I am sure that everyone has noticed that to use the IGI you need to follow the link on FamilySearch.org “Go to the previous site.”
Where did the information from the IGI go? Is any of the content from the IGI on FamilySearch.org?
Recently I read a very interesting series of articles from the Ancestry Insider (go to http://ancestryinsider.blogspot.com/ – the series started on 3 January 2011 – you have to go to older posts to get to the beginning of the series). Much of the credit for the following should go to the Ancestry Insider!
“What is the IGI?
The International Genealogical Index is a computer file published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It contains several hundred million entries, each recording one event such as a birth, baptism (christening), marriage, or death.
According to Elizabeth L. Nichols, former FamilySearch employee and IGI expert,
“Each entry is a stand-alone record. If a person was born in one [region] and married in another, the entry for each event will be in the [region] where it occurred, with no reference to the other entry (if both entries are in the IGI). The entries in the file are not linked to other records, even when they pertain to the same person or same family.1” (from the Ancestry Insider)
Originally called the Computer File Index it was first published on microfiche in 1973 when it consisted of about 20 million entries. The 4th edition published in 1981 was the first one to be called the International Genealogical Index and contained 81 million names. It was later released on CD and then in 1999 became part of the original FamilySearch.org web site. By now it had grown to 285 million entries.
For latter-day saints the IGI used to be the place to see what temple work had been done for family members.
Information in the IGI came from 2 sources:
- Extracted records – usually hand copied and entered into computer by volunteers – from civil and church records of birth, christening and marriages. Death and burial were not usually extracted. Extracted records have been a valuable source if you go to the original source and verify the information – and the extracted information in the IGI gave you the source was right down to the film number.
- Records submitted by members of the church. Those from the 1840s to 1970 and after 1990 lacked reliable sources. After 1990 you could not find the name of the submitter to ask where they got the information from. Between 1970 and 1990 entries were on Individual or Marriage entry forms and were supposed to include sources. Member submitted information is only of value if you go and find the source – and as the source is not usually given this can be challenging.
Most of us doing research wanted to focus on the Extracted Records in the IGI. We know where they came from! Thanks to Hugh Wallis we could find out the batch number and years for extracted records from a parish. I used to do a presentation called “Mining the Gold . . .” that showed how to search in the extracted records of the IGI.
Did you realize that not all of each extracted batch was uploaded to the IGI !!!! In order to reduce duplication when an extracted batch was uploaded if a name and event was already found to be in the IGI (from a member submission) then the extracted record was not uploaded! (Source: Ancestry Insider 6 January 2011). He gives an example from batch C022862 where only 11 of the 20 records for the name Bull were uploaded.
I think many of us have thought when we got batch of Christenings from a parish between 2 dates that we were getting all the Christenings!
So where has the information from the IGI gone?
Next week – What happened to the IGI part 2