Familysearch, a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, contains the world’s largest repository of genealogical records.
For longtime family history buffs, making the indexing process accessible in Spanish will make more of the Spanish language microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City available to genealogists.
Having the indexing system available in Spanish also gives volunteers who speak Spanish the opportunity to add indexing information to the Internet, opening up this opportunity to genealogists in Spanish-speaking countries.
Even a novice genealogist can register at familysearch.org and, after completing a simple tutorial, participate in the indexing process.
Designed for ease and efficiency, the indexing software allows indexing to be processed on a personal computer at home or any other location. Indexing projects are downloaded on the computer, and the significant data is entered in a tabbed format.
And because all of the information and instructions are now in Spanish, users are not required to speak English.
Illustration: A page from the 1869 census of Argentina being indexed by Spanish-speaking volunteers at FamilySearch indexing. © 2008 Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
According to Paul Nauta, manager of public affairs for FamilySearch, the time commitment to work on indexing is not significant. “A seasoned indexer could complete a census page in about 15 minutes, while a newcomer may take twice that long,” Nauta explained. “Volunteers may also work in short segments, saving their work online as they go. If they are unable to finish, the work is automatically assigned to another indexer, so not even 10 minutes of work would be wasted. We’ll take any and every effort,” he concluded.