RootsTech Begins in 7 Days!

 RootsTech VIPs 2016

Family History Enthusiasts Worldwide Gathering in Utah for RootsTech 2016

For Immediate Release From RootsTech

SALT LAKE CITY, 27 January 2016—RootsTech, the largest family history conference in the world, is looking forward to over 20,000 visitors over four days with an exciting array of speakers and entertainers, over 250 interesting and informative classes, a huge expo hall with more than 160 exhibitors. There is something for every level of family history—from the beginner to experienced. The three-day conference begins on Thursday, February 4, and goes through Saturday, February 6. For more information go to RootsTech.org.

The keynote speakers and offerings reflect the growing influence of family history. Today multiple generations of all ages are engaging through family storytelling and sharing memories within families using social media and an expanding array of new technologies and mobile apps. The opening session on February 4 will begin with Stephen T. Rockwood, who is the managing director for the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and President/CEO of FamilySearch International.

Also featured is Paula Williams Madison who is chairman and CEO of Madison Media Management LLC, a Los Angeles based media consultancy company with global reach. After her retirement in 2011, Madison started doing research on her family lineage. She wrote the book and produced a movie Finding Samuel Lowe: China, Jamaica, Harlem in April 2015 about her experiences. A free screening of the movie will be provided on Wednesday, February 3.

Bruce Feiler is one of America’s most popular commentators about contemporary life. He hosts the PBS series Walking the Bible and Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler. He wrote The Secrets of Happy Families containing best practices for busy parents from some of the country’s most creative minds. He has appeared on many television shows on NRP, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and others.

On Friday, February 5, David Isay, is a scheduled keynote. He’s the founder of StoryCorps, an award-winning organization that provides people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve their life stories. 50,000 interviews have been archived and preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. He has also written several New York Times bestsellers, including Listening is an Act of Love. He is a broadcaster and documentarian, and his research reveals ways to tell great stories for the family historian.

Also on Friday, Josh and Naomi Davis, popular family bloggers known as Love Taza, will speak. On their blog, they relate their life with their three children in bustling New York City. The blog has become a digital destination viewed by millions around the world. People love the inspiration about raising a family and the appreciation Naomi has for life’s simple joys.

On Saturday, February 6, Doris Kearns Goodwin is a world-renowned presidential historian and Pulitzer Prize-winning author. She worked with Spielberg on the movie Lincoln, based in part on her award winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She has written books about Frank and Eleanor Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and the Kennedys and shares her expertise and commentary on many television shows. She has a PhD in government from Harvard and was an assistant to Lyndon Johnson and has been a consultant in several PBS and History Channel documentaries.

Also on Saturday, Michael Leavitt, a three-term former governor of Utah, will speak. He also served in George W. Bush’s cabinet as an Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency and Secretary of Health and Human Services.

The second annual Innovator Summit is a one-day event on Wednesday, February 3, for developers, entrepreneurs, and innovators from around the globe to explore, examine, and discover business and technological opportunities within the family history industry—a rapidly growing multibillion dollar industry. Innovators from around the globe and from all industries will be competing for a piece of the $100,000 in total cash and in-kind prizes. The keynote speaker for this event will be Ken Krogue, an entrepreneur who has taken his business InsideSales.com from a small beginning to a billion dollar industry. He will share his expertise about social media and how to use the different forms effectively.

Along with the keynotes, RootsTech attendees will be able to hear from the Crescent Super Band, featuring Ryan Inness, and Lower Lights, a popular gospel and folk band.

More information about speakers, entertainers, classes, and how to register at RootsTech can be found at RootsTech.org.

About RootsTech

RootsTech, hosted by FamilySearch, is a global conference celebrating families across generations, where people of all ages are inspired to discover and share their memories and connections. This annual event has become the largest of its kind in the world, attracting tens of thousands of participants worldwide.

