Volunteers Set Historic Record for Indexing

by Larry Richman on July 30, 2014


July 20-21, 2014, volunteers from around the world joined together in a worldwide indexing event to set an international record for the largest number of indexing participants in a single day. The goal was to have 50,000 contributors in a 24 hour period, but 66,511 people actually participated. In fact, so many participated that the FamilySearch servers couldn’t keep up at times.

Here are the results:

  • Indexed: 4,682,746
  • Arbitrated: 941,932
  • Total Records Processed: 5.7 million

Those who participated really made a difference. Each record and each name indexed matters. It only takes one to open the door to linking generations of families together. Without question, thousands of lives will be changed as a result of this effort.

Did you participate in this historic event? If so, print or share online the image below to let your friends know you helped make history! The badge is also available in other languages.

FamilySearch wants to hear from you! Share your event day experience by emailing it to [email protected].

And keep indexing. More names and stories—especially from obituaries—are ready to be indexed by you and discovered by researchers worldwide. One volunteer, one document, one name can make all the difference to someone looking for his or her family.

New indexers can visit familysearch.org/indexing to learn more about how to join the FamilySearch indexing effort.



8 Tips for Recording a Video or Oral Family History

by Larry Richman on July 29, 2014

oral-history-recordingAn effective way to collect family histories is to record video or oral interviews. Video and oral histories are valuable tools for capturing and preserving information about events in our lives, our testimonies, and memories that may otherwise be lost.

A video or audio recording lets people use their own words, making it easier to share their faith, testimonies, and experiences in a way that may not be expressed in writing.

Yesterday, I wrote about the new Memories mobile app, which you can use to record video and audio interviews.

This article gives tips on recording audio or video histories:

  1. Decide on an audio or video recording. Decide whether you want just an audio recording or a video recording. Video recordings capture the face and expressions of the individual being interviewed, thereby preserving a more complete history. Audio recordings capture just the voice, but can be done more easily.
  2. Pick the right equipment. The better you understand the equipment you are using, the more you can focus on the interview. For audio recordings, you can use a smartphone or a digital  recorder. Video interviews can also be captured on a smartphone or on most digital cameras. You can also use a laptop with a built-in camera. You and the person you interview can simply sit in front of the laptop.
  3. Check your equipment. Check the battery level before beginning an interview and bring extra batteries or a power cord, just in case. Also make sure you have plenty of space on your memory card for recording the interview. During the interview, it is a good idea to have the recorder close to you so that you can periodically check the battery level.
  4. Pick a quiet location. Recording indoors will usually yield better results than recording outside because it is usually easier to control the noise level indoors.
  5. Look around you. Are there clocks in the room that will chime during the interview? Are there noisy animals or people nearby? Is there a fan or air conditioner nearby? Does the room echo? Are there other electronic devices nearby? Laptops, cell phones, smart phones, and other electronic devices that emit GSM signals can be picked up on some digital recorders. Also, move distracting items from the background.
  6. Check the lighting. When making video recordings, be sure there is sufficient lighting so the people can be clearly seen. Position people so that lighting is on their faces. Angle the camera so there are no bright windows behind the people. Do a test recording to be sure that the lighting is good.
  7. Choose the best place for recorder or microphone.  The microphone should be an equal distance from the interviewer and interviewee to make the sound levels equal. Do your own test interviews to make sure you understand what sounds good and what does not. The top of a table acts like a soundboard on a guitar, magnifying any sound that comes in contact with the table. Therefore, place the recording device on a towel or foam pad to minimize table noise.
  8. Choose the best digital recording format. For best results, record audio in .wav format with a 24-bit depth and a 96 kHz sample rate. If you are worried about file size, an .mp3 format is also acceptable with a 192k bit depth and a 48 kHz sample rate. A .wav format will generate about 34 megabytes for every minute you record. An .mp3 will generate 1.4 megabytes for every minute of recording. For video, record in the highest settings your device and storage media will allow.

For more ideas, see the Church History guide Oral Histories: Collecting, Preserving, and Sharing Church History (also available in other languages).


