DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society May Meeting

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Join the DuPage County (IL) Genealogical Society for their general meeting on May 21, 2014 to hear Jennifer Holik present La Famiglia.
Location: Wheaton Public Library
Join us for an overview of how to begin researching your Italian ancestors in the U.S. before jumping across the pond. Learn about naming patterns, tips of locating the village or origin and surnames.
© 2013, Casa Italia, Stone Park, IL

Sign Up To Index Italian Records With Casa Italia


italian-ancestors-sponsorA couple of weeks ago I posted some news that Casa Italia’s genealogy department was a sponsor of FamilySearch’s Italian Ancestors Indexing project. Last night we were set up as an entity under which you can register to index. I will post training materials next week and will get some indexing training dates set up at Casa Italia for those who need assistance getting started. There will also be indexing parties scheduled where you can bring your laptop to Casa Italia and hang out with other indexers for a few hours, enjoy conversation, refreshments, and index records.

Why are we indexing? To help make millions of Italian civil records searchable to those conducting Italian research. Currently the images are available to browse online but are not searchable. Having spent many hours browsing images locating the indexes for each year in set of birth records and then locating those specific records is time consuming. When the names are indexed, the search is much faster.

Please sign up for the indexers newsletter I created which can be found on the right sidebar of this blog. There is a link underneath the FamilySearch logo. It is through the newsletter I will sent out much information about contests, events, how we are doing, and other resources.

To become an indexer please visit the Italian Ancestors Project website. Click ‘Sign In’ at the top right corner of the page. If you are currently a FamilySearch user just log in. If you are not, you need to create a free account. Please add your phone number to the registration so I can contact you about indexing events.

After logging in click ‘Start Indexing Now’ which is in a red box in the middle of the initial screen you see. Now there are three steps to complete.

  1. Download the indexing software and install it on your computer.
  2. Register as an indexing volunteer.
  3. Download a batch to begin indexing.

There are many tutorials available as you scroll down this initial page. Please take a look at them before you begin indexing. You do not need to know the Italian language to index. The tutorials will help guide you through the process.

Important!! You must sign up under Casa Italia for us to be able to track your indexing progress and the whole of volunteers indexing on Casa Italia’s behalf. To do this,

  1. Open the indexing software and click ‘Tools’ in the menu bar across the the top and select ‘Options.’
  2. The Options box opens and you should select ‘Edit My Preferences’
  3. This takes you to the indexing website where you can select the level of difficulty and the languages you wish to focus on indexing. Edit this as you wish.
  4. Now click on ‘My Info’ in the top right corner of the screen near your name. This brings up your information box.
  5. Click ‘Edit’ and under the ‘Additional Indexing Information’ section there is a dropdown for ‘Local Support Level.’
  6. Click the dropdown and select ‘Group or Society.’
  7. Now click the next dropdown that says ‘Group.’
  8. Select ‘Casa Italia – Italian Cultural Center – IL’
  9. Add your phone number to your registration if you did not already do so.
  10. Click ‘Save.’ You will be taken back to the main ‘My Info’ page.

At this point you are registered under Casa Italia and I will be able to track how we are doing as an institution.

What’s next? You can read through the tutorials on the project page and download a batch into your software and begin indexing. Everything you submit will be arbitrated by someone who knows the Italian language and they will check for possible data entry errors or omissions. When an entire record set has been indexed and arbitrated, it will be available to search through the usual search avenues on FamilySearch. No longer will you have to only browse the record images to locate an ancestor.

Next week I will post more information on indexing including additional resources, tutorials, and more. If you have any questions about getting started or would like to have a one-on-one training session before the main sessions begin, please contact Jennifer Holik via email to arrange a time to stop by Casa Italia on a Monday or Thursday when I’m in the library.

© 2013, Casa Italia, Stone Park IL