Voluntary Indexing

If you find yourself currently isolated in your home and you don’t know what to do with yourself, you can offer to participate in several Indexing efforts on-line. This can be very rewarding and relaxing, especially if you enjoy reading handwriting and typing. For every record you index there is a good possibility that you are helping someone to get through that next “brick wall” in their research.

There are several indexing projects available. I’ve been doing indexing at FamilySearch.org for some time now. Currently they have 100 projects from all over the world. Recently, I have been assisting with US, New Jersey—Naturalization Records, 1905–1944 . This has been a nice project, fairly easy and straightforward. It keeps my mind busy but doesn’t require too much energy. Here is a screen capture of the current records i’m working on to give you an idea of what it looks like.

  1. FamilySearch provides an excellent overview on how to transcribe the records. Each project may have special items so make sure to read all of the instructions.

This project has been focusing on Naturalization’s in New Jersey. These records provide excellent information such as age, place of birth, birth date, and spouses name. In the above image you can see that on the left hand side is where I type in the information I’m reading on the document. You can zoom in to help see as much detail as possible.

2. Ancestry has their “World Archives Project” which you may participate in after downloading a keying tool. I have been hesitant to assist with Ancestry projects because I already pay them enough money to use their services. I would only participate if it was information that is freely available to anyone or if they would give me some credit towards my subscription. But, the projects may be interesting to you and I would still look over what they are doing out of curiosity.

3. There is the National Archives Citizens Archivist Project where you can “contribute to the National Archives Catalog by tagging, transcribing and adding comments to our records, making them more accessible and searchable.” They have organized their projects into different levels for beginners, intermediates, etc.

Here is a view of what the record looks like. You can see at the bottom there are three options available Tag, Comment, or Transcribe.

4. The American Soldier transcription project is also available and easy to register on zooniverse. This collection has “65,000 handwritten reflections by U.S. soldiers who fought during the Second World War.”

5. The African American Civil War Soldiers  needs help transcribing military records of over 200,000 African Americans soldiers who fought for their freedom in the American Civil War. This is also available through zooniverse.

6. Last but not least there is findagrave.com. One of my favorite volunteer websites. You can simply take a stroll to your nearest graveyard and start photographing graves. Then you go home and upload them and add them to the database. You can do this by randomly taking photos of graves or you can see a list of photo requests from people all over the world. They have an app that you can easily use on your phone when you are taking a stroll. They also have an interactive map that shows you where nearby cemeteries are.

You can also see how much of the cemetery has been photographed.

and here is the list of Photo Requests that you can easily download a list of.

Hopefully, you might find something interesting here and I encourage you to give it a try. It’s easy to do while you are sitting at your couch watching Netflix. Additionally, it really does feel like you are making a difference in the digital genealogy world.

#Genealogy #AmericanSoldier #Indexing #Volunteering #FamilySearch #Zooniverse #Cemetery #Transcription #AfricanAmerican #CivilWar #NationalArchives #Findagrave

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