The IGI 1993 contains 245 entries for the surname ARTHUR and its close variants extracted from West Lothian paroch registers. The entries include birth, baptism and marriage events - but no deaths. The earliest entry for this surname is dated 1608 and the last 1900.
The IGI is an index of all temple ordinances performed by Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) on behalf of deceased persons. To do these ordinances, Mormons must have the name, birthdate, birthplace, and parents of individuals, and for marriage sealings, we must have names of bride and groom, date & place of marriages.
The IGI contains this information for over 200 million people from all over the world. And to obtain this kind of information, the Church sends teams of records specialists to microfilm the original records of churches, towns, private genealogical collections, cemeteries, and so forth. Then members carefully extract the names and vital information, and send them to the LDS temples where the temple work is done for them.
Following the temple work, the names are included in new updates of the IGI. Approximately a million names are being added to the IGI each month.
The IGI also contains information which was submitted by individual members from records which they searched out themselves. As you look at this information, you need to remember that the information in the IGI is "extracted" information, and therefore subject to the extractors transcriptional and translation errors. Because it's extracted, there may be errors of omission. Your ancestor may be from a particular area whose parish records have been extracted, but his/her name may have been missed.
So, if your ancestors don't appear in these CDs from the IGI, it does not mean that they were not in a given locality; it just means that they are not in this Index. Also, these records are not really linked by pedigree, although it is possible to call up family groups.
IGI Source Information
The IGI includes the major items of information from the original source. What additional information may be available depends on the batch number of the listing. The batch and sheet numbers are in the far right-hand columns of the IGI:
- If the batch number begins with a "M" or a "C", the information came from a LDS extraction program, using (usually) parish baptism, christening and marriage registers. These records may or may not have parents' names, etc., depending on the church registrar and the time period.
- Batch numbers beginning with "A" refer to LDS membership records, usually a family group sheet. Batch numbers that start with either "7" or "8" refer to information gathered from family group sheets submitted to the LDS church by various patrons, both members and non-members.
There are other codes, but they do not occur as often - every LDS Family History Centre has a booklet that is a guide to using the IGI, and a microfiche set that lists the batch numbers and the microfilm number of the original source (except for the "A" batch numbers).
If the batch number for a John DOE record has a corresponding source (microfilm) number, then that film can be ordered for examination. The amount of information available will depend on many factors, but even if the John DOE information came from family group sheets, it should be possible to decide which John DOE is the right one.
If the batch number begins with "A", the original source is not available to anyone other than LDS members. However, most of the information came from family group sheets that members submitted to the Church, and the sheets have been microfilmed. To determine the correct film number, it is necessary to check the Family History Library Catalogue (FHLC) on microfiche, under the "AUTHOR" heading of "FAMILY GROUP RECORDS COLLECTION".
Once that entry has been located, find the alphabetical section which includes John DOE, and then note the microfilm number. Order the film in the usual way, using as the title of the film "FAMILY GROUP RECORDS COLLECTION, Surname DOE" (or whatever group of names is on the film). The records have been microfilmed at various times - check the LDS Temple ordinance dates for the John DOE IGI entry to determine which filming would include that particular record sheet.
Services of Family History Centres
The Family History Centre is the local genealogy library of the LDS Church. These small libraries are operated by the Church and are staffed by volunteers who will help you use the resources at each Centre. These resources include FamilySearch, a powerful computer system that can help you identify your ancestors using information stored in its large automated files. These files include Andestral File, International Genealogical Index , and Family History Library Catalog. The IGI is also available in microfiche editions, the latest of which is dated 1993. The Centres may also have some reference sources and copies of some records from the Family History Library.
You can do much of your family history research at a Family History Centre by requesting copies, from the Family History Library, of records from throughout the world. Most records are on microfilm or microfiche and can be used at a Centre. You pay a fee to defray shipping costs. Centres do not collect or preserve local records.
Since their staffs are limited, the Family History Centres cannot respond to mail enquiries. Also, because these are not mailing addresses, mail will not be delivered.
Visiting a Family History Centre
The Centres are open about twenty hours a week. Before you visit, contact the Centre to find out when it is open. Because hours vary, it may be necessary to call several times. If no telephone number is listed, or if you get no response after calling several times, you may contact the British Isles Family History Service Centre, a local congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, or a local genealogical society. When you visit a Centre, it is helpful to bring your research notes (such as pedigree charts, family group records) and copies of other family records and documents.