I like learning about new things. I like reading about past events. I like discovering peoples’ lives. That is what historians do–we learn, we read, we discover, we investigate and puzzle together the past so that it is not lost to us.
I have read many old sources. I have looked at numerous English and Welsh Chronicles. I have read ancient laws and medieval letters. I have looked at Renaissance paintings and have stood in Celtic pieces of architecture. I have done quite a bit exploring and I love looking at this evidence first-hand.
Thus, when I was introduced to indexing, I became obsessed. Indexing is a project created by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to transcribe different Civil Records to have on a computer-based program, not only for government puproses, but also for our religious purposes in order to do temple work.
I currently like to work on the 1871 UK Census. This census lists the names of each member of each family, their relation to the head of the family, their age, their marital status, their occupation, and where they were born. It is so fun to transcribe these–to see the relations between family members (how old everyone is, how they help support each other) as well as the relations within each community (does everyone have the same occupation, are there visitors, who is rich, etc.).
By indexing, I truly feel like a historian. I am able to begin to put an idea together of who these people were by just one line of script from a census.