Monday, March 30, 2015

Heritage Quest/ProQuest: Update from Mary Holcomb

The “New” HeritageQuest
By Mary Holcomb – March 2015

Heritage Quest/ProQuest  has for years been a genealogy tool available to all genealogists through their local public library (not individual subscription). Those who have used this database of information know its value and are excited about the transformation this website has undergone for our benefit. Those unfamiliar with the HQ database should plan a visit to the downtown Spokane PL and have the EWGS volunteers explain it to you…… they can teach you about it there but the mail Spokane Public Library does not carry this subscription, sorry to report. This database can be used at the Spokane County libraries. Now for Mary’s report………………

I'm excited to be telling you about this update! As of March 3, 2015, HQ has undergone a face lift. The site is now powered by Ancestry with a different but similar search format. 

This is a FREE site available at the Spokane County Library branches. I for one will miss the old search but find the new site exciting and very manageable. The images are much improved, the search boxes are user friendly and much more information is available.

There still are six major categories to search:

CENSUS -- Includes all the US federal Population schedules (1970 – 1940). Slave, Non Population, Veterans Schedules and more. There is also included an extensive list of Indian Census Rolls.

BOOKS & DIRECTORIES --  lets you search where your ancestors lived with Local Histories from History Books and City Directories.

REVOLUTIONARY WAR --  Search has actual copies of the requests for pension and benefits for many soldiers and their spouses. I found this section much improved over the old search. I gained five more pages of information for my Patriot.

FREEMAN’S BANK --   A searchable data base of ancestors  (Afro American and white) who applied to a federal banking program during Reconstruction period after the Civil War (1865 – 1874).

US SERIAL SET --  A unique area to search for Information. If your ancestor petitioned a State Representative or the President for special help (Amnesty, exceptions to existing law or other assistance) paperwork documenting this could probably be found here.

While the above categories were made more user-friendly than the original versions, there are a couple new and very exciting additions. Under the HeritageQuest banner on the home page and next to SEARCH are RESEARCH AIDS and MAPS.

Here in MAPS you will find in one place, all the state’s county maps and how they changed over the years. The original states, new states and then the territory’s breaking down to the states as we now know them, It’s all here.   Down-loadable state research guides are available here as well.
RESEARCH AIDS is a gold mine. Tips and tricks to help when you get stuck are here. Sub categories for Military, Immigration, Census and ethnic Research are here. Also here are sections for “getting started” and “beyond the basics”.

I hope you will take a trip to your nearest County Library branch and check out the new HeritageQuest. This is truly another wonderful tool to add to your genealogy toolbox.

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