Recollection can be so delightful: today a couple of patrons asked about genealogy services. I directed them to our HeritageQuest subscription service for their particular question about census records.

Looking back on their visit, I remember fielding a call from a call-in patron who ask for census pages listing members of a household. She was looking to jog her memory on the name of someone who lived with a relative of hers in… I’m not sure what date it was, but it was a long while ago. I remember that I managed to find the family under the year she had given me, but it took looking through pages and pages. I don’t recommend using the techniques I did, but I was reminded that you can access these neat handwritten records and that it can be exciting!

The patrons today were looking for anything and everything about a generation of this woman’s ancestors, when they lived in Corning. They found a fair amount of information using our HeritageQuest subscription, though they also commiserated with me about some of the aggravating aspects.

What is HeritageQuest anyway? It is a genealogical search resource owned by Ancestry that includes scanned Census data 1790- partial 1930, Freedman’s Bank data, U.S. Serial Set and more. Our access is funded with a generous grant from The Community Foundation of Elmira-Corning and the Finger Lakes.

Local History.JPG

Here’s a small sense of what the census pages look like:

The handwriting is hard to read at times but it is digitized for the most part so you can also look through a typewritten listing.

Here’s an article at research.gov about at least some of the digital census records.

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