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;
- 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.
Christmas Gift Idea: How about a gift subscription to a great genealogy website.
Reverend Frederick W. Bailey compiled a significant portion of marriage records prior to 1800 from churches all over Connecticut. He started compiling these records in the very late 19th century and the compilation continued for quite some time. This work has been published in seven different volumes and is a great asset if you have ancestors in Connecticut.
The first of these volumes covered church records for;
- New Haven, First Church
- New Haven, Second Church
- Stonnington, North
- East Haddam, Millington
- Saybrook, Chester
- Madison, North
Indexes to these church records have been loaded into our database here at Hidden Genealogy Nuggets. You can search volume 1 for free on this website.
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If you have Virginia ancestors, I stumbled across a website you might want to check out. The website is called Virginia Memory . It is from the Library of Virginia. This website has a vast collection of digitial materials.
Some of these materials include;
- Virginia History and Culture – War of 1812 Bicentennial Collection
- Biographical and Genealogical – S. Bassett French Biographical Sketches
- Maps and Architecture – Alan M. Voorhees Map Collection
- County and City Research – Chancery Records Index
- African American Resources – Cohabitation Registers
- Military Service – Revolutiionary War Virginia State Pensions
- Military Service – Robert E. Lee Camp Confederate Soldiers’ Home Applications for Admission
- Newspapers – R. M. S. Titanic: Ninety-Nine Years Later
- Historic Virgina Government – Early Virginia Religious Petitions, 1774-1802
- Web Archiving – Jamestown 2007 Commemoration Collection
- Photograph Collections – 1939 World’s Fair Photograph Collection
- Land Office Patents & Grants – Virginia Land Office Patents and Grants/Northern Neck Grants and Surveys
Many of these digital collections would be hard to find or utilize without the Library of Virginia making them available on-line. Some collections such as the Cohabitation Registers might provide the only documentation of a marriage of colored persons after the Civil War. Here’s the website description of this collection; “A cohabitation register, or as it is properly titled, Register of Colored Persons…cohabiting together as Husband and Wife on 27th February 1866, was the legal vehicle by which former slaves legitimized both their marriages and their children. …”.
If you have Virginia ancestors, it would be well worth your time to explore Virginia Memory .
The state of Alabama has a great free resource which everyone can use on-line. It is the Alabama Digital Archives . The archives are organized in eleven different collections.
The collections which appear to be most relevent for genealogical studies are the Textual Materials Collection and the Photographs and Pictures collection.
In the Textual Materials Collection you can find many letters written during the time of the civil war, letters pertaining to the Creek War (1813 – 1814), some poll tax and voter registration information and much much more.
In the Photo and Pictures Collection you can browse by subjects including Civil War, World War I & II, Education, Religion and a whole lot more. You can also browse by time periods 1800 – 1809, 1810 – 1819 … 1990 – 1999. Obviously, the eras which pre-date the advance of the photograph are taken from pictures.
If you have relatives in Alabama, check out the Alabama Digital Archives.