Thank You for Teaching Me to Index

July 11, 2017  - by 
Read how people learned from their peers how to index.

In one form or another, thousands of indexers shared their gratitude for the help of valued friends and leaders as they began indexing. While many tools and tutorials teach how to index, nothing compares to the guidance of a patient friend.

The Best Resource—People

When FamilySearch asked seasoned indexers what helped them the most when they got started, the answer wasn’t usually a tool or video—it was people.

“I think for me one of the best resources was finding someone who was a good indexer right at the beginning so that they could show me cool and helpful tips”   —Marcus

“Honestly, indexing with other people (especially experienced ones) is one of the best resources you can have.”   —Jonathon

People often feel a great energy and sense of gratitude when they learn to index with a mentor nearby. “Getting someone to help me with the first few batches was very helpful,” Terry Wilcox offered.

“She and I indexed at side-by-side computers for several hours-long indexing sessions. Sometimes she just told me the answer when I was stuck, and other times she took me through the process, showing me how to figure it out myself. I gained tremendous confidence under her tutelage, and when I felt ready to index on my own, I always knew she was just a phone call away.”   —Tania

Group Indexing

Other indexers were grateful that their first encounter with indexing was in a friendly group setting. “Indexing became popular when I was in the Church’s youth program,” said Meegan.

“My leaders had some activities centered around indexing. It was challenging at first to learn how to read the cursive, but I was guided by my parents and leaders. I recommend beginning indexing in a group of people. Their experiences with the program and with the text will help you learn in no time.”   —Meegan

Find Indexing Friends in Your Ward and Stake

Church members may or may not be aware of resources right in their own ward or stake. These people will be eager to help you on the indexing journey. Here’s how to find their contact information:

  1. Sign in to
  2. In the upper corner of the page, click your name.
  3. In the drop-down list, click Directory.
  4. In the menu on the left, click Ward Leaders, and then, in the results column, click Other Callings.
  5. Search the list of callings for “Ward Temple and Family History Consultant” to see who in your ward is currently serving in this calling, and make contact with that person.
  6. If someone isn’t currently serving as a ward temple and family history consultant, click the down-arrow next to the name of your ward, and then click Stake Information. Then do a similar search for a stake temple and family history consultant.

“When I really can’t make sense of the results, I have my stake leader review the batch on Skype. Sometimes, if I’m feeling uncertain about a new project, I have her review and comment on a batch before I submit it. She is so helpful and makes it comfortable to ask questions.”   —Marilynn

Get Help from Patron Services

If you’ve searched your ward and stake and nobody appears to have a temple and family history calling, all is not lost. Contact us at FamilySearch. We’ll answer your questions and support you along the way.

There are many fun and exciting ways to start building a network of supportive indexing friends. Start a group locally or online, find a consultant, or visit a family history center near you. In no time at all, you’ll find yourself with some great new contacts and plenty of experience—perfectly positioned to turn around and help someone else get started in the wonderful world of indexing.

Here’s How You Thanked Those Who Helped You Learn to Index

“I had a very good teacher!! She was a professional genealogist I asked a lot of questions, and if she did not know answer, she and I together would find it. I was not interested in family history at ALL!!! Now I am ADDICTED TO INDEXING! I CANNOT STOP! YEAH!!! Thanks for all the help and motivation.”   —Joni

“My family history and indexing consultants in my ward are the best! Brother and Sister Wilson. They were a tremendous resource to me back then, and they still are the best! They have a vast amount of knowledge, patience, and love to teach me and all the members in my ward. They were the most helpful resource when I first started indexing. I am grateful for their diligence and faith, especially patience, to teach me, and to be my biggest supporter whenever I had questions.”   —Racca

“I am truly grateful to her for getting me started, because after completing over 500,000 names, I have thoroughly enjoyed having something worthwhile to occupy my time.”   —Sally

“A wise stake president set a goal to submit two million names before the Brigham City Temple would be dedicated in approximately one year. What appeared to be an unrealistic number was exceeded with time to spare.”   —Coombs



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  1. sometimes there are lots of numbers to look for, page number, district #, register #, and certificate #. how do I know which is which?

  2. I have been researching it seems my whole life. In grammar school they gave me an instrument to learn for the school play. I would head to the library to find out where it was used, what time period did it get its start and what if any instruments where used before this one. I kept it up through high school instrument family history loll. I read so fast and now that I am disabled every penny counts. The Internet is my window to the world, researching every purchase to get the best price making sure it is a need not a want. I have learned to paint make intricate beaded jewelry to turn pain into beauty now I can use all those years of learning how to search, how to get a stuck computer going again:-) to the use they have been waiting for. Doing my families was eye opening. What is better tho is helping others get started. Sometimes making it fun by being my silly self helps take the fear some people have with computers. I love to see them gain confidence.