Starting in April, Heritage Quest will no longer be available to Irving Public Library cardholders through its TexShare database list. Since 2018, the Texas State Library and Archives Commission has been seeking a cost-effective and comparable substitute to offer state libraries, that provides accessibility for all. TSLAC continues its search into the summer, and could go live with a solution as early as May.
It is important to note that while the loss of HeritageQuest will be profoundly felt by family history and genealogy researchers who use the library’s services, not all is lost. Much of the information found on HeritageQuest, because of the nature of federal archives, is freely available on other resource pages. Much is also duplicated in the library’s other popular genealogical database Ancestry Library Edition, which is currently only available from inside the system’s four library locations. South Irving Library has computers specifically dedicated for genealogical research. Please call (972) 721-2606 for more information.
The following list, in combination with Ancestry Library Edition, which provides access to more than 7,000 databases, including U.S. Federal Census schedules 1790 to 1940, immigration ships passenger lists, vital records, and U.S. military records, provide a robust selection of curated sites to aid in future genealogical discoveries:
Cyndi’s List is a categorized and cross-referenced list of links for genealogical research. The site contains roughly 332,000 links in more than 200 categories.
Ellis Island Passenger Search provides passenger list information for Family Ellis Island and Port of New York Immigration Records. The Port of New York Passenger Records alone spans the time period between 1820 and 1957, and contains the information regarding almost 65 million immigrants, passengers, and crew members found in the ship manifests that passed through these famous points of entry to the United States from Europe and other parts of the world.
Family Search, provided by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, offers free access to numerous historical record collections from around the world. This is an important source for census records, Freedman’s Bank records, Native American census rolls, the U.S. Social Security Death Index, and marriage, birth and baptismal records from around the world.
Other sites of interest:
Find A Grave
Finding Your Family From Ship’s Passenger Lists
Library of Congress Sanborn Maps
Where to Write for Vital Records