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Discussion -The IGI and The Ancestral File

As stated in the article, the IGI is the most extensive resource available, certainly for records in the UK. For many years, there were no death records included but, these are now slowly being added. In the early days, they gathered only information on baptisms and marriages.

As I understand it, the IGI is updated every two years - at least it used to be. :wink:

It will take many years before it could be considered anywhere near "complete". The task is colossal and, as all things done by man, is prone to human error. In the UK, most central reference libraries will have the latest edition for the whole of the country. This will, most likely, represent England, Scotland and Wales.

Anyone familiar with using the microfiche version will have noticed there are quite a few columns containing just strings of numers. These are reference numbers bringing together related links to other relevant information within the main computer system, which is maintained at their central depository in Salt Lake City, Utah. For a nominal fee, you can write to Salt Lake City, giving all the information contained in the microfiche for any given entry and, in return, they will send you a full printout of all the information they have on the original records from which the entry was taken.

It is also important to stress that this information should be used only as a guide and you should then track the entries in the original registers down for yourself to confirm everything.

Why is the microfiche of the IGI "full of holes"? The reasons for this are many, but can be condensed to the following main points:
1) The people doing the work of gathering the information are volunteers, often carrying out the work in their spare time. They achieve a huge amount in the time they have available but, like all of us, they are fallible.

2) With the best will in the world, there is still the problem that some entries in the registers are virtually unreadable. This occurs for a number of reasons, most commonly down to illegible handwriting, or deterioration of the register itself. Also, some registers have been destroyed through such things as fire, flood and enemy action. There is a particular problem for records in Northern Ireland due to the activities of the freedom fighters - many registers were destroyed way back in the 1920s.

3) Particularly in the very early days of Parish Registers, record keeping was prone to the dilligence of the incumbent (or lack of it in some cases).
a) A lazy incumbent may not keep his registers up to date properly so, it is quite feasible that some entries are missing from the registers themselves but may turn up in the Bishops Transcripts.
b) The books for use as Parish Registers were very expensive and many parishes could not afford separate books for baptisms, marriages and deaths. So, some used to enter pabtisms in the front, turn the book upside down and enter deaths starting from the back. And then they would go to the middle and start entering marriages from there. As the register became full, this meant that entries started running into each other, making a confusing concoction which was not easy to decipher.
c) Some parishes relied on loose sheets of paper instead of a book. There are quite a few situations where many of these loose sheets are no longer in existence. The incumbents wife would find an alternative use for them, such as wrapping round the handles of hot pans when she was cooking, or putting on the table etc., to stand hot pans on. When they became too tatty to use any further, she would screw them up and throw them away.
d) Then, there was always the problem of rats, mice and other vermin deciding that they would make perfect nesting material and, as a result, chewing them up.

So, the gathering of information from parish registers is very much prone to the same situation we are in when trying to find the records for ourselves - they simply no longer exist. But, the Bishops Transcripts should help to fill in many of the gaps.

The LDS website Family Search is now my first port of call when doing any online research.

Now, how about some of you posting your thoughts and experiences about using the IGI?

Keith.
 
:) I have long used Family Search as a first stop for tidbits and creating family links for several generations. It is THE easiest forum to use, and usually has at least a modicum of info on most of my searches. You just need to KNOW: Put in ONLY Name & Country to actually find your name, then add only 1 item, such as date of birth, search, date of death, search, county, search, ETC. This will always yeild better info than putting in all the info you have.
I then go to rootsweb.com and compare info, then other available sites & compare there before I get into really heavy
proving. It lays down a good pattern with pertinent info to work with more easily.
Happy Hunting
Sheila
 
I also find the IGI a great help at times, especially trying to determine how many children the couple have, of course it does not tell us about any children who may have died before baptism, sometimes there is that information.
But what I find a bit of a puzzle is this, if information has been published on the IGI with all good intentions of the person supplying the information, and it turns out to be incorrect, why can it not be corrected, the insorrect information stays on there and could be very misleading to anyone else researching the same name/family.

I give an instance of this, my grandparents were sent to Canada one from the workhouse and the other from a childrens home, they met and married, however, my grandfather gave himself an addition of a Christian name, and also stated that he was born in Canada, I however, held his birth certificate and had known him until I was 20 year old.
In the meantime, my cousin whom I had last seen in 1939, had become a member of the LDS church, he had obtained the marriage document from Canada and believed the information contained on it.
Through starting to research my family, I was reunited with the cousin and was able to tell him quite a bit of information which he had not known, unfortunately neither of us had known very much about the family, everything had been kept secret (discoveries about illegitimate births etc, explained why this was so) however, the cousin has dupplied incorrect info to the IGI, I was able to tell them the true facts, but the incorrect entries still stand, why? this does not seem to make sense, why can corections not be made, this has meant that I no longer can accept as truth any entries, I feel that I must confirm everything, this of course involves a lot of extra work, not to mention the expense involved!

I am very grateful to the church for supplying so much information and for making it free to use, it certainly does help in giving many clues, providing of course, that our anc estors married & were baptised in the etsablished church of Scotland or England, so there are many gaps naturally in the information to be found, there are a few instances of non conformist baptisms etc on there, but mostly this has been supplied by members, which of course requires checking, but apart from that, it is certainly a great help freely obtainable for which we should all be grateful.
 
There is a very good article in the March issue of Practical Family History on using the online IGI, including using the batch numbers to find other family members and finding batch numbers for particular parishes.
 
First let me say the IGI is 99.9% complete and 100% accurate.
The only records missing are the very latest ordinances.


Why do I make such assertions, because the IGI is an index to the temple ordinances of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
It is not an index of parish registers.

Remember the IGI can only index what was submitted at the particular ordinance indexed.
Cheers
Guy
 
I also find the IGI a great help at times, especially trying to determine how many children the couple have, of course it does not tell us about any children who may have died before baptism, sometimes there is that information.
But what I find a bit of a puzzle is this, if information has been published on the IGI with all good intentions of the person supplying the information, and it turns out to be incorrect, why can it not be corrected, the insorrect information stays on there and could be very misleading to anyone else researching the same name/family.

As with any record of an historic occurance the only way a record can be changed is if it is in error.
If the details submitted to the Temple Ordinance stated Joe Bloggs baptised on 31 February 1598 the IGI will record Joe Bloggs baptised on 31 February 1598.
It makes no difference in the world that February 1598 only had 28 days the information that underwent the ordinance included the 31 February so that is what is indexed.

The way such indexes are amended is by way of another submission for an ordinance.
This is one reason for "duplicate" entries in the IGI.
Cheers
Guy
 
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