An Overview of International Genealogical Index Batch Numbers
Batch numbers were assigned by the LDS Church to help organize their Parish Record transcriptions. The numbers uniquely identify transcribed records as to Type, Parish and Date Span. There are numerous ways to locate International Genealogical Index Batch numbers. It's critical to know the basic structure behind the numbers to search effectively.
This Project is concerned only with "Extracted" batches. Those records which were transcribed by the LDS volunteers from films of Church records. The International Genealogical Index contains many records which were submitted by individuals. The source of information for these submissions is unknown, and they are not assigned "normal" batch numbers. Submitted records usually have batch numbers without an initial letter. We are not indexing submitted batches.
Extracted Batch numbers consist of an initial letter followed by 6 numeric digits as follows:
- ( A ) - Record Type
- - The first letter indicates the "type" of record.
- - In nearly all cases, batch numbers for births/christenings begin with a C.
- - In a few cases, they may begin with a J and, very rarely, a K.
- - Batch numbers for Marriages begin with an M.
- NNNNN - Parish Identifiers
- - The first 5 numeric digits uniquely identify the parish.
- - All transcriptions from this parish will have the same 5 numerals.
- - Only the first letter and the last number will change
- ( # ) - Date Span
- - The last numeric digit identifies the dates covered (year span).
- - The numbers were assigned as transcriptions commenced, which means the numbers are not necessarily in chronological order. ( 1 ) might identify a date span later than ( 2 ) , for example.
- - Some batches have multiple date spans. They might cover, for example, 1823-1842 and 1863-1880. You may find that another batch "fills the gap" 1843-1862, but not necessarily.
- - You might find batches that overlap in some parishes. ( 1 ) might be 1823-1842 and ( 2 ) might be 1837-1862, for example. I believe this is the result of transcriptions from different Sokns (sub-parishes) within the main Prestegjeld / Parish. List these batches chronologically based on the beginning year during your research.
To find the all numbers for any given parish, you only need to find one of the batch numbers. If you have found, for example, that batch number C427932 was for Aas in Akershus for the years 1814-1840, you can find all the other transcribed batches by making changes to the first letter (Record Type) and the last number (Date Span)
- Open an IGI search page
- Choose Norway as the Region, then enter the known Batch Number.
- Change the known number so it begins with C and ends in 1. Do not change the middle 5 numerals. Click Search.
- If there are no records found, that batch is not transcribed.
- If there are results, click any individual to see the Batch Number and the Date Span at the lower left of the record.
- Record the number and dates.
- Use your "Back" button to return to the search page.
- Change the last numeral in the Batch number to a 2 and Search again.
- Repeat these steps until you have tried every number 1 through 9.
- If there were gaps in the series ( 1, 2, no 3, then a 4) ( no 1, then 2, 3, 4) , try changing the first letter for that batch to a J. Gaps are not uncommon, meaning the batch is not transcribed yet.
- Now change the first letter to an M and the last number to 1.
- Repeat the process used for the Birth/Christenings to find the Marriage batches.
- HINT: I only write the full Date Span and Batch Number for the first batch I find in my series. After that, I need only write C2, C3, M1, M2 etc. because I know the middle 5 numerals are always the same.
- Now organize your batches in chronological order. See the example below.
Here is an example of a "set" of batch numbers for a fictitious parish, "Sumplacen". This set has some of the typical situations you will encounter.
- - The middle 5 numerals "44444" identify all the batches as belonging to Sumplacen.
- - Since I have the middle 5 numerals, I use C4, C5, M1 etc. for the other batches.
- - Notice Christenings 1727-1807 begin with a J
- - In Christenings, batch C444443 is "missing", not transcribed.
- - Batches J444441 and C444442 "overlap"
- - Batches C444444, C444445 and C444446 are "out of order". List them by date, not number.
- - Batches C444444 and C444445 are for the same date span. Not uncommon, sometimes male/female.
- - Batch M444441 has multiple date spans. The two spans are entered separately.
- - Batch M444442 'fills the gap" in M444441. Arrange by dates.
