International Genealogical Index

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The following blog articles will help answer questions you might have about about the IGI:

Ancestry Insider Blog Series

Historical Background

The International Genealogical Index was a family history computer file that listed several hundred million names of deceased persons from throughout the world. For each deceased individual, the index also listed vital information from a single event, such as birth or marriage. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints compiled the index and made it available free to the public. Most of the information in the index was from collections of vital records from the early 1500s to 1885. Volunteers copied the information from the vital records, and members of the Church submitted some information about their ancestors. With the variety of sources, duplicate and inconsistent information for an individual was common.

The Future

On the current, the International Genealogical Index is available as a single collection. However, the next version of will not include the International Genealogical Index. Instead, the records from the index will be divided back into the original collections that the information was copied from. This means you will be able to browse the records for just the place where your ancestor lived. It may also be easier to find other members of your ancestor's family in the records.

Further Reading

The following articles are related to using the current IGI for family history research: