HeritageQuest Online - Focus on Archives Resources

Many researchers that visit us are familiar with research resources such as Ancestry.com. Today I'd like to focus on one that doesn't get quite as much recognition: HeritageQuest Online. HeritageQuest Online is a collection of databases, all of which are very useful to history and genealogical researchers. Included under its umbrella are:

  • U.S. Federal Censuses: A complete collection of original images of every federal census, from 1790 to the newly released 1940 census. At least partial name indexes are included for each census, totalling over 140 million names.
  • Genealogy and Local History Books: Digital images of some 7 million pages from 28,000 of family history and local history books from the American Antiquarian Society and HeritageQuest's own collection are available through the site. All are indexed and searchable.
  • Periodical Source Index (PERSI): A comprehensive index of over 2 million records covering genealogical and local history periodicals published throughout the world.
  • Revoluntionary War Records: Over 80,000 indexed digital images from pension and bounty land warrant application files of American Army, Navy, and Marine officers and enlisted men from the Revolutionary War era.
  • Freedman's Bank Records: Digitized original images including 480,000 names of bank applicants, dependents, and heirs from 1865–1874. This data, all indexed and searchable, can provide valuable insights to those tracing their African American ancestors.
  • LexisNexis U.S. Serial Set: Digital images of 480,000 pages recording the memorials, petitions, private relief actions made to the U.S. Congress back to 1789, of course all fully indexed and searchable.

HeritageQuest is available on all of our computers here in the archives, or you can access it from home via the Research section of the E-Resources menu located here on The Urbana Free Library website (you will have to enter the 14 digit barcode number from your Urbana Free Library library card to access the site). Scroll down to "Local History & Genealogy" to find the link for HeritageQuest. Stop by or contact us for any tips in using this great resource!