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Heritage Quest is available to Michigan residents and through your Michigan libraries

More than a simply a genealogical resource, HeritageQuest Online Library Edition (HQO) allows teachers, students, history aficionados, and those generally curious to find amazing primary source.  For example, did you know that…

  • Kishtowag, otherwise known as Elizabeth Madosh, was from the Ojibwe (Ojibbeway) tribe recorded by the MacKinac Agency in 1922.
  • Nanny Dudley, complexion dark, lived on Caruther’s Plantation in Georgia in 1870 when she opened her first bank account.
  • Joseph St. John of Cooper Township had 1 horse, 2 milch cows, 4 working oxen, 9 other cattle, 6 sheep, and 6 swine all worth $200 in 1850 (that’s nearly $6000 in today’s world!).

Elizabeth is recorded in the Indian Census Rolls.  These census records span 1855 – 1940 and cover Native American populations throughout the United States.  Both Indian name and English name, date of birth, gender, relationships, and tribe/agency name are recorded. Currently accepted spellings of tribal names are used on the index but in the census rolls themselves, obsolete spellings are often used; and the name of a tribe may be spelled several ways in different rolls.

Nanny’s bank record is part of the Freedman’s Bank Record collection, 1865- 1871.  The forms asked questions regarding personal information and identification—such as complexion (color), height, and name of plantation as well as required a signature (which more times than not was an X). The exact questions asked on each form varied between years and branches.  Classroom discussion starters and public library displays are launched from these primary sources.

Finally, Mr. St. John’s farm information can be found in the Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880.  This collection is a fun way to recreate a region or township or neighborhood with accuracy.  It includes agriculture as well as industry and manufacturing.  Searching by keyword (blacksmith, farmer, etc.) is a way to envision your ancestor or town through the lens of livelihood.

Other unique collections in HQO are the Mortality Schedules (useful for tracing and documenting genetic symptoms and diseases as they list causes of death), Library of Congress Photo Collection (think photos of Carnegie Libraries or faces of Hoovervilles), Indexed Early Land Ownership and Township Plats, and even records from South America, Caribbean, and Central America.

You can find additional help for using the great resources at HeritageQuest here:  https://proquest.libguides.com/hqo.

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