FamilySearch indexing volunteers love a good challenge and once again have banded together to obliterate a record—this time the high mark for the most indexing and arbitration volunteers participating in a single day. The previous record of 49,025 volunteers set in July 2012 at the height of the 1940 US Census indexing effort is now a distant memory compared to the new high of 66,511 set yesterday during the first-annual Worldwide Indexing Event.
While the minimum requirement for participation was to submit a single batch of indexing or arbitration work, it is obvious that many volunteers continued working throughout the day as they also produced the second-highest combined (indexed or arbitrated) total of submitted records at just over 5.7 million.
“FamilySearch indexing volunteers continue to astound with their dedication to indexing day in and day out and their ability to not only meet but far exceed every challenge set before them,” said Mike Judson, FamilySearch indexing workforce development manager. “In my mind, the best part of this success is how many people are going to be helped to find their ancestors because so many volunteers were willing to give their time to this great cause.”
Volunteers who jumped into the challenge early (the event started at 6:00 p.m. MST on Sunday evening) discovered a surprise as the indexing system struggled to process the massive influx of volunteer requests. Many were dismayed at the slowness of the system and inability, in some cases, to download or submit batches. Despite the challenges, volunteers showed great patience and perseverance, and most were eventually able to complete and submit a batch.
“We took the indexing system into ‘unexplored territory,’” said Judson. “Never before have so many people tried to contribute all at once. We know some who wanted to give were not able to do so, but we want everyone who tried to know their efforts are appreciated, and we hope they will return soon now that the demands on the system have subsided.”
About FamilySearch Indexing
FamilySearch indexing is the largest known transcription crowdsourcing effort of its kind. With indexing, volunteers view images of historical records and transcribe the information they see for inclusion into a searchable database on FamilySearch.org. Records are indexed twice by two volunteers and then are reviewed by a third volunteer (known as an arbitrator) to ensure quality and accuracy. Since 2006, FamilySearch indexing volunteers have indexed and reviewed over one billion records containing more than 3.5 billion searchable names, including all of the available U.S. Censuses. In 2012 volunteers rallied in a record-breaking effort to index the entire 1940 U.S. Census (132 million records) in just four months.
About FamilySearch International
FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessors have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at FamilySearch.org or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.