Unlock Your Past
Have you ever wondered where you came from? Why you look a certain way or maybe like certain things? Could it have anything to do with your heritage and those ancestors that came before you?
Discovering your past is the key to answering some of those questions. One of my most favorite things to do and share with others is family history. Through finding my own connections to the past, I have opened up a future that has brought an immense sense of purpose, drive and determination to live up to the great heritage that is mine.
Here are a few highlights from the beginning of my family history adventure.
Discovering original documents from the 1700s of distant ancestors where we lived when we moved from the city of Los Angeles to rural Pennsylvania.
The Coventry home where my ancestors were married, lived and died in the 1700s. It is believed that Benjamin Franklin tested the first stove in the parlor of this magnificent home. There was a spirit there that I felt like no other.
Family History Life
The miraculous discovery of this untouched cemetery full of family members long forgotten, but rekindled in my heart and soul never to be forgotten again. We have launched a new website this year called “Family History Life” and we will be launching a new online course soon, so make sure you subscribe to our website to be the first to hear about it when it is ready!
Worldwide Indexing Event
The back bone to finding our ancestors is focused on an incredible tool called indexing. Sit back, relax and take a moment to read, watch and discover for yourself how you can connect to the past today.
If you have never heard of Indexing, you might be wondering why it is so important and how you might be able to help. Here are a few tips, tricks and guidelines to help get you started.
What is Indexing?
A team of FamilySearch experts travel around the world gathering the records of the world digitally. They capture pictures that then need to be “Indexed” in order to become “searchable”on the internet. This is done through the FamilySearch Indexing program online.
Why is it important?
President Gordon B. Hinckley said, “We must extend ourselves in the work of redemption of the dead through service in the temples of the Lord. This service more nearly approaches the divine work of the Son of God, who gave his life for others, than does any other work of which I know.” (“He Slumbers Not, nor Sleeps“)
Without records being indexed, we ourselves would have to go to the actual location where the records are located, search through thousands of mircrofilms, books and records. With the Indexing program and the digital technology, it is as simple as sitting down at the computer and typing in the person’s name on the FamilySearch’s website under “Search.”
Who can help Index the records?
Anyone 13 or older, who can read, can sign up for a FamilySearch account to start Indexing. If a child is 8 to 12 years old and would like to register for a FamilySearch Account, the church requires parental consent and verification of the parent’s identity before allowing children to create and activate an account.
When will I have time to Index?
If you are good at typing, you can do about 1 batch of records in less than 20 minutes. From there it just depends on how difficult the records are to read, how many images are in a batch and how quickly you can type. Just block off 30 minutes a day, a week or a few hours one day a month and dedicate it to Indexing.
Where is the Indexing program located?
Go to FamilySearch.org and click on the Indexing tab or click here. You will need to create an account for FamilySearch if you do not already have one. Then download the software onto your desktop or laptop. Currently it is unavailable on the ipad and other handheld devices, but that will be coming soon.
Extra Tip: Need typing help?
Since Indexing is all about typing on your keyboard, the better you are at typing, the more records you will be able to index and the less fustrated you will become. Here are a few resources for some great typing practices that are free online: Dance Mat Typing, Big Brown Bear, Keyboard Climber, and Keybr.
Indexing Keyboard Shortcuts
Here’s a list of a few shortcuts. A more complete list can be found here.
* = if you can’t read the rest of the letters in a name just start with the letters you do know and then use the (*) afterwards.
? = if you know most of the letters of a name but maybe you can’t read one letter add a (?) where the letter would be.
Ctrl F = To “look up” a name
F5 = Copy the field
Here is a helpful worksheet to get you logged in and started with indexing.
BACK TO THE WORLDWIDE INDEXING EVENT: Last year we invited some friends over for an indexing chocolate party! This weekend we have another 72 hours to make a difference and help index more records with #FamilySearchIndexing. Throw your own party with your immediate family or invite some neighbors over and index together! Here is a sample card from last year’s event.
I made some fun food tags that you can print and use at your own chocolate party. Just click on the link below.