Kindex is excited to announce the release of two major software updates that enable Kindex users to customize and grow their archives in powerful new ways.
1. Add & Organize Records into Collections
Archive owners can now create Collections within their archives to organize their records. With collections, you can organize your records any way you wish. For example, your collections can be named as family names, record types, dates, or subjects.
2. Add Multiple Records & Assign Record Info (Metadata) to a Batch
You may now add multiple records to your archive quickly and easily, with the added benefit of designating Record Info (metadata) to a batch of records. This feature allows users to apply common metadata to an entire batch of records, instead of applying metadata individually. Metadata may include Record Info such as descriptions, provenance, dates, places, and keywords. Metadata can also be added and edited in batch form from your archive’s Gather page.
Step 1: To add multiple records, click “Add Records”, and select “Upload from my computer”.
Step 2: Select your records. If you don’t know how to select multiple files at once from your computer, hover atop the link “How to Batch Upload”.
Step 3: Assign your batch of records to a collection, or add a new collection for them to be placed, and review your upload progress. At this point, you may opt to add Record Info (metadata) as a batch now, or individually later.
Step 4: Add Record Info to your records.
The following enhancements are currently in development and will be released soon:
- Manually order your Collections
- Nest a Collection within a Collection
If you don’t already have an Unlimited + Collaborative Kindex Archive, now is the time to upgrade and take advantage of these amazing tools. Please contact us with an questions you may have, and happy batching!
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Announcing the release the Kindex Collaborative Upgrade, the best way to bring family and friends together on a single, online archive. Upgrade to Collaborative and transform your archive into a destination where friends or family can help gather, index, and search—or simply enjoy reading family records.
Also released today is the option to create a Public archive when upgrading to a collaborative account. Enjoy the benefits of Crowdsourced Indexing, and jumpstart your indexing by allowing any Kindex user to transcribe and tag your records. Public archives also help others to discover and connect to your archive.
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What started with a discovery of grandma’s old letters ended with a $25,000 prize for the People’s Choice winners at the 2017 RootsTech Innovators Showdown. For cousins Kimball Clark and Cathy Gilmore, the award represents a heartfelt validation that Kindex®—web software that enables families to archive and index their family records together—is needed by families everywhere.
“This Award is an honor,” Kimball said. “We’ve built something entirely new and innovative that solves a real problem almost every family has: ensuring their precious records can be preserved, shared, and found for generations.” Paul Brooks, CEO of Twile and winners of the same award in 2016, agrees. “In the end, People’s Choice is the award that counts,” he said. In a year that saw customer growth, new product offerings, and a partnership with FindMyPast, Twile has proven its staying power. Kindex expects to be no different.
As self-described record hoarders, Cathy and Kimball share an ambitious goal. “Our mission is to rescue the most at-risk, under-utilized resource in family history: the records in your own home,” said Cathy. Her interest in family history began when she discovered a box of letters written by her Grandma Dorothy Smith Clark. “I thought I knew my grandma,” she said, “but after reading her letters, I saw her in a new light and I wanted to share that with everyone.” That desire to share family records grew into what is now Kindex—indexing software that enables families to “search every word” of their family records. “Letters, journals, video and audio—these personal records have gone largely underutilized by historians and families. It’s time we change that,” said Kimball.
“This is a family business in every way,” Kimball continued. “The more we read our grandma’s records, the more we discovered she had the very same vision—to share family history with everyone. But she lived with limited technology, so we are carrying on her vision in a new way.” Many of Cathy and Kimball’s family members are already catching on. Using Kindex to transcribe and search their own family’s personal records has fostered family unity and provided an easy, inviting gateway to for their family to connect with their ancestors on a more personal level—by reading and searching records written in their own words.
After adding nearly 400 users at RootsTech, Kimball and Cathy are back at work overseeing the development of their collaborative archives and other upcoming features for their almost 800 users. They are also busy with the services arm of Kindex, giving families hands-on help organizing and digitizing their family records. Kindex’s “Record Rescue” service include digitization services and record-gathering events for families. “Gathering and digitizing records is a huge bottleneck for many families,” Cathy said. “These services help families take a huge step forward in getting their records digitized and on a collaborative family archive. On-site scanning events at family reunions are especially successful in unifying records that are scattered among various households.”
To learn more about how Kindex can help you rescue your family records, visit kindex.org and sign up for a free archive.
