FamilySearch Indexers Leave a Legacy in a Record Setting Event

July 5, 2012  - by 

Baseball Grand Slam
On July 2, FamilySearch indexers and arbitrators from around the world joined together for 24 hours in what became a mind-boggling event in so many ways. Who could have guessed that we would MORE THAN DOUBLE what was already an aggressive indexing and arbitration goal to complete 5 million records? Simply unbelievable! In baseball terms, that’s an “out of the park grand slam!”

The final record count for the “5 Million Name Fame” event day is:
Indexed Records: 7,258,151
Arbitrated Records: 3,082,728
Total Records Worked: 10,340,879

Equally astounding is this number: 46,091. That’s the total number of volunteers who participated. The previous high was 34,948, putting July 2nd’s total at more than 11,000 over the previous one-day record!

Just for fun, we went looking for a way to illustrate how many people that represents. It turns out Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri seats 46,861 or just 770 more than showed up to index and arbitrate yesterday. Need a visual? Check out the 360° view from the pitcher’s mound at Busch Stadium. Click here to see the stadium full of people. Now imagine that everyone of those people is a FamilySearch indexer or arbitrator and you start to appreciate what really happened on July 2!

Of course, when all is said and done, what really matters is the number one. That’s the number of people it takes to make a difference. You can be proud to be the one who made the difference for someone else who is looking for their ancestors. Because of you, they will know the joy of adding a new branch to their family tree. For that, we (and they) sincerely thank you!

10Million Records Badge
Did you participate in this historic event? Celebrate with us! Print and/or share this badge online to let your friends know you helped make history! Visit the “Five Million Record Challenge” badge page to download the badge. We want to hear from you! Tell us who you found or share the most interesting record you indexed or arbitrated. Share your event day story here or email us at

This article was written by Michael Judson.

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  1. @Julie – Look back through the blog and you’ll find a few entries about indexing and arbitrating. All the records are indexed by two separate people, then arbitrators compare every index pair and choose the best interpretation of any discrepancies (e.g., if one typed “Louisa” and the other typed “Louise,” what does the arbitrator see in the original?). The 99% and 100% indexed records won’t be searchable until all arbitration is through for that state.

  2. So proud of everyone who participated. I’m glad that I was part of such historical event. It feels good to know that the work that I did will someday bring joy to people looking for their ancestors. God bless you all and let’s keep on indexing! : )


  4. A couple of youth and I had an Indexing party starting about 4 hours before the deadline. The 7 of us indexed about 500 names or so in two hours, and two of us stayed after to do another 120 names or so between us. 🙂 This was a great opportunity to encourage Youth and Indexing in my ward, thanks!

  5. My best yield had been about 2-3 batches per week. This time I pledged to try to double that at least, by fitting it in the space between immovable duties and other activities. I pushed onward until I was slightly cross-eyed, but I completed between 12 and 13 batches. I chose 1940 census, Puerto Rico. All along I thought fondly of mis amigos Alfonso Telésforo M, and Luis and Marta Q, Hipólito V. and their families as I worked. Loved it! ¡Salud!

  6. I realize this is a little late, but my feelings are the same as they were when I initially read about our progress. I am the assistant indexing director for our stake and I was really excited about being a part of this historic opportunity. I am so proud of all of us, not just our people, in what we have accomplished. Since I have become disabled, I am now able to index more.; I am grateful for my disability because it allowed me to participate more fully in this astoounding project!!

  7. This is also a late reply. I enjoy indexing. Since April I have submitted more than 5,500 names. Most of those were from the 1040 census. An interesting batch I did was a record from Chicago, Illinois. It was a hospital census. The relationship column included listings of the titles of staff members, lodgers and inmates. Some names were unreadable. Are census takers trained to improve their handwriting skills?