Church News and Events

FamilySearch Indexing App Now Available

Contributed By By Heather Whittle Wrigley, Church News and Events

  • 5 April 2012

The new FamilySearch Indexing app will allow more individuals to contribute to family history research on a small or large scale. 

Released just in time for the April 2 launch of the United States 1940 census, the free FamilySearch Indexing app users now helps individuals preserve and share precious genealogical records from around the world on mobile devices.

The new mobile indexing app is available for download for from the Apple App Store (iOS devices) or Google Play (Android version).

Available in English and Spanish, the app allows users to view image snippets—a name, a place, or other relevant piece of information—from handwritten historical documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or census records.

Individuals simply transcribe (index) what they see, and the FamilySearch indexing system adds the data to the collection of free genealogy records available at (To ensure quality and accuracy, the system compares the work with answers from other volunteers until a consensus is reached.)

Users may notice some images from collections that have already been indexed or from new collections. Reusing previously indexed snippets will help FamilySearch engineers determine the quality of results from this app and make future improvements to the system.

The FamilySearch Indexing app is expected to complement the FamilySearch indexing desktop software, which has enabled hundreds of thousands of volunteers around the world to index genealogical records since 2006. Today there are more than 2.5 billion freely searchable names in the database, thanks largely to those individuals’ efforts.

This mobile adaptation of the program will allow more individuals to contribute, whether on a small or large scale. Users will use the same account information as they would when using the desktop indexing program, but it is not necessary to have the desktop program in order to use this app.

The FamilySearch Indexing app is not yet fully integrated into the indexing system, so those who also index using standard FamilySearch indexing will not see their contributions from the app displayed in their history in the desktop program. This integration is planned for inclusion in future versions.