Over the past couple of years we’ve observed the increasingly prominent role stories have played in helping people engage with family history. During 2016, Steve Rockwood, president and CEO of FamilySearch International, revealed how FamilySearch is changing the way they engage people in family history. Starting with stories—rather than names, dates, and charts—turns the traditional family tree model upside down and offers an inviting approach for users who crave a more emotional connection. Steve Rockwood, as quoted in the Ancestry Insider, said:
“We are concentrating on how everyone can experience and feel those emotions.” By giving them immediate, emotional experiences, FamilySearch hopes they then engage in family history. FamilySearch decided to concentrate on stories. “We are serious” [about this change]. Steve said. “We changed our logo, our entire branding.” The FamilySearch logo now looks like a set of picture frames. FamilySearch starts people with photos, audio recordings, anything that anyone can participate in. That makes it an exciting world of change. “Now, more and more people are getting involved in this thing called family history.” For example, FamilySearch has seen a 47% increase in young people involved in family history. 
Later in 2016, he repeated the emphasis on stories. Upon learning that only 2 percent of LDS church members responded to the call to do family history when they were told, “here’s a chart; here’s a record; here’s a computer”, they changed their approach. As blogger Lynn Broderick wrote in Steve Rockwood asks: Where’s your Jerusalem?:
“…FamilySearch decided to “turn the model upside down. [FamilySearch is] going to start with stories.” Stories are not a “niche” like genealogy. Memories and photos are a place where “all the people on the earth” can participate. This is an area that attracts more young, single adults and statistics show a greater participation by the millennials.”
However, such changes are not always met with enthusiasm by traditional genealogists who adhere to strict standards of proof, accuracy, and source citations. Stories without sources are, after all, just stories.
But is there a different way to look at this disconnect? Can stories be both emotional and accurately sourced? While stories often function as the broad gate by which many people enter family history, they are not a substitute for accurate research and use of best practices. But are stories and narrative-based family history really incompatible with traditional genealogy research? As Tony Proctor explains in his post Evolution and Genealogy, narrative-based genealogy can unite both storytelling and sound genealogy practice:
“…[I] presented a view of narrative genealogy that embraced story telling, narrative reports, proof arguments, and transcription (of both old and new material). I believe that this seamless inclusion is necessary for useful genealogy, and for micro-history in general.”
The inclusion of stories, accompanied with relevant sources and transcriptions, is not only helpful, but necessary when creating genealogies. The key, as always, lies in the source. Primary source records like letters, journals, and similar documents are the holy grail of stories. In truth, they are the story.
When properly sourced, stories can play a key role in genealogy research. But so often, these sources are elusive and unsearchable. Whether hidden away in closets or filed in an archives, family records are one of the most underdeveloped and at-risk resources family historians and genealogists have.
One of the primary purposes of Kindex is to elevate family records to a key role in both storytelling and sound research. By indexing records, they become accessible and readable by anyone who knows how to search. And let’s face it, searching—and not reading—is the default way we find things, especially youth. By removing barriers that prevent us from accessing and reading family records, we can place sourceable stories at our fingertips.
There are other applications beyond stories. Through the addition of transcriptions, tagging, and macro-data, records are elevated in their usefulness and purpose. For professionals and casual researchers alike, records with linkable data are invaluable in their ability to connect records to other databases and family trees. This connectivity will someday make it just as easy for families to cite a family record to their tree, as it is to cite a birth or death record.
Additionally, transcribed and tagged records can be scaled to many applications, including historical research, book publishing (i.e., The Joseph Smith Papers), and limitless after-market products such as maps, timelines, and other creative works. By putting families in control of their own archives, they can choose how to apply and make available their own records.
Through the search and application of primary source records, Kindex provides a solution that both genealogists and storytellers can agree on: that the best source is an original source. Perhaps it’s not enough to turn the family history model upside down—we must also turn it inside out, and get to the source of our history. What a gift it will be for us, and the generations that follow.
 Turning the Model Upside Down. (2016, 07 27). Retrieved February 2 , 2017, from Ancestry Insider: http://www.ancestryinsider.org/2016/07/turning-model-upside-down-byugen-byufhgc.html
 Broderick, L. (2016, 11 1). Steve Rockwood Asks “Where’s Your Jerusalem?”. Retrieved 2 2, 2017, from Family Search Blog: https://familysearch.org/blog/en/steve-rockwood-asks-wheres-jerusalem/
 Proctor, T. (2016, 02 12). Evolution and Genealogy. Retrieved 02 02, 2017, from Parallax View: http://parallax-viewpoint.blogspot.com/2016/02/evolution-and-genealogy.html
For Kindex, RootsTech 2017 promises to be bigger and better than ever. Since our debut in RootsTech last year, we’ve worked hard to solve the challenges that come with owning records. As the first dedicated indexing web software accessible to anyone who wants to create an organized, searchable archive, Kindex offers a collaborative solution to gathering, transcribing, and sharing records. We’re excited to present these solutions at RootsTech—in our booths, in labs, and in the Innovator Showdown. Here’s where to find us.
