Ancestry, Heritage Quest or FamilySearch: Which do you prefer?

There are number of interesting developments in the world of genealogy, but perhaps nothing as important than the introduction of online genealogy databases. A subscription database like®, Heritage Quest Online provides a wealth of information and is mandatory for the researcher looking for primary source materials. Both of these databases are marketed as comprehensive libraries and meant to be a “one-stop shop” for the novice user. Both include census records, birth, death and marriage records and other features. Many public libraries subscribe to one or the other of these two databases, therefore, check with your local library to see whether they provide either of these services.

Free database libraries include the ever popular database of choice FamilySearch this comprehensive database includes vital statistics divided by states and region. The scope of the database includes regional and international records and is perhaps more popular due largely to its availability to the general public; its ease of use and cost savings features are value added. Developed by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, it contains a host of online applications including site storage and file sharing. For those looking for an easy, useful and inexpensive way to save and store your genealogy and collaborate with others, this database is for you.

The savvy genealogist would probably work between all three databases, checking back and forth to verify information. I use FamilySearch on a daily basis to find important and worthy genealogical information. Be sure to log in regularly as they update their files frequently. FamilySearch is currently releasing a variety of site enhancements.

Here in Michigan, through the state’s eLibrary, residents are able to log into and use Heritage Quest free of charge. I would investigate what your own state has to offer. This generally is found at the state library level. Check their website or give them a call to see what hidden gems may be out there for your use.

Michael Wrona
Vice President

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