©2021 Donald R. Snow -- This page last updated 2021-10-24

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ABSTRACT:  HeritageQuest Online (HQO) is a website that is free through libraries by using your public library card bar code.  It has many family history records and can be used at home or anywhere you can get to the internet.  This class discusses the books and some other databases that are in its collections.  The books are mostly genealogy and local and family histories.  The databases we will discuss are country, state, and local databases. We will discuss what these are, how to search them, and how to use the results. Other classes will discuss census records, newspapers and obituaries, city directories, and PERSI (Periodical Source Index) on HQO.  The notes for this class, with active links and related articles, are posted on my website  http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html .


  1. Instructor is Donald R. Snow ( snowd@math.byu.edu ) of Provo and St. George, Utah.
  2. The notes for this class with active URLs, as well as additional information in other notes and articles, are posted at http://uvtagg.org/classes/dons/dons-classes.html .
  3. Tips:  (1)  To put an icon on your desktop for these notes, or any webpage, just drag the icon from in front of the address in your browser onto your desktop.  (2)  To open a link, but keep your place in these notes, hold down the Control key while clicking the link.
  4. The problem for today:  What books and state and country databases are on HeritageQuest Online and how do you search and use them?

  6. HeritageQuest Online is a website that libraries can subscribe to for their patrons to use at home through their public library card bar codes. 
  7. The notes for Part 1 of this series (online on my website) give links and articles about HQO; the Utah state-wide public library website for HQO is https://onlinelibrary.utah.gov/heritagequest-online/  and any Utah public library card bar code will get you in.


  8. When you click on Search Books on the website, you see information about their 22,000 book collection; it defaults to search for People.
  9. Fill in minimal information in the search boxes, e.g. just a surname, to start, and add more search terms and move the sliders, to get more or fewer hits; you can edit the search by clicking on the "pencil" icon.
  10. Near the top are the words People (the default), Publications, and City Directories.
  11. Clicking on Publications you see search boxes and a list of all 22,000 titles in the collection; to find publications about a location, for example, start with minimal info like Woburn and then add more terms like Massachusetts, to narrow down the hits.  Try moving the sliders, as well to get more or fewer hits and the "pencil" icon will let you edit the search terms
  12. When you find something you want, save it by clicking the Save button (Top right) and save it to your computer or else email it to yourself; you can only save one image (page) at a time; you used to be able to download up to 50 pdf pages at once, but not now. 
  13. If you find a book with lots of info you want, you might be able to find the entire book on another website, e.g. FamilySearch Books, where you can download the whole thing. 
  14. Dollarhide's "The Census Book" is in sections at the bottom of the Census search page, not in the Books part.  You can download pdfs of each of the 5 sections of his book there.

  16. A world map with search location links is at  https://www.ancestryheritagequest.com/search/
  17. The right side of this search page lists categories of databases and a button at the bottom to see everything in the card Catalog, but only a few of these links work now, for some reason.   
  18. The U.S. state links below the map do work, but only a few of those databases are online now.
  19. To find databases still on HQO click on Search (Top left of main page) and scroll clear down to the bottom to Search Other Locations > More U.S. Records; that's where I found the California Death Certificates and my Dad's 1954 death certificate in Los Angeles
  20. On this page you can use CTRL+F and type in a state or country, e.g. California, Ecuador, or Paraguay, to find records from those locations; these records are in pdf, but not searchable, so you have to go through them yourself; I knew my Dad's death date, so I could start near that, but they are not in complete chronological order, so it took me quite a while to find his death certificate. 

  22. HQO is worth checking for family history books and databases.  The books are in pdf and every-word searchable.  The additional databases are pdf, but don't seem to be searchable, so you have to go through them yourself.
  23. You can click to save a screenshot, but only one image (page) at a time.  (The books used to be downloadable by about 50 pages at a time, but not now.)  If you want an entire book, note its title and author and try other websites, e.g. FamilySearch Books.
  24. Other classes will discuss other parts of HQO including the U.S. and Canadian censuses, newspapers and obituaries, city directories, and PERSI (Periodical Source Index) .
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