Monday, March 26, 2012

Indexing: Becoming a Volunteer

As I discussed last week, the 1940 Census will be made available to the public on April 2, 2012. Unfortunately, when it is released, the data has not been indexed so there won’t be a way to search the information for the records you need.

However, there are many volunteer opportunities for people who enjoy family history and historical documents to help catalog this data.  All you need is a computer and the time. The two sites that I know of that does this type of volunteer indexing provides you with the software to download and easy instruction on how to start processing your first record.

You don’t have to commit to a specific number of hours, a certain time of the day or a number of records you’ll index. Just sign on, copy the information you see, and then submit the information once you’ve completed the record. And don’t worry if you are afraid you might index something wrong. There will be at least two people looking at every record so just do your best.

Image Copyright © 2011 IRI
If you want to help out, check out these sites:

They always have projects they are working on so you can go ahead and get some practice before April 2nd. Then on Monday we can all work together to get the 1940 Census processed for everyone to enjoy.

Post any questions you have about these sites and I’ll help answer them. Happy indexing!


  1. Kristal, I found your blog via GeneaBloggers. Of course, I totally agree with your post here! And don't stop when the census indexing is finished. FamilySearch has so many other documents yet to scan. I like to think of it as a way of giving back for all the help I've benefited from over the years.

  2. You are so right, Jacqi. Without others indexing for us, we wouldn't have what we have now and we have the responsbility to make sure future generations have this kind of access too. Thank you so much for stopping by. I hadn't heard of GeneaBloggers but I'm going to check it out. It sounds like a great resource for Genealogy. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Welcome to the GeneaBloggers family. Hope you find the association fruitful; I sure do. I have found it most stimulating, especially some of the Daily Themes.

    May you keep sharing your ancestor stories!

    Dr. Bill ;-)
    Author of "13 Ways to Tell Your Ancestor Stories" and family saga novels:
    "Back to the Homeplace" and "The Homeplace Revisited"

  4. I've signed up for the indexing project. I cannot wait. It is exciting to be part of the great project.
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)

  5. I just found your blog through Geneabloggers. Welcome. I love browsing through genealogy blogs here.

    Regards, Jim
    Genealogy Blog at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets