Hoarder to Order Part III: Prepare to Rescue

Hoarder to Order Part III: Prepare to Rescue

Kindex Co-founder Cathy Gilmore presented “Hoarder to Order: a Step-by-Step Family Record Rescue” at RootsTech 2018. This presentation examines why records are at risk, discusses obstacles to family record preservation, and gives a step-by-step overview of how record-keepers can rescue their family records. We will be sharing excerpts from her presentation on the Kindex blog.  

Part I: Am I my Brothers (Record) Keeper?

Part II: A Family Record Risk Assessment


Now that we’ve discussed the important role of record-keepers, and what risk factors help us prioritize our record rescue, we are finally ready to begin a record rescue in earnest. Put very broadly, here are the basic steps of the record rescue.

Before a single record is gathered, scanned, or indexed, we must prepare for the rescue by asking a few important questions. The first: What is your Why?

Establishing your “why” is a crucial step, because it’s a reason you will turn to again and again. Record rescuers will face countless challenges, face adversity, and experience burnout (and that’s just the first week!). Your “why”” will inspire you and others stay focused on the goal more than a “what” ever could.

Knowing your “why” will help you visualize what you want to have happen as a result of your record rescue. Your “why” can be specific or broad, tangible or intangible. Here are some examples:

  • “I want my family to know who my grandmother was”
  • “I want to ensure my Great-Grandfather’s influence will be felt for generations”
  • “I want to help future researchers and historians”
  • “I want my father to be remembered”
  • “I want to change the hearts of my family”
 


Now that you’re thinking about your “why”, let’s also think about the “what”. The “what” is the scope of your record rescue. Your scope should answer these questions:

Who?    Which?    What?    When?

In other words:

  • Whose records are we rescuing?
  • Which records are included?
  • What are we doing to the records?
  • When will we complete it?

For example:

  • We are scanning grandma’s love letters by Christmas! (not photos, not greeting cards, not family letters)
  • We are gathering all of the family records pertaining to Aunt Betty before she moves into her new home.

Advice on Scope

  1. Start small. You wouldn’t climb a mountain pulling a mountain of 15 boxes, but you could take a backpack. That’s actually a good rule of thumb: can you fit your record rescue in a backpack? If the answer is no, consider paring down the scope into something with reasonable, reachable boundaries.
  2. If possible, separate records based on record type. For example, rescuing grandma and grandpa’s love letters is easier when you don’t include t photos, slides, and diaries. The more record types you have, the more complex your project will be, especially during the scanning and preservation stages.
  3. Show success early and often. Keep your family engaged in the rescue by updating them on your progress and sharing records on social media.

 

In addition to knowing our “why” and “what”, there is one more step in our record rescue preparation: enlisting help. Stay tuned for our next installment where we discuss ways to engage your family in the rescue.

September Software Update for Archive Owners

September Software Update for Archive Owners

Here’s what we’ve been up to this September to improve your Kindex experience.

New Kindex Content & Features

We updated our Featured Archive Page to contain links to help Kindexers get started, upgrade their plan, and learn more about our featured archives. We also fixed issues that were causing the Featured Archive page to load slowly.

New Transcription Paste Feature

We upgraded our transcription field to allow indexers to paste in text directly from Word, Excel, Google Docs, and Google Sheets. Content from spreadsheets will automatically convert to a table within the transcription editor.

Bug Fixes

  1. Resolved issue with content loading into an upgrade modal
  2. Resolved issue with new users receiving a blank Welcome Email
  3. Fixed FamilySearch Memory Import function

Known Issues

There have been isolated instances of Kindex Rewards credit not being appropriately applied. Please contact us if you have experienced this.

Tagging Features. We will be making some enhancements to our tagging features, including person list editing and tagging. In order to implement these updates, we will be temporarily removing access to our tagging tool beginning on August 1, 2018, and restored as soon as the features are up and running.

Record Uploads. A small number of users have experienced errors when uploading large batches of records. This can occur when a user navigates away from their Kindex screen during the upload process. Users can avoid this issue by staying on the same screen during record uploads. We will advise when this bug is fixed.

Kindex Plan Migration

We are in the final stages of migrating all Freemium users to our new plans. To retain their archives, users must upgrade to our Cloud or Closet plans. Or, they may downgrade to a Kindexer plan, which does not include a personal archive. Users wishing to temporarily deactivate their archive should downgrade to Kindexer.

Archive Deactivation. Archive owners may now deactivate their archives by downgrading to a Kindexer plan. When a user downgrades to Kindexer, their archive is inactive and unavailable to the archive owner and its collaborators. The archive can be reactivated by changing the user plan to a Closet or Cloud Archive plan. After the upgrade to Cloud or Closet, archive access is restored. Learn more.

Account Migration to new Plans. Kindex Account migration is currently underway. All “Freemium” users will now see a popup after login that directs them to update their archive plan. Users must update to Kindexer, Cloud, or Closet Plans by July 31, 2018.
Learn more about account migration. 

Learn more about our new Cloud and Closet plans
.

How Can We Help?

Is there a feature you would like to see? Are you experiencing a bug? Do you need support or traning? Let us know how we can help!

New Kindex Archive Plans

CLOUD PUBLIC ARCHIVE
Share & Index Publicly
Unlimited records
Unlimited Collaborators
$5
/MONTH
$0/month with Kindex Rewards
CLOSET PRIVATE ARCHIVE
Invite-only
Unlimited records
Unlimited collaborators
$10
/MONTH
$5/month with Kindex Rewards
ARCHIVE JUMP START
Get a searchable archive fast with a custom scanning & archive bundle!
Starts at
$199
1-Year Cloud or Closet Archive
+ Scanning

Rescue Your Records

Make your records accessible and searchable with Kindex archival software. Whether you are a family, organization, or society, you can gather, index, and search your letters, journals, photos, and other documents in a private or public archive.

Earn Rewards

You deserve some credit for rescuing records! For every 20 records indexed indexing in your Kindex archive, you’ll get a $5 credit toward your next month’s subscription. That means your Kindex archive could be FREE! Learn more

Kindex Archive Features

CLOUD ARCHIVE CLOSET ARCHIVE
Privacy Public Private
Searchable and accessible via search engines Yes No
Archive search Anyone Owners & Collaborators
Indexing Owners, Collaborators, and Guests
(Guests: Kindexer/Cloud/Closet account)
Owners & Collaborators
Adding records Owners & Collaborators Owners & Collaborators
Deleting records Owners Owners
Single record downloads Owners, Collaborators, and Guests Owners & Collaborators
Public archive links to single records Yes Yes
Custom subdomain Yes
Archive size Unlimited records (JPG, PNG, PDF under 15MB)
Collaborators Unlimited
Record metadata Yes
 Batch record metadata Yes
Batch record uploads Yes
Record transcription Yes
Record tagging Yes
Crowdsourced transcription Yes
Print record to PDF Yes
Searchable transcription and metadata Yes
Support and Training Free

Hoarder to Order Part II: A Family Record Risk Assessment

Hoarder to Order Part II: A Family Record Risk Assessment

Kindex Co-founder Cathy Gilmore presented “Hoarder to Order: a Step-by-Step Family Record Rescue” at RootsTech 2018. This presentation examines why records are at risk, discusses obstacles to family record preservation, and gives a step-by-step overview of how record-keepers can rescue their family records. We will be sharing excerpts from her presentation on the Kindex blog.  


In Part I of our Hoarder to Order series, we asked “Am I my Brothers (Record) Keeper?” and discussed the imporant role of family record rescuers. If you are one of those heroes committed to rescuing records, it may be difficult to know where to start. Knowing the risks that face family records helps us prioritize and understand what it means to truly rescue a record. Let’s start by stating the risks, identifying reasons why this happens, and how we can help.

Risk #1: Permanent Record Loss

Risk Factors

Result

How We Rescue

Death Downsizing Relocation Record owner has mental or physical challenges Records are thrown out Take an inventory of family records to know who has what

Let’s start with every record-keeper’s biggest nightmare right out of the gate: Records get thrown away. This risk is at its greatest when a family member dies, moves, or is purging their belongings.  The presence of mental or physical challenges can often prevent record owners knowing how to keep and care for records. As a record rescuer, your job is to discover who has what records through conducting a basic inventory. Conducting a family record inventory is the first, crucial step in a record rescue. But what are the remaining risks?

Risk #2: Temporary Record Loss

Risk Factors

Result

How We Rescue

Changes of record ownership (records passed down through generations) Hoarding, disorganization Records are lost or misplaced Update inventory & gather records (where possible)

If you’ve kept your family record inventory updated, and gathered records (where possible) to prevent record loss, well done! But what are the remaining risks?

Risk #3: Record Damage

Risk Factors

Result

How We Rescue

Records exist in original state only (not scanned or digitized) Improper storage or handling Records are exposed to, or at high risk for natural disaster (fire, flood, etc.) Records are damaged Digitize records and ensure physcial reocrds are properly stored

So you’ve done an inventory, gathered records to prevent record loss, and digitized your records. Great! Is your job done? What are the remaining risks?

Risk #4: Inaccessible records

Risk Factors

Result

How We Rescue

Records scattered among multiple owners Single owner, “Silo mentality” Donated with restrictions Records can’t be accessed Share digitized records on common platform

Most responsible record-keepers have digitized their records. But how accessible are they? Do you work in a silo? How do other family members know your records exist?

If uou’ve kept your records, know where they are, scanned them, and made them accessible, are there any other risks? We’ve learned that making records accessible is not the end of the line. If your family cannot easily connect to and share records, there will be a record disconnect.

Risk #5: Record disconnect

Risk Factors

Result

How We Rescue

Unindexed records

Records that seem irrelevant, unimportant

Records in unsearchable, undiscoverable databases

Records that are handwritten or hard to read Difficulty extracting meaningful stories

Records Disconnect

Transform your records in ways that make them shareable and connectable.

Make records completely searchable Provide a platform for simple record engagement and research

What is record disconnect, and why is it a risk? Because no matter how much work you put into gathering, digitizing and sharing records, if your family can’t connect with them in a meaningful way, they will remain unimportant and therefore at risk of being perpetuated. When is a record truly considered rescued? When it’s accessible, searchable, and relevant to your family.

How at risk are your family records?

In reviewing risk factors for family records, have you identified what records are most at risk in your family? Do you have an elderly family member reputed to have many family records. Is someone in your family preparing to downsize? Being aware of family situations helps us prioritize an overwhelming task by beginning where the need is most urgent. Stay tuned for Part III of our Hoarder to Order series, we will start our record rescue in earnest with record inventory and gathering.    

Our Hill Cumorah

Our Hill Cumorah Beginnings

Examining Cumorah connections from our family archive

Note: this article was orginally published December 9 2015. It has been subsequently edited and updated with new photos. -Cathy Gilmore

A recent article on lds.org, Reclaiming Hill Cumorah1, prompted us to share some sources related to Hill Cumorah, its monument, and pageant beginnings. Our grandmother Dorothy Smith Clark’s papers reveal her connections to Cumorah  through her parents Hyrum and June Bushman Smith, who were missionaries at the Cumorah Farm from 1935 to 1939, and her friend Torleif Knaphus, who sculpted the Hill Cumorah  monument. In searching Dorothy’s diaries and letters on her Kindex archive, we are able to provide insight to our family’s connection to this historic sight.

Friendship with Torleif Knaphus, sculptor of the Moroni Monument

Partly as an effort to expand Dorothy’s educational and artistic opportunity, Dorothy’s family moved to Salt Lake City from Lethbridge, Alberta in 1930. In 1931, the recently widowed Torleif Knaphus took an interest in Dorothy. As her artistic mentor—and for a time—her suitor, Torleif escorted her on artistic excursions, instructed her in sculpting, and employed her in making handmade Christmas cards and sketches. Dorothy must have been flattered, as my grandfather Ellsworth was also competing for her attention. In her diary she wrote:

Sunday April 23, 1933

Went by Orem Electric to annual Springville Art Exhibit with T.S. Knaphus, sculptor. Spent 3 hours in Provo, sight-seeing on our way back to S.L.C. Took kodak snaps on B.Y.U. campus.

This was a very interesting day for me and rather an outstanding one I suppose, inasmuch as I was so kindly favored and well treated by one so prominent in his sphere.

En route he gave me valuable instructions and criticisms on art. Urges strongly that I begin to busy myself with “oils” and harness the talent he believes lies dormant. (I hope to do this soon, as I have been so inspired today). Left Knaphus at 8 P.M. to finish the day with Ellsworth. Youth does have its preferences.2

Indeed it does, as Dorothy settled on Ellsworth and became engaged that summer. Still, Dorothy maintained her friendship with Torleif and continued their mentoring relationship. In September of 1933 she wrote:

Was invited to Knaphus studio this evening where be showed me a newly-designed model of the shaft for the Hill Cumorah Monument. We ate some ice-cream there and talked of my doing some more painting there and maybe helping him with some new panels. Thrilled about getting into that work again.

Grateful for his attention and interest in her art, Dorothy later wrote:

Saturday, November 12, 1933

I have Christmas card orders to fill for Torleif S. Knaphus in return for clay which he gave me for modeling.

He certainly has inspired me and been a great help in pushing me, as it were, along the road to accomplishment. I don’t know many other grown people who have so influenced me to good and been as companionable.

During their engagement, Dorothy encouraged Ellsworth to serve a mission. After he departed in December 1933 to a Western States mission, there is some hint that Torleif was keen to maintain a close relationship with Dorothy as he repeatedly sought out her company. Dorothy wrote:

Wednesday, January 24, 1934

Attended night class tonite and made my first water color scene (copy of Moser’s) in new style (from my former teachings.) Mr. Knaphus met me after work – asked me to go to Beaux Arts Ball this Saturday but I declined.

Although she didn’t attend the dance with Torleif, their close friendship often proved difficult for Ellsworth during his absence while serving as a missionary. On a temple trip to Manti that included the Knaphus family, Dorothy played an April Fool’s joke on Ellsworth and wrote to him that she and Torleif decided on a whim to be sealed there. Practical jokes notwithstanding, Dorothy and Ellsworth married in August 1934.  

Dorothy with her parents Hyrum and June Smith, c1928

Dorothy in Professor Wildhaber’s studio, 1932

Cumorah Farm Mission and Moroni Monument Dedication

That same summer, Dorothy’s parents Hyrum and June Bushman Smith were called to be missionaries at the Cumorah Farm. After their marriage, Dorothy and Ellsworth moved to Idaho, but Torleif’s connection to the family remained as he completed the monument and attended its dedication in July 1935. Over the next year, Dorothy regularly wrote to her family in Palmyra, discussing plans for the Moroni monument dedication and future pageant. In her letters, Dorothy sketched out ideas for local advertisements for the pageant.

On May 26, 1935, Dorothy’s brother Oliver—a missionary in the Eastern States Mission—wrote about local missionary efforts and preparations for the monument’s dedication:

Along with 37 other missionaries of the Easter States mission I am engaged in a special drive in the area within a 20-mile radius of Palmyra, which will continue until the dedication of the Cumorah Monument on July 21. We hope to do some good work by this concentration of effort, which has significance with the connection of the monument. We are visiting every home—rural and urban—in the section. Eleven of us stay together at the LDS hall in Palmyra and drive out 5 or 10 miles every morning to a rural section in which we go tracting until late afternoon, when we return. Our week-ends I have visited Rochester and Buffalo for publicity work. At Buffalo I stayed at Mary Payne Chamber’s place. She has three children. Girl 11, girl 9, and boy 7….

Every day or so there are visitors here from somewhere we have been. Today Bro & Sis Douglas Anderson visited us and went to the Peter Whitmer farm with us in the afternoon. The church was organized there. Next Sunday we are having a session of the Cumorah District Conference here.3

Dorothy’s Visit to the Cumorah Farm

In the spring of 1936, Dorothy and Ellsworth made plans to visit Dorothy’s parents in Palmyra that summer with their young son Norman. In her life sketch she recalls:

The summer of 1936 we vacationed at Cumorah Farm, near Palmyra, N.Y. with my parents. Lois, who had been with us for her senior high school year, returned with us. It was thrilling to see the first pageant presented at the Hill, which was co-authored by my brother Oliver, an Eastern States missionary. I was able to help with publicity posters. Our 15 mos Norman was used in a covered wagon sequence of a pioneer panorama presented one evening at the Hill.4

The 1936 pageant was a family affair. Her parents Hyrum and June and brother Oliver had key roles developing the pageant, and sisters June and Lois Smith participated in the pageant. Even her one-year-old son Norman rode in a wagon as part of the festivities. The images below reveal pages from Dorothy’s Book of Remembrance that chronicled their trip.5

Hyrum Smith (center) standing at the base of the monument. He is a first cousin once removed to Joseph Smith, and served as Torleif’s model for Joseph Smith in this panel. Note Hyrum Smith is a first cousin once removed to Joseph Smith Jr., not a second cousin as the caption indicates.

Additional pages from Book of Remembrance of June Adele Smith, Dorothy’s younger sister. 6

 

 

 

1. Ashton, Curtis, “Reclaiming Hill Cumorah,” April 18, 2014, https://history.lds.org/article/historic-sites/new-york/manchester/reclaiming-hill-cumorah

2. Smith, Dorothy, Diary 1932-1934, in the author’s possession

3. Smith, Oliver, to Dorothy Smith Clark, May 26 1935,Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark Archive, https://smith-clark.kindex.org/share/1702339dd4b1d708c6ff76822484b96f

4. Smith, Dorothy, Life Sketch, Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark Archive, Jan 31 1975, https://smith-clark.kindex.org/share/16f43a4946cdb126afdfc57b42c44472

5. Smith, Dorothy, Book of Remembrance, Dorothy Smith and Ellsworth Clark Archive, https://smith-clark.kindex.org/gather

6. Smith, June A., Book of Remembrance, in the author’s possession

July Software Update for Archive Owners

July Software Update for Archive Owners

Here’s what we’ve been up to this summer to improve your Kindex experience.

