Free Stuff Friday: Help make genealogy accessible

A few years ago, I started transcribing records for familysearch.org. Imagine my surprise when I found myself transcribing my great-great-aunt’s birth certificate. Not only was I helping other people, I was also helping my own family.

Transcribing makes genealogy more accessible by using volunteers to index records. Years ago, we looked at census records on microfilm and spent hours hunched over those machines looking for our ancestors. Now we can look at census records online and even search a digital index for names.

The Smithsonian Institute is looking for volunteers to help transcribe records. Among the projects is the records of the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was a federal agency that helped freed slaves and poor whites with shelter, food, clothing and fuel.

Records for Louisiana aren’t in the available list yet, but you can help with records for North Carolina and Tennessee. Here’s the handy dandy link: https://transcription.si.edu/

If you’d like to see the records for Louisiana, you can hop on over to familysearch.org. Carve out a few hours. There are nearly 100,000 images of records, and they’re not indexed. See: This is why transcribing is so important!

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