If, like me, you’ve been researching on FamilySearch.org for several years and have been accustomed to finding things on the old site and are struggling with the new interface, you’ll be happy to know that you can now search for historical records using batch numbers from the International Genealogical Index (IGI).

What’s a Batch Number?

“For many decades starting in the mid-1960s, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints copied key information from the vital records of many countries worldwide and entered that information into a computer. Most of these records were from the early 1500s to 1885.

The batch number identifies the specific collection of historical records that an extracted record came from. For example, batch C003712 refers to the collection “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.”

Most of the extracted records were published in the International Genealogical Index (IGI). Some were published in the Vital Records Index collections. These resources were searchable indexes to many of the world’s vital records—a valuable resource for genealogists.

Using batch numbers provided two main benefits to the researchers who used the previous version of familysearch.org:

  • They let people search the International Genealogical Index for a specific collection of vital records.
  • They let people find the original record. With the original record, they could make sure the extracted information was correct and see if it contained more information.”

If you already know about batch numbers the new feature gives you a shortcut to researching a specific collection. And, if  you don’t  know a batch number, all you have to do is find the microfilm number and search a specific collection.

To read more about it and see detailed instructions with visuals on how to do the search, click on New IGI Batch Number Search.


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