 

New Support Pages Now Available

New Kindex Features

Archive Deactivation. Archive owners may now deactivate their archives by downgrading to a Kindexer plan. When a user downgrades to Kindexer, their archive is inactive and unavailable to the archive owner and its collaborators. The archive can be reactivated by changing the user plan to a Closet or Cloud Archive plan. After the upgrade to Cloud or Closet, archive access is restored. Learn more.

Account Migration to new Plans. Kindex Account migration is currently underway. All “Freemium” users will now see a popup after login that directs them to update their archive plan. Users must update to Kindexer, Cloud, or Closet Plans by July 31, 2018.
Learn more about account migration. 

Learn more about our new Cloud and Closet plans
.

Software Changes

  1. Kindexers invited to collaborate on other archives will be directed to the archive they are collaborating in after login. Previous behavior directed collaborators to the Featured Archives page after login.
  2. Changes in transcription status (in progress or complete) will now activate the Save button to ensure changes to record transcription status will be saved.
  3. New user support for account downgrades (Freemium, Cloud, or Closet downgrading to Kindexer), including new instructions for account downgrades, account change email confirmations, and instructions for archive reactivation.
  4. New user support for account cancellations, including new instructions for account cancellations, account cancellation email confirmation, and guidelines for account reactivation.

Bug Fixes

  1. Fixed a bug that prevented users from accessing Manage Archive tool
  2. Fixed a bug that prevented users from earning appropriate Kindex Rewards credit.
  3. Fixed a bug that temporarily prevented access to transcription page.
  4. Fixed a bug that prevented archive owners from removing collaborators
  5. Fixed a bug that errantly asked paying users to provide another method of payment.

Tagging Features. We will be making some enhancements to our tagging features, including person list editing and tagging. In order to implement these updates, we will be temporarily removing access to our tagging tool beginning on August 1, 2018, and restored as soon as the features are up and running.

Record Uploads. A small number of users have experienced errors when uploading large batches of records. This can occur when a user navigates away from their Kindex screen during the upload process. Users can avoid this issue by staying on the same screen during record uploads. We will advise when this bug is fixed.

How Can We Help?

Is there a feature you would like to see? Are you experiencing a bug? Do you need support or traning? Let us know how we can help!

New Kindex Archive Plans

CLOUD PUBLIC ARCHIVE
Share & Index Publicly
Unlimited records
Unlimited Collaborators
$5
/MONTH
$0/month with Kindex Rewards
CLOSET PRIVATE ARCHIVE
Invite-only
Unlimited records
Unlimited collaborators
$10
/MONTH
$5/month with Kindex Rewards
ARCHIVE JUMP START
Get a searchable archive fast with a custom scanning & archive bundle!
Starts at
$199
1-Year Cloud or Closet Archive
+ Scanning

Rescue Your Records

Make your records accessible and searchable with Kindex archival software. Whether you are a family, organization, or society, you can gather, index, and search your letters, journals, photos, and other documents in a private or public archive.

Earn Rewards

You deserve some credit for rescuing records! For every 20 records indexed indexing in your Kindex archive, you’ll get a $5 credit toward your next month’s subscription. That means your Kindex archive could be FREE! Learn more

Kindex Archive Features

CLOUD ARCHIVE CLOSET ARCHIVE
Privacy Public Private
Searchable and accessible via search engines Yes No
Archive search Anyone Owners & Collaborators
Indexing Owners, Collaborators, and Guests
(Guests: Kindexer/Cloud/Closet account)
Owners & Collaborators
Adding records Owners & Collaborators Owners & Collaborators
Deleting records Owners Owners
Single record downloads Owners, Collaborators, and Guests Owners & Collaborators
Public archive links to single records Yes Yes
Custom subdomain Yes
Archive size Unlimited records (JPG, PNG, PDF under 15MB)
Collaborators Unlimited
Record metadata Yes
 Batch record metadata Yes
Batch record uploads Yes
Record transcription Yes
Record tagging Yes
Crowdsourced transcription Yes
Print record to PDF Yes
Searchable transcription and metadata Yes
Support and Training Free