When I started researching my family history, the International Genealogical index was a primary source of information in the days before the internet was available. The IGI was especially useful in pinpointing family name clusters in different geographical locations. This becomes useful if you reach a dead end for a particular path of research and wish to try and establish whether or not your decendant(s) moved elsewhere or even originated elsewhere. However, the IGI isn’t just about records indexes – please see a selection of what you might expect to find at a Family History Center below.
In 1894, the Salt Lake City Genealogical Library (now the largest genealogical library in the world) was created to help with genealogical research by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday-day Saints. This library has a staggeringly large collection of genealogical records including over 700,000 microfiches and over 2,000,000 microfilm rolls, thousands of books and digital records accessible through computer networks. Records are available for research and study for the general public.
This is an ongoing process and records are being collected and copied throughout the world, then collated and catalogued for release to regional library class Family History Centers and and smaller localized FHC’s. There are currently over 4,000 FHC’s worldwide.
The mormon genealogy records contain an incredible number of indexes and various other records. There are also many original records but these are by no means complete. This is not a criticism. They are compiling a gigantic collection of genealogical records and continue to add to this collection by the minute. But don’t expect that they will have, for example, copies of all the parish registers for England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Similarly, they have an index for all of the England & Wales Census records from 1841-1911, but you if you want to view, save, download and print from the digitized copy of the original record which holds all the details, you will need to follow their link to their partner website Find My Past or go straight there to search all their records now.
The online service provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is at FamilySearch.org, and below are just some of their England & Wales indexes:
Census Index 1841-1911 for England & Wales
England & Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes
England Deaths and Burials Index, 1538-1991 – limited localities
England Marriages, 1538-1973 – limited localities
Great Britain Births and Baptisms Index, 1571-1977 – limited localities
Great Britain Marriages Index, 1797-1988 – limited localities
Great Britain Deaths and Burials Index, 1778-1988 – limited localities
These are just a few of the indexes listed for the United Kingdom. There are also indexes for Ireland and Wales and a few county records indexes for England and Wales.
A useful resource website that can help to show you whether a record may exist and if it does, may also point you to the holders of the original document, or where to find the digitized copy of the record online.