By RODNEY D. BOAM
One of the first things Fontella Sorenson did when she arrived at Heritage Home in April of 2013 was have her computer set up to do indexing from her room.
With a laptop hooked to a modem and hands on the keyboard, she studies the screen with documents displayed and tries to decipher information from them. She mostly wants to retrieve names and dates.
At 93 years old and with years of experience, she gleans information from her computer screen. She deciphers it, types it in and sends it up the line. The information is checked a couple of times before it is accepted.
“I’ve done tens of thousands of names,” Sorenson said, “I’ve been doing family history work for 40 years.”
Sorenson was born and raised in Virginia, Idaho. She married and moved to Swan Lake where she had six children. In 1979 her husband passed away.
After the deaths in her family, the work for Sorenson’s ancestors became increasingly important.
“She did it before computers were a big thing, the hand-written way, her son Marv Sorenson said. “She served a couple of family history missions in Salt Lake.”
“The rest of us are slowly getting into it,” said Marv. “She has done a great job.”
Hundreds of thousands of volunteer indexers have participated from around the world.
When the LDS Church introduced online indexing in 2006 it took off in a big way. But it’s not just an LDS Church thing. Thousands of people, even non-members, are doing it, said Clifford Jensen, the director of the Family History Center housed in the South Stake Center in Preston.
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