Most of you have noticed that the International Genealogical Index (IGI) is missing from the new FamilySearch.org website. The old site with its IGI will soon go away. That makes it vitally important to learn the answer to the question, “Where did the IGI go?”
Member submissions—which are conclusionary information—have been moved to the place where genealogical conclusions should be kept: the new FamilySearch (NFS) conclusion tree. Some of you don’t have access to the NFS tree. Be patient. It is coming. Until then, ask family history center (FHC) staff to perform searches for you. This will search all the conclusions that were in the IGI, plus all those in Ancestral File, and many that were in Pedigree Resource Files.
In instances where submitters are still active genealogists, they have “claimed” their submissions and made their current contact information available. Otherwise, you must still resort to utilizing batch numbers. Regardless, a tree is a much better place to store genealogical conclusions.
Data extracted from parish and vital records is the other source of data in the IGI. This extracted data has been published as Historical Record Collections (HRC) on FamilySearch.org.
Unlike the IGI, HRC Search is being built for genealogists. There is no need to throw away extracted names. There is no need to check the batch number to distinguish extracted data from member submissions. There is no need to use the batch number as a substitute for a citation. No “batch ugly” workaround is required to search individual towns and parishes. (See “How is the IGI?”)
Remember last week I showed side-by-side search results from the IGI and HRCs of all the individuals named Bull in Shustoke, Warwick, England. (See “Why Was the IGI?”)
For the IGI I searched as shown below on the left to get the results shown on the right. I could not search on “Shustoke” because the IGI Search has no box for entering parish. I had to look up the batch number (essentially a parish code number) for Shustoke and use it.
For HRCs, to receive the same results, all I needed to enter was “Bull” and “Shustoke,” as shown below left.
In my opinion, the new tree and the new website offer an improvement over the IGI. Does that mean there is no room for improvement? Of course not. Here’s a quick list of concerns:
- Lists of search results do not display the same information as the IGI. Compare the images above. The new FamilySearch.org website does not display gender, nor event type, date, and complete location.
- The film number in search results is not linked to the new catalog as it was in the IGI.
- I’d like to see an official statement regarding the number of extracted entries moved from the IGI and the number that have not been moved, if any.
- I’d like to see more obvious identification of collections originating from the IGI.
- As we saw last week, these collections are missing some of the extracted entries. I believe this continues to be the case in most HRCs. I think the collection wiki articles ought to alert users to this serious limitation. (Insider Hint: I believe IGI entries from batches with missing entries are identified in HRCs by a “system origin” ending with “ODM.” See example.)
- The Parish and Vital Records Listing (PVRL) fiche gave collection coverage by parish, denomination, and time period. Vital Record collections on the old, classic.familysearch.org provided the same. Wiki articles ought to give the same level of information so users know what is covered and what needs to be searched via other sources.
- While not a complete citation, the PVRL often gave more information than the catalog entry for the film, allowing creation of an adequate citation.
- I endorse the source issues GeneJ identified in “Please, Let’s Not Wiki FamilySearch Historical Record Collection Sources,” on the They Came Before blog. What a mess. It’s going to take several articles for me to explain what FamilySearch needs to do to fix their sources.
- There are other, oft repeated search problems. I won’t bother to reiterate them here.
- I haven’t considered possible IGI or batch number issues from NFS. Any volunteers?
Well, kind readers, in six articles I have given the long answer to a short question. Let me wrap up with a single sentence summary.
Member submissions went to NFS and extractions went to Historical Record Collections.
That is where the IGI went.