Crowdsourcing effort helps millions identify ancestors

As reported by, a total of 66,511 indexers and arbitrators went online July 20, 2014, at 6 p.m. for a 24-hour marathon to submit genealogy records sponsored by FamilySearch International, the largest genealogy organization in the world.

The goal for the 24-hour marathon was to gather an unprecedented 50,000 contributors to participate. The goal was surpassed by 16,511 people.

Volunteers were encouraged to submit just a single batch of indexing or arbitration work, but many people continued working throughout the day, submitting additional records. More than 5.7 million records were submitted by the end of the challenge, the second-highest number of records contributed in a single day.

At times during the marathon, the indexing system struggled to process the massive influx of volunteer submissions. “Never before have so many people tried to contribute all at once,” said Mike Judson, FamilySearch indexing workforce development manager.

The crowdsourcing efforts will help millions identify their ancestry. The previous record of 49,025 volunteers was set in July 2012 at the height of the 1940 U.S. Census indexing effort.

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