Limited Index Editing in Family Tree of familysearch.org

As of about mid-July 2019, the Family Tree of familysearch.org has added a feature which allows you to edit some of the names in their indexes of various record collections. This has been a desirable feature for a long time since many names were badly indexed either due to bad information in the original document, bad writing of correct information, or bad indexing (the indexer did not have the skill to read Polish names). When you edit a name, you are asked if it was an indexing problem or if the original document was incorrect. You are also asked to highlite the name on a screen image of the document so others know what you are changing. This means that edits are possible on indexed records which also have corresponding online images. That's good news.

The bad news is that not all of the indexed records have online images-- for example, Cook County vital records. Many Cook County records for Poles are badly indexed. I hope that name edits of those indexes will be allowed. Census indexes have corresponding images but edits are not yet allowed.

At the time this is being written, I have been able to edit only about 2 of many incorrect names. FamilySearch is still working on the system ironing out the bugs on what they have rolled out so far. They have indicated that more editable records will be coming.

One last comment: Some purists may feel that edits of the index is equivalent to changing history. No! Whatever the original document says is NOT changed-- only the index is changed. The index is a finding aid, not a substitute for the original document. Despite edits that researchers might make to the index, the original indexed name is still out there. The net result is it gives other researchers a greater chance of finding the records they are looking for.