Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Where are the results of indexing projects?

Insider,

I have a question that perhaps you can answer, and forgive me if you already have somewhere, or if the information is on the FamilySearch website and I have missed it.

My question is whether the results of already completed indexing projects are now in some way accessible through the IGI or the general FamilySearch search form. They do not seem to be. As this is a database question, and not one relating to software, it would not seem to be a feature of New FamilySearch, unless part of that is access to an expanded database(s).

Thanks, Mike

Dear Mike,

You ask a good question. Until the design of New FamilySearch is extended to include Record Search, the results of previous indexing projects is available temporarily at labs.familysearch.org. Click on Records Search and then on Register to use Record Search. If setting up accounts is still a manual process (see this post) then it may take a business day or two before your account becomes active.

Some indexed databases have associated images (like the censuses you helped index) and some do not (like the Social Security Death Index). The currently available indexed databases are:

  • Census and Lists
  • 1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule) *
  • 1850 United States Census *
  • 1850 United States Census (Slave Schedule) *
  • 1880 United States Census
  • 1895 Argentina Census
  • 1900 United States Census
  • Court and Legal Records
  • Freedman Bank Records 1865-1874
  • England, Cheshire, Register of Electors 1842-1900
  • Migration
  • New York Passenger Arrival Lists (Ellis Island) 1892-1924
  • Vital Records
  • Freedmen's Bureau Virginia Marriages ca. 1815-1866
  • Cheshire, Church of England Christening Records 1538-1907 *
  • Cheshire, Church of England Marriage Records 1538-1907 *
  • Cheshire, Church of England Burial Records 1538-1907 *
  • Georgia Deaths 1914-1927
  • Ontario Deaths 1869-1947
  • Ohio Deaths 1908-1953
  • Utah Death Certificates 1904-1956
  • Texas Death Index 1964-1998
  • U.S. Social Security Death Index *

Other records have been photographed (digitized) and the images placed online. These collections have been divided into small groups of images that can be browsed to find desired records (speaking in the genealogical sense, not the database sense).

  • Census and Lists
  • 1850 United States Census (Mortality Schedule) *
  • 1850 United States Census *
  • 1850 United States Census (Slave Schedule) *
  • 1900 United States Census
  • 1905 Wisconsin State Census
  • 1930 Mexico Census
  • Court and Legal Records
  • Maryland, Cecil County Probate Estate Files 1851-1940
  • Land and Property
  • Vermont Land Records, Early to 1900
  • Military
  • United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942
  • Vital Records
  • Germany, Brandenburg and Posen, Civil Transcripts of Parish Registers, 1800-1874 *
  • England, Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts ca. 1700-1900
  • Czech Republic, Litomerice Regional Archive Church Books 1552-1905 *
  • France, Coutances Catholic Diocese 1802-1907 *
  • Illinois, Diocese of Belleville, Catholic Parish Records 1729-1956 *
  • Virginia, Fluvanna County Colbert Funeral Home Records 1929-1976

* Databases with a star have been updated in the last 30 days.

Collections (databases) may not be complete. Click on the name of the collection. The description page indicates incomplete ("early access") collections. For example, currently 98% of the 1900 United States Census index is available. All that is lacking are the Armed Forces and the Indian Territory indexes.

So, Mike, dive in and enjoy the fruits of your labors. You indexed my ancestors and I indexed yours. We are both richer for our efforts.

Sincerely,

The Ancestry Insider

4 comments:

  1. Insider,

    Thank you for the thorough reply. I had never checked out Record Search as I was under the impression that it only allowed one to access images which were waiting in the index queue and had no idea the completed projects were available there.

    Regarding your last comment, yes it is very good to volunteer for indexing and other sharing efforts from which we all benefit. And as a non-Mormon I am glad to have the LDS around to direct much of this.

    The timing of your post and discussion of volunteer efforts is of course timely given the latest blurb on the FHC blog. The Ancestry marketing team breathlessly announces a new volunteer indexing program. Just like other volunteer efforts one supposes. Well of course apart from the fact that Ancestry is not a non-profit.

    I for one do not mind correcting census indexing errors I run across, but working for a commercial entity, and to help produce an index that you would presumably have no access to unless you kept up your subscription, seems a bit much to expect *unless* there is something in it for the volunteer, and I don't mean 10% off one's next purchase at the Ancestry store. I mean working off next year's subscription price.

    Now I grant that I wrote all the above not knowing all the details, and that perhaps this could all look different as in a case where Ancestry ran this project and then gave the results gratis to FamilySearch, in which case it would be a true volunteer effort. In that case I think it would fly. But without any such indications, one assumes that "volunteers" are in fact being requested to work for free for a commercial entity with nothing tangible for one's efforts. And whatever Ancestry does offer for indexing, I think it is safe to assume subscribers are mainly only going to be interested in working off their subscriptions.

    Mike

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  2. Anonymous has a good point, will volunteer work be rewarded by Ancestry? What say ye Ancestry Insider?

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  3. Dear Mike and Jud,

    Tim announced the indexing effort in our January company meeting, but we weren't told much more than you were. At least now I can mention the program and give you my insider's speculation.

    You can signup here to receive more information when it becomes available. The page mentions that "the indexes created through our new volunteer indexing program will be available free for everyone."

    -- The Ancestry Insider

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  4. I have already made use of the labs search facility to find one of my ancestral records - it looks like it's going to be a tremendous facility, eclipsing anything else that is out there by a significant margin. As a non-LDS person who is contributing to the indexing project (9000 names thus far), I am a bit concerned about the possibility that this search facility will migrate to newfamilysearch at some point in time. My understanding is that newfamilysearch is only accessible to LDS members. Do I understand this correctly?

    I might be persuaded to become LDS, so that I can get my hands on the search facility!

    Richard

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