Time to get back to writing. I have been away a while but now I’m jumping back into the fray with a blog about HeritageQuest.  Initially, I wasn’t a big fan of HeritageQuest because one, I only used it for census records, and 2. being that its not indexed as thoroughly as Ancestry, it was hard for me to find my peoples, so I tucked it away as another resource to check one day.  But one thing I’ve learned while doing genealogy, is things change very quickly so you have to take the time to revisit a resource from time to time to see what’s new or what’s new to you! (A big difference between those two statements because it could be new to the database or in your limited use of the resource, you may find something it has always had but you are just discovering it.)

With that said, I found something that was new to me…not sure how long Heritage has had them but I’m happy they have it.  While researching, I learned about a book called Map Guide to the U.S. Federal Censuses, 1790 – 1930 by William Thorndale and William Dollarhide. This book contains maps that shows the county boundaries for each census year up to the 1930 census.  It is extremely helpful because you can see if the boundaries of the counties where your ancestors lived changed, thus expanding your options for finding documents about them.  Interested in the book?  Check your local library and state archives and they may have a copy. I know the Georgia State Archives has a copy and the link above will lead you to the DeKalb County Public Library’s catalog to show you where our copy of the book is housed. 

It wasn’t until I took a Local History Webinar sponsored by GALILEO, I learned that HeritageQuest has the images included in their database.  After some checking, I notice that Heritage doesn’t have all of the images but there maybe enough to pique your interest and give you an idea about your county’s boundaries until you can take a look at the book.  You can access the images by doing the following:

1. Log into HeritageQuest (can access this database from home with your library card and PIN). Contact your local library for more information.

2. Click on Search Census.

3. Click Browse.

4. Select the Census Year.

5. Select the State.

6.  Next to the state, you should see a link that says View State Map.  Another window will open with the image inside.

Hopefully Heritage will have some maps that are revelant to your genealogy research.  I hope this tip was helpful and good luck on your researching endeavors! More posts on HeritageQuest forthcoming.

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