Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Family Search Indexing Revitalized

Back in March I blogged about Family Search Indexing, an initiative from the LDS Church (Family Search). Just as with FreeBMD and Automated Genealogy, volunteers can extract family history information from digital images of historical documents over the internet. During the summer only US 1900 census images were available. Now we again have Canadian records to index.

Family Search have scanned the 1871 Canadian census and serve images to you for indexing. According to Library and Archives Canada, which holds the copyright, Family Search does not yet have copyright clearance. That means they will be able to makes the transcripts generally available, but NOT display or link them to images of the originals.

If you use the Scottish census on ancestry.co.uk you will have run into the result when a copyright agreement cannot be worked out. Apparently LAC and Family Search are in negotiation to develop an agreement which would make the 1871 census images freely available with links to the Family Search index.

So far the indexing project is in the early stages. I've had images from Ontario's Kent and Lambton counties to index. A head of household index for Ontario records in this census is available at the Canadian Genealogy Centre website to give you a second opinion if you have difficulty reading those names.

With fall now officially arrived, and the dark evenings getting longer, consider helping out with this project. The software is easy to master, you work at your own pace, and will be able to share in the satisfaction of knowing you contributed when another indexed Canadian census becomes freely available.

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