Back in August of 2009, I started volunteering with FamilySearch Indexing. I signed up, watched the video, and downloaded what I needed to get started. I like to keep my hands busy while watching tv, so the rhythmic entry of census information into spreadsheets fit nicely into my football watching schedule. Well, you know how much football I watched last season and it shows in my indexing stats. I just logged my 10,000th indexing name!
There are all types of records you can index. I prefer "beginner" level and like census pages because I can go through each page quickly. Sometimes I enter death certificates, but I find I get too involved in the information on them. I did death certificates for British Columbia for a while, but the stories on the records just got to me. It was hard to see a child's death, or a violent one due to the logging industry, or the suicides. I always wondered about the people left behind.
So then I got back on the census horse. My 10,000th record came from the 1910 census in Minnesota.
I've learned a lot from this experience: migration patterns, foreign names, the vast differences in the ways enumerators entered the information. My handwriting reading skills have also greatly improved. I'm real careful about entering the information because I want to make sure I have it right for the future researchers who may need it down the road. It's how I give back.
What about you? How do you give back? I'm always interested in new projects. Tell me about yours.