Category Archives: Indexing/Arbitration

Unwed motherhood in 1809 — #genealogy #history

So I’m on the Family Search indexing site indexing a record from Sussex, UK, Church of England, indexing a parish record from 1809. Right smack dab in the middle of the record is a female child born to a woman with no husband… in 1809. Where all the other children have a father listed, this one does not.


What was it like in 1809 for a single mother and child? I imagine they were both probably shunned by the local society. She had the baby baptized, but would anyone sit near her in church?




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Death, loss, and cancer

I’ve been invisible here since April 1st, and before that, I posted very little after my brother Tom’s death in February. 2011 was a tough year, so we were full of hope that 2012 would be so much better, but that was not to be. My dog Augie died, then brother Tom died, then a surviving brother and my husband began their battles with cancer that still continue. Except for my continuous escape into reading and reviewing books on my other blog, I’ve been nearly invisible here on the web.

Still, through all this, I continued to index records for Family Search. The thing that shakes me to the core with so many of the records I index, is so many young people, children, and babies who passed away. My grandmother, Ruth Jordan, had two babies who didn’t survive more than a few days after birth. How must it have felt to carry a child, bear that child, then lose them. Two children that my mother never had the opportunity to grow up with. Our ancestors suffered losses that would shake most of us to the core. At least I had the opportunity to grow up with my brother Tom, remembering his laughter and vitality, while our ancestors were left with empty arms due to departed children.

I’m back and hope to post, at least weekly, some of my discoveries along the way on my trip through the family tree.

Distant baby Stearns cousins who died early in life one just a few days old and the other 10 months old



To Arbitrate or not to Arbitrate…

I’ve been indexing for Family Search since May 8, 2010. Over the last 8-9 months I’ve indexed over 20,000 names and just received a message from Family Search that I’ve indexed 1,000 batches (each batch can contain anywhere between 2-100 names. Why index so much? Well, every time I hit a brick wall with my own genealogical research, I index. My thinking is that I am helping other people break through their brick walls by indexing information that Family Search will make available for free on their website.

So where does arbitration come in? Arbitrators are experienced indexers who increase their education through Family Search education pages and do live training by phone with a Family Search professional. I’m now at a point in my experience that I qualify to be an arbitrator. I’ve completed the education and have reached the point where I’m ready to work one-on-one by phone with a professional on the arbitration process.

I haven’t done it yet because: a) I’m a little fearful of taking the next step since I am by no means an expert, and b) I live in a fairly busy household full of people and pets and don’t have a quiet place to go to do the telephone part of the arbitration training. Very frustrating.

School and chaos may cause a delay in the process, but I will find a quiet time sometime and complete my training.


If you haven’t visited Family Search yet, now is a great time to try it out


Posted by on January 21, 2011 in Indexing/Arbitration



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