Need for International Indexers Growing

  By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events

  • 11 July 2012

At FamilySearch.org, more than 120 indexing projects are currently available from the United States and many other countries, representing 16 languages.

Article Highlights

  • The Family History Department is encouraging members to increase their participation in indexing.
  • More indexers with non-English language expertise are especially needed.
  • FamilySearch offers nearly 500 free online courses, in various languages, on family history research.

By the end of 2012, the number of LDS temples around the world will swell to more than 140, with dozens more planned or under construction. As the number of members with access to the temple increases, the need for members to actively participate in researching and recording their family history is also growing.

The Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging members to increase their efforts to make historical records searchable online and ensure that past generations are remembered by participating in indexing at indexing.familysearch.org. More indexers with non-English language expertise are especially needed.

Indexing or transcribing historic genealogical records makes them searchable on FamilySearch.org. Without indexing, searching by name or keyword is virtually impossible, making research much more difficult and slow.

FamilySearch resources are accessible for free online at familysearch.org or through more than 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, and new searchable historic record collections and indexing projects are added weekly.

More than 120 indexing projects are currently available from the United States and many other countries, representing 16 languages. In the first half of 2012 new projects have been launched from Bolivia, Paraguay, Switzerland, and the Philippines.

This week alone, FamilySearch published millions of records for Armenia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, India, Ireland, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland, bringing the total number of records available through its website to 2.8 billion. Later this year FamilySearch plans to release indexing projects for several other countries.

The indexing software can be downloaded from the FamilySearch website and is available in 11 languages: Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish.

In addition to the expansion of international indexing projects, FamilySearch offers nearly 500 free online courses on family history research under the “Learn” tab. The classes include handwriting courses that can help improve indexing skills. Various lessons are available in more than a dozen languages.

In the Campo Grande Brazil Monte Líbano Stake, Church leaders, youth, men, and women—all have already taken the spirit of family history work to heart, indexing more than 40,000 records between January and July 1, 2012.

Leonardo B., age 14, participated in this indexing effort. “I could feel the presence of the Spirit all the time,” he said. “I felt I was doing the right thing. …  I’m happy with the work.”

To learn more about individual indexing projects, view the FamilySearch projects page. Currently available indexing projects, along with their record language and completion percentage, are listed on FamilySearch’s indexing updates page.

Completed projects are removed from the available online indexing batches and are published at familysearch.org after going through a final completion check.