Wednesday, February 6, 2019

FREE: City Directories on HeritageQuest

Did you know you can access US city directories via HeritageQuest Online, for free? In Vermont, Los Angeles, New York City, and in many other areas, all you need to access the free HeritageQuest genealogy databases from home is a public library card.

In my previous post, I discussed how I used city directories to solve a family mystery. HeritageQuest has lots of town and city directories . . . ready to be searched or browsed from your own keyboard, in your bunny slippers, at any hour.

Does your local library offer HeritageQuest?

Check your local or state library's website or ask your friendly neighborhood librarian about how to access HeritageQuest from home. Usually all you need is a library card number.

Once you log in, go to the "Search" section of the HeritageQuest site (as shown at left).

There you'll see several choices of databases to search--including, as shown at top, the many city directories.

Now you'll have three choices of databases: "people," "publications," and "city directories" (see image at right).

Search name and family member

Click on "city directories" to search by name, with a family member (which sometimes helps), indicate gender, and indicate residence year.

Dates can be approximate--the results usually cover a range of years. Go ahead and click, it's free with your library card. You never know who you will find (or, as in the case of the family mystery I was researching, who you will not find).


This is a brief excerpt from my how-to presentation, Getting the Most Out of HeritageQuest Online. For more about my talks, please click here.

HeritageQuest is only available in Connecticut with a free state library card, by the way, due to budget limitations.

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