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What is indexing?
Symptoms (Problems)
  • What is the definition of indexing?

  • What does the FamilySearch indexing program do?

Answer (Resolution)

What is indexing?


Indexing is the process of creating indexes for record collections.  Having indexes allows researchers to more quickly find records for specific individuals; without them, researchers might have to look through hundreds or thousands of records to locate an individual record. 


In FamilySearch indexing, volunteers copy family history information from digital images of documents.  The indexing process is simple.

  1. Genealogical documents from around the world are converted into digital images and stored on the FamilySearch system.

  2. Each document is divided into small batches of about 20-50 names.

  3. An indexer downloads the images to his or her computer and enters the requested information.

  4. Each batch of documents is indexed by two different people to ensure accuracy.  We refer to the two indexers as the A indexer and the B indexer.

  5. If information from the A indexer does not agree with information from the B indexer, then someone called an arbitrator reviews both versions, compares them with the original document, and makes the needed changes.

  6. Everyone gets free access to the indexes at

To become an indexer, visit  For help in registering, downloading and installing the indexing program, see 101448.



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