23 August 2012

FamilySearch Turns to Indexing Immigration and Naturalization Records

Yesterday, FamilySearch announced another major indexing initiative: Indexing Immigration and Naturalization records.

I am excited about this as I have numerous "persons of interest" who immigrated and became naturalized. Over the years, I have found arrival records of many, but I have a lot of work to do to find naturalization records of many ancestors.

Here is the brief announcement:

22 August 2012 

More than 160,000 volunteer indexers made the 1940 U.S. Census available for searching in just five months. The project was an unprecedented success that dramatically illustrated what the genealogical community can accomplish when united in a common cause. 
 
Now many volunteers are turning their attention to the U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Community Project, an indexing effort to make passenger lists, naturalization records, and other immigration related records freely searchable online. Hundreds of thousands of North American volunteers are expected to contribute over the next 18-24 months, focusing initially on passenger lists from the major US ports. 
 
Individuals, societies and other groups that want to participate should visit familysearch.org/immigration to learn more.


The FamilySearch website already has information about the project, including charts of the various projects and their progress toward being completely indexed. Here is what the website says:

Immigration and Naturalization Records and Research

The United States is a nation of immigrant families. Records that document the immigration and naturalization of our ancestors include crew and passenger lists, immigration and border crossing records, passports, and citizenship and naturalization documents. Many of these documents are not yet indexed, making them difficult to find.

Make More Records Searchable Online

Getting started with indexing is as easy as 1, 2, 3
Join hundreds of thousands of volunteers in a community effort to make more of these records searchable online, so everyone can find their ancestors. This same volunteer indexing effort made the 1940 US Census available for searching within five months of its public release. Indexing is a fun challenge that rewards both the volunteer and the future researcher.
1. Download and install the software.
2. Register as an indexing volunteer and designate the volunteer group you wish to be affiliated with (if you have one).
3. Sign into the software and download a "batch of images to transcribe.

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