How to Index Indexing

What is Indexing genealogy records and how can indexing help me – 72000 indexing for 72 hours #TheWorldsRecords

How to Index Indexing

Join us for a Worldwide Indexing Event – 72,000 people indexing for during 72 hours

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 Watch our recorded Live video on How to Index see below

Worldwide Indexing How to Index


Many of you may not know me but I’m Matt the hubby to A Thrifty Mom. I’m the silent one on our site. One thing that many who know me will tell you is that I love to search my family tree. When I was younger I always wanted to know where I came from. For years we thought our last name, Barrand was German. We knew my mom’s side was Irish also because her name is Lyons. I used to fill out those paper family pedigree forms for Boy Scout merit badges and could only fill up one sheet to the great grand parents. And that didn’t satisfy my search to know where I came from. I think the drive that I had stemmed from not having any close family. Both my grandparents disowned my parents either due to religion or due to my parents not having money to send to their parents to “support” their laziness. I didn’t have uncles or aunts or cousins to talk to or play with. I never got to go to grandma’s house to play. I only had my parents and my brothers and sister.


Barrand family Avoudrey France
The Barrand Cousinade (reunion) in 2013 in France

When the internet first came around I used to type in our last name over and over to see if there was any correlation to other people. Well since the late 80’s and early 90’s things have changed big time. Now in my family tree I have over 70,000 names in my family. I know the Barrand family were some of the original families in Fort Wayne Indiana and that they originally came from an area in eastern France called Franche-Comte and the town of Avoudrey. Where we have them dated back to the mid 1400’s.  A couple years ago I even got to go to the “Barrand Cousinade” which is like a family reunion for all the Barrand cousins, mainly all from eastern France. My wife and I were the first Barrand’s from the USA to attend. It was so much fun to be with and stay in the area that you know your ancestors all came from!

Barrand family
A document of a land deed from the Barrand family from 1712!!!! Yes from before our constitution! I took careful pictures of all of the documents while in France, about 1200 photos laid out on a table and categorized photo was taken.

How to Index / What is Indexing

How did I get all of those names in my tree now? Well it was by the hard work of volunteers, originally at libraries and organizations who would take a picture of an old document like a church baptism record then typed the text on to a paper to have it entered later into a computer so that search engines could scan it and suggest it to others looking for those terms. Recently this same process has gotten so much easier and there are more and more names that “pop up” in search results every day now. It’s Amazing! But it is still done by volunteers like me and you. Right now Family is doing a world wide event for indexing family names. We are trying to get 72,000 people to index at least on set of records during a 72 hour period. Now this doesn’t mean you have to index for 72 hours non-stop, although it is very addicting. It just means that you spend about 20 or 30 minutes indexing one batch of records. That’s it!

Family Search Indexing

All you do is install the free software, register your info, and it assigns you a batch, or a group of similar records, to transpose from the image to the blank areas in text form. That way Google, MSN, Yahoo and all the search engines can now “see” what the record says so that people searching for the relatives can find it. I have had friends say that they have even randomly been assigned their own relatives to transpose or “index”. Wow what a special moment they had!

How to Index FamilSearch Indexing

If you have ever done any genealogical work searching on websites like or or other genealogy sites and you just know that your relative is out there some where but nothing is coming up? Then you know the emptiness you feel when nothing shows in the search results.  Somewhere out there is a record of your relative that is waiting to be searched by Google or other search engines. But the only way it is going to get online is by someone manually typing that name into the internet! That could be you that enters your fourth great grandmother, or your third cousin in the indexing form. Or you could be helping someone else find their missing link in their family tree that opens a entire new world to their lonely life like what I had before I started my huge family tree that I now have.

So have some fun, try it out, if only for 20 minutes and just try one indexing batch with us this weekend!

Join us at

Volunteers?have made over one billion historic records searchable online since FamilySearch introduced online indexing in 2008. The demand for indexed records continues to grow as millions of historical records worldwide are added every year. To join 72,000 teammates in saving the World’s records, visit?

Watch our recorded Live video on How to Index

52 thoughts on “What is Indexing genealogy records and how can indexing help me – 72000 indexing for 72 hours #TheWorldsRecords”

  1. A Thrifty Mom

    always free no buy this type programs.. love it and its searches everything

  2. Melanie Lawlor Cooper

    Love that! Thank you! I signed up and was already playing with it earlier today!

  3. A Thrifty Mom

    It is International. They have documents to be indexed in other languages as well

  4. Amber Croff

    When ever I try to get on Family search on Sunday’s it is so slow. Is it really slow during this event?

  5. Melanie Lawlor Cooper

    I am going to share this with my KAD groups (Korean Adoptees) who are looking for birth parents. THiS is amazing because other services can be ridiculously expensive and not feasible for everyone!

  6. Steph Richardson

    So i missed part of the video..but it will tell you everything you need to know to help out? Like as you go?

  7. Christy Lee

    Printing skills, meaning when I fill out something, I want to make it easy for someone 100 years later will have it easier.

  8. So correct me if I’m wrong, this is just to help those that are reseating genealogy find records? And it’s called indexing?

  9. Christy Lee

    Doing this makes you really pay attention to your printing skills. lol I love how someone checks what you have done, so if you make a mistake it can be caught.

  10. Melanie Lawlor Cooper

    I am adopted from Korea and it said… Ha ha.. I was Korean. But it was nice to know! I did the DNA testing to hopefully connect with a birth relative.

  11. Family search is very cool! I’ve only just begun to do some genealogy but recently met a distant cousin and that was very awesome!

  12. Andrea Williamson

    I LOVE indexing! I have been doing it for other a year now and can’t get enough

  13. Ann-Marie Baker Rohe

    I’ve never heard of this, outside of just basic genealogy search. Thanks for the info!

  14. Ingard Smith

    Doing genealogy is so fun and addicting, indexing must be as well when you realize you are helping others find their ancestors.

  15. JoAnne Barrand

    When I index, I feel like I see a small part of the lives of the people that I index. And it feels good to know that others will now have access to the records.

  16. Tami Sharp Smith

    I really love indexing. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it when I got started.

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