2 record extraction programs unified in one organization

In a recent letter to general and local Church officers, President Howard W. Hunter of the Council of the Twelve announced the consolidation of the Stake Record Extraction and Family Record Extraction programs to create a single, simplified organization called Family Record Extraction.

The Church has supported two kinds of record extraction. Stake Record Extraction, in use since the 1970s, focused primarily on supplying names for temple ordinances, supplementing names submitted by members.Working at stake or multistake sites, thousands of dedicated stake record extraction workers have copied information from microfilm copies of birth, christening and marriage records from many countries. Data entry workers have entered this information into large computers, usually located at regional data entry centers.

Since 1987, a second program, Family Record Extraction, has supplied names for FamilySearch, the Church's family history computer system designed to help members identify ancestors and provide temple ordiances for them.

To simplify administration and accomplish more work, the new, consolidated Family Record Extraction organization combines the best features of both programs. Most of the names extracted through Family Record Extraction will be entered into the FamilySearch computer system. As needed, names from extraction will be submitted to temples.

This change in emphasis is a result of many more members submitting names to the temple, thus decreasing the need for extracted names. This change also is consistent with instructions in the new publication A Member's Guide to Temple and Family History Work (34697), that "as members of the Church, we share the responsibility to provide the saving ordinances of the gospel for all who have lived - first for our own ancestors and then for others."

The new organization is operated on a ward level, led by a ward Family Record Extraction director. The bishop assigns a member of the elders quorum presidency or high priests group leadership to provide supervision and support.

Stake leaders provide ward leaders with records to extract, instructions and training. Ward members, including families, are called by the bishopric to extract the records and/or type information into computers equipped with the Universal Data Entry software. These computers may be their own computers at home or Church-owned computers in the stake, ward or family history center. The ward Family Record Extraction director submits completed data to the stake Family Record Extraction director who forwards it to Church headquarters where it is added to FamilySearch.

Those who have served in Stake Record Extraction will notice little change in their work as they continue providing needed expertise and service in this consolidated organization, now under the direction of their ward Family Record Extraction directors.

Stakes are given flexibility in determining whether to continue with the same type of records previously extracted. In addition, they can choose to extract several different types of records at one time. Based on the type of records they request, stakes can choose different methods of extraction and data entry such as extracting and typing information directly from records into computers, and variations of these two methods. Stake leaders should make all these adjustments in light of members' needs and abilities.

Together with President Hunter's announcement were included suggestions for implementing the consolidation and copies of the new Family Record Extraction Administrative Handbook (30985) for the high councilor assigned to family history, the ward Melchizedek Priesthood leader assigned to supervise the ward Family Record Extraction director, and the stake and ward Family Record Extraction directors.

Family Record Extraction was originally organized to extract and computerize information about temple ordinances performed before 1970. This project is approaching completion.

Other extraction projects have drawn the attention of members of genealogical and historical societies who have asked to participate. These projects include the 1880 U.S. Census, the 1881 British Census Cooperative Indexing Project (in cooperation with the British Federation of Family History Societies), the Civil War service records project (coordinated by the Federation of Genealogical Societies), and the extraction of international church and vital records.

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