How to Get Started with Indexing Online

May 30, 2017  - by 

If you’ve been thinking about beginning indexing—or starting again if you haven’t indexed in a while—this is a great time to start! FamilySearch recently released web indexing, so now you can index right in your browser. There’s nothing to download or install, and it’s easy to learn. 

Five Simple Tips for Getting Started 

1. Take the guided tour.

If you’ve never indexed before (or even if you have), taking the guided tour is the perfect way to become familiar with the way web indexing works. The tour is the first batch under My Batches on your web indexing page

This guided tour can help you get started with indexing.
2. Start with a beginning batch.

After taking the tour, click Find Batches to see a list of projects available to index. Search for a batch with a beginning difficulty level, and click Start. Starting with a beginning batch will help you learn without feeling overwhelmed. 

Indexing may be simpler than you think.

3. Read the project instructions.

Learn how to start indexing today!
When you open the batch, you’ll see a box on the right with instructions specifically for that project. These easy-to-read instructions provide guidance and answers to common questions to help you get started. 

4. Know where to get help.

You can find information and advice in a variety of ways:

  • Read the Field Help as you complete each field. (Field Help appears directly above the data entry form.)
  • Contact your local family history consultant
  • Read articles on web indexing in the FamilySearch Help Center. Go to the Help Resources page.
    • In the search box at the top, type “Web Indexing.” Include additional keywords if desired. 
    • Click the magnifying glass icon or click Search. You’ll see a list of Help Center articles on web indexing. 

5. Remember, this is a spiritual work.

Keep in mind the people whose names you are indexing and the people who you are helping to find their ancestors. Fostering a connection with the names you come across can add meaning to the work you’re doing.

We’ll be making ongoing improvements, and we welcome your input. Click Feedback at the bottom of any web indexing page to share your suggestions and ideas. 

We hope you enjoy web indexing!


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  1. Thank you for this information. I have wanted to research my family (both sides) and try my husband’s too. New Year resolution: find my family and husband’s.
    Is there a research dept here in Abilene TX that I can also get help?

    1. Yes There IS!

      Abilene Texas Family History Center
      3325 North 12th Street
      ABILENE Texas 79603-4736

      T 10am-8pm; Th 10am-8pm (Best to call ahead to make sure they are open)
      Tues & Thurs 10-1, (325)514-4480; Tues & Thurs 1-5:30 (325)665-1869; Tues 5 to 8 (325)829-0968; Thurs 5:30 to 8 (325) 864-3833; Wednesday 6-8 (325) 668-4223. To insure availability, we request an appointment especially for evening hours. Walk-ins are welcome Both novice and expert family history researchers are invited to attend.

  2. I have just a made return to indexing after 100k arbitration names and 20k indexing names a few years ago. However, I am still frustrated when I’m reviewing batches that it soon becomes evident that many indexers just don’t read the instructions. This is particularly the case with baptism records where children’s surnames are wrongly inserted, assumed gender assignments are entered and indexers are missing multi-page images. I’m sure you are frustrated too. It just makes so much extra work. I hope we can work together to produce more accurate records .

  3. Please warn the indexer that necessary forms for recording the indexed info will be provided after the instructions are read. I kept searching the opening page for the proper button to begin when it was hidden at the end of instructions. Thank you.

  4. Suggest predictive words be set up. For example, when working a batch after entering, “Philippines” on an image, the rest of the records (images in that batch) will predict that word on your next entry in that field.

  5. Dear Family Search Representatives”

    I cannot log into “indexing.” Where it asks to enter “email of phone number,” it indicates that it cannot be found, even when I entered with the phone number. Over one year ago I changed my email address from “” to “” because I got so many spams. However, when I used the former email address it would have worked and it would have indicated to “continue.”

    But since I changed my address,I got all my email through the new one, (even this particular one), and I hope to do also the indexing that way. I used to index since our stake started it, February 1989. But for the last 9 months I was unable to do any because I was sick and spent some time in the hospital and at the Life Care Hospice. Now I would like to continue again. But since then the program changed. Can you take care of “that email problem?”

  6. Iam teaching an indexing class in a week or so, but am finding it hard to find the info I would like to have. Mainly, right now this page tells me about the guided tour, but it in not available anymore. When I found one on another page, it froze up my computer . . . again. (It has done that a couple of times, and it is the one that uses a draft notice) Do you have any suggestions on how I should teach this class? (Teaching is not easy for me in the first place. I need it to be easier to find information)

    1. Gayle, I’m sorry that your computer is giving you trouble! I would love to help you. I just tried the guided tour feature on my computer and it was working well for me. Have you tried using a different computer or web browser?