Daniel Boone Regional Library subscribes to Heritage Quest Online, a database that is available 24 hours a day to any patron with a library card and Internet access. This database is great because it covers some neat resources for genealogists, family historians or anyone who’s curious! And Heritage Quest recently got even better with the addition of webinars on all kinds of subjects, from “Principles for Beginning Genealogy” to “U. S. Courthouse Research.”
Accessing this database is easy. From the library’s databases page, visit the genealogy category and select Heritage Quest Online. If you are accessing the database from outside the library, it will ask you for your library card number.
On the home page of Heritage Quest you will see the following headings:
- Search Census
- Search Books
- Search PERSI
- Search Revolutionary War
- Search Freedman’s Bank
- Search U. S. Serial Set
This article will review the first three of these; I’ll cover the others in a future post. Do put the coffee on and plan on getting mesmerized by all the information at your fingertips!
Search Census allows you to look at the entire United States Census from 1790 to 1920 and part of 1930. Many years have been indexed by the head of the households and can be searched that way. Also, under census you are able to track what you have searched as well as save it to another file. By searching the federal census every 10 years as you go from the most recent (1930) back to the previous years (1920, 1910, etc.) you can learn more about a family’s origins and migrations based on the information given.
Search Books contains more than 28,000 publications and histories that have been scanned and every word indexed—including given names, surnames and place names. A search in this area would allow you to find your family in an old business directory, county history, family history or a written history of an organization perhaps. By searching on a name and then clicking on the “hits,” you will find the beginning page of the chapter your name appears in, and by then hitting “next” you will be taken to the exact page where the person’s name appears. You can also narrow your search—especially with common names like Jones and Smith—by picking a region (state or county) for the person you are looking for. You can also browse books page by page or search the index for a name. When you find it, type the page number listed into the “jump to” box and it will take you to the actual page! Cool beyond words!
Searching PERSI is the best way to find copies of articles that have been written in historical or genealogical societies’ periodicals indexed and housed in the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. You can pay a nominal fee and send requests for copies of articles you find in this database. Items can be found by surname, location, title or subject. It’s the easiest way to get a copy of an article without having to drive to a large repository that might or might not have it.
One of the coolest things recently added to Heritage Quest are the new “Learning Centers” or webinars. When you visit any of the above-listed areas of this database, at the top right of the screen you will see the Learning Centers link. Clicking the link takes you to a listing of various available lessons with brief descriptions of their content and skill level. Click on the title you are interested in, from “Census Tracking for Beginners” to “Civil War Research,” and right in front of your eyes will be a webinar on that subject. I think this is the coolest thing since cell phones were invented! Instead of traveling to see a speaker, you will be able to hear from an expert from the comfort of your own home. So sit back and learn. Maybe you’ll discover the next clue in your quest to find your ancestors!