HeritageQuest Online

Genealogical and historical sources accessed from the convenience of your home.

About HeritageQuest Online

HeritageQuest Online is a robust genealogical platform that provides a vast array of resources for exploring American and international family histories dating back to the 1700s. It features over 500 searchable databases with more than 5 billion records, including unique primary sources, interactive census maps, family and local histories, and comprehensive research guides. The interface, powered by Ancestry®, allows easy access for both public and academic library patrons from remote locations or within libraries.

Key highlights include almost 1 billion records from U.S. Federal Censuses (1790-1950), vital records collections containing hundreds of millions of birth, marriage, and death entries, and special collections like the Freedman’s Bank records and the U.S. Serial Set. Other significant offerings include a vast array of city directories, cemetery indexes, wills and probate records, and soon, a massive obituary collection. HeritageQuest also provides helpful tools such as a digital copy of The Census Book and an interactive map to view changes in U.S. county boundaries over time, enhancing the user experience in genealogical research.

What it’s great for:
  • Family History Research
  • Local History Studies
  • Cultural Heritage Exploration
  • Legal and Probate Research
  • Geographic and Demographic Analysis
Works best on:
  • Computers
  • Tablets

Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re inside the building on our computers or our WiFi you get immediate access. If you access it from home, all you need is a valid library card number. If you don’t have one, you can get a digital library card within minutes!

Absolutely! All that you have to provide is your library card number when you’re outside of the building.

HeritageQuest and Ancestry Library Edition are both valuable resources for genealogical and historical research, but they have distinct features and strengths that differentiate them:

  1. Access and Availability:
    • HeritageQuest is often available both in-library and remotely, allowing users to access it from home with a library card. This makes it particularly accessible for library patrons.
    • Ancestry Library Edition typically requires users to be physically present in the library to access its resources, which can limit its use to on-site visits.
  2. Content Collections:
    • HeritageQuest includes unique databases such as the Freedman’s Bank records, U.S. Indian Census Rolls, and a specific collection of family and local history books. It focuses more on U.S. census records, historical books, and various specific collections such as city directories and wills and probate records.
    • Ancestry Library Edition offers a broader range of international records, including more extensive global census, military, immigration, and vital records, making it more suitable for researching non-U.S. ancestors.
  3. Search and Interface:
    • HeritageQuest provides a robust search interface powered by Ancestry®, but it is generally considered simpler and more straightforward, which might be easier for beginners or casual researchers.
    • Ancestry Library Edition has a more complex search interface with advanced filtering options, which can be beneficial for more experienced genealogists or those needing detailed search capabilities.
  4. Educational Resources:
    • HeritageQuest includes specific educational materials like research aids and how-to guides that help users understand how to make the most of census and other genealogical data.
    • Ancestry Library Edition might offer similar guides, but its primary focus is on providing access to a wider array of records rather than educational content.
  5. Special Features:
    • HeritageQuest has interactive maps showing U.S. county boundaries over time and includes access to The Census Book for a detailed understanding of historical U.S. censuses.
    • Ancestry Library Edition excels in offering a larger volume of data and records, which is critical for in-depth genealogical research that spans multiple countries or regions.

Overall, while both platforms are rich in historical and genealogical data, HeritageQuest might be better for U.S.-centric research and for users who need remote access, whereas Ancestry Library Edition is ideal for more comprehensive, global genealogy research requiring in-library use.

You can also visit ProQuest’s website to get more help.

Have questions?

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