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HeritageQuest Online: Sample Searches

HeritageQuest Online is powered by! This guide will provide insight into the content, features, and functionality of HeritageQuest Online.

Search Tips

Review the Search Tips page of this guide for general tips and advice.

See the collection-specific sub-pages of the Search Tips page specialized search tips and guidance:

Census Search

Books Search

Revolutionary War Records Search

Freedman's Bank Records Search

U.S. Serial Set Search

Sample Searches

  1. U.S. Census – 1790 to 1940
    1. Thomas Jefferson – Enter the following into the Search Form
      1. First Name: Thomas
      2. Last Name: Jefferson
      3. Any Event: Year: 1810   Location: Albemarle County, Virginia, USA
      4. Click “Search”
      5. RESULT: Click the title for the second result to view the Record Information page; click the “View” button to see the image (Thomas Jefferson is listed in the middle of the list ~line 12)
    2. Abraham Lincoln - Enter the following into the Search Form
      1. First Name: Abraham
      2. Last Name: Lincoln
      3. Any Event: Year: 1850  Location: Springfield, Sangamon, Illinois, USA
      4. Spouse:  First Name: Mary
      5. Click “Search”
      6. RESULT: Click the “View Image” link for the first result; Abraham Lincoln and family about 2/3rds down the page.
    3. Search/Browse a Specific Dataset
      1. Below the search form, select the 1820 U.S. Federal Census.
      2. In the right-side Browse, select a state from the menu – Michigan.
      3. Select “Macomb” from the County menu.
      4. Click on “Mount Clemens.”
      5. RESULT: Page 1 of 6 will open in the Interactive Image Viewer. Filmstrip view at the bottom. This is a good example of document damage which affected the microfilming process, and therefore the current experience. Remember, not every historical document (or its image) is perfect.


  1. Books Collection­  - People and Publications Search options at top of page
    1. People Search (default)
      1. Name Search
        1. First Name: Robert A
        2. Last Name: Taft
        3. Location: Ohio
        4. Keyword: Senator
        5. RESULT: Click the title of the result for “Boy grow tall: a story of American initiative” to view the page w/ KWIC highlighting. NOTE: There is not currently an option to jump to the previous/next hit (if any) in the title.
      2. Location Search ­– to locate place histories and references to the location in lineage books.
        1. Location: Kauai County, Hawaii, USA
        2. RESULT: Hover the mouse over the first result for “Koamalu: a story of pioneers on Kauai and of what they built in that island garden.”  In the lightbox that appears, you will see a thumbnail image. Click the title to open the book to the title page. Once there, click the Filmstrip icon and advance through the filmstrip of images. Locate Image 16 to show a page w/ text and images.
      3. Keyword Search
        1. Keyword: “Santa Ines Mission”
        2. RESULT: Scroll to locate results from “Santa Barbara: a guide to the Channel City and its environs.” Select any result from that book to see pages.
    2. Publications­
      1. Title Search:  Enter a city name and the word DIRECTORY in the title field to find all city directories for a particular city. Remember: ~20,000 new directories were added to the existing directories collection in Feb 2015!
      2. Subject Search: Enter the city you are located in (or your favorite vacation city). TIP: Most U.S. cities are listed two ways: state-county-city (or state-city) and city-county-state (or city-state). Both forms should get the same Book Results Lists.


  1. Revolutionary War Era Records
    1. First Name: George
    2. Last Name: Miller
    3. Keyword: CONT  
    4. RESULTS: Click “View Record” of the first result to see the Record Information page for this record.  
      1. What is the assigned Application Designation?­­­­­ ________________________
      2. How many pages are in this packet?­­­­­­­­ ________________
    5. Click “View” to see the packet images.
      1. What states did Mr. Miller serve in? (Hint: top right corner) ____________________________________________________
      2. What is the assigned number of the packet? __________
      3. Advance forward to Image 18 (using bottom-center page navigation). In what state __________, on what date _________, and at what rate per month $____ was Mr. Miller enlisted in the Revolutionary War (a.k.a., “1776 War”)?


  1. Freedman’s Bank Records
    1. First Name: William
    2. Last Name: Gentry
    3. RESULT: You will retrieve 15 hits, only one document for William as the applicant. 
      1. Click “View Record” and answer the following:
        1. What is the Account Date? ­_______________
        2. What is William’s Father’s Name? ­_______________
        3. What is William’s Mother’s Name? __________________
        4. In what state was William born? _________________________
      2. Click “View” to view the page image.
      3. Locate Mr. Gentry’s record on the register page and Zoom to see it more clearly, then answer the following:
        1. What city is listed as the place of Residence? _________________
        2. What is William’s listed age? ______________
        3. What is William’s listed occupation? ___________
        4. Is his father alive? ____________
        5. How many brothers and sisters are listed? _______________
        6. What (if any) remarks are made on his account record? __________________________________________________________
        7. Does William sign his own name or use a mark (X) to sign the document?  (Circle one)
  2. U.S. Serial Set
    1. Search name:  Cobb Nichols.   RESULT: You’ll get two documents back, which describe how Nichols’ land became an island after the Corps of Engineers constructed a canal on nearby property.
    2. Search name:  Lewis Armstrong, and select the 16th result ("Memorial on counting vote of people of Louisiana for the appointment of presidential electors, November 7, 1876"; SERIAL-SET-ID: 1723 S.misdoc.14).   RESULT: This document features multiple authors, many sections, and many tables.  If you click on "1 hits" (to the left of Section 6), you'll be taken to page 285 of the Serial Set document   Lewis Armstrong states: "At the general election held in this parish on Tuesday, November 7, 1876, I voted the republican ticket, but voted for Gen. F. T. Nicholls [a Democrat] instead of Mr. S. B. Packard.  I did this because I had put my money in the Freedmen's Bank in Natchez ($290) which I have never been able to get again…".  There are affidavits in this document alleging that Republicans had threatened violence against blacks who were caught voting Democratic.