What it Means to “Fuel the Find”

October 23, 2015  - by 

Have you heard how indexing helps “Fuel the Find”? Indexed records are the fuel that helps FamilySearch.org lead people to their ancestors. There are so many people who have seen firsthand how indexing has opened new discoveries in their own family trees. Here are a couple of their stories.

Technology will help you in the future.

LaFern M. said, “I am so grateful for the indexing that has been done by complete strangers to help me find my family.” For years she was aware of a gap in her family history on her father’s side.

She recounted, “As my husband and I started working on our family history in the 1990s, I wanted to work on these lines but wasn’t sure how to proceed. Each time I thought about working on those family lines, I had the feeling, ‘Technology will help you in the future.’ We then continued to work on areas where information was readily accessible instead.”

Years later, her focus was again drawn to that same section of her chart. She said, “I saw my second-great-grandfather and saw that his mother didn’t have any listed grandparents. I had the names of her parents and went in search of their birth records. I found both birth certificates—submitted via indexing projects—which included the names of the missing parents I was looking for.

“Since this experience, almost all of the new documents that I have found that allowed us to add a child or parent on our family tree have been made available through indexing. Now I do indexing because I know that it will one day help somebody.”

Make an effort to discover your ancestors.

Sergio M. has also seen the fruits of indexing. When he and his wife were married they were challenged to make an effort to do their family history.

His mother had worked in family history for 17 years, and he was doubtful that he would be able to contribute. With determination, he decided to begin by learning how to index. With his mother’s help, he set goals and began indexing thousands of records. He began to feel more and more excited about discovering his own ancestors.

He and his wife decided to take the next step and turn their attention to her family history, which had hardly been touched. After a visit with her grandmother, they found the names of family members down to the fourth generation. The next day, they went to FamilySearch.org to enter the names they had found.

“When we went to enter in the name of my wife’s great-great-grandmother, we utilized the option of searching for possible duplicates. To our surprise, we found her exact record. We found the name of her husband, her parents, the parents of her parents, and so on until we completed seven generations.

“At that time, my heart was touched in a great way. Thanks to the fact that someone had indexed their names previously, their information was available in the system.”

There are people near and far with stories just like Sergio’s and LaFern’s. There are thousands more who are enjoying the fruits of indexing, many without even realizing it. People will naturally want to help “Fuel the Find” as they see how rewarding it can be. Go to FamilySearch.org/indexing to learn more about indexing.

What experiences have you had discovering your ancestors through indexed records?


Help Fuel the Find
Learn how you can help people like LaFern and Sergio discover important details of their family story. Watch the video.


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  1. I am unabl to find my maternal Grandmother’s first husband Jack Kavanaugh. She married him and gave birth to my Aunt Dorothy in 1925. any help is appreciated.

    1. Hello Maura,
      Maybe if you could give a little more information someone could help you out. I would be happy to try to. What is your maternal grandmother’s name who was married to Jack Kavanaugh, do you know the year of her birth & where did they live?
      Georgeann Ray

  2. I have been lookiing for my maternal grandmother name Mable R Cook was suppose to be cherokee indian. Her mother is buried in Spring City Tn but that is all I know on her. Thanks for any help you can give me

    1. wanda hone if there is any native american blood then you’d be better off to look up tht cemetery under finding graves then when u type in finding graves tht site will come up u get onto finding graves then u type in the name tht u do have an then you’ll have names an dates of birth to death then once u get to who ur looking for you write dwn tht information and then you go to family tree’s use family ancestry use the free site then u type in the name the date of birth to the date of death under the search area and then u type in the state and press search, then there will come up all the info on every one with tht name the dob to the death date an you’ll go to your’s an you will then see tht the census which will show you who all was living with her at tht time from her parents to her an her siblings, husband an kids jst keep writing info down an then go to ten yrs ahead cencus on tht same search until you have every one in ur family now i know it sounds like alot or too hard, but it isnt it jst sounds like it is but u get onthere an soon you’ll have hundreds of ur ancestors for i started out with my parents then grandparents & now I’ve got my great, great, great gparents, to their siblings to their kids on down to my generation as well as my family frm 1007 to now 2015 and I’ve found family tht I never knew i had thts frm then to even now an i have found so many cousins tht’s my 2 an 3rd cousins we never knew ea other until I done exactly the moves i told you to follow you will really enjoy an bc a true expert 🙂

  3. To turn the phrase around I say “Find the Fuel”.

    I used to index, concerntrating on
    South Africa and indexed some 45 000 records or some 109 000 names.

    After 20 years of wondering what happened to my grandmother as she divorced my grandfather a year after my father was born and left him and his brother behind. I found her on Family Search about 2 years ago and found the baptism of my mother a year ago.

    Relative to South Africa, I review about 600 names a month and clear out the duplicates and clean up each name’s dates and places based on hints and research.

    More often than not I find new or unrecorded information for the ‘South African Family Tree’, and as we are all related to one another in South Africa, on FS and use the internet as a source reference or verification.

    The more I find the more I see what still has to be done. It is mostly there. It just has to be put together.

  4. My great grandmother is buried in an obscure cemetery in Clarksville, Texas. As I searched back on her father’s name, I linked into her paternal lineage that goes 46 generations back to a Scottish princess’s marriage to an Ulster Irishman that started a family that figures very much in the history of Ireland. As they left Ireland to come to America, I found how they traveled from state to state in each succeeding generations until Easter Alabama McGuire married Joseph D. Davison in Louisiana and moved to Texas. I’m so thankful for the indexing that allowed me to make this connection. I’m still in awe.