Making Difficult Research Easy and Accurate at the BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy

Robert Kehrer discusses robo-keying as one of the most important technologies to expedite FamilySearch indexing

Robert Kehrer discusses robo-keying as one of the most important technologies to expedite FamilySearch indexing.

The day began as youth and adults gathered to hear Robert Kehrer, FamilySearch senior product manager of search technologies, present the new and upcoming features of FamilySearch during his keynote address titled, “FamilySearch: Making Difficult Research Easy and Accurate.”

It would be impossible to recount all of the features Mr. Kehrer demonstrated and discuss all of the statistics he provided in this post. He described his presentation as trying to pack 90 minutes of material into 60 minutes of time! Nevertheless, what he showed the crowd was impressive. He shared that when he first came to FamilySearch, he went incognito over to the Family History Library to experience first-hand what a visit entails for the average person. It was much more than he expected. Kehrer mentioned that statistically only about 3% of individuals are interested in the research process, which includes documenting and sourcing lineages through analysis and proof arguments, but there are many ways individuals can contribute. FamilySearch is working to make this happen.

One of the ways that those who are not interested in the research process contribute to FamilySearch is through indexing. Currently, FamilySearch has indexed 1.34 billion records, 68,569,328 records this year! There are 15,795,814 records awaiting arbitration. There are currently 450 projects and 213,184 contributors. The new indexing web application is simpler, easier, and more collaborative. It will run on all devices! For more information he recommended another conference session on Friday at 9:45 a.m. in room 2258 CONF, presented by Jennifer Tonioli Smith, titled, “FamilySearch Indexing: It’s a Whole New World!” There will be a Worldwide Indexing Event August 7-14, 2015. Mark your calendars to index at least one batch during this week :)

Some of the highlights of yesterday’s presentation included an upcoming feature in Memories that will provide a list view for easy editing, described by Mr. Kehrer as iTunes for genealogy; thumbnail images for record collections that are digitized but not yet indexed where markers can be placed for easy navigation in these records; and easier navigation in the catalog when viewing a microfilm reference number by allowing patrons to directly view the film if it has been digitized or having the option to order the microfilm. FamilyTree will soon allow sharing reservations, reminding users that FamilySearch will enforce the 110 year rule. There will soon be a direct messaging system to contact contributors to the FamilyTree. The mobile app will have a fully functioning search system. Indexes and images are now shown on the same page. When families are split by a page in records, such as censuses, FamilySearch will soon help users connect the dots so families displayed are shown together. Navigation arrows will be in place to view pages before and after. One of the most important technologies viewed yesterday was automated indexing which is performing with a high level of accuracy. Collections that have been released using this automation are noted so that if individuals find an error in the record they can provide feedback so that the record can be corrected. There will be a session on Friday, “FamilySearch Indexing, Robo-keying, and Partnering, Oh My!” on Friday by Jake Gehring at 1:30 p.m. in room 2258 CONF that he highly recommended attending if you’d like more information.

Some of the participants of the myFamily Youth Family History Camp

Some of the participants of the myFamily Youth Family History Camp

After the keynote address, the youth attending the myFamily camp loaded university vans for a day in Salt Lake City. While there, they toured the Family History Library, Temple Square, the Discovery Center, and the Church History Library.

Mary E.V. Hill teaches participants how to organize their genealogy.

Mary E.V. Hill teaches participants how to organize their genealogy.

Ugo Perego discussed the uses of DNA in genealogy as part of the DNA track.

Ugo Perego discussed the uses of DNA in genealogy as part of the DNA track.

Today Lisa Louise Cooke will be the keynote speaker at 8:30 a.m. Her topic will be, “The Future of Technology and Genealogy: Five Strategies You Need.” Following her presentation, sessions will be offered about methodology, migration, military records, and LDS ancestral research. Today Scandinavian, French, Dutch, and Italian research will be discussed, as well as a general overview of Latin American Catholic church and civil records. A track on the use of technology tools, such as Evernote and apps for smart phones and iPads, will be offered. Throughout the day presentations from those representing online subscription sites will be given by Fold3, Newspapers.com, Ancestry.com, and MyHeritage.

