A Guide to Heritage Quest
Basic Guide to Heritage Quest
A printable copy of this Guide is available here. (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
We still subscribe to the library version of Ancestry which is called Ancestry Library Edition (a name change from AncestryPlus.) State of Wisconsin residents will be able to have remote access to HeritageQuest from outside of the library, but Ancestry Library Edition must still be searched in the library. Access HeritageQuest through our library web page at http://www.lacrosselibrarary.org/genealogy/index.asp . Scroll down the page and, on the right hand side, click on HeritageQuest.
HeritageQuest has basically six categories:
Ancestry’s census searching is still far more advanced and thorough than that of Heritage Quest, but now you will have a choice as to which product to use for accessing the census. The big thing to remember with Heritage is that those indexes are for HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD ONLY. They do not index everyone in the household. Also, I was never able to truncate a name in a search nor was I able to do a Soundex search. Currently, only part of the 1930 census is available.
If you are sure of your ancestor’s location in a census year that Heritage Quest has indexed you can also use Advanced Search to search without a name. You can limit your search to year, state, county, part of county, sex, and age range (in 10 year increments). Sometimes you will see your ancestor’s name grossly misspelled but you will recognize it. This kind of search works better for rural areas.
Printing is also a little odd. For best results click on "Download,” then click on "View" [in Adobe Acrobat]. Under Tools choose Select and Zoom and then Snapshot. Use the “snapshot tool” to draw a box around the part of the image to print. That part of the image will then show as highlighted. Use the print command from Adobe Acrobat to print the census page. Change properties in the “page scaling” to “fit to paper,” and choose “11x17” if you want an 11x17 page. Do not use the browser’s “Print” button.
There are other ways to print, but this seems to work the best. One is naturally led to the print button on the screen when first encountering a census page to view, but the image can’t be enlarged or made to fit to the page (it wants to include all the black as part of the image).
Another feature is over 25,000 full text books related to family history. You will not go directly to a hit in the book, however (unlike Clio). You will be presented with a list similarly to an online catalog and can then click on the title for a fuller bibliographic citation and a list of table of contents. Then you can either view or download for printing a page or set of pages (here again is where the download version is better!). Select a chapter for printing or the whole book. There is a limit of 50 pages that will print.
PERSI is an index of articles published in genealogical magazines and newsletters from across the country, including the La Crosse Area Genealogical Society. These are NOT FULL TEXT searching but are based on the title in most cases. Also, it will only give you the citation you need, but in most cases, an interlibrary loan request will have to be made to get a copy of the article. The patron can also independently contact the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, IN (they are the indexers) and for a fee obtain copies of the articles.
REVOLUTIONARY WAR FILES
This is another index available on HeritageQuest. It is a digitized collection of pension and bounty land warrants of veterans who served in the Revolutionary War. In order for these records to appear in this database, your ancestor or widow had to be alive by 1818 or later because of the date the Pension Act passed Congress.
Most of the files are about 13 pages long, so it takes a long time to download all the pages. It is best when printing to either do a couple of pages at a time, or to be more selective and print only some of the pages. Again, download to Adobe Acrobat seems to work the best.
The Freedman’s Bank (1865-1874) was founded to serve African-Americans. A Soundex search option is available for this database. The collection is made up of 55 volumes containing signatures and personal identification of depositors.
U.S. SERIAL SET
This collection includes private relief actions, memorials and petitions to the U.S. Congress; the years 1789-1969 are included. These documents are usually reports from the House and Senate committees considering the legislation. People could petition Congress directly for relief or help (and often did, especially early in U.S. history).
Basic Information - There are three ways to search the census: the basic search (fewer questions to answer) or the advanced search (easier to narrow the hits on a common name), and by page number (this is only helpful if you have an exact citation for a reel of microfilm).
Choose whichever is best for your needs.
Name search - A complete name can be entered. Remember that the index is for HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD ONLY. Not everyone in the household is indexed. Names cannot be truncated and soundex searches are not possible. Additional information such as census year and state can be entered to narrow your search.
Results are seen for the 1870, 1880, 1900, 1910, and 1920 census. The 1910 census is selected, and the names of four individuals named Theodore Roosevelt are displayed.
Click on the link on the surname for the 51 year-old living in Nassau County, New York, and the following screen appears:
Move the census image on the page by using the scroll bars at the bottom and sides of the page. Notice that the directions in the middle of the page inform you that the name for which you searched appears on one of two pages. Subpage A appears first. If you don’t find the name you need on that page, examine the names on subpage B.
To print: For best results click on "Download,” then click on "View" [in Adobe Acrobat]. Under Tools choose Select and Zoom and then Snapshot. Use the “snapshot tool” to draw a box around the part of the image to print. That part of the image will then show as highlighted. Use the print command from Adobe Acrobat to print the census page. Change properties in the “page scaling” to “fit to paper,” and choose “11x17” if you want an 11x17 page. Do not use the browser’s “Print” button.
Searching with less information - Enter as much or as little information on the initial search screen as you like. By entering only a surname on the initial search screen, you are able to see the records of all the individuals who appear on the census with that surname.
The results will give you a list of census years, and/or states, depending on your search criteria. The results for this search are shown below. It is then possible to “Expand by State” within any one year.
By clicking on “Expand by State” on the “1910” line, the results will come on the screen showing all the states that have a head of household who has a given surname.
After selecting your state it is then possible to “Expand by County,” again showing heads of household with a given surname who live in specific counties. Here New York State was expanded.
New York County was selected, and the results are listed below.
By clicking on the surname, you are able to examine the census record that shows that individual.
Browsing the Census
It is also possible to browse the census. In the top left-hand corner are two buttons – “Search” and “Browse.” If you click on “Browse,” you will get the screen shown below. As you answer each question asked, another will appear.
Once you have answered the final question (No. 4 –below), the images of the census for the chosen state, county, and township (or city) will appear on the screen. At that point you can browse from one page to the next.
If you select “Search Books” from the main search screen, this screen will appear. From this point you can choose to search by a person’s name, a location, or a specific book.
This is an example of a “Results List.” A place name (La Crosse, Wisconsin) was given for the search and 161 results were found. To look at the publication, click on “View Image.” That can be found at the right end of the line containing the author’s name.
Once you have clicked on “View Image,” you will see the first scanned page of the publication. It might be a photograph or the title page. Rarely, it could be a blank page. You can click on the “Page” button and browse through the book. You can insert a page number in the “Jump to” box and go directly to that page. By clicking on “Hit” and you will be taken to the first page containing that surname for which you searched.
You can look at the table of contents, jump to a section, or page through the book using the options provided.
If you find information you would like to print, click on “Download.” (No, do not use the “Print” button this time.)
After you click on “Download,” you will see a page that looks much like this one. Basically, it is a table of contents for the book. Scroll to the bottom of the page. There is box where you can enter the page number(s) that you want to print or you can select a specific section to print. After you have made your selection, click on the “View” button next to “To view in Adobe Acrobat.”
You will then get a screen similar to this one showing the first page of your selection. (If you don’t see the image try allowing popups in your browser.) The “snapshot” tool may once again be used to select only the part of the image you want to print. In the upper left-hand corner is a printer icon. Click on that icon.
Check your print preview box to see if any of your settings need to be changed. Click on "OK" when you are satisfied with your preview copy.
Click here for a printable copy of this Guide (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader).
updated 6/09/2010 by mi