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Finding L.D.S. Batch Numbers

Batch numbers are used to identify the sources of records included on the I.G.I. (International Genealogical Index). Now that the L.D.S. (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) have provided online search facilities to this unparalleled resource, but without as yet providing means of limiting name searches to particular localities, batch numbers have become a valuable search aid because they can be used on the >Custom Search page to restrict searches to a particular parish. Unfortunately the L.D.S. have not provided an online index to batch numbers, and unofficial listings, while useful, are very far from complete and are not completely accurate. However, by following the steps below, it is possible to use the existing L.D.S. place search facility to determine batch numbers yourself:-

Please note: batch numbers for entries extracted from Scottish Civil Registration records (1855-1875) do not appear to be available online.

1 Go to the L.D.S. Place Search page. You can also reach this page from the initial search page at http://www.familysearch.org - just select the "Custom" tab, then the "Family History Catalogue" link, and finally select "Place Search".
2 Enter the name of the parish or place in the Place Textbox and press the Search Button (or hit "Enter" on your keyboard"). You can limit the place search to a county or country by completing the optional "Part of" text box , but it is much safer to leave this blank and select from the resulting matches (step 3).
3 Select the appropriate location from the displayed list of place-name matches. A "No Match" does not necessarily mean that the place or parish you are seeking is not included on the I.G.I. The indexes are apparently listed under "old" parish names only, and there are many places (e.g. villages and hamlets, which are not parishes and there are many parishes which are too modern to be included. In both cases indexes for your place/parish may well be included as a "title" within an "old" parish entry. For "places" you need to find which "old" parish included that place, and for modern parishes you need to identify its "mother parish". (Many GENUKI county pages now include gazetteers and/or church/parish indexes which may help identify the appropriate parish name to use.)
4 Select "... - Church Records -Indexes" from the list of available topics. If this topic does not appear then unfortunately the parish is not included on the I.G.I. Please Note - the topic must be "Church Records - Indexes", NOT "Church Records".
5 Select the appropriate "Computer Printout" from the list of displayed titles. The list of displayed titles may include non-conformist churches located within the parish and also "daughter" parishes of the parish you originally specified. Where no denomination is given, the church may be assumed to belong to the Church of England/Church of Scotland. The term "Computer Printout" seems rather inappropriate as it does not refer to a hard-copy, but to a set of electronic records in the L.D.S. database.
6 Note the Batch Numbers (in the first row of the "Notes" section). If the term "Batch Number" does not appear, the selected records are not included on the I.G.I.
7 Produce a series of six digit numbers by combining each five digit number with each of the digits which follow the hyphen. For example, 15565-1,2 would give you 155651 and 155652.
8 Where prefix letter(s) is/are specified, prefix each 6-digit number with those letters. The resulting "letter + 6-digit" strings are the batch numbers for the desired records.
Otherwise, if no prefix is given, prefix each 6-digit number with M or E (for marriages), or P, C, I or J (for christenings). The resulting strings are potential batch numbers for the records in question and one or more of them will be valid.
In cases where the prefix is not specified, this step can only be a matter of trial and error - prefixes C, P and M are the most common prefixes and should be tried first, but E, I and J do occur quite regularly. Putative batch numbers can often be verified by making test searches using a very common surname. (Other prefix letters do exist but these relate to material submitted by L.D.S. members rather than to records resulting from the Church's record extraction programme.)

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[Last updated: 7 Apr 2013 - Brian Randell]


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