Indexing ... it's so easy, even a 12 year old can do it!

Did you attend or listen to the recording of DearMYRTLE's April 3rd webinar (one of 5 webinars focused on the new release of the 1940s census) where 12 year old Bree Keele was featured? Bree shared her experience indexing the 1940 census and there is even a friendly competition between her and cousin Russ Worthington.

If you didn't already make the connection, I am the proud mamma of Bree (full name is Aubrey, but as she will be entering middle school next year, has decided to transition to a more mature "Bree"). Together Bree and I discovered just how fun and easy (mostly) it is to index. I'd heard about indexing for years but my life is so full and busy there just wasn't room for one more "thing." Or so I thought.

I'd venture to guess that most of you who may happen to read this, have participated in indexing at some time or another. I'm not going to get into the how-tos (go to if you need directions on getting started). Instead I'd like to offer some ideas on involving the family involved:
  •  Set up an indexing blog for your family where everyone can share funny things they have found, stats, etc.
  • Have a contest within your family a pick a grand prize. If you're getting young ones involved, maybe have everyone set personal goals and it's first one to their own goal. 
  • Host an indexing party! Pizza, munchies and BYOL (bring your own laptop). Encourage everyone to download their batches before the party, so your wi-fi is not overloaded.
  • Keep a chart on the fridge and when the fam reaches certain points you get a reward (like bowling, new game, etc.)
What are some ideas you've done with your family? With a little creativity and FUN, there's no reason we can't get the whole family involved!!

Carrie Keele
(a.k.a. DearMYRTLE's daughter)

P.S. By the time this post was published (yes, it sat in draft-dom for way too long) Russ has now matched Bree with 100% accuracy!


  1. Oooh! Great ideas! Thanks! Isn't it awesome when one of your kids shows an interest in indexing? I actually taught the family how to index last Monday night.

    1. Did they like it? What a great way to use technology is a way we can feel good about it as parents, right? :)

    2. Carrie, It went well. I had the two older boys (young adult age) sign in and index on the desktop computers while my youngest (high school age) was on the indexing app on his Ipod Touch! What's cool is that my young adult boys will be participating in a California-wide Young Single Adult Conference and one of the Conference goals is to collectively prepare/index 500,000 names! Awesome!

    3. That IS cool! I was talking to the director at the Riverton Family History Center and they are having something like 2500+ youth this summer for conferences. She said the number of youth coming in almost match the number of retirees. The technology makes it's easy and accessible so that is great!

    4. Awesome! Technology and Genealogy, what could be better?? :)