> Sources of Information > International Genealogical Index (IGI)




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Although it is not an original source, the International Genealogical Index (IGI) is an invaluable key to finding relevant original information. It contains millions of worldwide index entries of mainly baptisms and marriages. Although the IGI did not start out as an index for genealogists, it has become one thanks to the goodwill of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (more commonly known as the Mormons). Many of the index entries for England and Wales derive from parish registers, bishops transcripts and non parochial registers from the 16th century right through to 1906. No living persons are included within the IGI.

A large proportion of the source documents (parish registers, etc) for the IGI entries have been microfilmed by the Latter-day Saints. Individual microfilms can be booked for a modest fee from their central Family History Library in Utah for viewing at any Family History Centre.

While the IGI includes a mixture of entries from official sources and from less reliable family records (see caution note below), the Latter-day Saints have also produced a British Isles Vital Records Index that is based on official sources only. This index contains over 12 million entries of birth/christening and marriage records taken from parish registers and the like. Although, unlike the IGI, there is currently no online access to this index, it is available on cd-rom

  Information Provided

IGI entry

  • Forename, surname, event (usually birth, christening or marriage), associated father/mother/spouse as appropriate, event date, town or parish, source reference, microfilm reference
  LDS microfilm copy of source document on which the IGI entry is based

Always check out the original source

  • The International Genealogical Index is exactly what it says - an INDEX. It should only be used in conjunction with other research. A copy of the original source document (such as the relevant parish register) referred to in the index should always be examined. Invariably it will contain more information and help you avoid any transcription errors.
    Be wary of private patron submissions
  • IGI entries from the "controlled extraction" program can generally be regarded as accurate. These have "batch" numbers that are prefixed with a C, E, K, J, M or P. However those from private patron submissions cannot always be relied on. Their "batch" numbers are either all numerical or are prefixed with an A or F and they should be treated with caution.
    Incomplete coverage
  • Even though it contains millions of entries, the IGI's coverage is far from complete. If the ancestor you are searching for does not appear in the IGI do not give up. Pursue your investigations elsewhere.
  Access IGI - Internet
  • The complete IGI can be accessed online at This excellent free web site run by the Latter-day Saints provides both general guidance on tracing your ancestors and more specific advice on using the online version of the IGI.
  IGI - Microfiche
  • Microfiche copies of all the IGI entries for England and Wales can be viewed at the Society of Genealogists, at most Record Offices and Local Studies Centres. Some Record Offices and Local Studies Centres only hold the IGI microfiches for their own and neighbouring counties. However nearly all record offices and libraries provide access to the Internet version of the complete IGI.
  IGI Referenced Original Sources - Microfilms
  • The source documents referred to in the IGI entries can be viewed on microfilm at any Family History Centre. Any referenced microfilm must first be booked (for a modest fee) at your local Family History Centre for subsequent viewing there.
  British Isles Vital Records Index - CDROM
  • The complete British Isles Vital Records Index is provided in a reasonably priced (under £20) boxed set of 16 CD-ROMs published by the Latter-day Saints. It can be ordered online from the Latter-day Saints web site. Many County Libraries have a copy of this set of CD-ROMs
This page last updated: 21 March 2006