Heritage Quest Online: Census Records

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Available free through subscribing libraries, Heritage Quest Online packs in an intuitive interface, fast downloads, and crisp census images. If your library doesn't subscribe, you're missing out!


  • Free to members of subscribing libraries
  • Easy to use interface and crisp, enhanced images
  • Notebook feature helps you keep track of searches


  • Not available for an individual subscription
  • No soundex or wildcard search options
  • Head of household indexes only


  • Includes census images for all decades 1790 to 1930.
  • Head of household indexes for 1790 to 1820, 1860, 1870, 1890, 1900 to 1910 and 1920 to 1930 (partial).
  • Available only as a library subscription, but offered free by participating libraries to members.
  • Advanced search options also include state, county, age, and birthplace, but no wildcard or soundex.
  • Census indexes prepared by Heritage Quest are much more accurate than the common AIS indexes.
  • Images appear in an HTML viewer, with no extra software required.
  • Full-screen, enhanced census images load quickly and are easy to read.
  • Black and white enhanced census images make viewing easier, but could possibly affect quality.
  • Census images are also available as negative images as an alternate opportunity for readability.
  • Handy notebook feature allows you to save census images and citations, and take online notes.

Guide Review

Developed specifically for library patrons, Heritage Quest Online offers an intuitive, easy-to-use interface and clear, crisp census images. Searching is simple and offers a lot of options, although it lacks the ability to use wildcards or soundex to search for misspelled names. Available census indexes are highly accurate - much more so than commonly used AIS indexes. Census images download quickly and appear as full-screen, enhanced images, though some people claim that this enhancement could introduce errors. Images can be quickly downloaded and saved or printed in Tiff (non-compressed) or PDF format. Overall, Heritage Quest Online is the most flexible census offering available, if you can convince your library to subscribe!

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Your Citation
Powell, Kimberly. "Heritage Quest Online: Census Records." ThoughtCo, Feb. 16, 2021, thoughtco.com/heritage-quest-online-census-records-1420501. Powell, Kimberly. (2021, February 16). Heritage Quest Online: Census Records. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/heritage-quest-online-census-records-1420501 Powell, Kimberly. "Heritage Quest Online: Census Records." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/heritage-quest-online-census-records-1420501 (accessed June 10, 2023).