Competing in our second year in the Semifinals of the RootsTech Innovator Showdown, we are grateful and excited for the opportunity to pitch our indexing web software solution to judges and attendees as part of the RootsTech Innovator Summit.
A startup funded largely by the bootstrap efforts of founders Kimball Clark and Cathy Gilmore, Kindex is a unique and innovate solution in the family history tech market. A successful run in the showdown will enable Kindex to meet the growing demands of families, organizations, and societies who require a solution for at-risk, inaccessible, unsearchable archives.
Your continued support means so much to us as we navigate the challenges of building something altogether new in the family history market. We hope to see you at the Innovator Showdown and invite you to cheer us on!
Check out our Innovator Showdown entry on Devpost.
Innovation Alley is area of tightly-packed booths where industry innovators meet with a non-stop stream of attendees excited to experience the latest in family history tech. Last year it was one of our favorite areas in the Expo Hall. There is definitely a different buzz in the Alley, and we are excited to join other innovators there again this year.
You’ll not want to miss visiting our Expo Hall booth for hands-on demos if our indexing software, conference-only specials, giveaways, and a special appearance from the “Archive Monster”. Tells what’s in your archive and you’ll have a chance to win a free Kindex Family Archive subscription. Look for us in booth #1433, right next to the Demo Theater and Show and Tell area.
Lab: How to Index & Search Your Own Records
Join Kindex co-founder Kimball Clark as he teaches an add-on lab, Beyond Digitization: How to Index & Search Your Own Records. Taught Wednesday at 4:30 p.m, and Thursday at 11:00 a.m.(251B – LAB), discover how to create a searchable archive of your own family or group records through collaborative gathering and indexing efforts.
We invite you to support us in the “Record Rescue” effort, both at RootsTech and beyond:
Cousins and Kindex founders Cathy Gilmore and Kimball Clark are thrilled to be included among the group of 10 semifinalists competing in the RootsTech 2017 Innovator Showdown.
Dorothy Clark at the World Conference of Records, 1980
For Kimball and Cathy, what began as a project to scan their grandmother’s records grew into a realization they needed to do more to make her life’s records not only accessible by her large posterity, but also searchable, engaging, and easy to manage. This idea grew into Kindex, a web software archival and indexing tool that enables anyone to gather, index, and share records in a collaborative archive.
A unique product in a sea of competitive family history technology, Kindex is the only web software indexing tool dedicated to helping everyday people manage and share their records. “Most people don’t realize it, but almost everyone has an archive management problem,” Cathy said. “Almost every home has a box of letters, a shelf of journals, a bin stuffed with documents of all kinds—and it’s all unsearchable and at risk of being lost over time.” With so many records at risk of being lost, thrown away, or damaged, Kindex helps families rescue their records, making them accessible and searchable for generations to come.
After reaching the semifinals in the 2016 RootsTech Innovator Showdown, Cathy and Kimball have tirelessly moved Kindex forward, fueled by bootstrap earnings via scanning services and archive pre-sales.
- MyKindex (a personal archive & indexing tool. Release January 2017).
- Kindex Family (a collaborative archive & indexing tool. Release February 2017)
- Continued development of Kindex Projects, a custom indexing platform for groups such genealogy and historical societies (Release Spring 2017)
- Expansion of youth market through continuing development of a mobile app and planning of youth record gathering events
- Record Rescue events, where families and groups gather their records for a one-day scanning event (see Kindex Archival Services)
- Explored B2B partnerships and applications of indexed archives.
Increased interest in the stories gleaned from family letters, journals, and other historical documents, coupled with the increasing demand for accessible, fully-searchable archives, places Kindex in a position to be a significant disruptor in the family history market. No longer just about names, dates, and trees, Kindex paves the way for families and groups to create narrative genealogies based on their primary source records. “We are a unique and innovative product in a market that is evolving quickly,” Kimball said. “The stories made searchable by Kindex are the gateway where increasing numbers are entering family history.”
Kindex believes that every life, no matter how important or insignificant, deserves to be remembered in history. We are proud to play a role in the rescue of records, and invite you to try it out on kindex.org.
Kindex will present at the RootsTech Innovator Showdown in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 8th, 2017.
Look for Kindex in the Expo Hall in booth #1433 and Innovator Alley. Kimball Clark will also be conducting a Lab:
LAB1873 Beyond Digitization: How to Index & Search Your Own Records
- Thursday, February 9 at 11:00 a.m.
- Wednesday, February 8 at 4:30 p.m.
A Reunion of Records: Giving Family Reunions a Higher Purpose
Gather What is Scattered
RootsTech Innovator Showdown Submission on Devpost
Learn more about Kindex software features