25 February 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - FamilySearch Indexing

Randy Seaver, prolific blogger of Genea-Musings, suggests amusing activities for "Saturday Night Genealogy Fun" every weekend.  Today he suggested signing up and preparing for indexing the 1940 Census (set to be available after 72 years on 2 April 2012). I've never participated in his Saturday activities before but, I'd been thinking it was time to prepare for learning how to index on FamilySearch.  There's no time like the present!

FamilySearch Indexing: Piece of Cake!
I signed on, downloaded the software to my Mac, watched the video and set to it. After indexing three records from the "US, Arkansas - Second Registration Draft Cards" record set, I tackled the test for 40 records from the "US - 1940 Federal Census." Piece of cake [hmmm time to take a few minutes off to bake some brownies]!

[After the brownies were in the oven] I completed 10 more records from the "US, Texas - Deaths, 1890-1976." Then, finished off with a new challenge to me (since I never have to look at UK census records in my own research) and selected "UK, England and Wales - 1871 Census," 25 records [brownies are done]

I've done a bunch of indexing for the Italian Genealogy Group, which specializes in New York City records. For that, my indexing skills only required basic facility with Microsoft Excel spreadsheets (as well as eye-crossing copies of photocopied records). I found the FamilySearch indexing program easy to use and master. The Quality Checker (which kicks in after one has finished one's batch) and pull down menus are slick features and definitely helped when I was working on UK records and wasn't entirely familiar with some of the town names.

In all (including the US Census test) I completed 78 names and garnered 98 points (whatever) [and one brownie and a glass of milk.]

Thank you, Randy, for getting me moving on indexing [bon appetit!].

My next challenge is to get ready for the 2 April unveiling of the unindexed 1940 Federal Census. Estimates are that it will take about six months before we volunteers have finished indexing the Census records.  During that time and during the hours I reserve for my own research, I plan to locate as many relatives as possible in the Census. To do that without an index will require making a good calculation, based on my prior research, of where each family was residing in about 1940 and applying the tools developed and posted on SteveMorse.org to determine the 1940 Federal Census Enumeration Districts (ED). I'll be posting about the 1940 address/ED database I am building for my relatives.

The URL for this post is: http://extrayad.blogspot.com/2012/02/saturday-night-genealogy-fun.html

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