Family historians have found the International Genealogical Index to be one of the most useful finding aids produced in recent years. This is a collection of Genealogical data produced by The Church of the Latter Day Saints of Jesus Christ, Salt Lake City, USA (also known as the Mormons).

Originally the IGI was a very exciting concept, but recent editions have been disappointing. Many entries have been found to be factually and academically suspect. But I would'nt be without it, the researcher should be very careful drawing up family histories from its information. 

Mainly the IGI database can be a useful aid in finding `lost` baptisms and marriages, though rarely of deaths. Because deaths are rarely entered into the database the researcher has to be aware that the person who you think is an ancestor could have died as a child.

As with all data keyed into a Computer it is only as good as the person entering it, or the researcher who produced it. Everything must be checked with the originals. It is worthwhile remembering that the microfilm tapes of the original records can be ordered so that the information can be checked through the local Stake (Mormon) library.

The IGI is best for pre-1875 data, though data entries exist for later dates, submitted by individuals. It is possible to contact these individuals through Salt Lake City, but as the entries can be quite old this is usually not worth the effort.

Although the IGI is available on line, many of the places have the data on microfiche. A local Reference library might have the full IGI for the Country in the 1992 edition, and there might be another copy in the local record office. A new edition has been produced on CD ROM and is available through the Mormons. It might be a good idea to look at the 1988 edition as well as the 1992 as not all information has been carried over.   I do think that it is best to use the website.

Not all parishes are covered, so the Mormons produce their own index, the Parish and Vital Records Listing, available as a microfiche usually with the IGI.

IGI On-line

The IGI on line - Web access to the IGI

This is also the URL for the online access to Census indexes for the 1881 British Census and similar USA and Canadian ones.

To access the IGI go to the above link and Click on 'Birth' under 'Search Genealogical Records and Library' and then check on 'International Genealogical Index' on the left (or if you want the 1881 Census index then click on 'Census').

I find it quite useful to have access to the index on 'Wifi' whilst I am in the record offices.

IGI Guide (To the microfiche editions)

Main columns

Surname, Christian or given name, name of parent or spouse, type of event, date and place.


A = Adult christening,
B = Birth,
C = Christening,
D = Death,
F = Birth or Christening of first known child,
M = Marriage,
N = Census,
W = Will.
@ = (ampersand) relatives named in the original register of a marriage.
# = (hache) extra names in the register entry.
$ = (dollar) Grandparents or parents of a bride or groom given in a marriage record.
> = (more than) additional information available to direct descendants.


This page is compiled by Timothy J. Owston of York, England, March 2008.
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