Here we are already a week into March. I can’t believe how quickly time goes. Frequently, as I’m keying or doing genealogy research I wonder if our ancestors felt the same. Or, did a slower time truly mean slower time.
Part of the reason time moves so quickly for me, I think, is because there is just so much going on ALL THE TIME. I spent the last three weekends on the road – first in Las Vegas to speak to a couple of genealogical societies, then a family history expo in Southern Utah, and finally a family history fair in Northern Utah. I really enjoy getting out and meeting the people who use Ancestry.com – answering questions, providing training, and hearing feedback. But, I’m always especially excited to meet those of you who contribute to the World Archives Project – and it has been fun meeting several of you the last few weeks. You have so much enthusiasm for family history and are so generous with your time – giving back to a community that many of you know has given so much to you. If any of the rest of you ever get to a family history conference be sure to look for one of us – we’d love to meet you in person!
With all of that said, there’s a lot going on here at the Ancestry World Archives Project that we need to catch up on. I think I’ll just present it in quick bullet points.
- March is Women’s History Month – and today, in particular is International Women’s Day. It’s often easier to find the men in our ancestry than the women. Head on over to our Facebook Page and join the conversation about what collections you are keying right now that will help more of us find the women in our family trees.
- This Thursday (March 11th) we are hosting the 2nd Virtual Keying Party. From 1:00 to 4:00 pm (Mountain Time) we’ll see how many people we can get online keying at the same time. I will be on Twitter to report on what I’m keying and to provide some support for what you are working on. You can read more about the 1st keying party here and here to get an idea of how it works. (Be sure to use the hashtag #awap so we can keep track of the conversation.) Hope to see you there!
- You are doing GREAT things. This past week we released FOUR more World Archives keyed collections to the world: Lübeck Census 1807; Lübeck Census 1812; Lübeck Census 1815; and Gateshead, Durham, England, Roll of Honour, 1914-1920. These collections are now live on Ancestry.com. Because of your efforts the indexes to these records are now available to anyone to search for FREE. And, if you are an active keyer (900 records or more in the last 90 days) you also have free access to the images. You can access each of these collections (and any of the other 12 completed World Archive Project databases) here under “Live.”
- Thousands of you have worked hard over the last several months to get the Naturalization Indexes and Originals keyed. You may have noticed that many of those collections are now finished. We’ve finally caught up with you and last week we published another batch of naturalization originals for keying – Maryland and Virginia. You can read more about them here. We hope to do a major release of these completed indexes and originals in late summer so we hope you’ll keep keying these valuable records.
Phew! That IS a lot going on. But then, there are A LOT of you helping us in this cause. As a matter of fact – here’s a bit of trivia for you – we had over 4,300 new keyers join us in the month of February (our highest month of new keyers ever). So to each of you, welcome. And to all of you who have been with us for a while, who continue faithfully keying and providing support, encouragement and advice to the newbies on the message boards, THANK YOU!
Until next time – Happy Keying!