FamilySearch, the world’s largest genealogy organization, is nearing completion of the anticipated Delaware Tombstone Project. Information for the project has been copied from gravestones dating from 1700 to 1960. Records were typed on batches of pre-printed index cards. Each batch contains up to 20 images, each image being considered one record. Digitized copies of the original images were then sent to registered FamilySearch volunteer indexers who were provided with necessary information about the project and instructions about how to extract the information.
The Delaware project is currently 99% complete, as is the project’s arbitration efforts. Two indexers, working independently and often from home, copy key pieces of information from each record. FamilySearch electronically compares the work submitted by each volunteer indexer and, if there is a discrepancy, the record is sent for arbitration. The arbitrator, an experienced indexer with a knowledge of the records being indexed, reviews the digitized copy of the original record and either selects the correct version of the extracted information or enters what he or she see is the correct information.
The tombstone project will add to the information already found on FamilySearch’s Delaware Vital Records page, which offers access to nearly 2 million images taken from the Delaware Public Archives. In all, researchers interested in genealogical information from America’s first state are able to retrieve birth, marriage, death, Bible and cemetery records.
Whether one is a family history devotee or a beginner, FamilySearch’s Delaware Wiki page is another valuable resource. The wiki page includes census information (1870-1940); links and guides helpful in searching church records, court records, maps, and newspapers; Freedman’s Bureau records and other record sources that are linked and described to assist family historians in their search for African American ancestors. The wiki also includes information helpful to researchers of Native American genealogy and family history.
Across the United States, volunteer indexers are working on more than 255 similar indexing projects. Hundreds of millions of records have already been contributed through FamilySearch’s Indexing program.
FamilySearch’s worldwide figures are even more impressive. Some 1.34 billion records have been indexed to date. Over 68.5 million were indexed by 254,129 contributors in 2015. The number of projects currently in process, worldwide, is approaching 500.
FamilySearch is sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Volunteer indexers do not have to belong to the church to assist in its indexing efforts. Prospective indexers may obtain more information or sign up to participate in indexing efforts by visiting the FamilySearch Indexing homepage.
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