Edmond First = Judy McGraw   - 28011
Quail Creek   = Charles Howell - 26,553
Quail Creek   = Colette Datin     - 19,792

Top 5 Youth Indexers in 2014 are:

Okc First  = Emma Aquino  - 4731
Okc First =  Falyn Crawford - 4429
Village Ward - Courtney Wilkinson  - 4110
Okc Fifth =  Bailey Ingram  - 2917
Okc First = Vanessa Aquino - 1113

Good Job !!!