Lesson 1: Indexing “What is Indexing All About?”

This Lesson on Indexing goes along with the entire series of Family History Passport Course Materials that are in the works.  

Lesson 1: Indexing  What is Indexing All About?

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 actually 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 under the age of 13 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 of the shortcuts that we went over in class.  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

Other Videos about Indexing

Granite Mountain Vault is where all the records are held. Take a tour of this amazing place.