Disability doesn't stop her from typing - or indexing

Annette Jacob

Annette Jacob

As a young girl, Annette Jacob had a slight disability (cerebral palsy) that affected her left hand. She was told she would never be able to write or even type. But Annette didn't let that stop her. At age 13 she began playing the organ, even though the fingers of her left hand were totally locked up at that time. The more she practiced, the better she got.

The same has been true in other areas of her life. Six years ago, Annette, who lives in Sugar House, Utah, was called by her LDS bishop to serve as an indexer for FamilySearch.

"I did not know anything about FamilySearch until my bishop set me apart," she says. She never had done genealogy before either. But she learned. About a month after she began that calling, she attended her first BYU Conference on Family History & Genealogy, and she hasn't missed a year since.

"It is the most wonderful thing, like another general conference," she says. "You get spiritually fed, you get a lot of information, and you can share it with everybody." As an indexer, Annette works on a computer in her apartment, typically devoting 100 or more hours a week to the calling–which requires her to type on a computer keyboard. "I love it–it's fun! I start on a Level 1 (the easiest level), then go to a 3 or 5. Or sometimes I start on 5 and then go 3 or 1, for a change. I take Mondays off, but I do indexing Tuesdays through Sunday."

She has indexed more than 68,000 names for temple work, and it will soon be 69,000. She also has almost 218,000 people on her FamilySearch MyHistory page. Because she has persisted, "I can do things now I could never do," Annette says. "I'm trying to get my nephews and nieces to do indexing now. Want to know the best joke for FamilySearch? 'You can do it in your pajamas.'"

Permalink to this story (opens in a new window)