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What is the International Genealogical Index

The soc.genealogy.britain Frequently Asked Questions list about the International Genealogical Index. This is the soc.genealogy.britain Frequently Asked Questions list about the International Genealogical Index.

Please post corrections and amendments to soc.genealogy.britain

This FAQ may be found at http://www.genealogy-britain.org.uk/

Last updated on 5th June 2008

Specific questions regarding the IGI:

  • What is the I.G.I. (International Genealogical Index) ?
  • What is included in the I.G.I. ?
  • Why isn't my ancestor listed ?
  • Where can I see it ?



What is the I.G.I. (International Genealogical Index) ?

One of the beliefs held by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is that they cannot be saved without their ancestors, and they therefore feel that they have a duty to perform on their behalf that which they can no longer do for themselves. To aid them in this the LDS church has filmed, indexed and made available baptism and marriage records from many parishes in the U.K. and elsewhere.

The I.G.I. is an index to the temple work that has been performed by members of the LDS Church. It can be used as an aid to finding one's deceased ancestors, but should always be checked against the records it refers to, as it is nowhere near accurate.

What is included in the I.G.I. ?

There are TWO sources for the entries in the I.G.I., and they are not equally accurate. These are as follows:

Extracted Records.

The church has extracted records from various registers to produce indices to those registers, and used to process these indices through the temples and onto the I.G.I. as a result. The policy here was to only index registers for which no entry was dated later than 31st December 1865, although this wasn't always strictly followed. As a result, entries from this source (which currently account for about 83% of the entries in the I.G.I.) primarily relate to events occurring on or before this date.

Records in this category can be identified by the fact that in the entry on the CD-ROM and online versions of the I.G.I., the source is described as "Extracted..." and these records are generally accurate, although they can still contain errors..

Personal Submission.

Members of the church who are researching their ancestry have submitted entries arising from their own research, using the best information they have at the time. As a result, such records frequently contain errors of many forms, and the records can relate to any time period.

Records in this category can be identified by the fact that in the entry on the CD-ROM  and online versions of the I.G.I., the source is described as "Submitted..." and these records should be treated with suspicion until proven correct from more reliable sources.

The church has now discontinued the practice of submitting extracted records through the temples and onto the I.G.I., so no new extractions will appear on the I.G.I. as such. However, some extracted (and other) records that were submitted through the temples prior to 1970 are not currently included on the I.G.I., so future releases of the I.G.I. may still contain extracted records from that time period.


Why isn't my ancestor listed ?

The coverage of parishes in the IGI is not complete, both because some parishes have not allowed their records to be filmed, and because not all parishes whose records have been filmed were extracted. It should also be remembered that the I.G.I. is only an Index and is neither complete nor totally accurate. Anything that you find in it should be checked against the original register, and the absence of an entry does not mean that it did not take place.

Whilst coverage will improve over time, one consequence of the way the index is created is that it is unlikely to ever provide 100% coverage of any locality.


Where can I see it ?

This index can be viewed online at http://www.familysearch.org/ It may also be viewed on CD ROM at many Family History Centres, on microfiche at many libraries, and at the Family Records Centre in London.


With many thanks to Riley Williams for his valued input.

Last Updated on Thursday, 05 June 2008 16:36