Monday, 28 May 2012

IGI returns to FamilySearch

I must admit to being somewhat confused about the following development from FamilySearch ( The site's blog has announced that it has now added the IGI (the International Genealogical Index) to its website!

Wasn't part of the spiel about the introduction of the new site that the old IGI was to be effectively killed off, to become an ex-parrot, to cease to be? I was under the impression that the whole point was to actually recategorise the IGI's holdings, by both splitting it into two new collections - Historic Records for extracted records and Family Trees for patron submitted records - and to add new digitised collections to its Historic Records collections. A lot of very irritated users were told that they would have to get used to the new system.

The previous IGI's holdings are now available via a new IGI Collections page, which can be located in the All Record Collections tab or directly via The page categorises the records as follows:
  • Community Indexed IGI (Vital and church records from the early 1500s to 1885)
  • Community Contributed IGI (Personal family information submitted to the LDS Church)

I am not a hundred per cent sure what the benefit of consulting records on the new IGI page would be compared to the equivalent hosted records on the Historic Records page. If I consult the Scotland, Births and Baptisms, 1564-1950 collection in the Historic Records database, this gives me extracted records from both the old IGI and the British Isles Vital Records Collection (a successor project), whereas the IGI page would only give me those from the IGI surely?

Many will of course be glad to see the IGI back, and now split into two categories. But is this really just an admission of failure in trying to inform people about the benefits of accessing the records through the new set-up, a simple means to stop cries of "I wish they'd bring back the IGI" or is there an actual benefit to this?

Genuinely a bit perplexed here!

(With thanks to the BI-Gen blog)


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  1. I had a theory - it turns out to be wrong.

    According to the AncestryInsider, (6 January 2011 - "Why Was the IGI?") records extracted from PRs through the "official" process were sometimes not loaded after all when a member submitted batch had already indexed them. "Why duplicate?" seemed to be the logic. The original IGI contained the member submissions - the new collections don't, but neither do they have the official extractions since they were never loaded.

    An example quoted by the Insider is William Bull, baptised "01 SEP 1550 Shustoke, Warwick, England", "Form submitted by a member of the LDS Church". This is in the old IGI, doesn't appear in the new collections - but then neither does it appear in the "new" IGI, despite the name "Community Indexed IGI ... church records" seeming to perfectly describe this case!

    So - I'm puzzled too....