Genealogical research has a passionate following outside of the academic world, a fact that is reflected in the often impressive genealogy collections of public libraries. Now Villanova faculty members are planning to add genealogical research projects to their undergraduate history syllabi. Welcome to the digital new world of genealogy: like in so many other areas of research, the time of dusty old books and reels of microfilm has passed and online databases have taken their place.
Ancestry.com and HeritageQuest are two of the major genealogical research tools currently on the market. Both are available on trial basis until March 15 to Villanova faculty and students. Discover a wealth of genealogical materials such as U.S. census data (1790-1930), church records, county census data, immigration ship lists, passport applications, Freedman’s Bank records, Revolutionary War pension applications, even international data from the UK, Canada and Germany.
I strongly encourage you to evaluate both resources and send me feedback about their usefulness in the classroom. For more detailed information about the contents of ancestry library edition and HeritageQuest Online, please consult the comparison chart provided by Proquest. Contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) or post your comments online.