The library is responding to a growing interest in family history that’s captured not only in Litchfield but America as a whole. A new nationwide survey shows 73% of Americans want to learn more about their roots, up from 60% in 2000. Twenty-
“More and more of our patrons want to explore their past and these resources make it easy and convenient,”
Logging on to HeritageQuest Online at home (or in the library if you choose) you’ll find several paths to information – the U.S. Federal Census collection, over 20,000 family and local history books, an index to nearly 2 million magazine articles with genealogical information, or a database of Revolutionary War era records. Select a path and enter a name to be searched. HeritageQuest Online instantly searches for matches and returns the results. Click on a name and an image of the matching record appears. For example, when a name is searched in the census collection, the particular page from the census where the name is listed will be displayed on the screen.
Ancestry Library Edition is available on the library’s public computers located in the Oliver Wolcott Library. Once connected to Ancestry Library Edition, you’ll find a friendly opening screen that asks for the name of the person to be searched. Key in the name, click on “Search” and Ancestry Library Edition scans its vast selection of U.S. census data, birth, marriage, and death records, World War I draft registration information, Social Security death records, and immigration lists. It also includes an extensive collection of information from the U.K., including images from English and Welsh census records, and civil registrations. Additionally probate records dating back to the 1500s are included from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
Whether you’re using HeritageQuest Online or Ancestry Library Edition, the information you find are pieces of a puzzle that you’ll assemble. Records have “clues” to the past – places where ancestors lived, names of relatives, birth or death dates, etc. – that lead to more information. Names can be added to form the “tree” or searched to find more clues.
“Genealogy is a wonderful hobby for anyone who wants to know more about where they came from,” says Ann Marie White, Library Director, “and we’re delighted to provide resources that are simple enough for beginners, yet provide deep and broad content sets that will help veteran genealogists advance their research.”
For more information, visit the Oliver Wolcott Library at 160 South Street in Litchfield, call 860-567-8030 or log onto www.owlibrary.org. The library is open seven days a week including three nights.