Originally published on genealogyatheart.blogspot.com on 10 July 2016.
Remember the days when you had to physically go to a location to find a record? Or contact someone who lived close to where you needed to hunt and HOPE they would respond via snail mail? And plan for months to get some ancestor hunting in when on a vacation or business trip?
Seems like years ago but it wasn’t. How far we’ve come in this fast pace world with having information available at our fingertips whenever and wherever we are.
I’m not sure where the source of the statistic that I keep seeing that claims that about 10% of all records are posted online. Whatever the number, I think we can all agree that the benefits of surfing in the comfort of our home far outweighs the small costs we might have to pay to “belong” to an organization to access the records.
But being greedy, I want more! I long for the day that I can click on any link on Familysearch.org and instantly bring up a filmstrip. Wow – not having to order, wait (and wait and wait because my local peeps always forget to let me know that the filmstrip arrived), drive to thel library by rearranging my schedule to match when they have volunteers on staff, trying to unspool the film when I find what I want to take to the machine that prints a copy, playing with the copy to lighten/darken/enlarge/shrink, saving to my thumbdrive because their internet is sporadic and I can’t save to the cloud, cleaning up my workspace and then driving home again. Not fun!
I’ve found four ways that you can help get more records online and this can all be done from your home! It’s very simple, it’s fun and there’s no cost to you. Just follow the steps below:
- Get cozy in front of whatever device you prefer – desktop, laptop, tablet – your choice!
- Click one of the 4 options below and follow their directions
Decoding Civil War Telegrams
Purple Hearts Reunited
World Archives Project from Ancestry
3. Feel good that you have contributed!
Over the holiday last weekend I happily indexed Civil War telegrams. For transcriptions, the handwriting was fairly clear and the input method was a breeze. I used to index for Ancestry but haven’t recently. I’m not sure if they still offer a discount if you indexed x number of records but they used to. Check with them and see – it could save you money on your subscription renewal. I plan to help out Family Search and the purple hearts group in the near future. Working on my “On The Clock” portfolio took up a lot of my time over the past year so I didn’t have much free time to spend volunteering. I’m planning on scheduling time in the near future though, as I believe it’s important to help get more records online. Together, we can increase that 10% online and that’s helpful to everyone!