Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Handy Hints - IGI

Genealogist newbies might appreciate the odd handy hint and useful tidbit of information about sources and "best practice". Comparing the Wing data in the International Genealogical Index (IGI) with the actual data from parish registers proved quite illuminating, so here are some things you might like to know.

By way of background, entries in the IGI all have a batch number. Those that are noted as being "extracted batches" have been indexed by the LDS church from the parish records of the place in question. Conventional wisdom says these extracted entries are fairly reliable, while other entries which have been submitted by individuals can be fairly unreliable.

I have compared the baptism entries from the IGI batch C014632 for Wing with the bishop's transcripts for Wing for the years 1813 to 1816 inclusive. Here are some conclusions -

* If an entry is in the IGI, the details you can see for that entry are more than likely correct (ie no errors have probably been made in either the names or dates)

* However this does not mean that all the information in that original entry is included on the IGI. For example, at this time the parish registers will also tell you the abode - limited to village/hamlet - of the family (eg Thomas and Susannah BRASINGTON were living in Crafton when they baptised Sarah Bailey Brasington in 1813), the occupation of the father (eg John FOSTER is listed as a blacksmith when daughter Mary was baptised in 1814), and the name of the minister who performed the baptism. You may also get other non-standard pieces of information, like the fact two children baptised on the same day with the same parents were definitely twins!

* There may be further entries in the parish registers that have been missed out altogether in the extracted batches for the IGI. In the four years from 1813 to 1816, 37 of the 135 baptisms are missing - that's a whopping 27% of the entries you might have been looking for! So if you are connected to the Adams, Bailey, Bandy, Bolton, Bone, Brasington, Capp, Cheshire, Denchfield, Dimmock, Dollimer, Foster, Haggis, Hedges, Holyman, Jennings, Loe, Luck, Mead, Page, Pollard, Robbins, Rose, Simmons, Smelt, Staples, Steel, Woodman, Woolhead or Woster families, and have tried to construct your family tree over this period solely using the IGI, you definitely have some people missing (and perhaps even twins).

While the IGI is a great (and free!) resource, it should not be used in isolation to research or support your genealogy. It's an index only - and as we have seen, it is not necessarily a complete one. Your aim should always be to use original sources where possible.

The IGI can be accessed on the LDS website here:

Extracted batch numbers for Wing are:
P014631 - baptisms 1546-1812 (and a few burials)
C014632 - baptisms 1813-1870
C014633 - baptisms 1870-1881
M014631 - marriages 1546-1812
M014632 - marriages 1813-1881


template by suckmylolly.com : background by Tayler : dingbat font TackODing