Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Small World of Indexing

Earlier this year I wrote about a volunteer program called Indexing.  Today I was working on knocking out my goal for 2013 (only 1 month left!), and ran across a person I knew in the documents that I was randomly assigned.  That has happened only a few times in the tens of thousands of records that have passed my way.

The records I tend to index are Hungarian language births-marriages-deaths.   The program allows volunteers to pick their project from about a hundred choices, and the above is challenging yet within my capabilities.  Yesterday I saw that Cascade County Montana obituaries were being indexed, and since a large part of my Grandfather's family settled there, I downloaded a few batches of those for a change.  

Immediately, familiar names showed up--not necessarily relatives, but people who had settled near my people in the coal mining settlement of Stockett Montana.  And then I saw the name Barney Bubnash in the obituary of  one of his  step-siblings.  Barney's parents had both been married multiple times, so he had plenty of steps.  He was my Dad's second cousin.  I never met him but we talked on the phone before his death.  

In 2012 when the big push was to index the 1940 Census, I was randomly sent a batch of Montana census pages.  Entering data line by line down the page I was momentarily startled to see a family I had known well.   There was my friend Claire in 1940 with her first husband and her son Bruce.   In the mid-60s I babysat Bruce's children who lived 2 houses away from me.  Years later Bruce's mother Claire was my neighbor.

Amazing that I would see anyone I know or know of, given that over a billion records have been indexed to date.   This link will take you to the indexing home page.   Watch a couple of the short introductory videos and give indexing a try!

a typical Hungarian-language parish record

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed learning a bit about indexing from you. Thanks for all the super-interesting posts this month. I enjoyed the variety!