FamilySearch Memories Mobile App

July 28, 2014

FamilySearch has just released a new mobile app called FamilySearch Memories that gives you a way to preserve your memories so they are never forgotten and are shared from generation to generation. FamilySearch Memories makes it easy to collect, preserve, and share your favorite family memories. You can quickly record photos, video, and audio to […]

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3 Ways to Spend Quality Time with Your Family

July 25, 2014

The following is from the Mormon.org blog: In this hectic world, keeping a family close together is getting harder and harder. One obvious answer to family unity is quality time. As with most things, it’s easier said than done. Use these 3 tips to make quality time a reality for your family: Make your meals […]

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Happy July 24th Pioneer Day

July 24, 2014

Today is July 24th, also known as Pioneer Day–a Utah state holiday that commemorates the entry of Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. On this day, Utahns enjoy parades, fireworks, rodeos, and other festivities to commemorate the event. But one of the best ways we can honor our pioneer ancestors […]

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Take Time and Listen

July 23, 2014

Be willing to take time away from technology and distractions and “be there” for your children and grandchildren. In the video below, “Parenting: Touching the Hearts of Our Youth,” Elder Robert D. Hales pleads, “Mothers and fathers, as you drive or walk children to school or their various activities, do you use the time to […]

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Plan of Salvation Graffiti

July 22, 2014

Below is a video of LDS missionaries from the Redmond 3rd Ward using a creative way to share the Plan of Salvation on the art wall at the Redmond Skate Park.     If you find videos of missionaries finding new ways to teach the gospel or provide service, please share them with us. See a list of other member-created videos I have […]

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Video: VanHulst Family Story

July 21, 2014

Enjoy watching this amazing video “Unto All the World: VanHulst Family Story” about one couple’s struggle to create a family. I love seeing how important their family is to them. Families are being grounded—they are being founded—in the gospel. x

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Ogden Utah Temple Open House and Rededication

July 18, 2014

Artwork by Brent Borup Free tickets for the open house of the Ogden LDS temple are available online beginning Monday, July 21 at templeopenhouse.lds.org. Public Open House: Friday, August 1, 2014-Saturday, September 6, 2014, except for Sundays (August 3, August 10, August 17, August 24, and August 31, 2014) Cultural Event: Saturday, September 20, 2014 […]

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Video: Home Teaching Story

July 18, 2014

In the video “Home Teaching Story,” a member gives an insight in the life of one of his home teaching families in the Philippines. Key insights: The less we have, the more we appreciate, but the more we have, the less we appreciate. Happiness is found in simplicity  

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Scan Your Old Family Photos, Letters, Documents

July 17, 2014

FamilySearch has announced a new, free service to digitally scan, save, and share your photos and documents. The scanning machines are available in 2,800 family history centers in North America (and coming soon to international centers). Just take your pile of photos and documents to a FamilySearch family history center. The family history centers use customized Lexmark multifunction […]

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12 Ways Pornography Leaks Into Your Home

July 16, 2014

LDS Living has published an excellent article “12 Ways Pornography Leaks Into Your Home (and How to Stop Them).” The article describes ways pornography may be leaking into your home without you even knowing it. The article also includes recommendations on how to fix those leaks that may cause spiritual damage to your family. Also see LDS Resources […]

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Smartphone Wallpaper Images

July 15, 2014

The New Era magazine this month provides several inspirational images you can use as the background wallpaper for your phone, tablet, computer, or music player to help you: Make time for good things, like service and family history. Be wise in how much time you spend surfing the web or gaming. Choose media that matches […]

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LDS Mission Calls to Twins

July 14, 2014

In the video “LDS Mission Calls to Twins,” twin brothers Preston and Dalton open their LDS mission calls together. Here is a list of other member-created videos I have shared. If you find other videos you think I should share, please post a comment below.  

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Home-Centered Approach for Teaching the Gospel

July 13, 2014

I would love to hear your ideas about a home-centered approach for teaching the gospel, with Church programs playing a support role. We are taught that “the home is the basis of a righteous life and no other instrumentality can take its place.” That means that parents have the primary responsibility for teaching their children […]

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