International Genealogical Index

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

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.

Some of the information in the index was extracted from collections of vital and church records from the early 1500s to 1885. Extracted records are valuable sources of primary information. Strict rules against duplication from extracted records unfortunately resulted in the exclusion of some records.

Some of the information in the index was submitted by members of the Church about their ancestors. Loose rules for member submissions made duplicate records and inconsistent information common. The information is secondary and should be considered suspect. Always verify member submitted information against sources of primary information.


The latest website separates extracted records from member submissions so users will not confuse the two. Extracted records were separated into historical record collections according to  geography. These records can be searched separately or together with other indexed collections.

Member submissions were moved into the new FamilySearch tree and can be searched together with other user submissions.

Further Reading

Ancestry Insider Blog Series

See also: 

The following articles are related to the IGI as published on fiche, CD-ROM, and the old FamilySearch website: