Step 8. Find ancestors on the IGI
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Note: Some of the information in this section will become outdated when the Church’s new Unified System is in place. As parts of the new system come up, we will be advised through the Internet site at www.familysearch.org.
Pacific Island Guide Step 8. Find ancestors on the IGI
- 1 Things are changing
- 2 Manually check the International Genealogical Index (IGI)
- 3 Why do you need to use the IGI?
- 3.1 Special challenges with finding Polynesian names
- 3.2 Different ways of spelling names
- 3.3 Different dates of birth, marriage, or death for one ancestor
- 3.4 Different ways of entering the names of places and IGI regions
- 3.5 The ancestor is part of an ancient royal line
- 3.6 The ordinances were done, but they do not appear on the IGI
Things are changing
The International Genealogical Index (IGI) described in the following article is now part of new.FamilySearch.org. This program will eventually be available to users all over the world. The details of searching for ancestors in the former International Genealogical Index have changed. Please see the nearest Family History Center for help utilizing the International Genealogical Index database.
Manually check the International Genealogical Index (IGI)
The International Genealogical Index (IGI), sometimes called the Ordinance Index, is a computerized list of several hundred million names of deceased persons, including many Pacific islanders. For further details, see the following Wiki articles:
- International Genealogical Index (IGI)
- Finding temple ordinances in the IGI
- Ordinance Index (1840-1997)
The IGI is an index of temple ordinances of deceased persons. When names are submitted to a temple and after each completed temple ordinance, names are updated in the IGI. If a person was born 110 years ago or more, or the person was married 95 years ago or more, or if their records have been in the Deceased Membership Records File, their information should appear on the IGI. We can access the IGI at www.familysearch.org by selecting the Search tab and then International Genealogical Index, on the lefthand side of the screen.
Information is entered into the IGI as it was submitted to the temple, so some of the information may be incomplete or inaccurate. It is also possible for a person to have more than one record in the IGI, with slightly different details, if his or her work was done at different times by different people.
Note: Anyone can search the IGI for the name, location, and family relationships of a person.
To access temple ordinance information for deceased persons (ordinance performed, date of ordinance, temple of ordinance) Church members must register on the family history web site,familysearch.org. See your ward clerk first, so you can provide at the time you register the date you were confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and your Church membership number.
Why do you need to use the IGI?
The First Presidency has counseled us to avoid the duplication of temple ordinance work. Before we use the TempleReady program, we can ask for help in avoiding this duplication at a family history center.
Special challenges with finding Polynesian names
Because of differences in the way Islanders and Europeans kept track of names, dates, places, and life events, it can be especially challenging to find island ancestors’ names in the IGI. The following are some situations that might occur as we search the IGI, along with some suggestions for remedies.
Different ways of spelling names
Since the languages of the islands were not written until the mid 1800s, spelling was not standardized. Thus, the name Te Aroahenui may be spelled Tearoahenui or Te-aroahenui or Aroahenui or Te-aroa-henui or Te aroa henui. TempleReady can check names in theIGI as exact spellings or as standardized spellings. If we choose standardized spellings, theIGI will drop the spaces and change hyphens to spaces. It will keep the first syllable of the name and sort on it. Thus, Te Aroa Henui becomes Te, which is not helpful in finding duplicates. In summary, if someone else submitted our ancestor’s name for temple work, but spelled the name differently, TempleReady may not find our version in the IGI.
- To remedy this, we should search the IGI manually using all the spelling variations we can imagine.
Multiple names for one ancestor
Anciently, Polynesians were identified by only one name. Later, they began adding surnames. Some people were also given an honorary name by which they were known. Thus, it is possible that our ancestor was known by more than one name, any or all of which may be in the IGI. For instance, the name Tangata Tevita Niumeitolu Olakepa could have been submitted as Tangata, as Tangata Niumeitolu, as Tangata Olakepa, as Tangata Tevita Niumeitolu or as Tangata Tevita Niumeitolu Olakepa.
