Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Penna Obituaries for the Worldwide Indexing Event

The five obituaries that came my way for the FamilySearch Worldwide Indexing Event this past Sunday and Monday were the most complicated indexing I've done to date.  I chose the intermediate level Pennsylvania Obituaries because they were noted as highest priority.

Since my daughters and two grand-babies were visiting, I decided to index while they napped on Sunday evening.  An hour passed and I hadn't finished my batch.  Naps were over and there were some interruptions.  More time and a few more interruptions and I hadn't finished.  More interruptions, more time....  You get the idea.  My batch was not the half-hour commitment I'd told so many people it would be when I encouraged them to participate in the event.  (I hope their batches took just half an hour, especially the beginners and those who don't index often.) 

The obituaries were modern obituaries which named spouses; siblings and spouses; children and spouses; grandchildren and spouses; great-grandchildren; an occasional great-great-grandchild and, several times, parents.  It seemed that every living family member, and some deceased family members, were mentioned in this group of obituaries.  Nothing was straightforward about any of them except the names of the deceased.  One of the hardest things was deciding how to classify individuals who were identified only as "in-laws."  Would that be brother- and sister-in-law, parents-in-law, or . . . ?  It was such a complicated group of obituaries that I may treat myself to one or two beginning level batches.  Ha!

All told, I indexed 5 obituaries which yielded the names of 166 individuals.

Intermediate level?  Definitely.  Confusing?  Often.  Worth doing it?  Absolutely!


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  1. This post made me chuckle! I'm glad you were able to complete the challenge! Just think how grateful someone will be to find all those names and people in one obituary. Perhaps they were thinking of generations to come when they decided to include all the people they could think of.

    1. And poor you, Brenna, and Natasha and the babies having to put up with my determined effort to get it done that evening. I'm glad this post gave you a chuckle.

  2. I did several batches and I know exactly what you're talking about. I found most of them very easy to do although I'll admit I missed a couple instructions, so I know my score isn't going to be as high as I had hoped. But here's something I found funny: I had two obituaries that listed family dogs BY NAME and even identified them as survivors, yet they didn't name the grandchildren.

    1. Great for you, Wendy, to have done several batches. I would have done more had my family not been visiting. I'm sure my score will be low, too. Some of my indexing challenges were not addressed in the instructions - just strange little things. And I know the instructions can't cover every single possibility. I wonder what our ancestors of 100 or more years ago would think about having dogs' names in obituaries. They would probably scoff at the idea of it.


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