More than 82,000 FamilySearch Volunteers “Fuel the Find” for People Worldwide

The following announcement was written by the folks at FamilySearch:

Family Search LogoSALT LAKE CITY UTAH–A total of 82,039 volunteers helped to “Fuel the Find” during FamilySearch’s Worldwide Indexing Event, held August 7-14, 2015. Though short of the goal of 100,000 participants, the effort produced a number of remarkable achievements, among them an 89% increase in non-English language indexing activity. Volunteers produced more than 12.2 million indexed (transcribed) and 2.3 million arbitrated (reviewed) records during the weekly event (See infographic). As with all records indexed by FamilySearch indexing volunteers, those indexed during the global event will be made freely searchable at FamilySearch.org.

For the Worldwide Indexing Event, FamilySearch sought volunteers who could decipher records recorded in a variety of languages, with a focus on French, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish. Volunteers from all over the world exceeded expectations by processing over 2,183,212 non-English records including 1,380,684 in Spanish, 147,568 in Portuguese, 226,734 in French, and 116,835 in Italian.

“We are thrilled with the number of people who are fluent in a non-English language who accepted the challenge to index records in that language,” said Courtney Connolly, FamilySearch digital marketing manager. “If volunteers will keep up this rate of non-English indexing and arbitration, we’ll soon see people everywhere experiencing the same success in finding their ancestors that English-language researchers enjoy.”

The #FueltheFind name is derived from the way indexing helps people find family information in collections of searchable historical records online. Indexed records are like the fuel that gives genealogical search engines like FamilySearch.org the power to connect people to their missing ancestors. Committed FamilySearch volunteers online know that every name they index adds another drop of precious fuel that can help someone else discover the missing members of their family tree and learn their stories.

This year’s week-long event had an international focus. Most online indexing volunteers are native English speakers and lean toward indexing English language record collections. Currently FamilySearch.org offers twenty times more searchable records in English than in all other languages combined. “There is a huge and growing need for English speakers who are fluent in a second language, and native speakers of non-English languages to learn how to index. Tens of thousands of new volunteers are needed to keep up with the opportunity to index the world’s records,” said Connolly.

FamilySearch heartily thanks all of the volunteers for their contributions and dedication and encourages anyone interested in participating to join the ongoing indexing initiative at FamilySearch.org/Indexing.

ABOUT FAMILYSEARCH

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Guests may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the renowned Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

One Comment

I’m indexing beginning-level French marriage and death records from Toulousse. The batch reportedly also contains birth records and wasn’t fully indexed as of a couple of days ago. I’ll keep at it. With my first batch of approximately 48 records and trying to get used to the software, let alone being reintroduced to reading French cursive writing, it took me two hours to get through it. After about five batches, I’m down to forty-five minutes to an hour per each. I’ve also discovered that I can Google French abbreviations and get a quick translation with explanations of when they’re used.

I’ll do intermediate and/or advanced English language records when the beginning French ones give out.

I’m only saying this to encourage others to try it. If a batch looks too complicated, you can always hand it back electronically; doing so doesn’t hurt anything. I would strongly suggest that you try the first few batches at a Family History Center so you’ll have on-hand helpers whenever you need them. Now I’m doing it at home. At first that threw me too because I didn’t understand I needed to get an app downloaded to my laptop in order for me to begin. In frustration I called FamilySearch (1-866-406-1830) to ask why I couldn’t do the work at home, and the nice guy on the phone walked me through getting the app installed with an icon on my desktop that works just like the ones at the Centers. In other words, it’s not a scary proposition for me anymore. It’s actually kind of fun.

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