An appreciation shoutout to Nate, Brianna, Abby, and Isabell (and others) who host conference participants at the Morris Center cafeteria :)

An appreciation shoutout to Nate, Brianna, Abby, and Isabell (and others) who host conference participants at the Morris Center cafeteria :)

The onsite computer lab houses eight computers for use by conference participants. Many more are available at the BYU Family History Library.

The onsite computer lab houses eight computers for use by conference participants. Many more are available at the BYU Family History Library.

FamilySearch will continue to provide complimentary scanning as well as hosting a computer lab onsite for attendees. This is the last day many of our vendors will be onsite in rooms 2260 CONF. The vendor prize drawing will be held TODAY at 1 p.m. in room 2254 CONF. Vendor presentations will be held from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. in various rooms throughout the conference center. My Family Online, Historic Journals, Legacy Family Tree, Family Chartmasters, My Mission, Green Planet Maps, and SHOTBOX LLC will be represented. This evening at 7 p.m. at the Varsity Theater in the Wilkinson Center on BYU campus, Cokeville Miracle, a film by T.C. Christensen will be screened in preparation for the keynote address by this filmmaker in the plenary session tomorrow morning.

Copyright ©2015 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

It’s Time for the 46th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

BYU Conference Center SE WPIt’s that time of year when Brigham Young University will host the 46th annual Conference on Family History and Genealogy. For those who may be unfamiliar with BYU, it is located in Provo, Utah approximately 45 miles south of Salt Lake City. This year participants hail from 29 of the United States, the District of Columbia, and from Canada, Australia, and the Ukraine.

The conference will be held July 29 through August 1, 2014 at the BYU Conference Center, 770 East University Parkway, Provo, Utah. There is still time to register if you would like to attend. Remember, sometimes the airlines have great last-minute deals :-)

C. Lynn Andersen and granddaughter WPThe BYU conference offers participants a choice of 160 classes categorized into about two dozen tracks. The syllabus is a treasure trove of additional information, bibliographies, and links to further one’s study of any of the presentations.

This year the opening keynote address will be given by Paul E. Koelliker, who has served as executive director of the Temple Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and as assistant executive director of the LDS Family History Department. On Wednesday, David E. Rencher, AG, CG, will be the keynote speaker. Mr. Rencher is the Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch International. On Thursday, T.C. Christensen, a writer, director, and producer for the movie Ephraim’s Rescue and other films, will address the conference. For the remaining part of each day and on Friday, classes are offered for those new to genealogy and those with more experience. For a complete schedule of presenters and their topics visit ce.byu.edu.

New this year FamilySearch will be offering free scanning services to conference participants. FamilySearch is bringing four high-speed photo scanners that can scan up to 80 photos per minute. So, if you are coming to the conference and would like to participate bring your photos and a portable USB drive with sufficient memory. Stop by room 2285 to schedule a time to scan your photos. This service will be available every day of the conference.

FamilySearch will also be scanning books for participants. Beginning on Wednesday, July 30 through Thursday, July 31, FamilySearch will scan books on a first-come, first-serve basis. FamilySearch is especially interested in the following:

  • Autobiographies and biographies containing genealogical material
  • Family histories with genealogical information
  • Indexes to records
  • Local and county histories
  • Yearbooks

Robert Dickey demonstrating book scanning WPFamilySearch is recommending that books be brought to room 2285 Wednesday morning and they plan to scan as many as possible. If FamilySearch is unable to meet the demand for these services, unfinished books will be returned Friday morning or, with permission of the owner , FamilySearch will scan each book at their Salt Lake City facility and return each book to its owner by mail.

Remember that permission must be obtained from the author or copyright holder of any published book before books can be scanned. Generally, a book published before 1923 is in the public domain and does not impose this additional requirement. There is no scanning limitation on the size of a book. The participant’s publications will be added to the current 140,000 books found online at familysearch.org.