The quickest way to find a starting point, is to check the FamilySearch Vital Records Index.
- - Open a Vital Records Index search page
- - Select Country, County and City/Town for the parish name you are seeking.
- - If the parish is present in the City/Town list, enter "Ole" in the first name field and click Search.
- - Click on any individual result and record the batch number and dates covered.
- To see a list of everything covered for the parish in the VRI, click on the parish name beside "Collection Details:"
- - Both the IGI and VRI use the same first 5 numeric digits to identify the parish.
- - Now open an IGI search page
- - Enter the recorded batch number there, choose Norway as Region.
- - Change the first letter to C and the last numeral to 1 and click Search.
- - Change the last number 1-9 and first letter C to M as described in "first letter, last number".
The Census Method - Second Best for a Specific Parish
Use this method If the parish you are seeking is not listed in the VRI.
Here, you locate an individual that was born in the parish in an on-line census, then search for that person in the IGI. You will have a fairly accurate birth year, and you can choose a name that is less common than Ole since you know he exists.
The "Ole married Anny" Method - not Parish Specific
I have found this method of random searching to be more productive than searching for birth/christenings. There are obviously fewer marriages than there are births, so you are searching a smaller database. This method works well when you are searching for any of several parishes, not just one.
- - Open an IGI search page
- - Enter Ole and Nilsen as First / Last names and Anne as the spouse.
- - Try +/- 10 years of 1850 first.
- - Choose Norway and the Fylke you are searching in.
- - You can, of course use any names. These are just my choices.
- - Browse the results for any parishes you are interested in.
- - Try different names and dates if you miss the parish(es) of interest.
The "Ole or Anna's Birth" Method - not Parish Specific
If the above methods fail, you are stuck with this tedious method
It involves searching for a common name birth/christening in the IGI, and tends to yield too many results. Large numbers of "submitted" records tend to "get in your way".
- - Open an IGI search page.
- - Choose Norway and the County / Fylke of your parish
- - Enter Ole as the first name. Enter Olsen as the last name. (Or any common names)
- - Enter a birth/christening date with +/- 2 years to limit the results a bit. Try 1850 first.
- - Click search and browse the results for any individual born in the parish.
- - If you can't find any, try a different year (1825, 1875, 1800 etc.) or, finally, remove the date altogether.
- - Remember you only need one valid batch number to find the rest.
- - This method is time consuming, since you will get so many results from all the parishes in the County / Fylke, but it can be useful when you are searching randomly for batches in several parishes.
- - The FamilySearch server may time out on you if your search is too "broad". Try a slightly less common name if this happens, or narrow the date range.
- - When there are more than 200 results for your search, you click "next" at the bottom of the results list for more individuals.
IMPORTANT: If you wish to contribute to our Batch Index by finding numbers for all or part of the parishes in a fylke, please contact us first. It would be dreadful to spend hours or days researching the numbers, only to find someone else has duplicated your efforts.
Contact The Batch Project
Make a List
When you are seeking all (or several of) the parishes in a County / Fylke, you first need a list of the parishes.
- John Follesdal has some excellent lists for most fylkes.
Go to his "Norwegian Genealogy Resources" page.
In the "County Specific" table, choose the County/Fylke. Scroll down through the resources, looking for a heading "LDS Family History Library online catalog". He usually has a link called "list of clerical districts in (Fylke)". Go to that list, highlight the table, and print it using "File / Print / Selection".
- Norway's "Riksarkivet" webpage also lists the parishes of each fylke.
Go to RiksArkivet Kirkebøker.
Click on the County / Fylke for a list of Parishes. Again, print the list using File / Print / Selection.
Pencil and Paper Work
Get a writing pad and pencil and write the names of all your parishes as headings, allowing about 1/3 of a page for each parish.
Because our Batch Index is for use with the IGI, we are using the Parish names as they are spelled in the IGI to avoid confusion. Remember to record the IGI spelling beside the Norwegian spelling as you locate records in the IGI.
