Genealogy Transcription

Discussions around Genealogy technology.
BlackRG
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Genealogy Transcription

Postby BlackRG » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:24 pm

This isn't a new idea as I've seen it done before on a limited scale, but perhaps it is new for the Church. It's my understanding that the Church intends to put the bulk of its family history archives online. It's also my understanding that they intend to have most or all of it transcribed from images to text so you can access the data in more useful ways. I'm sure that at this point, putting the images up is far easier than getting it transcribed and putting the text up. How about throwing the images up and allowing people to access the website to do the transcribing from the images and submit it? This does NOT have to result in inaccuracy. You simply have multiple people transcribe the same images and compare the results. If there's a difference you either have it transcribed again and compare again, or toss it out for manual review. This should allow the Church access to far more volunteer effort than what it probably has on hand at the moment.

When the Church released the 1880 census I _LOVED_ it. However, it was rather depressing when I found how long they had to work on it. Genealogy is something that's lighting a fire under a great many people (more outside than inside the church from what I can tell) and many of us would be absolutely thrilled to contribute to a project like this where we knew the results of our labor would be available for free to the public. The current cost of memberships to various genealogy sites is often beyond the reach of many people wanting to do genealogy research.

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greenwoodkl
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Postby greenwoodkl » Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:55 pm

I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but the Church has an extraction program whereby members can take time to transcribe names and vital data from census records and other records in digital images. Recently, this has become a process that anyone can do online. Take a look at the FamilySearch Indexing website. I just volunteered yesterday, I got an account this afternoon. I chose out of a list of 10 or so ongoing projects, downloaded a batch and transcribed 50 names from a census record in an hour or less. I imagine this will become part of a free public database at some future time.

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Postby JamesAnderson » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:00 pm

Actually this is already being done. Take a look at http://www.familysearchindexing.org/ and they are doing it that way already.

In fact, projects that used to take years are taking only months, and projects they thought would take months are done in only weeks.

Some stakes that were involved in the beta went from doing only maybe doing a few thousand names to maybe 20,000 names a year in the old extraction program did in excess of a million names in the indexing program while it was in beta.

A stake extraction director in Mesa Arizona reported that one indexer did 16,000+ names in one month.

A report at the Utah Genealogical Society's 'Institute for Genealogy' or whatever it was, said they had 12,000 indexers by that date, mid-January of this year, and expected shortly for that number to double, and by the end of the year it might be in excess of 100,000 people, member and nonmember alike, doing indexing.

Data will be tied to images from other things I've heard about the program, so if you look up a name once they put the images online, you will also view the image that name is associated with.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Fri Feb 16, 2007 11:09 pm

As another volunteer indexer, I can say that this is what you are looking for. The old extraction program (I was a ward extraction director) did this but the overhead made it near impossible to keep fellow extractors (who also were full-time students) motivated to work on the data. (I think we were only able to complete one batch in an entire school year) This allows for smaller batches to be downloaded per volunteer and they get the batches back very quickly.

There is a due date of a week after you download the batch to keep you working hard. but the usual batch is only 20 to 50 names. Also you can set goals for yourself, like how many names you are going to extract in a month. It is a very cool program and I'd suggest to everyone to volunteer a little time to indexing.

Currently we're working on the 1900 census.
- David

BlackRG
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Postby BlackRG » Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:53 am

Yep. This is exactly what I'm looking for. Thanks!
I guess the part that bothers me now though is why I didn't know about it before. Out of curiosity, how did each of you find out about it?

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greenwoodkl
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Genealogy Links

Postby greenwoodkl » Sat Feb 17, 2007 9:59 am

I don't remember exactly how I heard about it. There are various sites I occasionally look at for what's coming on the horizon. I've listed some of them below.
Hope some of these interest you!

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Sat Feb 17, 2007 8:21 pm

I heard about while it was still in beta. It was told to the ward extraction directors so that they could see the cool things on the horizon. Of course we tried to get into the beta but to no avail. So I found out about the indexing being available to all through familysearch.
- David

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garysturn
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Family Search Indexing Project

Postby garysturn » Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:30 pm

Here is a new release I received by being on the Family History Consultant E-Mail list. This is a project which has been completed by FamilySearchIndexing and posted online.

News Release was sent Feb 7, 2007

Utah Death Certificates Now Viewable Online
250,000+ certificates from 1905 to 1954 linked with index and images

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - FamilySearch, in conjunction with the Genealogical Society of Utah and the Utah State Archives and Records Service announced today that the state’s free online index to death certificates is now linked to original images of the historic documents. The integration of the index with free digital pictures of the death certificates issued from 1905 to 1954 by the state will open doors to additional information for family historians and genealogists with Utah ties. To search the index and view the certificates, users need to go to [url=mhtml:{F6725479-018B-4A2A-9D17-E947559281F7}mid://00000016/!x-usc:http://historyresearch.utah.gov/indexes/index.html]http://historyresearch.utah.gov/indexes/index.html[/url].

The online index to 250,000+ Utah deaths was created by the State Office of Vital Records and Statistics and has searchable information limited to the name of the deceased person, their date of death, sex, and where they died. The Utah State Archives turned to FamilySearch to help them get the digital images online. FamilySearch digitized the images and provided the technology to link the images of the certificates to the state’s online index. The linking process was completed in just a few weeks, incredibly fast for a project of this nature and magnitude. The names of Utah’s deceased are now very much alive, searchable, and viewable online and for free.
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BlackRG
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FamilySearch

Postby BlackRG » Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:22 pm

I think it would be much easier for people to discover this if there were some prominent mention of it on familysearch.org - after all, the very people visiting familysearch.org are the same people who are going to have an interest in this.

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garysturn
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Library Catalog Updates

Postby garysturn » Mon Feb 19, 2007 10:02 am

gblack wrote:I think it would be much easier for people to discover this if there were some prominent mention of it on familysearch.org - after all, the very people visiting familysearch.org are the same people who are going to have an interest in this.


I agree. The best way to get the word out would be a press release in the FamilySearch News site. Then the library catalog should be updated to have a notation that the images on these microfilms have been scanned and are available online and give a link.
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