- If we know more than one name for our ancestor, we can remedy this by searching using each name as a surname.
For instance, in the example above, we could search using Niumeitolu, Tangata, and Olakepa as the surnames. We can use this same rule in searching other indexes.
Different dates of birth, marriage, or death for one ancestor
Polynesian genealogies are very accurate about names of people and their relationships through the generations, but since the old Polynesian genealogies were preserved by memory, only the names of persons, the histories and stories, wars and travels, and lines of descent were kept. No specific dates were kept prior to European contact, and even since the arrival of Europeans, few specific dates are available.
Different genealogists or tribal groups may estimate certain lines of a pedigree in a different manner than others. Since TempleReady requires dates to clear a name for ordinances, people submitting Polynesian names have had to estimate them. TempleReady only searches the IGI for dates one year before and after the event date we enter.
• To remedy this, search the IGI manually without using dates. If we find someone that looks like they might be a match, we can try to figure out whether or not it is the same person by comparing event locations and checking to see if they have the same spouse, parents, or children.
Different ways of entering the names of places and IGI regions
There are many ways of recording a location. For instance, one person may only include the village, such as ‘Uiha, while someone else may include the name of the island and region, such as ‘Uiha, Ha’apai, Tonga, Pacific Islands.
TempleReady will only search the IGI for the exact place we have listed. If someone else submitted our ancestor, but did not write the place the way we did, it will not recognize it as a duplicate. If they did not provide a place that is recognized by the IGI, the record would have been placed in the World Miscellaneous region of the IGI.
To remedy this, we should make sure to select the World Miscellaneous region as our region and All Miscellaneous Countries as the country. Also search the Pacific Island region for each name when manually searching the IGI. For Hawaiian ancestors, we should try using the United States as the region. If our ancestor had a surname, we can use the Internet site of www.familysearch.org and choose a generic search. All regions of the IGI as well as Ancestral File and some other Internet sites will be searched. If our ancestor had only one name, this generic search is not available. The computer will ask us for a surname, and if we cannot supply one, the search will not be made.
The ancestor is part of an ancient royal line
If we go back far enough in island genealogy, the same ancestors belong to the Maori, Hawaiian, French Polynesian, Tongan, Samoan, and other island peoples. These same ancient ancestors’ names could be pronounced and spelled differently in Maori, Hawaiian, Samoan, Tongan, Tahitian, Rarotongan, or other languages, even though they are the same person. We do not need to do the temple work for the ancient island royalty as it has already been done numerous times.
The ordinances were done, but they do not appear on the IGI
Manual Processing Collections, 1949–1981.
Before 1984, theIGI did not accommodate long names, people listed with only one name whose parents or grandparents were also listed with only one name, or estimated dates. Even though people with this type of information were not entered into the IGI, many had their temple ordinances performed, and that information was recorded manually on family group records. This special collection of family group records, called theManual Processing Collections, 1949–1981, has been microfilmed and stored in the Family History Library. Some of the names now appear on theIGI, but many do not.
- We can view these microfilms at the Family History Library or order them from a family history center near us.
The microfilm is located in the US/Canada film area, with the call numbers going from 1553385 to 1553391 (7 rolls). These microfilms list people by the island they are from and then alphabetically by surname, more or less. There is no overall index, so we may need to browse through all of the films.
Note: Searching these records is a time-consuming process. However, it may be worthwhile to view these records since they may be written in our ancestors’ handwriting, and since they may provide us with additional information that we would not have had otherwise. Follow the Spirit when deciding whether or not to search these records.
Records processed manually after 1981.
There is also a collection of family group records, mainly of island people, that were processed manually for temple ordinances after 1981, and are not yet on the IGI.
- We can view these family group records by calling Debbie Latimer at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City.
Copying temple information onto our PAF files
When you put your PAF diskette into TempleReady, you can select the Update Records option. The computer program will add to your files the ordinance information that matches the names and dates for ancestors on your records. you can get better results by selecting families rather than individuals.