BYU Family History Library WPThe BYU Family History Library, located on the 2nd floor of the Harold B. Lee Library, will be open from 7 am to 12 midnight Tuesday through Friday for those who may want to dedicate part of their days and their evenings in Provo to family history research. Don’t forget to check out the great collection of maps and periodicals that are housed in this university’s library!

Family Chart Masters and Genealogy Wall Charts are giving away free fan charts to conference participants. You must order them online and they will be available for pick up at the conference. Visit the conference website for more information.The conference will also have exhibitors present to display their newest products and services. Come check out the newest offerings in the field of genealogy.

Once again the youth track will be offered on Tuesday. It is FREE and does not require pre-registration. Noncredit registration for the four-day event, including a CD syllabus, is $180. Family History Consultants, who may attend their specific track for FREE on Friday, may register for the full conference and receive a $50 discount on general registration. The credit option cost for the conference (2 credits of History 481R – Family History Directed Research and a CD syllabus) is $484. To register, call 1-877-221-6716 or visit familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.

Men’s and women’s housing, which includes meals each day of the conference, is available on the BYU campus for $170. (That’s four nights lodging and 12 full meals.) Married housing is not available. (See the conference website about hotel accommodations.) Conference participants who are not staying on campus may purchase a $35 debit card for lunch each day at the Morris Center during the conference. Lunch includes a choice of two entrees, salad, fruit, desserts, and drinks. It’s all you can eat! For more information about the conference, visit the website or call 1-801-422-4853.

Follow the conference on Twitter, #BYUFHGC, and visit the conference home page on Facebook for the latest updates.

Copyright ©2014 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy is Going South

The Third Day of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy

Well, maybe I’m exaggerating just a bit. Actually the South, or really an expert in Southern U.S. Research, has come to us :-)

Today J. Mark Lowe will give the final keynote presentation, “Coffins, Urns & Zip-Lock Bags.” Mark is a professional genealogist, author, and teacher. He is an engaging storyteller that weaves into the minds of his listeners the principles of sound methodology using his experience in conducting Southern research.

Following the opening session, methodology education continues with Jean Wilcox Hibben, Nancy Lauer, Hannah Allan and Stephen Ehat. As part of this track, Mark Lowe’s final presentation at this conference will be at 1:30pm entitled, “Here Comes the Bride, and There She Goes.”

The U.S. Research track continues as well along with the Scottish and German Research tracks. Dutch, Estonian, Russian, and Slovakian Research will also be offered today. More presentations about online research, as well as the first day of classes to assist LDS Family History Consultants with their church responsibilities will also be conducted.

Wednesday’s opening session of the BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference

Wednesday’s opening session of the
BYU Family History and Genealogy Conference

Yesterday Dennis C. Brimhall, managing director of the LDS Family History Department, gave the opening keynote address. His remarks were entitled, “Not Just a Chart, But the Heart.” He mentioned that there are about 70,000 family history consultants world-wide and about 4,700 Family History Centers in 129 countries throughout the world. He shared that there are 2.9 billion names in the FamilySearch database and that 1.7 million names are added daily. Since April over 700,000 photos have been uploaded to the Family Tree system. Presently, there are 237 camera teams digitizing records and it is hoped to raise this number to 500. He estimated that it will take 5-7 years to digitize the Granite Vault.

And then he asked the question, “How well are we doing?” He said that only 25% of members of the LDS Church have registered to use FamilySearch.org and only 8% have logged on in the past 12 months. He said that “we” have been too technology-centric and that a significant number of LDS Church members do not have access to a computer, such as in the Philippians where 1 out of 10 youth have access.

The quandary has been that those who are paying for this system are not using it. He said that Family History Centers have missed the point; they have been places to do research, not places to learn about oneself and that people must start with themselves. He shared a vision of the future Family History Center becoming a Discovery Center that is family friendly. Presently, NEHGS and the British Library, among others, will soon receive this newly-designed center. He also emphasized that the new family history center is in the home.

