The following is excerpted from the Church Newsroom. To read the full report, CLICK HERE.

With a lot of time on their hands, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Hastings, New Zealand got busy helping family history enthusiasts worldwide by indexing over 956,000 genealogical records during the COVID-19 lockdown from 21 March to 23 June this year.

Indexing is a worldwide volunteer transcription effort that makes valuable genealogical records freely searchable online at familysearch.org. Watch a video about indexing here.

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At the beginning of the COVID-19 lockdown in March, Latter-day Saint leaders in Hastings asked local Church member Jerry Edwards for ideas to help others get involved in something constructive during the down-time.

He replied that there was a special indexing project, “New Zealand—Electoral Rolls, 1865–1957,” which needed many hands to dig into it. Congregation leaders and volunteer family history consultants were made aware of the project to help spread the word, and the workload.

They started with a goal to index 50,000 names. Then miracles started to happen. Members began talking to each other and posting encouraging messages on ward social media pages. What started with seven indexers quickly turned into 114.

Within the first few days of April they processed 50,000 names.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.