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Great success in indexing

The final numbers are in and it turns out that last weekend’s Worldwide Indexing Event was a success beyond anything anybody hoped for or expected.

We already knew that the sheer numbers were high: the plan was to gather up 72,000 people willing to spend roughly an hour each to help index some of genealogy’s most valuable historical records over the 72-hour period, from Friday July 15th through Sunday, July 17th.

WWIE_Infographic_ENThe event blew threw that number quickly. The final number who participated, as you can see from the infographic here, was 116,475 people — more than 61,000 more than hoped for and a 61.8% increase over last year.

According to FamilySearch, there were indexers from every part of the world, with the biggest number — 69,915 — from the United States. The regional numbers were:

• Africa and the Pacific: 1,876
• Asia: 1,360
• Europe and the Middle East: 3,948
• Latin America: 16,686
• North America: 92,943

What’s really neat is that not everyone who worked on indexing records is a senior citizen. More than 10,000 indexers were under age 17:

• 17 and younger: 10,348
• 18–30: 12,211
• 31–45: 19,460
• 46–65: 31,585
• 66 or older: 24,104

But the best part of all is the sheer number of records that were indexed as a result of this one weekend: the final number was 10,447,887.

More than 10 million records, with all the names in those records, available as clues and tools to lead us in to the records in the future.

Amazing success.

But it can’t — can’t — be over in just one weekend.

There are so many more records that need to be indexed — to have the names that appear in the records extracted so that they can be searched easily by everybody.

The reality is that lots and lots of records have been digitized at the free research website FamilySearch.org, including vast numbers of the kinds of records that are absolutely priceless for genealogists.

Wills, inventories, marriage, birth and death registers, tax lists, court records — so many goodies we’d all like to find for our ancestors.

But when the records aren’t indexed, how do we find the ancestor who’s not where we expect him to be? If we don’t know where he was living at a particular time or when and where he died, it sure helps to be able to search by name and across geographical regions.

That’s only possible when records are indexed.

And we can continue the indexing effort even now. There are so many records that need to be indexed, a whole system that lets us participated, and a whole lot of help available to teach us how to do it right.

There’s plenty of information available at the Indexing page at FamilySearch. There’s a Test Drive area (a guided interactive tour where we can try our hand). A Get Started area (where we learn the basics). A Get Help area with all the info we need.

So no matter how good 10 million is… there are so many more records waiting …

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