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.
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.
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!
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
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.