Friday, May 8, 2009

Outage, Outstanding, Outsourced, FamilySearch Indexing

Service Outage

FamilySearch Indexing logo The FamilySearch Indexing service experienced a major disruption last week. Tuesday morning volunteers were having problems downloading or submitting batches, and the projects tab did not show any projects. By Wednesday, volunteers reported an inability to log in, thinking their passwords were failing. Thursday morning a notice appeared on the FamilySearch Indexing website, noting the service was back up, but warning that individual batches or entire projects might take up to 48 hours to be fixed.

If you experienced problems uploading a completed batch last week, try again now. If you experience problems with your password when starting the FamilySearch Indexing application, Exit the application and try starting again.

Outstanding: Quarter Billion Records Indexed

FamilySearch International announced that indexing volunteers have reached a "monumental milestone." Volunteers recently keyed the 250 millionth record. The record was part of the Nicaragua Civil Registration indexing project. FamilySearch Indexing uses a process called A/B keying, meaning each record is keyed by two different keyers. Should the results differ, the record is automatically routed to a third keyer for arbitration.

What the rotten luck! According to FamilySearch spokesperson, Paul Nauta, the 250 millionth record was keyed with an error and had to be sent to an arbitrator for correction. Fortunately, the situation became a public relations positive when it was found the two keyers were located in Nicaragua and Guatemala and the arbitrator in Honduras. Said Nauta, “Three volunteers, three countries, one common goal—to provide access to the world’s genealogical records quicker and more economically.”

Of course, I’m kidding about the rotten luck. I’m guessing that it was probably not practical to know which exact record was the 250 millionth, so Nauta had some latitude in picking the one that best communicated his message.

Congratulations, FamilySearch and all the volunteers helping out!

Outsourced Canadian Census

In a sign that the mini-ice age in FamilySearch/Ancestry.com relations might be loosing its icy grip on Canadian records, a 5-May-2009 FamilySearch Indexing announcement noted that the 1916 Canadian Census is now available to all Family History Center (FHC) patrons through www.ancestryinstitution.com

While the 1916 Canadian Census is not on the list of FHC databases, I was able to access it. In fact…

More on the Ancestry FHC Edition later. Stay tuned…

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