SEARCHING THE IGI AND USING BATCH NUMBERS
©2009 by Donald R. Snow
Sections of the Class Notes
This page was last updated 2009-05-15.
Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page , or Don's Class Listings Page , or the St. George Regional Family History Training Center Home Page .
WELCOME AND WHAT THIS CLASS IS ALL ABOUT
- Instructors are Donald R. and Diane M. Snow ( firstname.lastname@example.org
and email@example.com ) of Provo and St. George,
- These notes with active Internet links are posted on the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group website http://uvtagg.org under Class
Outlines , Don's Listings , and are linked on the St.
George Regional Family History Training Center webpage . Many other class notes for family history are linked on the UVTAGG website also.
- Browsing tip: Hold down the CTRL key when clicking on a link in these notes to open the link in a new tab, but leaving these notes opened in the old tab -- Allows you to get back to these notes without using the back arrow
- The International Genealogical Index (IGI) is a very helpful research and verification tool and we will discuss what's in it, what batch numbers are, and some tips on searching it.
THE INTERNATIONAL GENEALOGICAL INDEX (IGI)
- The IGI on http://www.familysearch.org consists of about 1
billion records of deceased individuals, but many are duplicated, so they only
represent about half a billion (500 million) individuals.
- Includes people from all over the world, not just LDS Church members,
nor were they all submitted by Church members.
- Many are from the United States and the United Kingdom, since so
many LDS members have UK ancestors.
- Names in the IGI come from the following three sources with about a third to a half in Record Class 1, i.e. extracted records, and therefore, accurate.
- RECORD CLASS 1 -- Extracted Records
- Messages fields of these records contain words like "Extracted from ...".
- "Extracted" means indexed directly from the parish or other record, so these entries are usually accurate, unlike many of the other IGI entries
- The names for these seem to be entered all in CAPS, both given and surnames, which sometimes makes them easier to spot.
- Example of an extracted record: search the IGI for RICHARD SNOWE, born 08 Jul 1599, Crediton, Devon, England
- Source information at the bottom of the screen includes (for the Richard Snowe example) the Batch No. - C050741 , Dates of the source - 1558-1662, Source Call No. - 0917182, Type of source document - film, Printout Call No. - 0933984, and Type of printout document - Film.
- The source microfilm usually has more information than was extracted, so you should look at the original record. (The IGI is a compiled, and therefore secondary, source.)
- The Printout film or document is a list of all the names in that batch and doesn't usually give any more information than you can get from the IGI directly.
- If the name has several IGI entries, see if one is an extracted record (look at the names that are all in CAPS first), since the information on that one is usually more accurate and it tells you the original source.
- Records in this class have a batch number in the source field, which is the indexed group in the IGI containing this name.
- See more details about batches in the section below on searching with batch numbers.
- RECORD CLASS 2 -- Deceased LDS Membership Records
- Messages fields of these records contain words like "From a Deceased LDS Member's record...".
- These consists of information that the LDS Church had while the person was alive, e.g. the date
and place they were born
- Only includes people who were LDS Church members while they were alive, so it's only from 1830 on
- If you suspect an individual was an LDS Church member while alive, look for an entry that says "From a Deceased LDS Member's record"
- If there are other IGI entries for such persons, they were extracted (Record Class 1) or were sent in by descendants (Record Class 3).
- RECORD CLASS 3 -- Submitted by LDS Church Members
- Messages fields of these records contain words like "Submitted by an LDS Church member".
- These were sent in by LDS Church members with no requirement of accuracy nor that the data came from good sources
- Can't count on the data of these, so use this as a guide to finding the original records
- Some were submitted as long ago as 1840 and there is no way to contact the submitter nor learn what sources they used -- submitter may not even be alive now
- Films listed as sources for these are just of the forms they filled out and DON'T contain the data sources they used.
TYPES OF SEARCHES
- Go to http://www.familysearch.org and click on Search Records > Advanced Search > IGI and enter the search data you want
- Doesn't require you to include an IGI Region -- sometimes helps since
you don't know the Region
- General principle of all genealogy searches - start with the smallest
reasonable amount of information about the person, since anything you enter
that is slightly different than is in the database may cause the search to
miss it completely
- Only add more search terms if you get too many hits
- If you get no hits, then even the small amount you entered is too much or not right
- Searches on the IGI
- Individual search -- enter name, region, country, if known, etc. -- add more data to narrow down the results
- Parent search -- put parents names in the parents' fields; requires full name of at least one parent
- Marriage search -- include both spouses or one spouse and surname of other or first name of other, etc.
- Batch number searches -- see next paragraph
BATCH NUMBER SEARCHES
- Batches in the IGI are the collections of names indexed from particular parish or other record
- Searching with the batch number and search data will show just those IGI entries matching the criteria that are from that batch -- very helpful to narrow down the search
- To do batch number searches
- On http://www.familysearch.org go to Search and
click on IGI
- Type the batch number into the box and select the region, e.g. C040371 and British Isles
- See later paragraph of how to find batch numbers
- Searching with just the batch number gives everyone indexed in that batch -- all from that parish
- Searching with a batch number and other data such as given name or birth year give all persons in that batch (parish) with that name or birth year -- can't do searches like this with the entire IGI since it is so large a database
- These searches are particularly helpful when you don't know or can't read the surname, but know the given name and location since
- Batches in the IGI usually show the films they were indexed from, so you can go directly to that film and see the entry
- Original parish registers usually contain more information than what was indexed in the IGI, e.g. father's occupation or residence
- The IGI is a compiled (secondary) source, so the original parish registers usually contain more information
- A few batches in the IGI do not show the source film number, e.g. batch I010106, so you have to find it in other ways
- If you find one of the few batch numbers without source film shown, please give DRS a copy and he will try to find the source film number for you.
