Using Heritage Quest

This entry was posted by Jim Sanders on Sunday, 4 November, 2012 at

Most researchers who’ve been doing genealogy for some time have heard of Heritage Quest. Heritage Quest is available through a number of libraries. In Connecticut, we’re lucky to have the state library have a subscription to Heritage Quest. With this subscription, a Connecticut resident can access Heritage Quest for free at their own home with a library card from the state of Connecticut.

There are six main areas of research available on Heritage Quest;

  • Census
  • Books
  • PERSI
  • Revolutionary War
  • Freedman’s Bank
  • U.S. Serial Set

In this blog post, we will explore a few tips for using the Census on Heritage Quest and how to get the most out of it. Although Ancestry.com has the census as well, you may be able to find that ellusive census record on Heritage quest which you weren’t able to on Ancestry. Heritage Quest has a different index than Ancestry and there are some tricks you can try on Heritage. When you click on Heritage Quest, go to the advance tab. Here are few tips I’ve used on Heritage Quest to varying degrees of success.

  • FIRST NAME SEARCH: You don’t need to include a last name. If your ancestor, his wife or one of his/her children have an unusual name, try to find you ancestor with just the unusual first name. In order to limit the results, you’ll have to include the year, state, county and a location.
  • IMMIGRANT ANCESTOR?: For immigrate ancestors, you may not need either the first name or the last name. I’ve been able to find some ellusive census records, including just the birthplace, state, county and location.
  • LAST NAME VARIATIONS Heritage Quest doesn’t have a soundex index so you’ll have to try variaions of your ancestors names. For example, my Fraher’s have been indexed as Fryher, Friher, Fraher, Fraher and Frayer to name a few.
  • SORT YOUR RESULTS In Heriatge Quest, a result set will only come back if you have 1,000 or fewer hits. You can page through the list looking for your ancestor, or you can choose to sort it various ways. If your ancestors first letter of his last name has been transcribed incorrectly, you might not look under “Boyle” if your ancetsors last name is actually “Doyle”

If you’ve had trouble finding a census record on ancestry.com, take a look at Heritage Quest. You might find that hidden genealogy record.

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