Using the IGI for Wales and Monmouthshire


The first section below is based on C.P. Lewis' "Using the IGI for Wales and Monmouthshire," Gwent Family History Society J., vol. 3, no. April, pp.5-9, 1982.

Because of the late development of the use of surnames in Wales, where the uses of patronymics continued in many places until into the 19th century, the Welsh IGI has both a surname index (SN) and a given name index (GN). Before 1813 parish registers did not make the surname explicit: The IGI assumes, in all cases before 31st December 1812, and of course wrongly, that the child took its father's christian name as its surname. Thus when William, son of John and Sarah Thomas was baptized at Cowbridge, Glamorgan on 17th October 1783, he appears on the microfiche thus:-

In GN, indexed under William:

  • William (son of) John Thomas/Sarah

In SN, indexed under John:

  • John, William (son of) John Thomas/Sarah

He does not appear in the surname index under Thomas.

Early registers in Wales often give a string of patronymics such as 'Rachel d. of Thomas John Charles' (baptized at Panteg, Mon., on 25th March 1741) . . . The Morman computer assumes the first two are the important ones and totally discards the rest. So the Panteg entry becomes:-

  • GN Rachel (d. of) Thomas John
  • SN Thomas, Rachel (d. of) Thomas John

Although this is the basic system, which applies to the vast majority of entries, it is not a hard and fast rule. A lot seems to depend on the intelligence or whim of the individual who made the original input into the computer. Several examples of 'multiple' names can in fact be found in full in the index, and also some baptisms before 1813 which have been indexed under the correct surname.


This second section is based on advice given in the  Glamorgan mailing list in May 2018

Monmouthshire and the IGI

The IGI materials have been put into separate datasets for each country and event type.

FamilySearch puts Monmouthshire  in England so one record set you can look at for Monmouthshire IGI data is England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 https://www.familysearch.org/search/collection/1473014.

Because FamilySearch now requires anyone using the website to log in with their free account ID and password, clicking on the direct link will send you to a page to log in before allowing you to search the index.

FamilySearch.org is the website that the "Mormons" use to post genealogical information online so if you want the IGI data that is the website you need to use.

You will not see IGI in any of the titles or labeling. 

When you click on a person's name in the search result list you will then be able to see the batch number and microfilm number listed.

The batch number helps verify that you are looking at IGI data.