In April we will have the opportunity to join a huge nation wide service project. The 1940 census will be available online. The main problem with accessing it is, you have to know exactly where your family lived to find them......SO, there is a massive Nation-Wide Service project getting ready to start Indexing the entire 1940 census. They need the help from EVERYONE!
It is easy and so beneficial. If you are just beginning your family history, it will help you to find your family in just one step. All you will have to do is type in their name on the FamilySearch website and the indexed information will come up. You will then be able to click on the actual document and view it...and all of this for FREE! (Indexed names will be updated on a regular basis so the faster the names are indexed, the faster you will be able to access the information.)
So what do you need to do to help? Just sign up to do Indexing at www.Indexing.familysearch.org and follow the steps to register. You will need to download a program. Once you have downloaded the program, you will need to get registered then you will be ready to begin. It is so easy to sign up. You will need a sign in name with a password (if you belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, you just use your church sign in name and password).
After you have downloaded the program and signed up, you will be able to download a batch. A batch is generally 1 or 2 pages of the census record. Other types of records are available too as the Church is working on indexing all of the microfilm/microfiche that they have photographed over the many years. Many of the records available are in other languages. You only choose the language you will feel comfortable indexing. If you do read another language, they really need some help from indexers that can read foreign languages.
The batches are not that long, as I said before, just a few names. Most batches take about a half hour to do. You can do as many or as few batches as you'd like. You have about a week to complete one batch. If you do not finish the batch, it will be taken away in a week for someone else to complete. If you find one batch is too difficult and you do not want to do that batch, you can just send it back.
So this is what's happening, you download a batch from the website server and work on it on your computer. You can choose to work offline or stay online and work that way. You have to be online to download a batch and online to submit the batch but if you only have dial-up or if you want to load some batches to do while traveling, you can download them, work on them offline, then go back online to submit them. You can load up to 10 batches at once.
There is awesome help for indexing. For complete help and even live chat assistance, click on the HELP section at the Indexing website. Every batch has it's own set of instructions so be sure to read them before you start. If you cannot read something or something is missing that should be there, refer back to the HELP section for assistance. As I said, if you really cannot find your answer, click on LIVE CHAT (found in the HELP section) and someone will be more than happy to assist (you can also call or send an email for assistance).
Who can index? If you can read, you can index (age 13+). You do not have to be proficient on the computer. You do not have to be a fast typist. You work at your own speed, in your own home, and on your own computer. If you can give a few minutes a week to this project, you can do it. It is easy to learn. If you only have a few minutes of one week a month, you can do this. If you have time at your lunch break, when the kids are down for a nap, when you are waiting for a call, you can do this. If you feel that you are bored and nothing interests you, try indexing.
A word of warning, you can become addicted. Time flies by so fast and you may have the boss, kids, or spouse tapping the desk for you to get back to their needs but just tell them you are doing a service project. Ask them to join in. The age for signing up is 13+. I knew a lady in her 80's that decided to do something with her days. She learned how to use the computer (just enough to do indexing - nothing more) and began indexing. She ended up working an easy 8 hours a day every day until she died (into her 90's). She even learned how to do the Spanish records and she never spoke or read Spanish before. She just wanted to learn so she did!
Join us in this wonderful World Wide Service Project (general indexing) and our National Service Project (1940 census) and find how truly rewarding it is to offer service this way. Maybe you will even find some of your family while doing it! Check it out today! You do not have to wait for the 1940 census to get started. There is tons to index right now so go take a look. They even have a little "Test Drive" to see what it is all about. If you know someone who needs purpose to their life, have them try this. It is the best therapy you can imagine. I hope you will not just take my word but will actually give it a try. Join us today!
For more information on the 1940 census go to www.familysearch.org/1940census.