How to Use the Heritage Quest Online Website for Family Research
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How to Use the Heritage Quest Online Website for Family Research

Heritage Quest Online is a source for historians and genealogists to search for people, places, and events recorded in public documents, books, cenus records, and private diaries. The databases are available through a public library or school.

Heritage Quest Online is a collection of data, records, and research methodologies which must be accessed through a library. It is free to use, and the library may make the login and password available for you to use at home. When using the site, there is a button which will save your notes and references and print a hard copy. This valuable resource is also available through the Family History services of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Morman Church). Some schools or school libraries may also have a subscription, but subscriptions are not for sale to individuals.

The information is cataloged under these headings: Census, Books, Persi, Revolutionary War, Freedman’s Bank, and U. S. Serial Set.

The Census collection contains all the Federal Census data from 1790 through 1930 that are available. The 1890 records were destroyed by a fire. The records are indexed and digitized to reveal the original handwriting. 1940 records should be released soon since the census data is made available to the public 72 years after it is recorded.

The Books section contains published local and family histories, social commentary, and diaries. Names, towns, and businesses are searchable providing the hits and pages. Most of the books are easy to read and you can copy and print the pages.

Persi is the Periodical Source Index. It can be searched for names of people, places, towns, and cities. There is a section that discusses research methodologies of genealogists and historians to help you identify important data. You can also search Persi by the title of the periodical.

Freedman’s Bank is a collection of names of people of color who used the Freedman’s Bank services between 1865 and 1874. When you click on a name you will see the original record.  The records include the name of the applicant, his or her parents, spouse, and children.

U.S. Serial Set allows you to search for memorials, petitions, and private relief actions of the U. S. Congress in the LexisNexis Serial Set.

If you are going to use this source at the library, be sure to take all the names you are looking for with you. Record everything you think might be useful. When you get home, you may not remember whose son this man was or whose father. Get copies of everything you think you might need in constructing a family history. The library will probably charge you a nominal fee for printing. There is an address in the Persi where you can order copies of documents that you have viewed online. The method for calculating the cost of this service is provided, and they are prompt and efficient. This service is provided by the library that holds the documents, not by Heritage Quest Online.

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