Many of you who used our previous site will be pleased to know that you can now search for historical records using batch numbers from the International Genealogical Index.
To search by batch number:
- On the FamilySearch search page, click Advanced search. The Batch Number field appears.
Or to see the Batch Number field on the Search Results page, click New Search.
- To search for a specific person or family name within a batch, enter the name and other search criteria.
- In the Batch Number field, enter the batch number.
Tip: To see all of the records in the batch organized alphabetically by last name, leave the name and other fields blank. Just enter the batch number. Then use the filters to narrow in on the exact time period or place that you want.
- Click Search.
What Are Batch Numbers?
For many decades starting in the mid-1960s, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints copied key information from the vital records of many countries worldwide and entered that information into a computer. Most of these records were from the early 1500s to 1885.
The batch number identifies the specific collection of historical records that an extracted record came from. For example, batch C003712 refers to the collection “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.”
Most of the extracted records were published in the International Genealogical Index (IGI). Some were published in the Vital Records Index collections. These resources were searchable indexes to many of the world’s vital records—a valuable resource for genealogists.
Using batch numbers provided two main benefits to the researchers who used the previous version of familysearch.org:
- They let people search the International Genealogical Index for a specific collection of vital records.
- They let people find the original record. With the original record, they could make sure the extracted information was correct and see if it contained more information.
Batch Numbers and the New Version of FamilySearch.org
For people who already know batch numbers, this new feature provides a shortcut to searching a specific collection of records on the new version of our site.
If you do not know a batch number, you probably don’t need to worry about finding one. You can find the microfilm number and search a specific collection without using a batch number.
- To find the microfilm number, click the triangle (on the right) that expands the index entry. The number is labeled “source film number.”
- To search to a specific collection without a batch number, click the links under Browse by Location (on the main page) to find the collection. If the collection has been indexed, you will be able to search it.
Extracted Records Do Not Have Images
Because these extraction projects occurred so long ago, the extracted records are not yet connected to online images. If you want to see the original record, find the microfilm number. You can then either come to the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah or have the microfilm sent to a family history center near you.
For More Information
The FamilySearch Research Wiki contains a lot of information about the International Genealogical Index and its batch numbers. See the article International Genealogical Index (IGI).