Though many assume that the IGI is a copy of the marriage and baptismal entries in the various Parish Registers, it is in fact an overall index to many disparate (and not all accurate) sources. These various sources can be selected by the use of the Batch Number in the on-line search (also as a check on the source when using the microfiche).
The 1911 transcription of the Parish Registers called for by the Civil authorities is probably the most reliable of the various sources - these can be determined by calling for the following batch numbers. It is also possible to extract all records by year, by using the batch number as selector - this allows searches for mistranscribed names. It is necessary to precede the following numbers by 'C' for christenings or 'M' for marriage as appropriate - however see below for my comments on the foul-up that has taken place.
|Castletown St Mary||038191|
|Douglas St Barnabas||038031|
|Douglas St George||038211|
|Douglas St Matthew||038041|
|Douglas St Thomas||038051|
|German, St Johns||038131|
|Sulby, St Stephen's||038121|
Much of the rest of the information in the IGI is of dubious value - because of the early missioning of the Island by John Taylor in 1840, several early converts rose to prominence in the Mormon Church - their relatives 'researched' their family histories but in too many cases these are inaccurate (or even totally spurious) and result in the littering of the IGI with the 'about 1700' etc. type of entry where no wished for entry was located - this is particularly true if the source is 'sealings for the dead'. Since then the IGI has also included patron-submitted information - since you have no check on where this information is derived from, it too is suspect though sometimes it may provide a lead. Still later nonsense has been added by a Mormon transcript of possibly the original Parish registers - obviously done by people with zero knowledge of the format of Manx Parish registers in which people bearing the same Christian and family name were distinguished by their farm or in the case of non-parishioner entries, by the town. Thus in some cases it is the farm name that appears (eg in Kk German we have a William BALLACRINK(Quirk/Cottier) in 1754, a Hugh BALLAKAIGHYN(father Hugh Shimmin) in 1758 and a BALLAVARCAS (Shimmin) of 1710) or the town, e.g. Ramsey, which has often given rise to spurious family histories of William Ramsey etc. in which family members made many journeys between various parts of the UK/USA in order to have offspring many hundreds of miles apart! The older micrfiche is better in that it did not include such nonsense.
Since writing the above I have found that the entries for many parishes (if not all but certainly Andreas, Michael and St Marks) look as though complete years or decades were re-transcribed and entered into the IGI under various batch numbers in the 722xxxx and 723xxxx series which appear as Patron submitted records prior to 1991 (call these the 'new' entries). When you fit these up against the remaining entries claiming to be from Parish Register transcriptions (call these the 'old' entries) it is obvious that those old entries which matched the new entry were deleted and thus only appear with the 723xxxx batch, those that did not match (eg changes in transcription) remained thus giving the highly useful result that most of those that claim to be parish records are probably incorrect transcriptions whereas the possibly more accurate ones are tagged as the generally unreliable (and at times totally spurious) 'patron submitted' variety.
The new entries for St Mark's were entered as 'births' but the few overlapping
entries (ie mistranscriptions) show that the birth date was the christening
date. Both these observations need checking with the Museum films but the new
numbers agree with what I expected from simple demographics and show no other
obvious bias (eg towards dates or families).
The 1911 transcripts were from the films I saw in the Museum in a clear hand but for example in Arbory it is obvious when all names are put into an easily accessible database that many 'u's and 'n's were wrongly read in that a large number of Clagnes and Tanbmans apparently settled in that parish!
Investigation of the entries for German show a different re-indexing in which entries involving certain names (e.g. Crellin ) together with those families connected with early, high-placed, mormon emmigrants were replaced by re-transcribed 'patron-submitted' entries. Similar idiocies have been committed in Arbory - here there are two or three readings - all incorrect in name and/or date!