One Key Stroke at a Time

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I often think of a conversation where I was asked if I thought that if we began a community indexing program that individuals would be interested in participating. I replied with a resounding, “Yes!” Then I had to defend my reply and over the years you have proven me right.

Through my experiences with RootsWeb I had seen the time and dedication of the genealogy community in helping each other, administering the message boards, setting up web pages, contributing collections that they had transcribed and in other actions. Within the community there is generally a belief in genealogy karma – if you are willing to assist someone else inevitably you will see progress in your own research.

It was later the next year that we started the World Archives Project. And since then we have seen the power of one key stroke after another in creating indexes for over 200 collections! You may have an understanding of how the process works in setting up the projects and that there is work done after the keying and review is complete but what we don’t see as often is the impact of those key strokes you contribute on those who are searching and find the records for their ancestors.

In the past few months I have had the opportunity to travel from one side of the country to the other representing Ancestry at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum 20th Anniversary events and at genealogy conferences. I posted about one experience I had with a conference attendee who I helped find his relatives in the USHMM: Kraków, Poland, ID Card Applications for Jews During WWII, 1940-1941 database. He didn’t know that these records were online and was excited and emotional when he saw their names appear on the screen. I have had a few similar experiences over the years. It is a gratifying and exciting experience for me to be able to see the efforts we have all made help another researcher! Although you will likely not have these in person experiences you need to know that there have been thousands of times where a researcher is searching and comes across one of the collections we have keyed.

All of the efforts of the thousands of contributors to the World Archives Project are making an impact. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!