Sunday, July 27, 2014

Worldwide event results in over 5.7 million family history records indexed in one day

FamilySearch volunteers set historic record

On July 20th and 21st, FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators from around the world joined together to set an international record for the greatest number of records indexed in one day. 

Indexed: 4,682,746; Arbitrated: 941,932; Total Records Processed: 5.7 million

An original census record
Family history indexing is the  process of extracting names from digital images of historical documents and creating online searchable indexes from the previously gathered information. An indexer looks at the original record (like the census record above) and types the name, birthdate, location and other information into a computer database that can later be easily searched. has over 3.5 billion names in its database. They are accessible at no cost to anyone searching in their family history. 

FamilySearch reached another record during the 24-hour period from July 20th and 21st. To meet the indexing record they gathered together the greatest number of indexing participants in a single day. They  hoped to have an unprecedented 50,000 contributors in a 24 hour period. FamilySearch volunteers excelled, surpassing that goal by 16,511, making the total 66,511 participants in one day.

Indexers worked from their home computers using an online database of digitized original documents. More information about the project and how to volunteer as an indexer can be found at

"Each record and each name indexed and arbitrated matters," said Emma Young, a FamilySearch worker. "Our ancestors deserve to be remembered. You can be proud to be the one who made the difference for someone else who is looking for their ancestors."

Some technical difficulties occurred because of the huge number of participants during a 24-hour period; however, everyone who wanted to got to participate. "We are grateful for the patience and persistence of many volunteers who faced technical difficulties due to an overwhelming response," said Young.

According to Lorraine Kraft, an indexer in the north Kansas City area, 177 indexers participated in her region, including 38 new indexers who signed up. A total of 14,900 records were indexed and arbitrated. "We averaged 84 records per indexer," she said. "The world wide average was  85.7 records. Everyone's efforts are greatly appreciated." 

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