FamilySearch Index Comes to iPhone and iPad

FamilySearch International released their indexing application for iPhone and iPad. It had formerly been PC only software. It’s called FamilySearch Index and is a free download from the App Store.

FamilySearch Index Screen Showing Image Snippet To Be Transcribed
Image Snippet Awaiting Transcription

With this app you can contribute your spare moments to the global effort to index genealogy records by transcribing “image snippets.” It’s fun too! The app tracks your submissions, skipped snippets, and matches.

FamilySearch Index Statistics Screen
User Statistics Screen

Indexed records become available on Your efforts add to the more than 2.5 billion freely searchable names in their database.

After the rather one-sided terms a user must agree to, the app displays a guide containing instructions for performing transcriptions. The guide remains available for reference on the app’s navigation bar.

The primary function of the software is to display an “image snippet” of a name, date, place-name or other information for you to transcribe. The whole image from which the snippet is taken can be viewed to aid the transcription.

FamilySearch Index for iPhone Full Image Display Screen
Full Image Display

You enter the transcription and press the submit button. Naturally, you con zoom in and out to get a better look at the image.

FamilySearch Index Screen Showing Image Snippet Being Transcribed
Snippet Transcription

FamilySearch collects multiple transcriptions of each snippet and uses consensus to determine correct transcriptions. When your transcription matches the consensus your match statistic increases. There was a note in the app description warning that statistics aren’t synchronized with the PC program. So if you do any indexing there too, don’t expect the numbers to combine for now.

You can also view your history. I’m not sure why that’s provided as you can’t change your transcription.

FamilySearch Index for iPhone Transcription History Screen
History Screen

Go get the app then try it out. Then you’ll be ready to contribute to the indexing project next time you’re waiting in line.


  1. Kaye says

    Thanks for the info, Ben! I’ve been wanting to participate for a long time; however, being a Mac person, have not been able to help. Now, because I have an iPad, I can.

  2. Kaye says

    Ben, just found out that those of us with Macs can help with indexing right on our Macs! Go to:
    Go to bottom of page & click download button. Follow directions and the correct software for your type of computer will download. There is an introductory video. So glad I can now “pay-back” to FamilySearch for all the free info I’ve been able to find there!

    • Ben says

      Hi, Kaye.

      Thanks for sharing this news and the link! I’m sure others will find it helpful too.

      —-Ben >@<

      • Kaye Mushalik says

        Well, I just found out that this is not a new thing. However, it was new news to me and may be so to others! With the 1940 US Federal Census being released in just over a month, they need all the indexers they can get. Starting now will give us Newbies some experience before the big push!

  3. says

    I have video explaining on how to view the images from FamilySearch on your iPad or other mobile device! Even if you do not have a mobile device you can still use it for free to download images from FamilySearch

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