I want to pass along a web site that can provide information about what is on individual microfilms in the LDS IGI records. The IGI is available at www.familysearch.org and you can search by surname or given name and surname.
Dick Eastman's blog pointed me to the Ohio Genealogy web site which lets you search by IGI Batch number. Let them explain it:
There is a great deal of information which can be found on the website listed above to those who know how to search it. Using the county batch record numbers is a quick way to figure out if your ancestors record is located at a county courthouse in Massachusetts. The church members have voluntarily traveled around the country and microfilmed available courthouse and church records and made them searchable online. Below is listed the batch record numbers by county which are to the indexes for these microfilmed records. Basic information is provided for each record. You can use the information to order a copy of your ancestors record from a family history library near you or a specific county courthouse as the volume of the probate record is often listed. Try many different spellings for your ancestors surnames as courthouse clerks often mispelled first and last names.
When you go to the www.ohgen.net site, you can click on a state on the map or in the list of states. You then will go to a page that lists records by counties. For the county you want, you can click on each item in the list and see if your ancestor target is included. As an example, I went to the Massachusetts page, and then:
1) Scrolled down to the Suffolk County listings, and clicked on the first one, "Births, 1630 - 1699".
2) The LDS FamilySearch IGI query box comes up. I don't know the town for this batch, so I input "John" in the Given Name field and select "North America" in the Region field so I can determine what town the records are for. I hit "Search"
3) I get a list of more than 200 "John" people, but what I want to know is the town - it is Boston.
4) Now, if I want a list of Smith persons in this batch, I can go back to the IGI query box, input "Smith" in the Surname field and select "North America" in the "Region" field, and hit "Search."
5) The results page shows 96 records for births of Smith children.
6) If I am interested in one of these, say #88, Rebecca Smith, I can click on her name and see that she was born 26 Nov 1671 and her parents were Thomas and Rebecca Smith.
If you click on the "Source Call No" link, you can see the citation of the record source, and the film or fiche number of the source.
Not every LDS microfilm or record batch is included yet in this web site. But a great number are. These are all Extracted records that came from some sort of record book - not the records submitted by LDS church members. In general, the extracted data is fairly reliable.
If you are searching for an elusive ancestor and don't know the locality, then you should use the IGI at
www.familysearch.org to try to find him or her. If you find a person of interest, then you can use this www.ohgen.net site to see what other persons of the same surname are in the records.