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Site makes geneaology easier

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Library connects to heritage database

By Amber Coulter

Genealogy researchers can find out where their ancestors lived, if they’re related to Revolutionary War soldiers and the answers to many other questions from their own homes.

The Hardin County Public Library system introduced last month a new genealogical database that can be accessed remotely.

Library employees offer HeritageQuest Online to make genealogical research easier and reduce patrons’ need to travel, said Kim Bland, adult services librarian for the branch in Elizabethtown.

That’s a big help for those who do genealogical research because they often are limited to an hour on library computers, which is hardly enough time to find all the desired answers. They also have to wait for free computers, Bland said.

That type of research also can mean calling ahead to other states to make sure documents are available and then traveling the nation to find records researchers want from their ancestors’ hometowns, she said.

The new database allows residents to look up U.S. decennial Census records for any state from the 1790s through 1930 with complete images of actual pages from their home computers.

The database also includes access to a searchable index of more than 6,300 genealogy and local history periodicals written since 1800, Revolutionary War pension and bounty land warrant application files, Freedman’s Bank records from 1865 through 1874, the Lexis Nexis U.S. Serial Set and more than 20,000 Genealogy and Local History Collection book titles and primary documents.

The database makes more information than ever available with simple searches, Bland said. That helps when researchers from out of state call and ask over the phone for information.

Bland hasn’t heard much feedback about the site because it hasn’t been publicized, but it’s especially easy for beginning genealogy researchers to use.

The database offers a wealth of information compared to the cost of offering it to patrons. It allowes access to a lot of records the library can’t afford to buy, Bland said.

Patrons can log at

http://www.heritagequestonline.com/hqoweb/library/do/login/barcode?aid=20625

 and type their library card number into the barcode dialogue box.

Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 or acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.