Global Batch Numbers for the "International Genealogical Index"
by Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG®
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The “International Genealogical Index” (IGI), produced by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), is without doubt the most comprehensive resource for genealogists worldwide. In order to reap the greatest benefits from this compilation, researchers must understand how this database was created. Understanding the term batch number and learning how to identify these numbers greatly enhances searching capabilities on the IGI and enables researchers to retrieve entire transcripts of parish registers online for free. Genealogists around the globe have created guides to help researchers identify IGI Batch Numbers.
What is the “International Genealogical Index?”
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) trace their ancestors because they believe that their families can be together forever, even beyond the grave. The pedigrees they create become part of the “International Genealogical Index.”
What is a batch number?
To supplement personal genealogies traced by the LDS membership, the Church also conducts extraction work. Laity transcribe and index parish registers from other religions, which is of great benefit to genealogists of all faiths. Each parish is assigned one or more batch numbers that coincide with these transcripts. They cover christenings and marriages, but not burials. Aligning parishes with batch numbers enhances the searching capabilities of the IGI. In addition, the “Vital Records Index” (VRI), which covers the British Isles, Denmark, Finland, Mexico, Norway, and Sweden, contains more recent extraction projects. All VRIs are available for free online, except the British Isles; however, batch number guides for the VRI have only been created for Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.
The IGI is an indispensable database to genealogists all over the world; however, at this date, the LDS Church has not created an online guide to batch numbers to enhance searching capabilities of its web site. Several independent genealogists have generated guides for various countries. These are very helpful, however accuracy has not been checked and they should be used with caution. If your countries of interest do not appear in the list below, read the article “Finding L.D.S. Batch Numbers,” on Genuki to learn how to follow a circuitous route to find these numbers on the online version of the Family History Library Catalog.
Genealogists have created online guides to IGI Batch Numbers covering the following countries:
Basque Region (Spain)
|Mexico||Mexico IGI Batch Number Experiment|
A Yahoo Group monitors the progress of creating IGI Batch Number guides for all Latin American countries.
Searching the IGI by batch numbers vastly improves the search capabilities of the search engine at FamilySearch.org. It enables town or parish level searches and can help researchers learn the coverage of the IGI for specific regions in countries where ancestors resided. Our researchers use this feature on most English research projects to identify extracted parishes surrounding residences of clients’ ancestors to quicken radius searches.