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Combs &c. Research

Combs &c. and the
International Genealogical Index(IGI)

Notice: The IGI (and much more) is now on-line at http://FamilySearch.Org/

The religious interest of the Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) in Genealogy has resulted in thousands of microfilm copies of records from around the world being made available to all genealogical and historical researchers, regardless of their religion -- originally via their enormous library in Salt Lake City, Utah, and local Family Home Centers (FHC) throughout the world, and now also on the Internet. This wealth of information includes not only census records, tax lists, wills and deeds, but hundreds of other records categories, including the International Genealogical Index (more commonly known as the IGI), entries of (primarily) births, marriages and deaths from Parish Registers, etc.

Combs &c. has been utilizing LDS resources since our inception, particularly the IGI, which has permitted us to (1) determine sources and (2) to obtain them via our local FHC's -- with our goal being to ultimately transcribe all IGI parish and cemetery records (and more).

Beginning in 1998, Combs &c. began adding selected IGI entries to our Combs &c. of England reports as "bookmarks" (placeholders) for parish registers whose records are available through local FHC's, pending actual transcription of these records. Most of our English reports that include IGI entries use the same "key" that was used by the IGI on their FHC computers, and which is listed at the end of this report.

Now that the IGI is on-line, however, we are gradually (as time permits) changing our format for source citations in order to include full citations (rather than just the film numbers and codes used in the past*) since the new FamilySearch.Org site includes not only the IGI entries, but the original sources as well... an extremely important and valuable aid due to the fact that the IGI includes several different types of entries.

*See below for the format used in 1998 and part of 1999.

Some (very few) IGI entries are actual transcriptions of parish church and cemetery records, more are abstracts of parish church and cemetery records, and others are individual submissions of several types (temple, patron, etc.) whose validity depends a lot on who submitted them and when; i.e., unless an entry is from a transcription or abstract of the actual parish records, it's source is unknown and it is quite possibly in error (not to mention that ultimately, even if a complete transcription, if you didn't transcribe it yourself, you can't trust it).

With the IGI on-line, sources can be determined quickly and easily, permitting researchers to know at a glance the source for each record (transcription, abstract, submission, etc.).

While Combs &c.'s goal is to publish transcribed parish and cemetery records from original sources, we do depend heavily on the IGI -- but only on transcriptions or abstracts of records, not "individual submissions" -- due to the above-noted variances in reliability.

An example of how to use the IGI and the difference between IGI records and submission entries is the following search for an entry for a potential birth or christening record for the birth of John COMBE, husband of Margaret ARCHDALE. We can narrow our search considerably due to the fact that we already know that (a) John was freed by apprenticeship as a Draper on 15 Jul 1583; (b) that admission to freeman status required that one be a minimum of 21 years of age (thus he was born before 15 Jul 1662); (c) that the minimum apprenticeship period was seven years (thus he was apprenticed before 15 Jul 1576); (d) that the minimum age of an apprentice was 14 years (thus he was born before 15 Jul 1662); and (e) that the maximum age of an apprentice was 20 years (thus he was born after 15 Jul 1555). Putting this all together, we are therefore seeking a John COMBE who was born between 16 Jul 1555 and 14 Jul 1662.

A search of IGI birth/christening records using this criteria results in the following 15 entries:

1. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: Abt. 1555 Of Yarcombe, Devon, England 2. John COOME - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: Abt. 1557 Of North Curry, Somerset, England 3. John COMS - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 6 Dec 1559 Saint Dunstan In The East, London, London, England 4. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 27 Aug 1559 Westbury-On-Trym, Gloucester, England 5. John COOME - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: Abt. 1560 Of Cannington, Somerset, England 6. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 25 May 1560 Upottery, Devon, England 7. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: Abt. 1560 Of Sandy, Bedford, England 8. John COOME - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 8 May 1560 North Petherton, Somerset, England 9. John COOME - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: Abt. 1561 Of Cannington, Somerset, England 10. John COMBES - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: 16 Jan 1561 East Hoathly, Sussex, England 11. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 5 Jan 1562 Trent, Dorset, England 12. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 5 Jan 1562 Trent, Dorset, England 13. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 6 Dec 1562 Lezant, Cornwall, England 14. John COMBE - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Christening: 6 Dec 1562 Lezant, Cornwall, England 15. John COOMBS - International Genealogical Index/BI Gender: M Birth: Abt. 1562 London, England

