Frequently Asked Questions about the International Genealogical Index
Questions About the IGI
Where Did the IGI come from? KD 114360
The International Genealogical Index (IGI) was a family history database that listed several hundred million names of deceased persons from throughout the world. Names in the IGI came from two sources:
What is the difference between Community Indexed IGI and Community Contributed IGI? KD 114360
The indexed data has been organized into the original collections from which it was transcribed and resides in the Historical Records system. To see a list of all collections available choose All Record Collections from the Discover Your Family History page.
The Community Indexed search from this page searches ONLY the records that were part of the old IGI. Most of these collections have had many more records added to them. Therefore, to do an exhaustive search for your ancestors you should use the search form found on the International Genealogical Index (IGI) page or search collections by locality rather than using the IGI search form.
The Community Contributed IGI originates with records submitted by family members for their own ancestors. For a short period of time duplication in the IGI was reduced by removing records from the indexed data when these records were submitted by the community.
How reliable is the Community Contributed IGI? KD 114360
Most patrons who submitted information to the Community Contributed IGI gave information to the best of their knowledge at the time. However, not all the data which was contributed was well documented from trustworthy sources. The information in these records should be considered as useful clues and not absolute facts. Before you rely on this information you should carefully review the data and verify that the sources are accurate.
Where can I find the IGI? KD 114360
You may use this link or go to the Discover Your Family History
- Scroll down the home page to the Browse by Location section.
- Click on All Record Collections.
- Enter International Genealogical Index, or shorten it to 'IGI', in the Search field.
- Click on the International Genealogical Index.
Questions about Batches
What are batch numbers?
The batch number identifies the specific collection of Historical Records that an extracted record came from. For more information on how batch numbers can help you in your search for your ancestor see the FamilySearch Blog article New IGI Batch Number Search.
What do the batch numbers mean?
For a complete description of batch numbers and their descriptions, please see FamilySearch Research Wiki article, IGI Batch Number Descriptions.
Can I search by batch number? KD 114360
Yes, to search the International Genealogical Index using a batch number from the Discover Your Family History page:
- Below the Search Box (Restrict records by:) enter the Batch Number in the field provided.
- Click Search.
Is there a way to find batch numbers for a particular area?
There is a web site by Hugh Wallis and hosted by www.Rootsweb.com, which describes IGI batch numbers and provides a way of finding the parishes for batch numbers where records have been extracted and appear in the IGI. The site can accessed at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hughwallis/.
The site shows how to select a country of interest, then the county, and parish (or the equivalent in Canada / USA). Once the parish of interest has been found and the period of records decided -- clicking on the provided batch number takes the user to a search engine where the family surname can be entered – then using the “Submit Query” button it displays to the user all the FamilySearch IGI records for that name extracted in that parish. If the surname field is left empty the whole extracted record for that batch number is displayed.
The following disclaimer is found at the Hugh Wallis site. "We are providing this information as a service that may help you to use our records. This site is not supported by FamilySearch and any questions about the functionality of the site should be addressed to the providers."
Questions about Sources
How do I find the sources for an IGI Record? KD 5139p_en
Information in the International Genealogical Index comes from many different sources. To verify the accuracy of the information or to see if the original source contains more information, you can check the film containing the source.To find the film number:
- Go to https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/igi.
Enter a name and any other search criteria (such as birth year, parents, spouse, etc.).
- In the list of search results, click on the name of the person for whom you want to view details.
- The film number is found in the line titled source film number
Why do some records not have source information?
If a record has no source information it may have been submitted in the early days of electronic submissions. This affects Community Contributed IGI only.
How can I find the source of a Community Indexed record when no film number shows?
If no Source Film Number exists on a Community Extracted record, then contact FamilySearch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1-866-406-1830 in the U.S. and Canada, or click here for toll-free numbers in other countries.
How do I find out who submitted information in the Community Contributed IGI? KD 104840
Whether you can find submitter information for an entry in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) depends on when it was submitted.
If the ordinance work was done prior to 1970 and it was proxy work, it should be listed on the TIB (Temple Index Bureau) cards. The proxy or heir was listed on these cards. This index is available on microfilm at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City in the special collections area.
Some of the TIB information is also found on microfilm in the FamilySearch catalog under keyword search "heir index." Films can be ordered if the content is only for deceased persons. Films which may contain one or more living persons, such as sealing ordinances, will not be available.
If the temple ordinance work was done after 1970, the temple does not keep a record of who performed the ordinance, only that the ordinance was completed.
Why are there so many duplicated records in the IGI?
In most cases, the duplication is caused by multiple people submitting the same genealogical information with slight variations in the data.
Do records for living people appear in the IGI?
Only records for deceased people will be listed on the IGI. Other people who should not appear in the IGI include:
- People who live in nonromanized language countries (such as Japan, China, and Korea).
- Certain ethnic groups who have requested that some names be removed from the record (such as Jewish groups).
In some instances, the name of a living person may appear on the index if:
- An error was made at the temple in processing a family group record.
A living person was presumed to be dead, and a relative submitted the name for temple work in error.
The names of living parents might show if their deceased child was born in the covenant.
What does a bracketed surname mean in the IGI?
Children with direct links to their parents but who had not been documented with a last name are shown with their father's name in brackets.
I see a mistake in the IGI, can I make changes?
At this time we do not have a process to correct errors in the IGI.