I’ll readily admit that I have not been a regular user of Heritage Quest. As a matter of fact, I would avoid it. Probably because I didn’t know how best to take advantage of it. When I did go there, it was usually at the library where I volunteer and occasionally teach or lecture on genealogy research principles.Today, however, I watched a video that introduced me to the new version that has just been released. I think they hit a home run with this one. Maybe a grand slam!
The style echos what will be the newest version of Ancestry.com once they release the beta version which some of us have been able to “get friendly with” and provide feedback to Ancestry. More on that in another post another day. For now, I just want to encourage everyone to take a look at Heritage Quest and see all the new features.
First, it’s a little more pleasant of an atmosphere. Maybe, for me, it’s just that it’s a refreshed website. But the real meat of the upgrade is the collections that you will find there.
Brief rundown: The original 6 data sets are still available but PERSI and the US Serial Set will, for now, redirect you back to the original site. Census records are now available to 1940 given the collaboration with Ancestry.com. The census records and other sets will now display images in 256 grey scale or color rather than “bi-tonal” making them easier to read. You will also be able to save them, download them or e-mail them in a image format.
In addition to US Census Population Schedules, images for US Territories, Military and Naval Forces records, US Indian Census Rolls 1885-1940, Mortality Schedules from 1850 to 1880, the 1880 schedules of Dependent, Delinquent and Defective classes and select Non-Population schedules from 1850 to 1880.
The complete NARA M804 Revolutionary War pension and bounty land applications with “every name index” of pension apps and applicants. All NARA pension apps are included regardless of page count or genealogical value.
The image viewer appears in either basic of advanced view without the need for any special plug-ins. Boolean operators are not allowed (AND, OR, AND NOT, etc.) but truncation and wildcards are (Eli?abeth or Sam*). An exact match option appears when typing begins. You are also allowed to add life events or other family members to refine your search and use double quotation marks for specific phrases (“first edition”),
All documents are downloadable in PDF format. The site includes several pages of tips and tricks for researchers.
“Map Guide to the US Census” has been moved to the new interactive MAPS
section. The maps have their own tabs, can be saved, printed or e-mailed using a right click for the option menu.
“The Census Book” by William Dollarhide is included in the MAPS section and includes blank census forms. You may be interested in other William Dollarhide books which include “American Migration Routes 1735-1815,” “New York State Census & Substitutes,” or “Managing a Genealogical Project” among others. They’re all available at Amazon.com.
I’m not familiar enough just yet to expound on the new features or any of the improvements to what has been available for a while. But it’s certainly worth a look!