Genealogy from the perspective of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon, LDS)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Dealing with disinterest in genealogy

Is it possible to have a firm testimony of the value of Temple work and yet seem to be entirely disinterested in genealogy? Unfortunately, that seems to be the case with many members of our Wards and Stakes, even with some of the leaders. If you are a Family History Consultant this challenge can be a real concern.

In my experience, most long-time members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have a basic understanding of the doctrine supporting Temple and Family History work in the Church. Even those who attend the Temple regularly, may still have difficulty seeing how they can become involved in the Family History part of the work. That inability to connect with Family History can have a whole spectrum of causes from lack of computer skills to physical disabilities. One pathway to overcoming this lack of interest is through the FamilySearch Indexing program. Rather than trying to get people to "do their genealogy," I think it is a good idea to overcome the gap with involvement in Indexing.

What is the Indexing program? If you go to presently, you will see a link in the upper right-hand corner of the screen with the word "Volunteer." Here is a screenshot showing the location of the link:

 Clicking on that link will take you to a second page:

Becoming involved in the Indexing program is a very good way to overcome the inertial or reticence of members of your Ward and Stake to become involved in genealogical research. Indexing is the process of extracting names and other information from the records currently locked up in microfilm and being digitized by FamilySearch. An Indexer views a record and transcribes the pertinent information onto forms provided by the Indexing program. These extractions become a searchable index to the records and are put online for others to use. Anyone, whether or not they are a member of the Church, can participate.

The main thing accomplished by having people become involved in Indexing is that they learn the correspondence between viewing a record and finding names. Once they gain that concept, the idea of searching similar records for information about their own family is easier to understand.

Remember, one way to get people interested in Family History is to have them volunteer as Indexers.

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