If you look up the definition of indexing, you will find the following definitions:
- the action or process of compiling an index.
- the movement of a machine or part of one from one predetermined position to another in order to carry out a sequence of operations.
I guess both would apply because actually an index is “an indicator, sign, or measure of something.” In in the case of indexing through Family Search, it is recording a time and a place in someone’s life. For example, when and where they were born or died, when they were married or divorced, where they lived in what year, where they served in the military and many, many more.
In the case of a census record, it can not be opened until 72 years after the day it was created. So the release of the 1950 census has caused quite a stir in the genealogy community. We are all waiting with bated breath to see those records and to find out more about our family members. Why? Because these census records, like many others, provide a wealth of information for the lives of individuals who existed and gives us a window into their lives at that time.
For many years now I have been indexing thousands of records for Family search where I take written information and enter it online into a database that is freely available to anyone. This work takes hours to complete and I am only one of the many who have been doing so for years. It is because of their work that I have been able to find records on my own family that go back to the 1700’s in Mexico.
Why do I bother to work this hard? The answer is simple. It is because I want to honor each person’s memory by including their information as carefully and completely as I can. I also feel that someday someone who has been looking for that long, lost relative will be able to find that scrap of information about them. This will turn just a name into a a person and family member who once lived many years ago. By learning about our ancestors, we find out why we are who we are and learn about the perseverance it took for them to survive.
I thoroughly enjoy indexing. I find the records intersting and engaging. Each record contains some bit of information that a loved one will need somewhere down the road. As for genealogy? It is truly a treasure hunt with each new bit of information found!
RootsTech 2022 begins on March 3rd and is absolutely free! If you are wanted to learn more about your ancestors or find out more about what those “crazy people” do who spend hours searching, this is the best place to go. It is free this year and all you need to do is register.