Saturday, April 28, 2012

Indexing - It's not just the arbitrators

There has been some conversation regarding the "bad" arbitrators.  Please understand that we do make mistakes.  And I know I've made a few as an arbitrator.  I'm sorry.  And, as an indexer who has had some entries considered incorrect, I understand how indexers feel. 

HOWEVER, please realize that we arbitrators would never see your indexing entries IF the other indexer agreed with you.  These just never come to our screen.  So, if you want to ask other indexers to improve their indexing, fine.  If you want to ask arbitrators to improve their arbitration, fine.   I truly believe that each of us is honestly doing the best we can. 

While there are some batches I arbitrate that take very little time, there are others that I spend many, many minutes trying to figure out the difference between the vowels, or consonants, etc.  And, I truly stress more when I download a batch as an arbitrator than when I download a batch to index.  Why?  Because I know when I index that someone else either will agree with me and the arbitrator won't see the batch, or that the other indexer and I will have different entries and the arbitrator will correct my "error" to the best of his/her ability. So, as an indexer, I know that someone else is looking at it.  That's reassuring. 

There is a request for more arbitrators.  But new indexers aren't going to sign up if they feel that they are going to be criticized for every decision they make.  After all, for each entry I arbitrate, there is one entry considered "right" and one entry that is considered "wrong."  That's just the way it is. 

I'll continue to index.  I'll continue to arbitrate.  And I'll continue to do my best, as I'm sure all of the rest of you are doing.  Thank you all for your efforts.  We're make tremendous progress on the 1940 census but remember, there are many more records to index after the census is complete (or even now if you need a change of pace.)  So, thank you again.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

SCGS 2012 Jamboree - Exhibit Hall FREE

SCGS is trying something new.  The FANTASTIC exhibit hall will be open FREE.  That's right!!  You don't have to be a registered attendee to enter.  (Although you'll miss out on some great information if you don't attend.  AND FUN!)  As mentioned in the blog, this way you can visit the exhibit hall if you volunteer and are not a registered attendee. 

Just think.  If you can only take a couple of hours away from family/friends in the Burbank area during that weekend, check out the hall.  OR, if you are flying to the Los Angeles area, or through one of the Los Angeles airports, book through the Burbank Airport.  Airport terminal to exhibit hall is probably less than a half mile. 

See you in Burbank in June.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Indexing - 1940 Census - Given Names

My understanding of the "rules" for indexing names is to type what is written.  That means that "Geo" is Geo NOT George.  And "Wm" is Wm NOT William.  As an arbitrator, I really don't like to have the percentage of accuracy go down for the indexer who spelled out the name completely, but it happens. 

Now, if the rules have changed since I began indexing, someone needs to clarify it for all of us.  But for now, I will reluctantly make the decision that what is written is what I am supposed to index or choose during arbitration even though I know that both spellings clearly identify the same person. 

I hope this hint helps all of you great indexers improve your accuracy percent.  Remember, the more accurate we all are, the quicker the indexing will be done. Then we can all enjoy the results of our efforts. 

NGS - Cincinnati

I'll be there.  I'm excited.  This will be my first NGS conference. 

Now,  I just received a notice that lunch reservations must be made by March 24, which is tomorrow.  So, if you haven't made plans for lunch, look at the possibilities.  This is the link for topics and speakers. 

See you in 2+weeks. 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Indexing - 1940 Census - first lines with no residence number or surname

If you don't have a surname or a residence number on the first few lines of a census page, please go up to view and look at previous page.  Get the information for the surname and residence number from there and use that on the page that you are indexing.  We really want to make sure that all of the children, or other family members, get a surname if at all possible.  Thank you for all of your indexing efforts.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Indexing - Location - 1940 Census

Indexing suggestion:

When you are indexing the 1940 census there are some location columns.  If you are unable to identify the location or the spelling, I suggest that you use a google search.  Do you know if the city is Las Angeles or Los Angeles?  Do you know if you should be spelling the county Yavapi or Yavapai or Yavaipai?  Should you be writing St Lewis or St Louis or Saint Louis? 

I have the google window open while indexing.  If I have a question, I put in the state;  then I try to identify the county, spelling it as I believe it may be spelled.  Usually I get a quick response with the spelling that I used, or a slight variation.  It's quick; easy; and accurate.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Book - Arizona 1890s era

I have not read the book These is my Words:  The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E Turner.  However, it comes highly recommended.  While it is a novel, reading the reviews I believe it is probably "historical fiction", with lots of history along with the romance, etc. 

I'm always looking for good books to help me understand how my ancestors lived:  the times and the places.  While I don't have any Arizona ancestors, for those of you who do, you may want to check out this book.  AND, if you know of other good "historical fiction" books, particularly Kansas and Missouri during the late 1800s and early 1900s I would really appreciate hearing about them.

Disclosures:  I have received no compensation in any form for the brief mention of this book.  AND, as mentioned before, I haven't even read it yet.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Life Interferes with Genealogy

I don't know where I read/heard this, but sometimes it's really true.  Life has definitely interferred with genealogy for me during the past 3 1/2 months.  And, it's going to continue for the next 1 1/2 months except for NGS in Cincinnati.

I haven't even looked at the 1940 census for my relatives.  BUT I have worked on indexing for a few hours, in between other projects.  Perhaps summer will be different.  Let's hope.