Saturday, October 28, 2006

Parent Search in IGI

Parent Search in IGI

The IGI is the International Genealogical Index available for decades at the Family History Library, and its local Family History Centers on microfiche, then on CD-ROM, and most recently online at There was a nifty function on the older CD version called the parent search. This is an important function since the IGI is not pedigree/family based but EVENT BASED. In a christening record entry in the IGI, it will list the child's name and the parent's names, but would not include anything about other children with the same parents. See how this becomes a problem for one researcher, who made a posting this morning on the PAF-5 genealogy mailing list at Yahoo:

> With the present 'Windows version' (after year 2000) of Family
>Search...there is no 'Parent Search' function. The only thing I can do is
>order the Parish Register microfilms from Salt Lake, and search out the
>children the hard way. Then after finding the children's names, go to
>the IGI and get the Temple ordinance data. Seems awful lame?

>Is there a reason 'Parent Search' function was not included in present
>version of Family Search?

This researcher had to be referring to the FamilySearch CD collection. Note
the reply from another researcher:

From: Dana Repouille
The search at does indeed have a parent search function. Click the Search tab at the top of the screen, enter the names of the father and mother, and click the Search button down below. This will return all the children of these parents in all available resources.

I would like to qualify Dana's term "all the children of these parents."

Such a name search will return all instances where a child is listed as having parents whose names match the search criteria. There could be multiple sets of parents correctly named "John Weiser and Mary." My recent search returned 156 possible children, born from roughly 1751 through 1880 in Pennsylvania, Illinois, England, Germany and Austria.

Even after narrowing the search by date and locality, we might continue to note overlapping families in the IGI parent search at Most of us have lamented over the occurrence of two families in the same locality, where the parents appear to have the same name.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

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