Batch Number Searching on FamilySearch

Batch Number Searching on FamilySearch

Many of the extracted vital and parish records from the original International Genealogical Index (IGI), as well as some of the collections created through FamilySearch Indexing, are part of FamilySearch's Historical Records Collection. For genealogists who previously used batch numbers in the IGI, batch number search in the Historical Records Collection offers a shortcut to searching a specific records collection. Batch numbers also offer yet another way to manipulate your results at to find what you're looking for.

What Is a Batch Number?

Entries in the IGI come from two major sources of information: 1) individual submissions submitted by members of the LDS church and 2) information extracted by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from parish records and other vital records of birth, marriage and death from around the world. The latter group of extracted records are the ones that have been moved from the IGI into the Historical Records Collection. Batch numbers were also used to identify some of the record groups in FamilySearch's Vital Records Index collections, as well as assigned to many of the collections of indexed records that have been added through the work of volunteers and FamilySearchIndexing.

Each group of records submitted has been assigned a batch number, which identifies the specific collection of historical records that an extracted record came from. For example, batch M116481 refers to the collection “Scotland Marriages, 1561-1910,” specifically marriages for Lanark, Lanarkshire, Scotland for the period 1855 to 1875. Records from a single parish will generally be grouped into anywhere from one to several batches. If a batch number begins with an M (marriage) or C (christening), then it usually means the information was extracted from original parish records.

How to Search by Batch Number

  1. On the FamilySearch Historical Records Collection search page, select Advanced Search to use the Batch Number field.
  2. From a Search Results Page, click on New Search in the upper left-hand corner to bring up extra search fields for narrowing your search, including the Batch Number.

With the batch number entered you aren't required to complete any other field. You can enter only a surname to bring up all records from that batch/collection for that name. Or you can enter a first name only if you aren't sure of a surname spelling. To find all children baptized in a particular parish you might try entering only the names (or just surnames) of the two parents. Or to view all extracted records from the batch as a single alphabetical file enter the batch number only, without a name or other information.

How to Find Batch Numbers

Many of the IGI and FamilySearch Indexing entries in the FamilySearch Historical Records Collection include a batch number in the source information at the bottom of an individual record page, as well as the microfilm number from which the batch was extracted (labeled source film number or film number). You can also find this information by clicking the little down triangle next to a name on the Search Results page to expand the index entry.

An easy shortcut to finding batch numbers for a specific parish is offered at Hugh Wallis' Web site, IGI Batch Numbers - British Isles and North America (United States, Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Wales and the Channel Islands). His direct links no longer work with the new FamilySearch site (they still go to the old IGI site which will disappear at some future date), but you can still copy the batch number and paste it directly into the FamilySearch Historical Records Collection search form.

Batch Number Guides

Guides to batch numbers for many other countries have also been created and put online by genealogists. Some such IGI Batch Number Web sites include:

  • Batch Numbers de los paises latinoamericanos - IGI batch numbers for the countries of Spain, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Peru and Mexico.
  • Numéros de BATCHS pour le Pays Basque et la Navarre - Batch numbers for the Basque Country (Spain) and Navarre.
  • IGI batchnummers van Nederland en België - IGI batch numbers for the Netherlands and Belgium
  • IGI og VRI Batch-numre for Danmark, Norge og Sverige - Batch numbers for Denmark, Norway and Sweden.
  • Les numéros de batch de l'IGI - Search the index or browse by département to find Batch Numbers for France.
  • IGI Index: Deutsches Batchnummern Verzeichnis - Browse for your German town of interest to find batch numbers specific to Germany.
  • Batch Numbers de Italia - IGI batch numbers for Italy.
  • Mexico IGI batch numbers - More than 3579 batch numbers for 32 Mexican states have been added so far.
  • Batch numbers de las parroquias españolas microfilmadas - IGI batch numbers for parishes in Spain.

One important reminder. The IGI, as helpful as it is, is a collection of "extracted" records, which means that there are likely to be some mistakes and overlooked records introduced during the extraction/indexing process. It is best to follow up on events found in all indexed records by viewing the original parish records, or microfilm copies of those records. All records indexed by batch number in the FamilySearch Historical Records Collection are available for viewing via microfilm loan at your local Family History Center.