- Ways to find batch numbers
- Not all parishes have been indexed for the IGI, so not all parishes have batch numbers
- Hugh Wallis' webpage - http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~hughwallis/IGIBatchNumbers.htm
- Has list of batch numbers for hundreds of parishes in the UK and towns in the US
- Hugh Wallis' also has a good description of what batch numbers are
- http://www.pricegen.com/resources/globalbatchnumbers.htm has lists of batch numbers for many countries besides the UK and US
- By using the FHLC
- If not in Hugh Wallis' list, look for that parish in the FHLC
- Check for "Church Records - Indexes" for your parish -- Note: it's "Church Records - INDEXES", not just "Church Records"
- Reason for checking for indexes is that if it was extracted, then there was probably also a "printout" index made
- Look there for something labelled batch number or else a number with digits and hyphens or the word "printout"
- Example - Hadleigh, Suffolk, England parish register shows C-6318-1
- Add leading 0's and remove the hyphens, so it becomes a 6-digit number, i.e. C063181
- Try that in the IGI and see if it's a batch number for Hadleigh -- that one is
- Also vary the last digit and the letter and try things like C063180, C063182, C063183, M063180, M063182, and M063183 -- some of these may also be batch numbers for Hadleigh, but not necessarily
- Some batch numbers in the FHLC are not labelled batch numbers, nor do they have a C or M or other letter in front - just experiment with those numbers
- Can find lots of batch numbers for the IGI by
- Doing Keyword searches in the FHLC for "batch St. Mary" or "printout Hadleigh" and check
the results - "printout" leads to some since the parish had be indexed to make a computer printout
- Can try using Google search for "site:www.familysearch.org [name of parish] births" (without the quote marks) since this brings up pages from the FHLC and IGI with that parish on the page
- Check the possible batch numbers you get in these ways to see if they really are batches for that parish
- By doing a Google search for the film number on the London FHC website shows if that film is at the London FHC, but also shows if it has been extracted into the British Vital Records CD set, since the film numbers extracted into that set are also shown on the website
- If film number is less than 7 digits, also try adding leading 0's to bring it up to 7 digits
WHAT TO DO WITH THE SEARCH RESULTS
- Can save search results by printing them, downloading as a text file, or downloading as a GEDCOM file
- Downloading as a GEDCOM allows importing the data, including sources, into any genealogy data management program
- Can download GEDCOM's of an entire collection of a surname or of a parish to analyze it
- Can view the source of batches on microfilms or can request a photocopy of it, but there is a charge if you order a photocopy -- See details on Request for Photocopies - IGI and Sources
TOOLS TO MAKE SEARCHING THE IGI EASIER
- Built into the freeware PAF (Personal Ancestral File) program is the "ALT-S-F" trick
- To download PAF for free go to http://www.familysearch.org
- The Alt-S-F trick is to highlight a name in PAF, then holding down the ALT key, press S, then F, in that order
- PAF is written to go to the Internet, open FamilySearch, enter the highlighted name, and show you the IGI result
- Use Refine the Search to narrow it down
- If you are LDS, enter your user name and password and then Alt-S-F will also show the ordinance data
- Can tile the windows side-by-side with PAF in one and FamilySearch in the other to see dates or places to narrow the search -- can copy-and-paste from FamilySearch to PAF
- To tile the windows right click on an empty spot on the blue bar at bottom of screen and select Tile Vertically
- Family Insight (old version was called PAF Insight) -- commercial program, but available in all FHC's for free
- Available from http://ohanasoftware.com/, helps in searching since it tries so many different combinations since as name, given names reversed, child of parents given, married to that spouse, etc.
- Usually finds many more relevant entries than you do by hand
- FamilySearcher -- freeware program available from http://myweb.cableone.net/kevinowen3/FamilySearcher.htm
- Only works on GEDCOM's
- Searches IGI and several other databases, as well
- Ancestral Quest , Legacy , RootsMagic , and others -- all have IGI searches built in
- For more details on these tools and/or others see my notes on Getting Completed Ordinances into Your PAF Database on http://uvtagg.org
- IGI is extremely helpful, especially if the name has been extracted (indexed) from original records.
- Batch number searches can be very useful since you can narrow down the search with them
- Remember that the IGI is a secondary (compiled) source, so be sure check the original records for complete and accurate data.
- Do a search on your own surname on http://www.familysearch.org , Search Records > All Resources.  You will probably get many hits; the box in the upper right hand side tells you how many hits are in each database. Try narrowing down the search by adding your given names and/or times or locations. (You might be in some of the records, but shouldn't be in the IGI nor the Social Security Death Index, since both of those are only for deceased persons!).
- Find an IGI Batch Number and do a search on just those records. (If you don't have one yourself, use IGI Batch Number C040371 in the British Isles.) Now add some additional data, e.g. given name Nancy with any event in 1835. Note that the results include variants of Nancy too, e.g. Hannah and Anna. This illustrates the power of batch number searches, since these specialized searches can't be done with the entire IGI because it is too large.)
- See if you can find a Deceased Member's record for someone who joined the LDS Church during their lifetime. (If you can't find another one, use Annie Stafford, born 27 Apr 1867, Derbyshire, England, in batch 6940014.)
Return to the Utah Valley Technology and Genealogy Group Home Page , or Don's
Class Listings Page , or the St. George Regional Family History Training Center Home Page .