Wednesday, September 14, 2016

FGS Next Project – #FGS2016

FGS and NPS Palo Alto Battlefield U.S.-Mexican War soldier indexing projectAt their 2016 conference the Federation of Genealogical Societies announced both the completion of their Preserve the Pensions project and the beginning of a new one. FGS is teaming up with the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park of the National Park System to build a database of more than 130,000 soldiers of the U.S.-Mexican War. Efforts will be made to also include unit histories, digitized documents, and Mexican soldiers.

“FGS is thrilled to partner with the Palo Alto Battlefield National Historic Park for this important preservation project,” said FGS President D. Joshua Taylor. “"“We look forward to working with our member societies and volunteers to provide new access to records for those researching the Mexican War.”

The Federation of Genealogical Societies and the National Park Service partnered together in 1999 for the Civil War Soldiers and Sailors database project where FGS volunteers completed data entry for more than five million names. The efforts of the CWSS project can now be experienced on the NPS Civil War website.

Volunteers are needed for three different aspects of the project:

  1. Indexers and arbitrators are needed to index the compiled military service Records of Federal soldiers and the pension Index files. This will be a closed project using the FamilySearch indexing program. You will need a free FamilySearch account and we will have to give you authorization. If you want to participate, please send your FamilySearch username so that we can add you to the project and give you access to the images. I may be prejudiced, but I think the FamilySearch indexing software is easy to use. However, if you are not familiar with the system, FGS will be glad to train you. While the pension index records are available now on the FamilySearch website, FamilySearch didn’t index the military unit. (That appears on the surface to be a failure on FamilySearch’s account, but they did it with good reason. I will try to remember to explain why in a future article. But I digress.) This indexing project will add the missing information.
  2. Indexers are needed to enter information from various typed military documents into Excel spreadsheets.
    FGS will try to allow you to work with the states you are interested in. Each company has about 100 names.
  3. Researchers are needed to locate rosters and other reliable sources for units that are missing soldier names. It may help if you are familiar with research in particular states.

If you are interested in helping out, contact Projects@fgs.org with your name, email, and FamilySearch username (if applicable). Indicate which particular part of the project you are interested in working on.

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