I was talking to my mom the other evening to tell her about my discoveries at the Family History Library. She mentioned that she was involved in a project transcribing information from old census records to enter into an online database. The project includes a data entry program that runs with Java (if you don’t have Java, you can download the program), and online copies of census records.
Just go to www.familysearchindexing.org to volunteer. Register a user name and password, take a couple of instructional tutorials, and start transcribing. Each page has about 50 names, which takes me about a half-hour to transcribe.
I did a little looking around for other projects available, and there are several. There is a pretty comprehensive list on Cyndi’s List. However, in my browsing these projects, I wasn’t able to find any that provided the records for you. Most ask that you purchase copies from other organizations, or go to your local Family History Center and transcribe from their microfilms. I didn’t look at all of them, of course, and perhaps I’ll find one that fits my own research and is worth getting my own microfilm copies.
That’s the one drawback of Family Search Indexing–there isn’t much choice in what you transcribe. Still, I like contributing to a project like this that may help others connect with their historical family.