Thursday, 22 September 2011

Hugh Wallis batch numbers site problem

The popular Hugh Wallis website (, which lists batch numbers for the old IGI, is currently experiencing problems in progressing searches further beyond the identification of the batch number. Where before you could click on a batch number and then perform a search on the returned page for a particular set of microfilmed records, now you receive the following message:

Due to changes on the LDS site this facility is currently unavailable

I am investigating a solution but have no estimate for when it will be available. Please check back in a few days to see if I've figured it out. In the meantime please make use of the batch numbers on my site when accessing the LDS site via their provided interface. For more information on the updates to the LDS site please visit their news release here.

The batch numbers are still listed on Hugh Wallis's site, however, and can be utilised in the Advanced Search field on new FamilySearch (

The IGI search for Scottish records on Scots Origins ( still works however, allowing searches by parish without a batch number. The parish descriptions are a bit odd though, now listing years well beyond 1875. For example, Perth is listed as Perth (1559-1971). Despite this, when you perform a search, the results are still only returned up to 1875, confirming that the results are being drawn from the IGI still on old FamilySearch, and not the new Historical Records database on new FamilySearch.



Anonymous said...

It's important to realise that the batch numbers on Hugh's site will only cover the data from the old FamilySearch site. FS have been loading considerable amounts of data recently for various parts of the UK - none of that will be on Hugh's site. I don't even know if the new stuff has been assigned a batch number.

Not sure what other areas are involved but Cheshire is and there is absolutely NO point in doing several batch number searches for Cheshire via Hugh's site when you can do a single search on the requisite parish name and get all the stuff, including the (new) burial records etc., in one go.

Maybe someone has a reason for wanting to use multiple batch number searches via Hugh's site but I'm finding a search by place-name to be far more useful. (Though sometimes you need to investigate a bit to find what the place-names are!)


Chris Paton said...

The batch numbers will actually allow you to target the information from the old FamilySearch's IGI, which technically doesn't actually exist anymore, as it has been split up and repackaged (although the old FS site is still accessible). The IGI used to contain a mix of extracted records and patron submissions, some of which were frankly dodgy, so batch numbers were a way to control the search to look for formal extracts only.

The extracted records are the only records on the new Historical Records base (the patron submissions have been hived off), though other records have been added, such as those of the British Isles Vital Records Index. The batch numbers can still be useful though, and some people have spent many years working with them - but I agree, a place name in a search may reveal more, such as additional nonconformist records not originally included in the IGI. As with anything the batch numbers are simply a tool, and all tools have their uses in certain circumstances. I have come across instances where a placename search has not worked on new FS as a search term, but a batch number will find it.