Of these 15 entries, we can immediately discard all that include the abbreviation, "abt." (about) or the word "of" since entries in parish registers will always be specific as to both year and location. This leaves us with entry Nos. 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 11 and 12 (apparent duplicates); and 13 and 14 (also apparent duplicates). A click of Entry No. 3 results in the following:

John COMS Sex: M Event(s): Christening: 6 Dec 1559 Saint Dunstan In The East, London, London, England Parents: Father: John COMS Mother: Source Information: Batch number: Dates Source Call No. Type Printout Call No. Type P001431 1558-1758 0845247 Film 6903586 Film P001431 1558-1758 0845247 Film NONE

A click of the "Printout Call No." provides us with the following additional information:

Film or fiche number: 6903586 Number of Fiche: 3 Film/fiche search results: Computer printout of London, St. Dunstan in the East, London, England

A click of the link "Computer printout of London, St. Dunstan in the East, London, England" provides us with yet more information:

Title: Computer printout of London, St. Dunstan in the East, London, England Stmnt.Resp.: extracted for the controlled extraction program and published by the Genealogical Dept. of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Notes: Batch nos. C00143-1, 2 and M00143-1. Extracted from microfilm copies of parish registers and parish register transcripts on film nos. 0396188-0396189, and 0845247 it. 1-3 (v. 84-87). St. Dunstan in the East united to Allhallows Barking by the Tower, 1960.

We are also offered the option of clicking "View Notes" for yet more information:

Title: Computer printout of London, St. Dunstan in the East, London, England Note Location Film Births and Christenings, A thru Z 1558-1758 1766-1816 FHL BRITISH Fiche 3 microfiches) 6903586 Marriages, A thru Z, 1558-1880 (1 microfiche) FHL BRITISH Fiche 6903587 Another filming, 1967-1976. on 4 microfilm reels ; 16 mm. Christenings, 1558-1766 FHL BRITISH Film 472335 Item 6 Christenings, 1563-1812 FHL BRITISH Film 537038 Item 2 Christenings, 1766-1816 FHL BRITISH Film 1235441 Item 13 Marriages, 1558-1880 FHL BRITISH Film 883841 Item 1

What the above tells us is that the "real" source for these records is not the computer print-out, nor the microfiche of an alphabetical list of marriages, but the last four films, which are apparently of the register itself with the 1559 christening of John on FHL British Film No. 472335.

A click of Entry No. 4 results in the following:

John COMBE Sex: M Event(s): Christening: 27 Aug 1559 Westbury-On-Trym, Gloucester, England Parents: Father: Mother: Source Information: Batch number: Dates Source Call No. Type Printout Call No. Type P008471 1559-1713 0091544 Film 0472635 Film

This time we have the option of clicking either the "Source" or the "Printout" Call No., and have opted Source, which provides us with the following additional information:

Film or fiche number: 0091544 Number of Fiche: 3 Film/fiche search results: The church register, A.D. 1559-1713, of the ancient parish of Westbury-on-Trym: with introduction Wilkins, Henry John

A click of the link "The church register, A.D. 1559-1713, of the ancient parish of Westbury-on-Trym: with introduction" provides us with yet more information:

Title: The church register, A.D. 1559-1713, of the ancient parish of Westbury-on-Trym : with introduction Stmnt.Resp.: by H. J. Wilkins Authors: Wilkins, Henry John (Main Author) Notes: Includes Index Subjects: England, Gloucester, Westbury-on-Trym - Church records Copies: Call No. Location 942.41 B4w v. 3 FHL BRITISH Book Format: Books/Monographs (With Film) Language: English Publication: Briston [England] : J. S. Arrowsmith, 1912 Physical: xxx, 217 p. : facsim.

