|Image from Family Search Indexing "test drive".|
Indexing, for those of you who don't already know, is amazing. Old documents and records, that can aid in family history searches and genealogy, are scanned and uploaded into an archive. But none of those records are searchable, because they're just scanned images.
Until the magic of indexing occurs.
Volunteers take batches of these scanned documents/records and type the information into a form that is easily recognizable by lots of different searches. Then they submit that information, it gets proofed against the efforts of other volunteers, and then that information is made public to the world.
And then genealogists around the globe do happy little dances, or so I imagine.
The best part about indexing is that anyone can volunteer to do it, and it is undeniably easy and incredibly fast to do. It literally takes minutes.
It used to take me only seconds to index on my phone. But after searching for the app, I finally looked online and realized that the app was in beta testing mode and is no longer available to new devices. Which totally bummed me out. I can't wait for them to release the official app so I can get back on board with indexing any time I have a few extra seconds in my day.
Until then, I can still index to my heart's content by going through Family Search. I've already downloaded the little piece of software that it requires to do the actual indexing, and it still only takes a couple minutes to get through a batch of records.
Indexing provides lots of benefits for researchers around the world, but MY favorite part is when I get those warm fuzzy feelings of knowing that I've helped with something huge and important. And who knows, maybe I've indexed a document that leads to the reuniting of a distant family line, and in turn makes it possible to do a whole bunch of temple work. And someday, in the eternities, I'll be approached by a grateful stranger who says, "Hey, thanks for indexing my name."
And that could happen to you too. All you have to do is start indexing.