The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (often referred to as the LDS) has made the International Genealogical Index (the "IGI") available on the internet at http://www.familysearch.org and provided a very effective searching capability. However, it is not always easy to locate your ancestors (even if they are there in the IGI) using the search mechanisms provided at that site. This is because a search by last name only is not permitted unless you search within a single batch of records at a time or, at minimum, across the entire country (not even a single county let alone a town). If you have a rare name this might be OK but what if you are looking for Smith or Jones?
The LDS has organised the records in the IGI into 'batches'. These batches relate to how and when the information was extracted from source material.
Much has been written elsewhere about how the batches are organised and some very good websites produced and maintained containing this information. For a detailed explanation of the batch numbering system there is a very good article at http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazfd/gazfd36.htm and another by the same author at http://globalgenealogy.com/globalgazette/gazfd/gazfd40.htm. (Warning, some of the links on this site are out of date as this article was written in 1999).
Another batch number related site which I used to use many times to great effect was located at http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~tyeroots/index4.html. Recent attempts at accessing this page have, however, failed so it appears that it may have been discontinued. This contained a list of batch numbers that a lot of people put a lot of work into transcribing from microfiche for which they are to be highly commended.
When using such sites as the excellent one mentioned above I have often wondered if all the batches were present and I have found that manually typing the batch numbers into the IGI search screen can be tedious. I therefore decided to make an exhaustive search of the likely ranges of batch numbers and create a database of those numbers and the source records that they apply to. I have searched all the possible numbers in the ranges shown below. For each batch I extracted the church or chapel (if specified), town, county and country names of the first record that appears when it is called up in my browser. I then organised them by country and county and created this website. A very powerful feature that I have included is a hotlink from each batch number to the actual search engine provided at http://www.familysearch.org, including the ability to enter the surname you are looking for. This makes it very easy to search all the batches for a particular geographic location using just the last name you are searching for - something that is not possible directly from the LDS site without doing a lot of typing.
The ranges of possible batch numbers that I have searched is as follows (they apply to the whole British Isles except where noted):
|C300000-C400000||No corresponding M batches found in the range M300000-M400000|
|C500000-C600000 (North America)||M500000-M600000 (North America)|
|C700000-C710000 (Ireland)||M700000-M710000 (Ireland)|
|C710000-C800000 (North America)||M710000-M800000 (North America)|
(The E series seems to be mixed christenings and marriages - they are marked as "misc." in the index and listed in the marriages column on this site since they are mostly marriages)
|J000000-J150000 (Males only)|
|K000000-K150000 (Females only - numbers correspond to the J series for males)|
|J500000-J600000 (Males only - North America)|
|K500000-K600000 (Females only - North America - numbers correspond to the J series for males)|
Some batches relate to more than one town, parish, church or chapel and are identified as such by ** beside them in the county pages. Clicking on the ** will display a page for that batch listing all the locations that were found therein. In addition there are some batches that begin with the letter T (but see the FAQ about these batches) and some in the series identified above which relate to more than one place. This was particularly the case for the Channel Islands, Ireland and the counties of Norfolk and Suffolk. So as not to clutter up the regular county listings with these batches there is a separate set of pages relating to them which you can access by clicking here.
In the ranges listed above I found a total of over 50,000 different batch numbers which shows the enormity of the task that has been undertaken by the LDS and for which we as genealogists should be immensely grateful. I will not reiterate in detail here the standard warnings about relying on the IGI - as with any secondary source it should only be used as a finding aid and the primary source material should be referred to for definitive information. There ARE mistakes (I have found more than one with my own relatives) but, nevertheless, used properly it is indispensible. I hope that this site will make it even more useful.
Please note that I have deliberately excluded batch numbers that may be less reliable (such as all numeric numbers), being LDS member submitted entries and the like. If you do a general search for a name at the familysearch.org site you might find additional records there which may have varying degrees of accuracy and reliability.
If you have any suggestions for improvements, enhancements, or new features that I might be able to implement please e-mail me at e-mail me. I have already received a number of excellent suggestions, many of which I have incorporated. Many thanks for those.
OK - enough of that - "How do I use THIS site?" I hear you asking. Well, simply click on the country of interest below and see where that takes you!!
Click here to visit the "Frequently Asked Questions" page.
If you don't find the answer there please e-mail me.
This site is Copyright © 2002, Hugh Wallis. All Rights Reserved
The batch numbers on this site belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
This page was last updated on 20th April, 2002