Why Indexing Matters
October 2014

“Why Indexing Matters,” New Era, Oct. 2014, 16–17

Why Indexing Matters

why indexing matters

Illustrations by Alex Westgate

Every name you index has the potential to help others find their ancestors and help those ancestors receive the necessary ordinances in the temple. Because of your efforts in indexing, historic records can be made searchable online so that lives can be blessed on both sides of the veil. Here’s how the process works.

Step 1:Historical Records Vital records, census forms, and other important documents are stored in churches and government offices around the world. These are usually handwritten and hard for most people to access.

Step 2:Digital Conversion Records that have genealogical information are digitally photographed and published on FamilySearch.org, but the names of the people found in the historic documents recorded on the images are still not easily searchable.

Step 3: Indexing Volunteers like you transcribe (“index,” or type in) information from the digital images to make the individual details, like names and dates, searchable. You choose which available project you want to work on, type what you see for each entry, and submit the data—all online. Another person (called an “arbitrator”) reviews your work for completeness and accuracy.

Step 4: Online Access Details from the indexed records are added to a searchable database at FamilySearch.org. The database helps people quickly and easily locate records with important information about their ancestors.

Step 5: Temple Ordinances People use the database to find the names of and information about their ancestors. They add this data to their FamilySearch Family Tree and can then make sure the people’s temple ordinances are completed.