Thursday, May 14, 2015

#NGS2015GEN and FamilySearch (Part 2)

I’m here at the 2015 annual conference of the National Genealogical Conference. This is part 2 of an article about FamilySearch. I’ve collected information from their booth, booth workers, and other recent, public pronouncements.

FamilySearch Indexing QR CodeFamilySearch is excited about its new indexing system. They haven’t released it yet, but it is “coming later this year.” Over 100,000 volunteers are indexing billions of records. Indexing is important and anyone can do it. It’s a good way to give back to the community and you decide how much time you wish to spend. And while you may not index your own ancestor’s records, you will index someone else’s ancestors and someone else will index yours.

As I looked at the booth card, I noticed five blue hyperlinks (“Click Indexing”). Hyperlinks? On a piece of paper?! I asked and was told that the words in blue match the terms to be clicked along the top of the FamilySearch.org website. Okay. That makes sense. Perhaps they should add QR codes as well.

FamilySearch is talking about the ongoing obituary indexing project. “Help unlock the treasure trove of information hidden within.” FamilySearch has published 23 obituary collections. The indexing project is adding to “United States, GenealogyBank Obituaries, 1980-2014,” which now has over 10 million obituaries. With the three year delay the government has built into the SSDI, it helps to have these obituaries covering recent deaths. I didn’t realize it, but these obituaries were “born digital.” GenealogyBank acquires these obituaries as digital text, rather than newspaper images. FamilySearch converts them to images for the purpose of indexing. Then publishes the text extracted by indexers.

To encourage use of its obituary collections, FamilySearch is sending select users an email inviting them to check out an obituary of an ancestor (below, left). The email links to a landing page showing all the obituaries found for their ancestors (right).
FamilySearch obituary marketing campaign email     FamilySearch obituary marketing campaign landing page

They are sending the email to a few users at a time because they don’t want a flood of people hitting FamilySearch.org. The campaign utilizes just a few obituaries, so don’t expect an email unless you have ancestors in these record collections:

  • United States, Obituaries, American Historical Society of Germans from Russia, 1899-2012
  • Idaho, Southeast Counties Obituaries, 1864-2007
  • Idaho, Southern Counties Obituaries, 1943-2013
  • ObitsUtah Obituary Index
  • Utah, Obituaries from Utah Newspapers, 1850-2005

I’ll continue tomorrow with more new features. Stay tuned…

No comments:

Post a Comment