In March of this year ProQuest announced they were “advancing the research experience for family history enthusiasts and genealogical experts with a new version of its popular HeritageQuest® Online.” Being an avid family researcher, I was always a little disappointed that we could not access Ancestry.com from home through the Johnson County Library as there was always so much more to find on Ancestry.com than there was on HeritageQuest. To me, Ancestry really knew how to locate what I was searching for. But now, with the upgrades to HeritageQuest, there is so much more to discover and, with their updated look, it is by far more user friendly. In fact, a ProQuest news release notes that the “new interface is now powered by Ancestry.” Not only can you search your ancestors through the US Census records, but you can also search City Directories, 1850 and 1860 Slave Schedules, U.S. Indian Census Rolls, Mortality Schedules, Agricultural and Industrial Schedules and 1890 Veterans Schedules. There is a Census Map Guide that shows boundary changes that have been made over time and, as in the past version, you can search books that might include family and local histories. Also, be sure to check out the handy Tip of The Day. With all these new enhancements the HeritageQuest database gives library patrons a great tool to use from home to research their family histories.
Oak Park Library is currently closed and will re-open on Monday, Dec. 18 at 9 a.m.