FamilySearch indexing volunteers broke a record this week during the first Worldwide Indexing Event. FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world, was hoping an unprecedented 50,000 contributors would participate in the 24-hour effort to submit genealogy records, beginning at 6 p.m. MDT on 20 July 2014. A total of 66,511 indexers and arbitrators went online to submit records, surpassing the goal by 16,511 people.
Volunteers were encouraged to submit a single batch of indexing or arbitration work, but many continued working throughout the day. By the end of the challenge, more than 5.7 million records had been submitted, the second-highest number of records contributed in a single day.
The indexing system struggled to process the massive influx of volunteer submissions. “Never before have so many people tried to contribute all at once,” said Mike Judson, FamilySearch indexing workforce development manager. He hopes volunteers will return now that the demands on the system have subsided.
The crowdsourcing efforts will help millions identify their ancestry. The previous record of 49,025 volunteers set in July 2012 at the height of the 1940 U.S.Census indexing effort.
FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history.