What is indexing? Like the video above said, original documents - birth/death certificates, marriage licenses, military forms... basically anything with information on it - are found and then digitalized so that they can be saved.
Volunteers sift through all of the photos and key the information into the computer... things like their name, spouse, parents, birthday... stuff like that. After the names are indexed, people on the Family Search website (or those using other programs like ancestry.com or RootsMagic) can search for a relative's name, and all of the information indexed will pop up.
For members of the Church, that means that we can quite possibly find names to take to the temple.
The youth in our ward have all signed up so that we can start indexing. Let me tell you, I am already hooked. It is so easy and strangely addicting... and a very easy way to do service and help people so that they can further their family history.
I'm serious... it is SO easy. Go here to get started. All you have to do is download the software and create an account. (If you already have an LDS account, then that will work.) Just so you know, if you need to create an account, you will need your Church membership number. If you don't know it, no worries. Just talk to your bishopric (probably the ward clerk, actually...), and they will give it to you.
Once the software is downloaded and you have logged in, a video will pop up explaining the program to you. It is only like six minutes long.
That's it! You are ready! Now you just go through documents and read them so that you can key in the information that is asked for. If you can't read the handwriting, send it back and you can get a new document. I am very new to this, but I'm having a lot of fun with it. It also feels good to know that the names I'm entering in are more than just names. They are people, who lived and died, and who now need our help.
Starting April 2nd, you can help index the 1940 Census. There were over 130,000,000 people in the U.S. at that time, and it will be a huge project to index all of those documents. What's cool is that 1940 wasn't really that long ago. We all know people that were alive at that time (they only have to be like 72 or older), and it's neat to know that is the generation we will be helping. It is these people and their parents/grandparents that need our help now... People you may know or deceased people that you are closely related to...
Just do it. It will be so worth it, and it makes you feel good to know that you are helping people. It may look intimidating at first, but it is so incredibly easy. Trust me. You will love it, and then you will want to spread the word to your friends!
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