Use the Genealogy Resources at Your Local Public Library

 Recently we were privileged to teach a course at the Innisfail Library, our local public library.  What a great place and we taught such nice people!  The library was anxious to share their resources for genealogy – so now we can share with you!

Go to the library main page – you don’t have to be a member of the library to do this!  Innisfail is part of the Parkland Regional Library.  At the top of the screen where is says “Enter Search Terms” – type Genealogy then select the button below that says Website before clicking Search. On the next page select Genealogy and Local History Research.

You are now in the section of resources for Genealogy and Local History Research!  For those who got lost along the way here is the direct link

The printable guide is a pdf file created by the Parkland Regional Library – so you can download and save a copy on your computer.   This is followed by a good and long list of links to helpful resources – well worth looking at! – there is an emphasis on Alberta and Canada but also includes other countries.  Again you don’t need to belong to the library to access these links.

In the Census records section is a link to HeritageQuestOnline.  To use this from home you will need a library membership number – access is free to the public in the library.  HeritageQuestOnline is a premium subscription website that is very helpful for anyone doing research in the United States.  I am told – I have not American relatives! – that they have the best census images, as well.

Dick Eastman’s Encyclopedia of Genealogy says:

“HeritageQuest Online at is one of the most valuable services available today for anyone researching ancestry in the United States. The company is best known for its collection of the U.S. Federal Census records from 1790 through 1930.

HeritageQuest Online contains:

  • U.S. Federal Census records from 1790 through 1940. . . .The online collection includes new indexes created by HeritageQuest. In addition to the ability to search by name, the census records can be searched by place of birth, age, ethnicity, and other variables.
  • More than 25,000 fully searchable family and local history books. If anyone has ever published a book about your family name or a book about the history of your town or county, there is an excellent chance that you can search that book on HeritageQuest Online. There are numerous other “non-history” books available that also have genealogy value, such as town and city directories, government reports made years ago, biographies, lectures, and much more.
  • Selected Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files, again fully searchable with high-quality scanned images of the original applications available online.
  • Signatures of and personal identification data about depositors in 29 branch offices of the Freedman’s Savings and Trust Company, 1865-74.
  • PERSI (the PERiodical Source Index – a comprehensive subject index covering more than 6,500 genealogy and local history periodicals written in English and French since 1800).

Best of all, you can view the original records and book pages as high-quality images and even print individual pages on your local printer.” Encyclopedia of Genealogy

By now I was feeling sad for my friends who belong to Red Deer Public Library and have US research interests!  However, a check with the staff at the Red Deer Library told me that they too have free access to HeritageQuestOnline!  On their website click on the menu Digital Content and select Genealogy to get to the link to HeritageQuest.  Again this is available only with a valid membership number.

Red Deer Public Library also has a feature called Lists which which gives you a list of genealogy books in their collection.  You access this either from the main page or from the Catalog. To the left of the search box select Lists from the drop down menu and then typing: rdpl picks genealogy

All libraries in Alberta belong to The Alberta Library (TAL).  This enhances normal interlibrary loans to make it possible to request virtually any book from your local library.

Your public library can be a great help with your genealogy research!

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2 Responses to Use the Genealogy Resources at Your Local Public Library

  1. John says:

    thank you for your time peter enjoy all the extras you find us

  2. Dianne Fallow says:

    Having a look Peter, I like what I see…thank you…Dianne

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