He shared other statistics, such as 27% of contributors to Family Tree are friends from other faiths. He emphasized that FamilySearch has partnered with major companies serving the genealogical community to increase the number of record sets available to the patrons through avoiding duplication of acquisitions.

He closed by sharing statistics about RootsTech. This year there were 25,644 total attendees, 68% attended by remote access or by live stream. In 2014 RootsTech will be broadcast to 600 locations in 10 different languages with an estimated 120,000 participants.

He said that FamilySearch seeks to champion the things of the heart, as well as the chart. He said that FamilySearch is committed to providing such an experience. He announced that at the end of August a new pamphlet, My Family, will be made available to assist members in beginning their family history.

[The transcripts of the keynote addresses given at the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy will be made available on the conference website in the near future.]

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy: A GPS Conference

GPS 2013 WPAs early as tomorrow afternoon from 3-5 pm, and each day this upcoming week, registrants of the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy may pick up their conference materials at the BYU Conference Center in Provo, Utah. It’s going to be a GPS week!

As you know, a Global Positioning System (GPS) provides direction to get us where we want to go. While reviewing the titles for this year’s conference I realized that conference organizers have done just that with their selection of presentations.

As I mentioned in my last post, this conference has 160 classes streamlined into 24 tracks. There is a Beginner track that covers an introduction to genealogy, verification of family stories, the importance of sourcing our information, and U.S. research. There are the FamilySearch, Ancestry, and Online Research tracks to help keep up with the ever-growing databases that provide us with such ease in gathering our family information. There is a Methodology track that discusses how to track an ancestor’s migration, how to evaluate evidence, how to spot errors in original records [it happens more than we would like to acknowledge] and what to do about those errors, and the hows and whys of descendancy research.  J. Mark Lowe is presenting one lecture as part as the Methodology track. In addition to this lecture, Mark will be discussing the early Methodist church, finding Baptist ancestors in Southern manuscripts, Tennessee, and Kentucky research. These are parts of the Southern U.S. Research and Church Records tracks. Robert McLaren, Ugo Perego, and Kenny Freestone will present information for the DNA Research track. There is also a track entitled Computers & Technology discussing Mac use, iPads, and digital cameras.

If this is not enough to position a researcher on a map to success, there is more! There are tracks specifically dedicated to localities. Organizers determined the conference offerings for these specific tracks based on past interest demographics. British, English/Welsh, Irish, German, Scandinavian, Scottish and United States Research will all have their own track on specific days. Then there is the International track. On the schedule you may have noticed that under the word “International” is the word “Small” in parentheses. Although organizers anticipate that there will be fewer participants concerned with these ethnicities this year, they recognize the value of such an eclectic offering. These classes will discuss Canadian, Dutch, Estonian, French, Jewish, Russian, and Slovakian Research. Hispanic Research is also in this category. (By the way, there is good news! In September 2013 there will be a conference specifically devoted to Hispanic research! Visit Conferencia Iberoamericana de Genealogía 2013 for more information.)

BYU Conference Center SE WPAs many may know, BYU is sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the same organization that provides researchers all over the world with access to records to find their ancestors by visiting the Family History Library, over 4,600 centers around the world, and the FamilySearch website. The LDS Church seeks out other organizations willing to preserve and share these records to our past. Sometimes I think we do not thank them enough for the sacrifices in time and means and their willingness to share.

In addition to the resources above, Church leaders issue “callings” to members as family history consultants, which means that these individuals are asked to give a portion of their time each week to help others find their ancestors. There is a track especially for them. The LDS Family History Callings track is designed to help new consultants understand how to assist others in their research. If you are a family history consultant you may attend this track for FREE on Friday, August 2nd. If you are a family history consultant and would like to attend the entire conference, you will receive a $50 discount on registration. You may register by calling (877) 221-6716 or visit the registration page.

The BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy positions the researcher for global success! It is the perfect companion conference to RootsTech, which provides the latest updates on technology to enhance family history and genealogical endeavors. Registration for the BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy is limited, but you may register at the door if space is available. Come join us! For more information call (877) 221-6716.

[RootsTech provides family historians and genealogists with all of the latest technology that expedites research efforts. As someone who has attended each year, I commend this conference to you. It will be held at the Salt Palace Convention Center in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 6-8, 2014. Registration opens in August. Check out their website for more information :-)]

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

The Single Leaf Interrupts Your Summer…

BYU Conference Center NE WPActually, I hope to enhance your summer as I make this announcement :-)

Unknown to some is a week-long conference held in Provo, Utah, near Sundance resort, you know, Robert Redford’s place. Provo is located about 45 miles south of Salt Lake and if you are interested in genealogy you are probably familiar with that city. Although people come from as far away as Australia, and this year from Africa, to attend this conference, some locals may not even know that this conference has been going on for 44 years!

Therefore, I would like to announce that the 45th Annual BYU Conference on Family History and Genealogy will be held July 30th through August 2nd, 2013 at the BYU Conference Center, 770 East University Parkway, Provo, Utah. There is still time to register if you would like to attend. Remember, sometimes airlines have great last minute deals :-)

Why would you want to interrupt your summer plans?

Unlike genealogical institutes that have you register for one course for the entire week, this conference allows the participant to chose from 160 classes categorized into about two dozen tracks. The syllabus is a treasure trove of additional information, bibliographies, and links to further one’s study of a topic so one can go as deep as necessary or desired.

The opening session for the conference is entitled, “An Invitation to Shape the Future” and will be given by Elder Allan F. Packer, executive director of the Family History Department for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. On Wednesday, Dennis C. Brimhall, President and CEO of FamilySearch International will speak to conference participants about “Not Just a Chart, but the Heart.” This year BYU is pleased to announce that J. Mark Lowe will be teaching a number of classes as well as presenting the keynote on Thursday. Mark is well-known in genealogical circles for his expertise in Southern U.S. Research and his sense of humor. I’m curious to know what he has to say about “Coffins, Urns & Zip-Lock Bags.” Classes are offered from the beginner to advanced levels by some names that you may know and some who are just qualified to share their expertise :-) For a complete schedule of presenters and their topics visit ce.byu.edu.

As we have gone digital, the youth have been a great asset in helping FamilySearch Indexing get record indices online. This year the youth will have their own track on opening day, Tuesday, July 30th. Attendance does not require pre-registration so if you are a youth or know a youth, consider dropping by and staying for the day. It’s free and, with the hot Utah sun, it’s also air conditioned. (Did I mention that the entire facility is fabulous?)

Family Chart Masters and Genealogy Wall Charts are giving away free fan charts to conference participants. You must order them online and they will be available for pick up at the conference. Visit the conference website for more information.

The conference will also have exhibitors present to display their newest products and services. Come check out the newest offerings in the field of genealogy. With the retirement of the free PAF program, Ancestral Quest, Legacy FamilyTree, and RootsMagic will be available to demonstrate their software to help those who may have been reluctant to leave PAF, or those new to genealogy, find a computer database program that suits their preferences. For Mac Users who prefer not to use Fusion, Parallels, or Boot Camp to run the PC programs, there are other options. Ancestry.com will be at the conference. They have programs for PC and Mac. There will be a beginner class on Friday entitled, “Mac Users: Simple Tricks to Save You Time.” Talk to the presenter about program options or contact me. I like Mac :-)

As mentioned above, the Youth track on Tuesday is FREE and does not require pre-registration. Noncredit registration for the four-day event, including a CD syllabus, is $180. Family History Consultants, who may attend their specific track for FREE on Friday, may register for the full conference and receive a $50 discount on general registration. The credit option cost for the conference (2 credits of History 481R – Family History Directed Research and a CD syllabus) is $440. To register, call 1-877-221-6716 or visit familyhistoryconferences.byu.edu.

