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Thursday, 5 July 2012

US immigration and naturalisation next for LDS

View the current status of indexing
FamilySearch, the huge database run by the LDS (Mormons), is feeling mighty pleased with itself (and so it should) that its project to index the 1940 US census is well ahead of schedule. Thanks to the contributions of over 136,000 indexers, the index for all US states is expected to be complete this month.

Many are already available, of course, but there's been relatively little noise about it on this side of the pond.

I suspect that will change once the three 'big' Irish states of New York, Massachussets and Pennsylvania are searchable. I'll certainly be taking a serious dip into the database once I know I can search for my grandfather's sister and her family in Boston.

You can view the current status of the project by following the link beneath the image above.

Anyway, apart from highlighting the imminent completion of that project, Family Search yesterday announced that the next major project will be US Immigration and Naturalization records. Having these records readily avaiable will be extremely useful to Irish-American genealogists because they often hold the essential detail – the townland of origin in Ireland – on which research progress depends.

Many millions of these records are currently available as images in the FamilySearch collections, but they need to be made searchable. The intention is to harness the enthusiasm of the current army of 1940 Census indexers and seek additional support from genealogical societies and the general public.

The announcement confirmed that large-scale digitisation projects for countries outside the USA will continue. (Among the current Irish projects nearing completion are the Tithe Applotment Books and Wills.)