We are also offered the option of clicking "View Notes" for yet more information:

Title: The church register, A.D. 1559-1713, of the ancient parish of Westbury-on-Trym : with introduction Stmnt.Resp.: by H. J. Wilkins Authors: Wilkins, Henry John (Main Author) Note Location Film Also on microfilm. Salt Lake City : Filmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah, 1949. 1 microfilm reel; FHL BRITISH Fiche 35 mm; 91544

What the above tells us is that the "real" source for these records is not the published book, but the microfilm No. 91544, which is apparently of the original register.

A search of the details for Entry No. 6, following the above steps, results in our learning that only a mother, Margarett COMBE, was listed; that the parish register (1559-1837) is at the Exeter Library, but has been microfilmed by the LDS, but with only their transcription available, a filmed manuscript which is FHL BRITISH Film No. 917551. The notes further disclose that a Bishop's transcript exists for this parish, but only for the years, 1607-1837.

A check of the details for Entry No. 8 results in our learning that no parents were listed for this christening; and that the original source is on a printed copy of the church records, reference: 908499-908500 (which is apparently only available at the library in Salt Lake City).

The details for Entry No. 10 include the information that this John COMBES' parents were not listed; that the film/fiche no. is 1395768, but that this is not a record transcription or abstract, but a "patron sheet" (individual submission) from the period, 1969-1991 (thus more intensive research will be needed to determine if the records are extant, and if so, where they are located, and how they can be obtained). Entries No. 11 and 12 (John COMBE, s/o William COMBE) are identical, with both from patron sheets, thus again, a search needed as with No. 10 above. Entries No. 13 and 14 are identical only as to the name, date and place. Entry No. 13, an individual submission (an LDS "sealing" from 1943-1970*), lists the parents as Michael COMBE and Mrs. Michael COMBE whereas Entry No. 14 lists the father only ("Michaell COMBE") with the source a published transcription of the register. Source details, however, also disclose that this parish's register is also on film (FHL BRITISH Film No. 1595782, Items 7-19), which includes "Baptisms, marriages and burials, 1539-1791; Burials in woollen, 1726-1810; Marriages, 1754-1813; Baptisms and burials, 1792-1812; Baptisms, 1813-1847; Burials, 1813-1874; Marriages, 1813-1837; Baptisms, 1847-1900; Marriages, 1836-1900; Burials, 1874-1900; and Banns, 1823-1900."

*The requirements for sealings during this period were very stringent and these submissions far more likely to be accurate than during other periods.

Also not to be forgotten are the facts that (a) perhaps one-quarter of England's parish registers have been transcribed; and (b) of the untranscribed registers, it is not known how many may not even be extant. As to the ancestry of John COMBE, we'll not know more until we've scoured far more records (not just parish), but of the above records, the most intriguing is probably John COMBE of Upottery, Devonshire, in which an Ellis COMBE was also christened in 1568, the son of an also-unidentified John COMBE.

1998/99 Format (Abbreviations)

Events: A=Adult Chr B=Birth C=Chr D=Death M=Marr S=Misc N=Census W=Will

LDS Ordinances: B=Baptized E=Endowed SP=Sealed to Parents SS=Sealed to Spouse

Batch/Source: Ba=Batch So=Source Pr=Printout F#=Film Number P#=Page Number O#=Ordinance Number

Special Symbols:

* = Film contains no additional information.

^_- Some information was estimated or altered.

@ Names and relationships of others stated in source.

& Person sealed to other than natural parent(s).

> Additional information from Special Services, Temple Dept.

# Additional relatives listed in source.

+ Additional sources for batch.
(IGI Version 2. 28 Apr 1998, Ordinance Index (TM) - Version 1.00 & International Genealogical Index (R) - Version 4.00, Copyright (c) 1980, 1997 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. All rights reserved.)

On behalf of all Combs &c. Research Group members, we express our Special Thanks to the LDS for the help offered by individual volunteers at local FHC's as well as the millions of records made available to us by virtue of their years-long collections and extractions.

The Combs &c. Research Group


Last updated 09 Apr 2008
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