Heritage Quest Saved


(Please be aware this post was written in 2004 and published at that time in the Houston Chronicle (Houston, Texas) newspaper. Some of the news in this post, therefore,  may not be current. Current and future posts on this blog may revisit and update news on this and other posts on this blog. If you have questions and/or suggestions, please send Mic a note using the comment page -Don’t forget to use the orange “subscribe” button to receive new posts-Thanks, Mic)

Russlene Waukechon, TexShare Database Coordinator at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission in Austin, was elated this week when she reported the pledge drive to save Heritage Quest for Texas genealogists has been met.

Sponsored by the TSLAC TexShare is a common sharing of databases by libraries throughout Texas. Heritage Quest is just one of many of those databases. When the Texas legislature met last year they cut funds and the TSLAC did not have sufficient funding available for the Heritage Quest databases.

The goal of $243,000 in pledges was exceeded by almost $20,000 totaling $262,690. Now that Heritage Quest has been saved the money will have to be collected and plans are being made on how to meet next year’s assessment without having to wait until the last minute to attain the goal.

Genealogists, historians, students, teachers and anyone interested in what Heritage Quest has to offer should begin contacting their legislators so the funding can be returned to the state budget.


Heritage Quest, a subsidiary of ProQuest, offers a number of databases in their repertoire. First, they have the United States Census from 1790 through 1930. The 1790 census is the first census ever taken by the United States. The 1930 census is the latest census one may view due to a 72 year privacy act on viewing some federal records. Most of the years are indexed by head of household. Those not indexed are expected to be completed at some time in the near future.

Second, the HQ database has a Genealogy and Local History Collection of over 25,000 family and local history books. Each book is accessible online and is every word searchable .

Third, the TSLAC will include the Sanborn Insurance Maps collection for Texas with the new subscription. These historic maps were created by the Sanborn Map Company for insurance companies in the mid to late 1800s and through the 1900s to assist in underwriting fire and other types of insurance risks. The maps show the location of buildings, describe building construction and materials and show facades of buildings in towns, cities and elsewhere.

Fourth, the subscription includes PERSI, the Periodical Source Index. PERSI is an index to articles written in English or Canadian French periodicals which have been published in over 6500 genealogical and historical journals since about the year 1800. The database is searchable by surname, place, keyword and for methodological articles.

The citation for each article found in a search tells the researcher the name of the publication, the year, issue and where to obtain a copy of the article in person, by snail mail or by e-mail. With the source citation the researcher can check at Clayton or other area libraries to see if a specific issue is available in Houston. If the desired periodical is unavailable in Houston PERSI offers other alternatives as to where to locate the article such as the society or publishing house that initiated the periodical or the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana which created PERSI.

Forthcoming HQ will have full text entries for obituaries published in over 150 newspapers across the United States, the Freedman’s Bank Records and best of all, the Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Files.

The Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Files contain records of over 80,000 individuals who served in the Revolution. The files contain the raw personal histories and memoirs of men who served our country during the Revolution and were asking for government aid in the twilight years of their lives.

The censuses 1790-1930, PERSI and the Genealogy and Local History Collection is currently online. Just visit your local library to obtain a library card and instructions on how to access the website.

Visit the following website and click on TexShare for the lastest TexShare information http://micbarnette.bravepages.com .

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