Family History “Fun Night” teaches students indexing


KATY BURTON | Scroll Photography

KATY BURTON | Scroll Photography

“Fun Night,” a Family History activity, takes place every Thursday in the south side of the Crossroads at 7 p.m.

Heather Halversen, a member of “Fun Night” and a senior studying biology, said that during the activity, students can learn about indexing and how to do it.

Halversen said a lot of people do not know about indexing, and this activity provides them with an opportunity to learn about it.

Victoria Chezik, a junior studying communication and a TA for the family history course, said indexing is a vital part of family history.

“Indexing is when you have handwritten or documentation that needs to be translated digitally — names, places, obituaries, anything that can help with the family history work where it has the spouse’s name or child’s name that may not be recorded anywhere else,” Chezik said.

She said it is the ability to record that information digitally so others can use Family Search or other family history sites to find their ancestors.

Family Search, which the Church allows members to use for free, provides millions of names all over the world for family history purposes, according to the Family Search website.

“It will prompt you to download the software,” Chezik said. “And when you download it on your computer, it allows you to import different index documents.”

She said the program allows you to work on documents that range from easy to hard.

“You type in whatever information it asks for, and it prompts you throughout, especially if you’re new,”Chezik said.

Chezik said there are icons that provide information on what to do.

“Once you’re done with that batch, you can send it back to Salt Lake City and they go through them all,” she said.

She said they go through the documents three to 10 times to make sure it is accurate.

“It’s like being checked and triple checked,” Chezik said. “That’s the whole point — to make sure it is accurate information.”

She said indexing has one really important role.

“The whole purpose of the Church is to be able to connect families for eternity,” Chezik said. “Indexing is a small portion because without having names and being able to locate people saying they actually existed, we can’t do their temple work. If we can’t do their temple work, then we don’t have all the links in the chains connected.”

Chezik said indexing is a good Sunday activity and can even be done on phones through an app.

“When you do indexing, you can really feel a connection to your ancestors on the other side,” Chezik said. “It’s really an amazing experience to know where you came from.”

She said that, in a way, it makes your ancestors proud.

“By showing that, you had the ability to not only do their work but you’re celebrating them by learning about your heritage and making your lineage know that,” said Chezik.

Halversen said she made a goal while on her mission to start working on family history.

“I am not a pro yet, but the fact that I am trying is important,” Halversen said.

She said she felt strongly about family history, which helps her to strive to learn everything she can about family history.

She said “Fun Night” is not just about indexing but also about family history in general.

“The missionaries like to focus on family history in general and then indexing if you want,” Halversen said.

She said there is always work to be done.

“You can’t force-feed someone the Spirit of Elijah, they have to try it on their own,” Halversen said. “Once they try it, they know it is right. All we can do is invite them to come.”



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