Men’s and women’s housing, which includes meals each day of the conference, is available on the BYU campus for $155. (That’s four nights lodging and 12 full meals.) Married housing is not available. (See the conference website about hotel accommodations.) Conference participants who are not staying in campus housing may purchase a $32 lunch card that covers lunches at the Morris Center each day of the conference. Lunch includes a choice of two entrees, salad, fruit, desserts, and drinks. It’s all you can eat! For more information about the conference, visit the website or call 801-422-4853.

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.

Congratulations to the FamilySearch Indexing Volunteers – Your Efforts Counted…to a Billion!

One Million Digitized WPAs I have been reporting since RootsTech 2013, FamilySearch Indexing has been approaching the billionth indexed record. It really takes team effort to reach such a goal. Previously it took decades; this time it took less than 7 years :-) When it came to the 1940 US Census Community Project, organizations joined forces to complete the project. A few weeks into April 2012, 4.9 million records were indexed in one day and on July 2, 2012 indexers produced over 10 million records indexed and arbitrated in a 24-hour period. Now that was a WOW moment!

Today, someone will be named the indexer of the billionth record. Another could be named as the one who indexed the most records. And another could be named for the most accurate indexing. The list could go on, but it took every single record to count to a billion and therefore every single record and the indexer who contributed it counts! It’s part of being a team, whether on a project, with friends, in a family, with a business, or in the community, greater outcomes materialize with team effort and support :-) So today, THANK YOU to each and every volunteer who made it happen! You have provided indexes that will assist genealogists and family historians in finding the records that will piece history together! And, THANK YOU to FamilySearch International and the Indexing team for supplying and supporting these efforts. Volunteers could not do it without you! You provide so much :-)

This past week familysearch.org received a makeover. As individuals evaluated the new features and layout, I personally noticed that the links to the pages for indexing remained the same. For those who may have hesitated and would like to join in indexing the next billion, here is how you can become a part of this great team.

Go to www.familysearch.org. First ScreenClick on the Indexing box, the fifth one from the left, and then Learn More. (If the screen has rotated to highlight indexing, just click on Learn More.) This is the FamilySearch Indexing Home Screen.2 If you do not already have a FamiySearch account you will need to register. Click on “Sign In.” The form requires that you create a user name and password that will be used when accessing the FamilySearch Indexing software and other FamilySearch features. 4Be sure to read the Rights and Use Information as well as the Privacy Policy, then click on “Create an Account.” :-)5 When you return to the indexing home page click on “Download the software” and you will received the specialized software necessary for indexing. 2aOnce you have downloaded the software you are ready to begin. If you scroll down the Indexing home page you will see some interesting and pertinent information with links to even more information. Don’t be overwhelmed! You decide which project to work on and a way to find out more information about the projects is to click on “see all  projects” highlighted in blue under “Indexing is a worldwide effort.”6 The projects listed are from localities around the world! These pages will give you the details and sample pages to determine the right project for you!78910 (By the way, if you are logged into the software you may access the project information from the list of choices.)

As I mentioned, indexing is a team effort and if a collection is a priority to an organization it will be completed at a much faster rate. If your society has interest in records that will specifically benefit your members, why not adopt that project. You can even hold indexing meetings or parties. There are many ways to come together to index the records that benefit ourselves and the community.

As I mentioned previously, the projects being highlighted by FamilySearch Indexing are the US Immigration and Naturalization Project and the Italian Ancestors Project. Once indexed these records become accessible to all genealogists and family historians without subscription.

Today is the day to celebrate another billion records indexed! CONGRATULATIONS to FamilySearch Indexing and its volunteers. And, once again, THANK YOU :-)

Copyright ©2013 Lynn Broderick and the Single Leaf. All Rights Reserved.