Batch Number Searching at FamilySearch.org

Long long ago . . . .

In days of yore . . . .

We used to be able to search on FamilySearch.org using batch numbers.  Well, batch number searching is back! This is great news, especially to those who used this excellent resource when it was a part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI).

The old, now closed International Genealogical Index (IGI) consisted of records from 2 sources – submissions by members of the LDS church and records extracted from microfilms (which were usually quite reliable).  The extracted records have been moved as individual collections by country to the Historical Records section of FamilySearch.org.

What are batch numbers? Information from films gathered in  many countries worldwide was extracted and organized by batch numbers (example: C003712 – refers to a batch from “England births and christenings 1538-1975″,  batches starting with an M denoted marriages).  “For over 30 years, volunteer indexers extracted this information from microfilm copies or microfilm hard copy print outs of the original records” (Research Wiki article – there are articles on each collection of records).

How big are these extracted collections? Here are some examples: go to FamilySearch.org then under Browse by location select United Kingdom (41). The following 3 collections are extracted: England Births and Christenings, 1538 to 1975 – 67,754,937 records England Deaths and Burials, 1538 to 1991 – 15,078,612 records England Marriages, 1538 – 1973 – 15,673,510 records Click on the title of each collection for more information. That is a total of over 98 million records!  Remember that extraction was not done for every location nor for every event.  Also remember that these collections of extracted records are only a small percentage of the over 2.6 billion historical records on FamilySearch.org. You can easily find similar collections for the other countries in the British Isles.

How do you find if you have an ancestor in an extracted batch? How do you find a batch number for an ancestor? Here are 2 ways:

1.  Search for an ancestor at FamilySearch.org and a batch number may be included in the results.  For example search for Peter Darker with the place England.  The results should include one from “England Births and Christenings 1538 to 1975.” Click on the name to expand the entry to see the transcription. If your ancestor was from an extracted entry, you should see a batch number. It may be listed as “indexing project (batch) number.”  You now have a choice!  You can either: (a) click on the batch number and a new window will open which shows the number of records in the batch at the top of the screen and by clicking in the upper left on New Search you can add a name (either surname or first name) to search within the batch. Or (b) Copy the batch number into a new search screen (click on the Tree in the top right to go back to the beginning and start a new search) after clicking on Advanced Search which reveals the Batch Number field.  Then paste in the Batch Number and add surname or first name to do a search

Tips: (i).  You can enter a surname to see all of the records by that surname in the batch. (ii)To see all of the records in the batch organized alphabetically by last name, leave the name and other fields blank and just use the batch number. Then you can use the filters to narrow in on the exact time period or place that you want. (iii)Combine this with the other search features. Of particular value is under View Relationship , click select parent.  Then put in the father’s first and last name and the mother’s first name to search for all their children.

2.  What if you don’t know a batch number for your ancestor? Would you like to know if records have been extracted from the parish where your ancestors lived? Do a google search for “Hugh Wallis” – and select http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~hughwallis/This is a long address to type hence easier to get there by google search unless you have the address saved as a Favourite or Bookmark.  Hugh Wallis has created an online database of extracted batches organized by county and parish.  You can see if records have been extracted for your parish, for what years, and what events (marriages or baptisms – never deaths).

This works well for England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, and the Channel Islands and less well for Canada and the USA (not so much data extracted). This works well for the countries in the British Isles, but what about the rest of the world?  Was extraction done in other countries?  Yes!  Price and Associates, a professional genealogy research service, has been kind enough to provide us with some links for other countries.  Go to http://www.pricegen.com/ then click on Resources – then click on Global – then click on Global Batch Numbers for the International Genealogical Index – then scroll down to the table which includes links to 18 countries as well as countries in the British Isles.

For more information on batch numbers search in the Research Wiki at FamilySearch.org (under Learn). There is also a link to an article at Genuki to finding LDS Batch Numbers –http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/FindingBatchNos.html

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