Start with the Easy Ones
Using the VRI search method, check for each parish in your list. If the parish is listed, write the date span and batch number from any individuals record beside the parish name. Don't bother searching the IGI until you have gone through your list and recorded one number for each parish that exists in the VRI. It doesn't matter if it's a birth or a marriage.
Now open an IGI search page and find all the transcribed batches using the "first letter, last number" technique.
Record Your Findings
Record the "IGI spelling" of the parish beside the Norwegian spelling if different.
Record the batch numbers, arranged according to date. Make two columns on your worksheet under the Parish heading, one for births, one for marriages, like this:
(IGI Parish Spelling)
1727-1807 C2 1726-1807 M1
1807-1814 C428201 1807-1813 M2
- Notice, I only need the entire number one time. For the others, I just use the letter and last number. I know the middle 5 numbers are the same.
- Also notice C428201 has later dates than C428202. This is common. Arrange the batches by date.
- Lastly, notice C428202 has two date spans. Enter these batches on two separate lines as above.
The Parishes not in the VRI
You now have the parishes present in the VRI completed. The quickest way to find many of the "missing" parishes is to use the "Ole married Anny" search method.
- Follow directions for this method and browse for any result in any parish you are "missing".
- I use +/- 10 years when I am searching for numerous parish batches.
- Just record one batch number and the dates for each parish at this time.
- IMPORTANT - If you see a parish which is not on your list of parishes, record the Parish / Dates / and Number. See the discussion about "Sokn Batches"
- Try different dates until you get as many of your "missing" parishes as possible.
- Now go back to each of the "new found" parishes and use the "first letter, last number" technique to complete the parish.
The "Stubborn" Parishes
Before you spend any more time searching for the parishes you are still missing, you should check the history of the parish. I have only seen one batch which had an end date in the 1900's and that ended the year 1900. Many parishes were not formed until well into the 1900's. Those parishes will not have any batches transcribed for the IGI.
- Open the Family History Library Place Search Page
- Enter the parish name as it is spelled in your list. The Library Catalog uses Norwegian spellings. It does, however, allow the use of A for Å, O for Ø, and AE for Æ.
- Choose the result for your parish
- Choose "Church Records"
- Click the "Kirkeboker - Dates" link
- The Title Details will tell you if the parish was "separated out" and when.
- If the date is after 1900, you can stop searching. There will be none.
- Record that fact on you worksheet.
- For Parishes that are formed before 1900, it's a good idea to record the begin and end dates on your worksheet.
The Last Few Unfound Parishes
You should now be down to a very few parishes that are still missing. It's likely they have very few records transcribed in a brief time span, so you haven't chanced across them.
- Check the dates for the parish from your previous Title Details searches.
- Use the Census Method and search for individuals born in the parish every 5 years beginning with the parishes "start date"
- Try searching the IGI for Ole, then Anne with no last names, born +/- 2 years , every 5 years, as above.
You may now, quite honorably, give up on the still missing parish(es). Some parishes simply have no batches transcribed. Just write "none found" beside the Parish name on your worksheet.
By now you probably have found several parishes which do not appear in the list of parishes you began with. This is because some sokns or sub-parishes have large numbers of records, and in an effort to limit the size of batches, the LDS decided to batch the sokn records separate from the main parish.
- For any "new" parishes you found, find the rest of the batch numbers using "first letter, last number"
- Make a note on your worksheet that the parish was not found in your list.
When you think you have completed all the parishes on your list, both Christenings and Marriages, you are ready to submit your research.
- - You will be using the Batch Submittal Form.
- - Work carefully when entering your data to avoid errors.
- - Enter the Christening and Marriage dates and batch numbers for each parish separately.
- - Enter batches ordered by date, as you have them organized on your worksheet.
- - There is room for six batches of each record type on the form. If there are more than six batches for a parish, enter a comment "Page 1 of 2" and use a second submittal for the extra batches with a comment "Page 2 of 2".
- - When submitting "sokn batches", enter a comment like "Not on parish list" or something to notify me.
- - Lastly, for parishes you were unable to find anything for, do a submittal with a comment "None Found"
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