Thursday, July 8, 2010
Is the IGI on the FamilySearch Beta Site?
I've read two genealogy articles recently that claimed that portions of the International Genealogical Index are now available on the LDS FamilySearch Beta website.
However, I can find no databases in the FamilySearch Beta (or Record Search Pilot site) that are taken from the International Genealogical Index. Are there any, yet? If so, which and where?
The International Genealogical Index is still available on the "old" or "classic" LDS FamilySearch site, included in the "Advanced Search" list of collections. The FamilySearch Wiki describes the IGI as:
"The International Genealogical Index is a computer file that lists several hundred million names of deceased persons from throughout the world. It also lists some vital information from a single event, such as a birth or marriage date and place. Many names in the index come from vital records from the early 1500s to 1885. Others have been submitted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. With the variety of sources, duplicate information for a single individual is common."
The extracted vital records were indexed from microfilms of original source vital records. Unfortunately, the submitted vital records include many duplicate entries and many erroneous entries. It is nearly impossible to separate the wheat (the extracted records) from the chaff (the submitted records) in results from the current IGI database on the http://www.familysearch.org/ site.
My understanding was that the extracted vital records (from the 1500s to 1885) would be in one or more databases on the FamilySearch Beta site and that the submitted vital records (mainly submitted by LDS church members) would be included in the New FamilySearch Family Tree, attached to specific persons.
The extracted vital records are extremely useful - they are one of the significant online database for records in many states (e.g., Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and New Jersey town records before 1850, New York church records before 1850) and countries (e.g., English parish records before 1837!). While the IGI extracted records are not original source records, they are often reliable derivative source records obtained from an original source. As such, the IGI extracted records are excellent finding aids for the original records in the original sources. I look forward to using them when they are available on the FamilySearch Beta site.
Does any reader or LDS church member know if, or when, these extracted IGI Records will be available on the FamilySearch Beta site? Will they be provided by US state and/or country?