Looking up family tree? Library can help | AspenTimes.com

Looking up family tree? Library can help

John Colson
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” Want to find out if you have any horse thieves or pirates hidden among the branches of your family tree?

Well, the Pitkin County Library in Aspen would like to help, and has lined up two new genealogical reference tools to do so.

The uses and capabilities of HeritageQuest Online and Ancestry Library Edition, two new database applications created by ProQuest CSA, will be demonstrated at the library beginning at noon Monday, Nov. 12, with free pizza and sodas to help wash down the educa­tion.

According to information supplied by Joce­lyn Durrance, assistant director of the library, the demonstrations will be conducted by a vis­iting librarian from Fort Collins.

HeritageQuest includes all of the images and extensive indexing from the 1790-1930 U. S. federal censuses and features more than 20,000 book titles, including 8,000 family histories and over 12,000 local histories, according to informa­tion provided by Dur­rance.

The HeritageQuest software also provides researchers with tax lists, city directories, probate records and records detailing war pensions and land war­rant applications from more than 80,000 mili­tary service records, and more than 70,000 bank documents in the forthcoming Freed­man’s Bank Records database. And, the Her­itageQuest database can be accessed from home by anyone with a Pitkin County Library card.

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Ancestry Library Edition offers users a chance to begin exploring their roots by searching a surname. The search checks U. S. census data; military, birth, marriage and death records; World War I draft registrations; Social Security death data; and immigration lists.

The database also includes information and images from the United Kingdom, such as English and Welsh census records and civil registrations, and probate records dating back to the 16th century.

Ancestry Library Edition cannot be accessed remotely, however, because the com­pany has its own commercial website. The library edition only can be used at the library.

“More and more of our patrons want to explore their past,” Durrance said in the state­ment, adding that the new database “makes it easy … even for beginners. We expect this to be one of our most popular services.”

Durrance said the database has been avail­able to the public for a couple of weeks, but has not generated much attention, which prompted the library to arrange for the demon­stration.

“We’re trying to educate the public and let them know the information is out there,” Dur­rance said. “I guarantee that, if you’re interest­ed in genealogy, you’ll find it very helpful.”

The Pitkin County Library is at 120 N. Mill St., Aspen. The library’s website is http://www.pitcolib.org, and librarians can be reached by phone at 429-­1900.

John Colson’s e- mail address is jcolson@aspentimes.com